I’ve had one Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) client in my life. It was awful. I’ll never do it again.
I knew better too, but I did it as a favor for another personal trainer who was moving away and chose me to train his one consistent client.
I remember him really trying to sell me on it too. “Yeah man it’s awesome! The money just comes out of their account every month. You don’t have to worry about anything.”
Ohhhh there’s quite a few things to worry about…
EFT’s are too cheap and tend to attract the wrong kind of client.
They’re usually only sold in the half-hour session variety as well which makes them even worse, because as I wrote in Selling Half Hour Sessions Will Kill Your Personal Training Business, the type of client that buys these packages aren’t committed.
No commitment=no results=no relationship=no referrals=no business growth=go try selling insurance.
Let’s do a little math today to show how bad of a deal most trainers get with EFT’s.
Let’s say your club is offering an EFT deal of 12 half-hour sessions per month for $350.00. This comes to each half-hour session costing the client $29.17.
Of this, how much do you get? Don’t answer. It’ll only bring tears to your eyes.
The personal training industry absolutely has to stop devaluing it’s service. Devaluing service kills every business. Low rate health clubs close. Low rate personal trainers sell insurance.
You might be shaking your head right now. Well let me ask you. Don’t you think the EFT rates at your club are too low?
You know who EFT’s benefit don’t you? The client and the club. Not you.
They’re a cheaper rate, so this of course benefits the client. The club gets the money every month without asking, so that of course benefits them, because they are in control.
They don’t think the client will have the courage to stop the EFT. For awhile anyways.
They also don’t have to rely on you the trainer to continue to ask for more money. They’re scared you’ll screw that up.
I’ve noticed that many young trainers like EFT’s, because after the initial sale, which a sales person probably took care of anyways, the trainer can then avoid any future “scary” sales situations.
It’s common knowledge that personal trainers hate sales. Most can’t stand the business side of the industry. It scares them to death.
Just because EFT’s are convenient, doesn’t make them good. Pop Tarts and Hot Pockets are convenient too. ; )
Another problem I have with EFT’s is that with the lower cost, the client’s perceived value of the service lowers too.
Just like you would take better care of your car if it was a Range Rover, because you would care more. Since you paid big bucks, you’ll wash it more and never miss a scheduled oil change.
The same thing goes in our industry. When there’s less value, clients won’t care about you as much.
Just like if you don’t charge enough for your boot camp classes, people will start to skip sessions. Because they’ll start to care less. Because it’s cheap. This again means less results, no relationship, no retention, no referrals, no business growth, get a new job.
Ya see, your client somewhat lost control of the situation when they signed up for EFT’s.
In my 19 years I’ve noticed that most people like to pay as they go, or buy a bunch of sessions up front. My clients always buy between 20-100 sessions at a time.
People commit when they spend a big chunk of money. They have to.
With this commitment, they will probably train with you 3-4 days a week as well, so you’ll be able to get them quick results. Then come the referrals.
Besides the cheapness of EFT’s, my other issue is that you will tend to get too comfortable with your client, because the money automatically leaves your client’s account. Oh and again, their cheap.
You honestly won’t try as hard when you aren’t being compensated properly. Don’t tell me you won’t get too comfortable either.
I want you to continue to sell your service with enthusiasm every single session. I want you to be on your toes at all times. Over delivering so to speak.
There’s this trainer that I mentor, and we talked about these problems with EFT’s that I mentioned.
Not too long ago he stopped offering them and now he couldn’t be happier. He now makes more money which makes him value his clients more.
Funny how that works. When you feel more valuable as a personal trainer, or in any job for that matter, you will do a better job. You will care more. It’s human nature.
As I said earlier, you will feel more valuable as a personal trainer if you’re making more money each session.
How great of a trainer would you be if huge checks buying 50+ sessions at a time consistently came your way? Wouldn’t that keep you on your toes every session?
Let’s say you usually make $35 a session. I bet you do a great job with your clients. Would things change if your fee doubled? It absolutely would.
As personal trainers, we need to create value. There’s usually not much value with EFT’s. “Hey, we’re running a special today. Training sessions are 40% off if you give us your bank information.”
It’s like begging for money. Hell, you’re almost giving away your service.
Go after wealthy/successful clientele and charge what you’re worth. You’ll be a much better trainer when you do this. A happier trainer is a better trainer.
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