Reasonable Obstacles to the Consumer

Hey, Bedros here 🙂

This is a guest blog post by my coaching client and good friend Cabel McElderry from Red Deer, Candia.

Over the years Cabel has taken his personal training facility in Red Deer and made it into a 7 figure earning business. He’s won multiple awards from the city government and local chamber of commerce and he’s a full time contributor to the local paper which gives him tons of credibility and authority.

So without further ado, here’s Cabel…

Hi Cabel here,

personal trainer marketingYou know what I love most about personal trainer marketing today? The most successful strategies are the ones that are brutally honest. Almost every fitness professional I’ve ever met (myself included) hates to sell or pressure people into doing anything.

That’s what I love most about the present state of our industry is the more honest we are, generally the more effective our marketing can be.

Today I want to share with you something that has become a critical component of short-term/trial program marketing. If you’re reading this blog you’ve undoubtedly already discovered things like “21 Day Rapid Fat Loss” or the “14 Day Fat Furnace” and quite possibly Living Social, Groupon and other forms of Deal of the Day promotions.

Most of us feel uncomfortable about providing our services at a deep discount, we’re afraid of “de-valuing” our services and this is a legitimate concern, but not if we create what I call “reasonable obstacles to the consumer.”

Essentially it’s like this, if I was running a Groupon in my facility I know that potentially we could sell a few hundred of whatever my deal is, and if a few dozen of those people all decide to redeem at once I’m never going to be able to accommodate them properly or maintain my standards of service.

In an effort to mitigate this and set myself up for better conversion I acknowledge this situation rather than fearing it. If the deal was for boot camp I’d likely implement conditions for redemption like the following:

• Groupon participants can only register for certain sessions.
• Groupon participants can only register the day of and cannot register for multiple days in advance.
• Only a certain number Groupon participants could participate per workout session (I’d manage this by using an online scheduling system like

Anyone that bought your deal is going to be disappointed by this, but when you tell them they were not the first person to call and if you didn’t do this they likely wouldn’t even be able to use their deal right now – then their sense of logic kicks in and though irritated they understand.

You’re now ready to be the hero…

Your next step would be to explain that you understand this is less than ideal, and that it would frustrate you too, but unfortunately that is also the reason the service is so discounted.

However as you know that some of the Grouponers are very serious about their fitness goals; that’s why you have saved some “VIP Spots.” The can trade their Groupon for the bigger, better VIP (EFT of course) deal and get all the perks of a full member and a few package bonuses for converting now.

In almost every case this increases conversion and helps you quickly qualify the best leads in an aggressive trial.

This same process has multiple applications in your business. For instance we know that people hate contracts or long-term commitments.

By offering a 30 day cancellation policy that requires them to complete specific steps to cancel you are giving them an out, they may not like it but when it’s explained that this allows you time to find another client, so it’s a win-win.

It logically makes sense and most consumers will accept it.

In every situation these “reasonable obstacles” are often easy to identify, when you’re designing a marketing campaign or a process, simply ask yourself, “how would I respond as a consumer?” These days we’re all more impatient than ever, and we all generally respond the same way.

I love this process as it’s proven time and time again it’s been effective and it allows you to be totally honest in your personal trainer marketing.

Cabel McElderry is owner of One-to-1 Fitness in Red Deer, Canadia and Owner of Red Deer Fit Body Boot Camp