Sessions for Free

by Sherri McMillan |   Date Released : 30 Aug 1999
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Sherri McMillan

About the author: Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan, M.Sc., has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for over 25 years and has received numerous industry awards including the 2010 CanFitPro International Presenter of the Year, 2006 IDEA Fitness Director of the Year, 1998 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, and the 1998 CanFitPro Fitness Presenter of the Year. Her million dollar training studio in Vancouver, WA, has been awarded the prestigious Better Business Bureau Business of the Year recognition and the Chamber of Commerce Community Builder award for her community and fundraising efforts. She is a fitness trainer, fitness columnist for various magazines and newspapers, author of five books and manuals including "Go For Fit - the Winning Way to Fat Loss," "Fit over Forty" and "The Successful Trainers Guide to Marketing," featured presenter in various fitness DVDs, international fitness presenter, and a spokesperson for Nike, Schwinn and PowerBar.

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Comments (3)

McMillan, Sherri | 24 Jun 2013, 20:18 PM

Hi Deanna,
We use this approach…you can purchase a lift ticket at a Ski Mountain for $70 and that gives you access to the mountain so you can ski all day. It does not include Free Ski Lessons – that is a fee for service. It’s the same scenario in a fitness club setting. People pay a monthly membership fee and that provides them unlimited access to the club and all the equipment, group fitness classes, locker room ammenities etc. But it does not include Free Personal Training – that’s an additional fee. However, when you obtain a new member, you are responsible for making sure they understand how to use some of the equipment and provide them some basic instruction. Above and beyond that should require a service fee.
Some clubs have such high membership bases and are extremely profitable and use personal training as a membership retention tool (rather than a profit driven department) and so like to provide these free PT updates as part of the membership to keep members happy. It does become more difficult though to sell PT in that scenario. Trainers in this environment have to focus on the value of having them at the workout…safer, more challenging, more variety…it’s one thing to give them a program to do on their own and another to take them through the workout making it more challenging and providing the accountability most need to stick to the program.
Yours in health, fitness & business,
Sherri McMillan

Lewis, Deanna | 07 Jun 2013, 00:14 AM

Where's the line, though, between offering a complimentary session and devaluing your services? I work at a facility that offers two free initial orientations (two hours: one for assessment and one to set a routine). People get another assessment and routine within 6-8 weeks (yes, another 2 free hours). It would seem to me that this is making it difficult to sell training when you are giving away so much training for free. What's your opinion on that model?

mohan, archna | 11 Sep 2009, 05:31 AM

Very good stuff and I really think these things work . Thanks for excellent ideas.

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