Club Insider

Your Members Can Have Their Cake and Eat it too!

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Ron AlterioRon Alterio

Health and fitness clubs all around the country are trying to figure out how to drive more paid group personal training, and one of the most common questions and a key concern that comes up in the process is: "How can I do this without cannibalizing my one-on-one personal training revenue?" Most owners understand that paid group training helps cast a wider acquisition net due to its affordability. Most also understand that paid group training helps service a higher percentage of your member base for a much lower cost. But, let's face it, those same operators have spent their entire careers focused on driving the largest profit center and revenue stream outside of the membership base: one-on-one personal training.

As a result, most are hesitant to introduce, focus or sell anything in general that will interfere with its success and are even more hesitant to start to building a paid group training program in particular. For those who do make the effort to drive paid group training, the program will typically live in a small corner of the club, it may get thrown a few leftover toys to use, and the success, or lack thereof, is usually tied to a few well-intentioned but under supported coaches.

Although that thought process and associated behaviors are understandable, the good news is it doesn't have to be this way. The two training modalities need not be mutually exclusive to one another. In fact, one of the best ways to protect and extend the lifetime value (LTV) of each existing one-on-one PT client is to offer a product that allows for the most client touches per week and at the lowest price point possible. There is no better way to accomplish this aim than to combine, blend, or "marry" your one-on-one product with paid group training. Let me explain.

At its core, marrying one-on-one personal training with your paid group training means taking a given number of individualized and private sessions (1, 2, or 3 times per week) and then bundling in or including an unlimited number of paid group training sessions. For example, let's take a typical (1) time per week personal training solution. Let's say your average session rate for a 30-minute session is $35. The monthly rate in this example would be an affordable $140 a month. The problem, or challenge with this solution, is the minimal number of weekly client touch points involved.

To remedy the low number of touch points, you would need to suggest a (2) times a week solution. Unfortunately, the challenge with this approach is the significant monthly increase in cost. A (2) times per week private solution would now be $280 per month. The best way to increase the number of weekly touch points while still keeping the monthly cost to the member as low as possible is to offer a one-on-one private solution at (1) time per week and then bundle or anchor on an unlimited number of sessions with a group. Depending upon a few variables, such as the size of your paid group training area and the rate you pay your coaches, you could easily offer a paid group training solution for as little as $49 a month. If you were to marry the two, you would now be able to offer every member a personal trainer EVERY time they come into your facility for as little as $189 a month!

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