Every now and then I like to send an update out to my SUPER-TRAINER customer list with helpful tips that I don’t share on the blog …
I haven’t done that in a long while, so I was putting something together this morning and just about to hit SEND when I realized that this info would probably prove useful to every trainer so I decided to put it here. It’s probably only the SIX-FIGURE TRAINERS that will be able to make real use of it, but it’s good food for thought for everyone to keep in mind.
It has to do with EFT billing for your training sessions. If you worked at a “big-box” you might have had EFT on large packages, but this is different. What most clubs call EFT is just monthly payments on large packages …
What I’m talking about is a billing system that will effect:
- How your sessions are consumed.
- The hours you work.
- How much you make.
- And to a large degree, your work satsifaction.
Even if you have a 24 hour cancellation policy, sporadic training and DAY-BEFORE cancellations will frustrate you beyond belief, severely cut into your income, and probably lead to burn out. Even if you have groups of very high paying clients scheduled on a particular day, PER SESSION payments will turn a couple of cancellations into a MAJOR waste of time on your part.
But EFT changes everything. It will allow you to group your sessions (and control your schedule) better. Not only that, but it will cut down on the time you spend bookeeping.
Sounds terrific huh? All good ideas do. There are tons and tons of good ideas out there – tons of them – but in
the real world, it takes some balls to execute them, one other thing …
It takes BUY-IN – in this case, you will need buy-in from your clients to agree to pay for your sessions on your terms, especially if this is a payment structure that they’ve never been familiar with.
The best way to get this BUY-IN is to show the client why it’s in THEIR best interest to pay you monthly by EFT, not just in your best interest.
How do you do this? You sell the program, not just the sessions. Let me explain …
In paying for training, most people are paying you to hold them to their workouts. However, they still skip out on the PROGRAM by not training as consistently as they should, and not scheduling their sessions as a priority.
Well after a good training session, when your client is in a particularly satisfied and good mood, tell them that your training system not only ensures good sessions, but also better results by scheduling the PROGRAM not just the session.
1. Decide with your client how many times per week makes sense to train with you, and what that works out to per month. This is the PROGRAM.
2. Let the client know the dollar figure that number of sessions works out to monthly.
3. Decide on the client what days and times you will be meeting.
4. Give the client the sign-up method to start the EFT payments.
You are done.
The second major question that trainers ask me is how to bill your clients for EFT.
Do I have to get some fancy software? Do I need to get a shopping cart and merchant account? Do I need to get a credit card reader?
While those are all options, there is one that is actually much simpler than all three – using PAYPAL.
Paypal has a monthly continuity billing payment option for business accounts. You have the ability to create a payment button that will automatically enroll your client into your automated monthly billing cycle. Simply put this button on a special page on your website, send your client the link, and that’s all it takes.
Although for e-commerce, a lot of people don’t like to use Paypal’s continuity feature, for Personal Training, with the amount of direct contact you have with your clients, it’s perfect.
Ok there you have it – that was the email that was going to go out to my CUSTOMER LIST of soon to near a thousand SIX-FIGURE MANUAL OWNERS. If you’ve been procrastinating getting this implemented in your business, let this post be your wake up call to get it done this week.
One other thing I was going to send this list was a quick pep-talk/offer on using the materials in THE MANUAL. For a trainer at any level, this will apply to you too. Just click the link below to find out all about.
Click here to check out your
SIX-FIGURE MANUAL Special Offer
Awesome ideas here. I never could sell EFT myself. Wish I knew this then.
What would be your respons to clients who do not feel comfortable with EFT?
Great post – and I noticed that little link to the top level trainer manual you snuck in there – probably the best thing I ever bought.
Awesome man – thanks – never new it would be this big when I wrote it, but glad you liked it –
@James – what part of it aren’t they comfortable with? The credit card on paypal? The committment? If you think creatively, you can figure out a way to get around every area. For existing clients, you can find a way to make a minor compromise if absolutely necessary. But for new clients, position yourself as THE MAN and make EFT a part of doing business with you.
Well I brought it up to a couple of clients and they said they would perfer the way I do it now (email invoicing)
But I just mentioned it, to see what type of response I would get.
Basically I was just asking for as an FYI versus an actual situation.
Yes I see what you mean – some people have their personal reasons and switching things up might not work at this point – just moving forward, make it a rule with new clients. Keep killin it James.
Quick question on EFT. Say you set up a Paypal link to a 3x a week program. Now that’s 12 sessions a month. During that month, the client has to miss a session or two or like today, a last minute cancellation. How do you handle the missed sessions? Make up, no make…what? Also, can I set a time limit on the EFT? Like for a 3-6-or 12 month program?
Hey Todd – for missed sessions, give them a max number of session missed per month (2 is the norm) and give them a one month roll over – so the next month they have 14 sessions – but if they only train 12 times, the 2 sessions DO NOT roll over for a second month – when you think about it, this system is completely fair and truly in the best interest of the client. I’m sure an established trainer like you has paperwork for sign-up – if these rules are in writing on that paperwork, I doubt you’ll have a single client ever question it – hope that helps bud –
Thanks for the insight. I will just add that info to my contract. This will help simplify things. I appreciate it.
Awesome post Kaiser! Yep EFT is the ONLY way I do business now. I actually only have one client who pays in cash, she’s the only exception and her contract agrees that she pays in full per month 5 business days prior to the end of each month. My assistant sends her reminders via email.
If you properly present yourself and your business, and you explain to the clients from day one that this is how your business operates, and maybe even in the presentation of your monthly package agreements (ie calling them monthly commitments instead of packages), you should have no problem closing the deal. I haven’t found one person yet (the client not on auto pay actually has a legit reason) who has objected. Also you can easily explain to them that it cuts down on paperwork and any awkward situations of you having to play bill collector each month. You can add that it allows you both to solely focus on training.
With my autopay agreements I allow my clients to feel free to cancel anytime by simply notifying me prior to their billing date. Haven’t had one yet! This single system will SECURE your income, profits, and sanity like a mofo!
Great points Roxie – keep rockin’ –
I found this post really really helpful Kaiser. This pretty much sums up all of the problems with my training business. Thanks to your info, everything else has been going really good. Thanks for sharing this.
Hey Roxie… Thanks for the info, but do you have company other than Paypal that you could refer me to for my EFT services? Thanks in advance.
Hey Royce – there’s also getshape.net and 1shoppingcart.com –
I was wondering how to structure my monthly pricing per session? I currently sell blocks of sessions and use a sliding scale so that the more sessions they by the cheaper they become.
How do I make the switch to monthly payments?
I was thinking about charging a flat rate per session, the client decides how many sessions they want per month. Every 2 months they receive a loyalty bonus of 4 free sessions or something like that.
What do you think?