Home Personal Training Business Foundations Why Price Isn’t Why Clients Leave

Why Price Isn’t Why Clients Leave

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

When it comes to how to price Personal Training Services… going ‘lower’ sets your Personal Training business up for pure failure.  You’re now learning how to use price to dominate your competition…

Remembering a while back, I was asked as a ‘volunteer’ to attend this meeting. (Note: Whenever anyone uses the word ‘volunteer’ they’re getting you to come and spill your ideas for free)

The fellow making sure the ‘meeting’ goes to plan divided us into 3 groups.  Our purpose was coming up with 3 boot camp promotional ideas each.  So in other words, the dude pretending to know his stuff – standing around playing with his fingers is basically using us to generate a bunch of free ideas for his own hidden agenda.

I was asked to ‘volunteer’ because I ran sophisticated boot camp promotions in the past.  After 3 hours of discussions (arguments)… finally, there we were – ready for our presentations.

The leader of group 1 got up and started talking how his program should be chosen because it’s based on the successes of others and how much cheaper it is.  All nodded their head – except one.

Intimidated by group 1, Mr. Group 2 gets up and explains pretty much the same thing, but in order to get ‘accepted’ he dropped his price even further.  Everyone went WOW – except one.

I presented for group 3.  Our ideas were different.  It was more service and experience orientated.  Before I finished, the other 2 groups started to criticise…

“Who the hell is gonna sign up for that”

“that wouldn’t work”

“I don’t know anyone who does it like that.  It’s too risky”

… After they had their whinge…I continued with my presentation and told them what’ll be charging.

It was exactly double group 1’s and more than twice group 2’s.

After hearing that, silence.  Both groups – quiet.  And the facilitator also went quiet. Mr. Groups 1&2 leaned back, put their feet up on the table, looked at each other and produced a grin beaming from the heavens…

“Well… I win!” – Group 2 yells out confidently.  He continues…
“I’m the cheapest.  Group 1 hasn’t got anything over me and you John… your group likes to dream”

The ‘leader’ went ahead and chose Group 2.  They apparently had the better argument.  Everyone agreed – except one…

Competition is deadly.  And it can poison your soul once you start believing clients are rare and hard to come by.

If you’re currently working at a large fitness chain or have worked in one before, you know how the ‘confidence running on empty’ trainers give you dirty looks, talk behind your back and complain about you to people who don’t give a crap and have their own lives to worry about…  (You now the ones… when they see you, they’re your best friend, smiling and pretend nothing going on…but when you turn your back, their grin turns to grimace)

“hey, how much is your trainer charging you?”
Person gives a response…
“Well I can do it for (insert ridiculously cheap price here)”

This type of cut-throat undercutting occurs everywhere you go.  Trainers still think clients sign with you based on price.

If you work for a huge fitness chain, the standard pricing you’re obligated to charge is pretty decent.  However, because most trainers lack confidence in their sales abilities, they try winning the customer over by virtually giving their services away.

They look busy.  They’re always training new clients… But are they making any money…?

The answer: Nope.

They don’t know how to.  What’s more, their cancellations are endless.  Their client turnover doesn’t stop either.

Then you’ve got the honest trainers – who do everything ‘right’ and charge what they’re told to and hoping everything turns out fine.  It’s these ones who say things like…

“OMG, those trainers are undercutting us and cheaping out our business.  We should do something to stop them!”

Again, they also fall into the ‘I love complaining.  Please listen to me.  It’s not my fault my business is suffering… it’s those other trainers stealing my prospects away because of their low prices’

Then you’ve got the super-rare ones who just don’t give a crap what everyone else is doing.  They just focus on themselves and do their own thing – refusing to fall within the poisonous endless pit-hole of negativity.

“Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
― Bernard M. Baruch

Understand this: Price only matters if you’re selling the EXACT same product as your competitors.  So, If Big W and Target have the EXACT same T-shirt you’re after and both stores are easily accessible… then most likely you’ll purchase where it’s cheaper.

But for services, it’s nearly impossible for any 2 people to deliver the same experience.

The Lesson: The more value you give.  The greater experience you deliver.  And the better knowledge you posses… The more you’re worth.  You charge more.  The market place expects it and is willing to pay for it.

Value + Experience+ Expertise = Feelings.

People buy feelings…nothing else.

And if people refuse your offer because of price… What do you do…?

Some trainers try winning by dropping their price.  (In my opinion they’re losing)

Others get into a negotiation battle as if to say… “I’m desperate, please sign with me”

Then you have the super-rare ones who looks their prospect straight in the eyes and says…

“Bob, I’m not that cheap trainer you’re looking for.  I don’t think you’re the type who could handle what I have to offer.  However, here are a few other trainers you could call that perhaps are better suited for your level”

Don’t forget.  You’ve got an incredible gift.  That is – to change people lives.  Just because someone spent their whole life abusing their body doesn’t mean it’s suddenly your emergency.

Hagglers are those who don’t respect what you do.  They don’t value your knowledge or your profession.  You’ll get those people.  No problem.  Move along.  Offer your gift elsewhere to those who respect it.

A survey listed in the 2011 Customer Service Impact Report reveals facts about what customers are looking for in a business brand and how quickly they’ll dump it.

86% will pay for a better customer experience


89% of customers began doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience  

The results: Customers PAY more money for better experiences and go to your competitor because of POOR customer experience.


That’s why I wasn’t fazed when Mr. Group 2’s boot camp idea was accepted.

Soon after, he promoted and ran it for 8 weeks.  It did well!

7 weeks after his ended, I ran mine my way.  I charged more than double and had nearly as many people sign up.  It ran all year long.  For the last few I did, as a joke I asked Mr. Group 1&2 to be my assistants.

To my surprise… They agreed! … and became my head instructors.  It’s amazing what sort of things happen when you just ask.  (But the look on their faces when I popped the question… Priceless)

It doesn’t matter where your Personal Training business is currently at, you can always pinch, pull and yank a little here and there in creating massive changes.  Take a look around and take note how others are operating.  Ask yourself…

  • Where can I add more value?
  • How can I give my clients experiences no other trainer can offer?
  • What are my current training strengths I wish to develop even further?
  • Why is my Personal Training business operating at this current level and what’s necessary to improve and take it beyond what I ever thought possible?
  • When is it a good time to stop making excuses and start moving forward?
  • Who can I seek help from in further developing my Personal Training business and stand out so I don’t have to compete on price and instead attract prospects who respect what I do?


I welcome your comments and insights below 🙂

Dedicated in accelerating your Personal Training Business every step of the way…
John Toumpakke

P.S. 73% of customers surveyed said when sticking to a brand, caring and friendly staff was a major factor.

P.P.S. Again, price had nothing to do with it.

P.P.P.S. You now know my reason why I stopped attending time wasting pointless meetings a long, long time ago

P.P.P.P.S. You now know how to price Personal Training Services for easy market domination

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John Toumpakke for years has been helping Personal Trainers build marketing systems and business positioning strategies - turning regular PT's into gurus of their industry. His brand PT Power Club is known as the provider for advanced Niche marketing solutions for Personal Trainers and has developed new and unique systems helping trainers find and develop their own fitness niche. He coaches and trains a tightly, successful bound community of trainers teaching them how to stand out and dominate their competition through his powerful positioning strategies. PT Power Club’s goal is to teach and coach Personal Trainers across Australia on how to truly find their unique status within their community and eliminate all competition.


  1. It’s still sad to see people making them self’s cheap and undervaluing themselves just to get a sale.
    Thanks for the great read and the questions that I can ask my self to improve my business.

    • People enter the world of business blind.

      Especially those starting off. They approach it in a casual way and try making it a part of their current lifestyle. In other words… they lose focus and get caught up in those ‘other’ things which leaves their business for dead.

      The truly successful people have strong focus. A mission. A never give up attitude. They’re the ones who ask smart questions and move forward.

      And the more focused you are, the less you undervalue yourself.
      And the funny thing…

      Undervaluing yourself might get you the sale… but with the wrong people.
      Thanks Michael for taking the time in evaluating your business with those questions.

      I can see you’re moving fast 🙂

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