Selling single sessions and packages of sessions to your clients is quickly becoming a thing of the past. many trainers are transferring their business into monthly payment plans, multi-month packages or subscriptions for personal training and performance coaching. This is proving to improve commitment, attendance and results for clients, as well as consistent monthly income for trainers, so this migration is definitely something worth looking in to.
Below, four of the Bay Area's most experienced trainers have put their version of these new plans into practice and shared their knowledge with us.
This monthly payment plan works by turning individual sessions into a one time monthly payment based on hourly rate and weekly training frequency.
*Monthly rate = Average # of sessions per month x Current hourly rate
Clients receive recurring email invoices via Square on the first of each month.
Payments are due within the first 7 days of each month (There is a late fee of $50).
1 Rollover session each month
Clients have to USE OR LOSE their sessions UNLESS they can reschedule within the same month.
They are allowed ONE carry over session valid until the end of the following month.
If we are unable to reschedule within that next month, due to illness, vacation, or work travel, clients will have credit for the value of your session (their current hourly rate).
Single Session Policy:
If clients want to schedule additional one-off training sessions in the month, Dustin will honor their current hourly rate for single sessions.
Cancellations must be made 30 days prior to the next monthly bill
No refunds less than 30 days before the next month unless special circumstances occur such as job loss or family emergency, for example, are considered exceptions, and will be handled in a discretionary manner.
"If the client is not consistent with their sessions (i.e. if they travel a lot) then the membership will not work for them. However, it weeds out inconsistent clients for the trainer. Non-membership clients then select my single session hourly rate and just schedule as they have time. The downside for them is they do not get to reserve a recurring day/time and new or existing memberships get priority so non-membership clients need to be flexible with scheduling and availability."
"This method has encouraged consistent attendance, increased accountability, simple and convenient payments. Health and fitness is not a short-term process. It’s a commitment and needs to be a part of our whole life!"
- DUSTIN EASTMENT
PACKAGED WITH EXPIRATION DATES PAYMENT PLAN
4 sessions, 8 sessions, or 12 sessions are offered at a time, with expiration dates.
ALL SESSIONS ARE THE SAME PRICE regardless of how many they purchase.
Clients must cancel/reschedule at least 24 HOURS IN ADVANCE or Natalie charges for the session.
If Natalie is able to do a make up session with them that same week, that is acceptable.
Clients have expiration dates to abide by depending on their chosen package
4 sessions: 5 weeks to use
8 sessions: 10 weeks to use
12 sessions: 15 weeks to use
This also gives them 1-3 weeks of a grace period in case they are traveling, sick, unable to make one week.
"One of my clients has to travel a lot and it just means we have to plan our sessions farther in advance so that they are all scheduled. A very reliable client of mine travelled for the holidays who I made a special exception for since she spoke to me about it in advance. I'm willing to make infrequent exceptions for clients that I know are legitimately working hard."
"This method means that my clients have to come in on a regular basis or their sessions expire. I tell them that this is because it's hard to make progress with inconsistent training (true), but it is also so that I am guaranteed a consistent income."
1x/Week is 4 sessions/month = $490
1.5x/Week is 6 sessions/month = $685
2x/Week is 8 sessions/month = $880
Single sessions are $125, so when you pay ahead of time, clients receive a discount
Remote Training / Program Design
Training packages are adjusted so that clients pay their package price
Clients are granted one (1) rollover for each package
Rollovers expire the month following their purchase
This works like a cell phone plan
Clients don't end up paying for a session that they already paid for the month before (hence a 1-month expiration is a good limit to set)
If you or your client cancels, there is no cost to them. They just don't pay for that one next month.
Week-long vacations are easy to take because you simply keep everyone's schedule in place and charge them 25% less that month. Same for 2 weeks (50% off). If they need to travel, you simply charge them for the rate below (e.g. if they were at 2x, drop them down to 1.5x), this basically cancels out a week and you still get paid and the sessions aren't dragged out over a long period of time.
"Each client pays for a MINIMUM number of sessions per month. Depending on the day(s) their sessions land on, they sometimes end up with a bonus session. Huge plus for clients...sounds bad for the trainer, but in the long run, you are getting money from each client every month."
"STEADY INCOME. This plan allows for a bit of flexibility (client retention) and doesn't let you feel cancellations very much as MOST of your clients are probably coming in for all of their sessions. Regardless you are getting a minimum of 75% - 100% of your income from EVERY client EVERY month. Additionally, it gives you a little flexibility in terms of scheduling mishaps, vacations that land on a clients' session etc."
- AUSTIN LOPEZ
This is a flat monthly discounted fee billing structure
Clients paying monthly flat rate are also receiving a so called "concierge service" which involves anytime access to their trainer for nutrition help, tips for away workouts, and any and all questions or advice
Typically 30 days beforehand
This structure, unlike some others, DOES NOT ALLOW FOR MAKE-UPS or missed appointments.
The fees will be the SAME FLAT MONTHLY FEE regardless of cancellations or special circumstances.
If the trainer has to cancel due to traveling or illness, they have the option to take advantage of a sub program
Establish a substitute trainer agreement to cover your clients workouts in a way where both parties get paid and the client gets their intended workout in
A sub program also benefits in that trainers are learning new styles from one another, adjusting to a new client, and creating a more unified and stable gym overall
Clients are able to reschedule within the same month or add one the next month at the same monthly fee both months
When possible we can reschedule sessions that you miss within that given month (no rollover) with 24 hours notice to cancel/reschedule (less than 24 hours cancellation will be count as one session)
"Trainers may have a difficult time presenting a more 'strict' payment plan to clients as it may come off unfair. Some advice I would give is to present it with math: There are about 4.33 weeks in a month and if clients are really consistent (which benefits them), it comes out to about 4 free weeks of training throughout the year. Clients who can't commit monthly (traveling, a busy mom with kids, etc.) are paying a premium for individual sessions and they aren't guaranteed prime schedule time slots. On the other hand, those clients who notoriously miss sessions because of work travel, vacation, or illness, have a slightly reduced rate for the month compared to the price for 100% attendance."
"Having the same automated flat monthly fee implemented every month is particularly helpful to a trainer as it is an efficient billing system and provides piece of mind and stability. The system requires little to no maintenance and I can usually project income for the year quite accurately at the start of the year.
It also creates stability for your clients, as they know how much they'll pay each month and be able to budget for training. This method keeps clients accountable and motivates them to come in and use their already paid for sessions. When they commit financially each month, they are more likely to reschedule within the month instead of cancelling. I've found that cancellation rates went from 20% all the way down to 5%."