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Why “Charging what you’re worth” is a business killer

Throughout PropaneFitness’ history, we’ve agonised over every single price increase we’ve done.

Once upon a time, we charged £9.99 for a fully customised diet and training plan.

This came with a month of 121 coaching via email and 2 calls (one to begin with and one at the end).

We never sold anything else and we never even considered working out what this was bringing in per hour of time that we invested into each client.

Honestly, we were just happy to have a client pay us for help.

Even though these were exclusively friends and former colleagues who were (while they’d never admit it) doing it to support us.

Throughout PropaneFitness’ history, we’ve agonised over every single price increase we’ve done.

We upper our price from £9.99 to £50/month…after a LOT of stress and arguments.

Then £50/month to £60/month.

Then to £80/month.

Now our 121 coaching starts at £199/month.

“People will never pay that” is a sentence I’ve said in arguments with Yusef more time than i can remember…only to be proven wrong each and every time.

Well…every time except one.

For a brief spell back in 2015, we worked with a business coach who promoted a very simple, aggressive model for online fitness coaching.

Our revenue had more or less plateaued and so we were ready for any advice we could get to try to get to the next level and make the dream of coaching “full time online” into a reality.

His suggestion:

1. Write a Facebook post that offers a free coaching session. “I’m looking for 10 men who…”. You know the rest.

2. Boost this post for £50/day.

3. AS SOON as someone applies, call them. Longer than a 2 hour wait and you’ll kill the sale.

4. Run them through an aggressive sales pitch and try to sell them 12 weeks of coaching for £1000+.

Like good students, we did as we were told.

We had no shortage of calls from people who didn’t know who we were, what we did or why we should help.

We waded through hours and hours of “No thanks”, “I can’t afford that” and “I’d love to mate…but”.

This advice was based on one simple principle:

You’re a coach, you can change people’s lives, you should charge what you’re worth.

And while I agree in theory, it doesn’t hold up in practice.

Simple laws of demand and supply say that at a higher price, you get lower levels of demand.

There simply are not very many people who are able and ready to part with 4 figures for online fitness coaching and so you have to spend a LOT of time on the phone with people who have no intention of buying to bring in one sale.

(I’m not saying it will never work – just that with so many cheaper, more affordable options available these days, it’s harder and harder to convince someone that the £1000 isn’t better spent elsewhere…or that they can get a very similar service for 10% of the price).

One sale from someone who is expecting a lot of your time.

While charging £1k or £2k for fitness coaching feels like charging what you’re worth – on an hourly basis, it’s anything but!

 

The thing is, charging prices like this is done usually in an attempt to do one of two things.

1. Increase overall revenue.

2. Mean you can earn the same while working with fewer clients.

And there is a FAR simpler way to do this…

The £100/hour rule.

Our 121 clients take ~15 minutes per week…1 hour per month (£200/hour)

Applied properly, it teaches you how to price your services and also provides a guideline for how you should deliver your coaching.

It says that you direct time coaching a client should be valued at £100/hour or more.

Our 121 clients take ~15 minutes per week…1 hour per month (£200/hour)

Our group coaching programme is £147 for 6 weeks then £80/month and each client gets the a total of 45-50 minutes over 6 weeks, only possible because systems and automation take care of the rest. (£176/hour)

We don’t need to do 10 sales calls to make a sale – we have a sales funnel that does this for us.

We don’t need to offer weekly 121 calls or 24/7 whatsapp support as would be expected for a £1,000 programme.

Put it this way, if selling £1000 for 12 weeks requires:
– 10 phone calls to make 1 sale
– 2 hours per week of support

That’s £29/hour…

What’s even worse is the chances of a client paying ANOTHER £1000 is very slim.

By contrast, our average client lifetime is 11 months with most clients staying for years.

(In other words, the lifetime value of our fitness clients is over £1k anyway!)

What’s better:

Offering a range of products and services that are affordable for anyone who’s serious and that allow you to work with 30, 40 or 50+ clients without scaling your hours to the moon.

Or, focussing on the short term cash, getting excited by the fact that you made a £1000 one off sale, and ignoring the ACTUAL numbers.

Hopefully it’s obvious.

This set up is something it’s taken a lot of time, care and frustration to figure out.

It’s not obvious at first glance and is not something you can have built by this time tomorrow.

However, it’s the key to creating an online fitness coaching company that has sustainability and creates a crowd of raving fans for customers who strongly feel they’re getting an amazing service and a bargain.

It’s how we’re still going as an online fitness business 10 years after starting.

It’s also the exact model that we guide you through building inside our core programme, PropaneBusiness.

I can’t promise you a 4 figure pay day this week (that, often, only ever happens once or twice! ;))

But I can promise we’ll guide you to build a business that FEELS right.

A way of working with clients that is lucrative for you, affordable for them and works well for all involved.

Ready to find out more and get started?

Go here and get your online fitness business journey started this week:

https://propanefitness.com/onlinecoachstart/

Jonny