The Power Of A Guarantee

Do you know what the benefit is of training with you?

If you don’t have an answer to this, you need to stop reading right this second and think of one.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to just brainstorm what you can offer one of your clients. Sit there for a moment and consider what you can give someone who comes to you for personal training or coaching.

If you get stuck on what you can offer someone, think about how other professions solve a problem. For example, a butcher dispenses meat. But nobody cares about that. They care about how the butcher helps them eat something that’s tasty and makes them feel better. If you’re a vegetarian, think about what a plumber does for someone. The benefit they offer is that when the plumber gets done with fixing your pipes, they work properly again and you can resume a clean life of using the restroom and bathing without accidentally flooding your home.

Do you understand yet how different the benefits are from the features? A plumber may mention how he or she has 12 years of experience for example, which is a feature. Or he may mention his number of years as an apprentice at a respected company, or how many years he’s been certified.

While these are all great features, they aren’t the same as the benefits they can offer their customers.

A ‘benefit’ is defined as something good you or I can do for or give to our clients. On the other hand, a ‘feature’ is nothing but a component.

When you offer any kind of guarantee, you set yourself apart from the pack in at least one way. You position yourself in people’s minds as a different kind of personal trainer.

While the plumber may have spent years as an apprentice and has been practicing for decades, when your toilet explodes at 3 o’clock in the morning, you don’t care about these things; instead, you care about getting the problem solved!

The benefit of training with you could be all manner of different things. You may be excellent at helping people drop a great amount of body fat in a short period in time. You could be incredible at helping middle aged executives to pump up their energy levels and reduce their stress levels. Or maybe you’re all about helping new mums feel better and get back into shape.

Addressing Their Fears
Every client you ever have will harbour fears of some sort. For example, some may feel afraid of having a shortened life due to being in poor health, others may fear not being able to move as quickly due to stiffening joints, or not being able to enjoy their days because their energy levels are low. These are all potentially very valid fears that you can help eliminate when they train with you.

It’s important to realise that a lot of people aren’t really sure exactly what a personal trainer does. I mean, have you ever had a new potential client call up and say ‘I was just wondering if you do single-arm inverted pulls, super-setted with jumping lunges on a tabata timing format?’ The reason you haven’t is because most prospective new clients have no idea what we do; and because of this, they’re often instinctively afraid of or unsure about the benefits they’ll get from training with us.

The impact of this mystery and their perception of risk means they’re less likely to want to invest in our services. It may also mean that people in the wider population simply think that personal trainers are all the same.

There’s one very certain way you can allay your potential clients’ fears better than any other – and that’s by offering them a guarantee.

The $100 Guarantee
When you offer any kind of guarantee, you set yourself apart from the pack in at least one way. You position yourself in people’s minds as a different kind of personal trainer, because your guarantee addresses the fears they have, as well as triggering their interest. Think about some of the guarantees you’ve most likely heard from other kinds of companies.

In the 1980s, Dominos Pizza used to guarantee that their pizzas would get there within half an hour or they would be free. This addresses the fear that my pizza is going to get to me hours later, when I’m all but starving.

Believe it or not, a lot of people have no idea what makes one personal trainer different from any other. To a lot of folks the idea of a ‘different’ personal trainer is something they may never have even considered before. You can set yourself miles ahead of the pack, just by offering your potential clients something that allays their fears and, obviously, gives them something of value.

There are other reasons why offering a guarantee is a great idea. For one thing, your guarantee can actually bring you more business that you ever anticipated. In our personal training business, we offer someone a crisp $100 note if they aren’t satisfied after a session. And naturally we don’t bill them for an unsatisfactory session either, plus we give them their next session for free. And every client we train goes into working with us fully aware of this fact.

You may read this and be afraid that people would just come in, get the best training session they could possibly offer and then ask for the money, but this never happens.

First off, we’re pretty good personal trainers and we know how to satisfy our clients. Secondly, it’s because we know the types of clients we’d prefer to work with. We know what they want, and we work pretty hard to give it to them.

As far as the note itself goes though, I would be happy to hand it to anyone who really was unsatisfied with the training services I offer. While $100 might sound like a lot of money, it’s really not that big of a deal when you consider the potential lifetime value of a client. Once your client gets a few good workouts in with you and begins to see some of the results they want, the chances of them leaving are slim.

Consider a client who stays with you for ten years. Obviously this is a person who greatly values what you have to offer them. Let’s say they pay $80, and have two sessions per week; that’s approximately $8,000 per year, or $80,000 over the ten-year lifetime of that one client! Keeping this in mind, $100 every so often doesn’t sound like very much money when you may end up with a dozen clients who are perfectly happy to pay you several thousand dollars a year? Especially when you consider that it’s basically my ‘tuition’ to learn why a particular client isn’t satisfied.

As a business owner, I’d pay ten times that if someone could identify a significant problem with how I conduct my business.

After all, if every client becomes extremely well satisfied, I can raise my rates higher, and end up making even more money by sharing the expertise I’ve worked so hard to gain and hone.

Now, it’s one thing to offer this ‘if you’re not satisfied you get $100’ guarantee, but the success of it lies in making sure people know about it. You have to advertise your guarantee, in order for it to work.

So, now it’s your turn to get busy. Brainstorm some possible guarantees that will set your fitness business apart from the competition, and come up with ways to advertise them in your local area. Good luck!

Article written by Brad Sheppard for the What’s New in Fitness Magazine – Summer 2016 Edition.

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