Clients are taking over my business
“I asked my client and they didn’t like my pricing so I changed it”
I was talking with a VIP member recently and he was having a few issues with his clients. He has just opened his studio and offers Boot Camp, Small Group Training, and one-on-one training.
Since opening he has been getting some ‘feed back’ from his clients about his packaging and pricing. In addition he has run into a few clients who are going on vacation and want to put their training package on hold.
He is a good guy and wants to make his clients happy so he ‘worked with’ his clients and made some deals for packaging, let a few people put their packages on hold, and started to make exceptions to the rules for his clients all in the name of ‘trying to keep the clients happy’.
What he hadn’t realized is that he was losing control of his business, and letting his clients run it for him.
I am not saying that you can’t ‘work’ with your clients on certain things, but if you don’t have policies or procedures in place to stand on then you are setting yourself up for this type of thing on a daily basis.
Before you know it clients are paying what they want, when they want, and even designing their own training programs. Clients will have different session rates and your tracking and business structure suffers. Not to mention your bottom line.
Then if you ever want your trainers to renew clients and take payments they will have no clue what ‘special package’ the client is on.
What’s worse is when your employee’s don’t see you stand up for the business, start see instability or weakness in your leadership, and then follow your clients but telling YOU how to run YOUR business!
Why do we let our clients run the ship?
There are a lot of reasons to why we let these things happen. Read that part again. ‘…reasons we LET these things happen.’
That’s right you allowed this to happen.
- You’re scared to lose them- You may not be making the money you need and you think that “well its better than nothing’.
- Scared to upset them- You are trying to over deliver and be a ‘great owner’ so you try to be the good guy/gal. OR you want them to stay and you don’t want them to leave.
- You’re Desperate- You need money so you take what they will give you.
- You’re not sure how to handle the situation- You just are not sure what to do so you follow the road that the clients pave for you. They come up with a solution and you just go along with it.
- You have no policy in place- Your clients have no rules or idea what is acceptable to so there is no reason for them not to try and get more out of you.
Common Problems AND Solutions
- PROBLEM: Clients don’t want to commit to a package that you offer. They might want to only do a few sessions here and there and pay you as they go, but still want to be in the schedule for their time slot.
- SOLUTION: Review your AUTO-CLOSER™ pre-qualification script, and if they aren’t a good fit then you simply tell them that. Sometimes when you show a prospect this they suddenly become complacent.
- PROBLEM: Let’s make a deal- Clients always want to feel like they are getting a deal so they will try to maneuver you into some sort of deal.
- SOLUTION: Offering them a special Paid In Full incentive can do the trick. Otherwise stand firm to your policies.
- PROBLEM: Clients try to set their own prices- Believe it or not some clients try to set their prices based on a past trainer, or program they have been to.
- SOLUTION: Its simple. YOUR program is going to be a different cost because YOUR program is different. I have had clients try all types of things to get a price they wanted. How you decide to handle this will determine the tone of your relationship with this client. Just think what will happen during renewal.
- PROBLEM: They don’t want to follow the program-Clients are like kids in a lot of ways. Tell them NOT to do something and they do it. Don’t eat this or that and guess what? That’s all they seem to be eating.
- SOLUTION: Not everyone wants the 6% body fat plan. Some clients want to just feel better. It’s that fine line we walk as trainers between giving a client what they NEED, and providing what they WANT. Setting the program expectations from the initial sale is critical. If a client isn’t following the program exactly, or getting results fast enough then have a discussion with them. Mutually agree with each other what you both want from the program.
- PROBLEM: No Showed and don’t want to get charged- They didn’t show to their session for whatever reason and since they weren’t there they don’t feel they should be charged
- SOLUTION: Having a policy in place and agreed upon at point of sale is a must. Have the client read through and sign this to acknowledge they agree to it. Also, be sure to have your policies posted and documented so they are always visible.
- PROBLEM: Going on vacation and want to put their package on hold. Client is going away for a week or more and wants to put their sessions on hold till they get back.
- SOLUTION: This would depend on your policy and if your packaging is session based or time based. Again your policy should be clearly defined and agreed upon at the point of sale.
- PROBLEM: I’ll renew when I come back next time, forgot my wallet, my wife will pay, and my husband will pay. I don’t know about you, but when was the last time you left the house without you license and money?
- SOLUTION: I don’t know about you, but when was the last time you left the house without your license and money? Having a policy in place that clearly states no session is booked, or conducted until it’s paid for can help prevent this.
- PROBLEM: Late Cancelling- Client cancelled their session because they can’t make it a few hours before their session, and don’t want to get charged.
- SOLUTION: 24-hour cancellation policy is another must. A step further would be the need for the client to reschedule the same week to not lose the session if you are POLICY states a certain commitment of sessions each week.
- PROBLEM: Nutrition- Clients that flat out tell you they are not following the nutrition program at all, or continually eat opposite from what they should.
- SOLUTION: Clearly your client needs more support on lifestyle and behavioral change issues… and probably other areas as well. Make time to support your client in these areas, it’s just as (if not more) important than teaching movements and counting repetitions. If you need to “upgrade” your coaching skill set here… do so. There are a number of great programs offered by NPE partners to support you in becoming a better coach in this area.
At the end of the day the policy and procedures are what you have to fall back on. And you MUST have systems in place in your business. This eliminates having to waste time and energy dealing with the same issues over and over again that cause you needless frustration and pain.
If YOU aren’t willing to stand up and take control and responsibility for the success of your business… which ultimately includes the success of your staff and clients… then no one will.
No one can do this for you.
And it’s all part of “stepping up” as an entrepreneur and business owner.
When you do, it’s amazing how quickly things start “coming together” for you.
I’ve seen it happen time and time again in clients I get to coach and work with everyday at NPE.
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