// Charge what you are worth

The subject of money is notoriously difficult for many trainers to broach, partly because many don’t know how to place a value on the service they provide. By honestly evaluating yourself, you’ll be able to confidently charge what you are worth says Chris Dufey.

In my role as a coach for fitness professionals, I have found that many trainers are not entirely sure how much they should be charging for their services. When asked if they think they are worth what they currently charge – or even when they are asked by a potential client what they charge – they choke, splutter and answer without confidence or belief.

If I ask someone how much they charge for a particular service and I sense that they are not concrete about their belief in their own value, I will not be prepared to pay that price. In the past, I have been guilty of acting in such a manner myself, and I have seen the same scenario play out with many other trainers; when approached and asked what they charge per session, their answer has little conviction behind it. This can result in the prospect receiving the impression that they can haggle the price down, a lack of trust in the professionalism of your services and, ultimately, a rejection of you as a trainer.

In each conversation you have with a potential client, you must have a clear and distinct picture of the outcome you want. Remember: all you need to do is provide a solution to the prospect’s problem – and that is what you are, hopefully, qualified to do. If you are capable of helping them achieve what they want, then you are the person for the job – they need you, and you can be confident in charging a fair price for the service you deliver.

Listen to what your prospect tells you and ask intelligent questions that will get you to know more about them, their goals and their problems. The fact that they have contacted you means that the prospect has taken the difficult first steps to starting a training regime, so they are already half way to being convinced that you are the person for the job. They are the ones that need to be doing the talking, so you just need to steer the conversation with open-ended questions.

Realising what you’re worth

Are you worth $X? Your value may actually be greater – or less – than you currently charge. Consider the following factors to determine whether the price you charge is a genuine reflection of your worth:

How good are you at what you do? Many people consider themselves ‘better than the average Joe’ at what they do, but sometimes we need to put our ego aside and objectively measure ourselves against others in our field. Are your skills on a par with the average trainer, or are you head and shoulders above the competition?

What makes you better? If you rate yourself above other trainers in your marketplace, can you pinpoint and verbalise exactly what it is that makes you more valuable to your clients?

Are you in demand? Are you struggling to fit people into your heavily booked schedule, or does your lack of clients give you more than ample opportunity to spend your afternoons at the beach?

Is your knowledge up-to-date? The most important thing I learned early in my career was that you must ‘learn more to earn more’. Are you working hard at becoming a better trainer, service provider and person? Are you actively seeking the knowledge and skills to become the best in your field, or are you content with delivering the same repertoire of exercises week in, week out?

Does your service move beyond the boundaries of the physical? Delivering a challenging workout is obviously a key component of your service, but other factors also contribute to your perceived value in the eyes of your clients. Do you inspire clients and give advice for them to apply to their training and lifestyle outside of their sessions with you? Do you deliver ‘extras’ such as recommendations for relevant articles, websites and television programs?

Is the training you deliver varied? Do you provide a variety of training techniques and tools to help clients maintain interest while striving to achieve their goals? Variety is the spice of training, and results in motivated clients who enjoy and value their sessions with you.

Do you produce results? This is probably the ultimate question to ask yourself. Are you able to have a client come on board, communicate effectively what needs to be done by you and them, assess them properly and design and implement the program needed for them to achieve everything they want plus more, within a given timeframe?

It’s not possible to provide a table of charges ranging from $50 to $500 that you can simply slot yourself into, because every trainer possesses different strengths and specialisations. It is possible, however, to assess your own abilities and gauge where on the scale you should be placing yourself – and to realise how high you can aim.

Ask yourself the questions above and be brutally honest with yourself in order to arrive at the right answers. By doing so, every time you are questioned by a prospect about your rates, you can answer with enthusiasm and conviction. This confidence radiates to the other person, assuring them that you are worth every cent they invest in training with you.

Chris Dufey
Chris is a Sydney-based, nationally recognised personal trainer who specialises in transforming his clients bodies. He is dedicated to leading in the fitness industry, and in addition to training, writing and presenting, he mentors trainers to achieve incredible results. Contact Chris on chris@elitedge.com or www.elitedge.com