Develop your unique selling proposition and a powerful guarantee

Develop your unique selling proposition and a powerful guarantee

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Develop your unique selling proposition and a powerful guarantee

By Brad Sheppard


In improving the profitability of your fitness business, we are going to look at one of the major areas of your business and that’s your USP, or ‘unique selling proposition’. Some marketers will even refer to this as your ‘emotional selling proposition’, as people will purchase your product or service based on emotion then justify on logic.


At any rate, your USP can be boiled down to the difference between what you are offering and what everyone else is offering. If what you offer is the same as what everybody else has, all you can do is sell by price – and that is generally a losing proposition. That's called a ‘commodity’ and one of the worst things you can ever allow yourself to become as a personal trainer.


What you offer is different to what everybody else in the world is offering. Of course, thinking that way and actually applying it are two entirely different things.


What you are offering is something unique and when it comes to the crux of it, it isn't really about your qualifications. Being different isn't about the courses you've taken and the qualifications you've earned; it's about what you can provide a certain group of people and how you can express what you will add to their lives.


All in all, it can come down to one surprisingly simple question.


What is the benefit of training with you?


Do you know what the benefit of training with you is? If you don't have an answer to this, you need to stop reading this and think of one.


One of the easiest ways to do this is to brainstorm what you can offer one of your clients. Sit there for a moment and consider what you can give someone who comes to you for personal training services.


If you get stuck on that, think about how other professions solve a problem. For example, a butcher dispenses meat … but nobody cares about that. They care about how the butcher helps them eat something that's tasty and makes them feel better. If you're a vegetarian, think about what a plumber does for someone. The benefit they offer is perfectly running pipes so you can take a bath or shower without accidentally flooding your home.


Do you understand how different the benefits are from the features? A plumber may mention how he or she has 12 years of experience, for example – which is a feature. Perhaps he tells you about his number of years as an apprentice at a respected company. While these are great features, they aren't the same as benefits. He may have the experience and the qualifications, but might be slack and not perform the job properly, resulting in little benefit, if not a loss to you.


A benefit is defined as something positive you or I can do for our clients and that benefit could be a variety of things. You may be excellent at helping people drop a great amount of body fat in a short period in time. You could be incredible at helping middle-aged executives pump up their energy levels and reduce their stress. Maybe your strongest link is to help new mums to lose their baby bumps.


Ultimately, the only reason anyone is going to want to train with you is because they can derive some kind of unique benefit from doing so. There is no other reason. Just remember, features are what you do and benefits are how you change people’s lives by helping them solve their relevant problems. The main thing your potential clients are going to care about is the latter of those qualities, so you need to broadcast them.


Addressing their fears


Everyone is afraid of something. There are millions of different phobias in the world. And sometimes these fears aren't the ‘jump out of your skin’ variety either. In a lot of cases, they can actually be fairly subtle.


For instance, I'm afraid of wasting my time and ultimately being able to get less done with my life than I want to. I'm afraid of losing my freedom to do as I please, by locking myself into a pattern of working harder as opposed to working smarter. It's possible that you also have a similar fear and that's why you're reading this article in the first place. You might not lie awake at night trembling in terror over it, but it is there at the edge of your mind.


Every client you are ever going to have also has fears of some sort. While some are obviously going to be afraid of having a shortened life due to being in poor health, others may simply fear not being able to move as quickly due to stiffening joints or not being able to enjoy their days because their energy levels are so low. These are all potentially very valid fears that you can help eliminate through training your clients.


The thing about it is many clients have no clue that you can help them with these things. What a lot of personal trainers and health and well-being professionals don't understand is that the general public don’t know nearly as much about what we do as we often think.


A lot of people aren't really sure what a personal trainer does and they're instinctively afraid that they won't get anything out of training with us. The mystery and the perception of risk means they're less likely to want to invest in our services. It can also mean that people in the wider population simply think that personal trainers are all the same.


There's one very certain way you can dispel your potential clients' fears better than any other, and that's offering them a guarantee. There are a lot of reasons why this is a good idea, so let's get into some detail about it.



How to be different simply by offering a guarantee


A lot of personal trainers make the positive effort to attract clients by offering something like a free personal training session. For them, it seems as if giving away their services will entice their prospects into becoming fully fledged clients. While this process can work, it needs to have a system behind it.


When you offer any kind of guarantee, you set yourself apart from the pack in at least one way. You position yourself in people's minds as a different kind of personal trainer because your guarantee addresses the fears they have as well as triggers their interest. Think about some of the guarantees you've most likely heard from other kinds of companies.


If you can remember the 1980s, Domino’s Pizza used to guarantee that their pizzas would get there within half an hour or they would be free. This addresses the fear that my pizza is going to get to me hours later when I'm all but starving. When I get hungry, I want it now, right?


In my view, the 30-minute guarantee also made Domino’s a unique company. Their offering may not necessarily be the best pizza and it may not be the least expensive pizza but when I want my pizza ASAP, I'm going to go with the company that has differentiated itself in my mind and established foothold in my consciousness.


Believe it or not, a lot of people have no idea what makes one personal trainer different from another. To a lot of folks the idea of a ‘different’ personal trainer is something they may have never even considered before. You can set yourself miles ahead of the pack, just by offering your potential clients something that allays their fears and obviously gives them something of value.


The $100 guarantee


There are other reasons why offering a guarantee is a great idea. For one thing, your guarantee can actually bring you more business than you ever anticipated. In our personal training business, we offer someone a crisp $100 note if they aren't satisfied after a session. And naturally, we don't bill them for an unsatisfactory session, either. Every client we train goes into working with us fully aware of this fact.


You need to add a guarantee.


While some personal trainers may be afraid that people would just come in, get the best training session they could possibly offer and then ask for the money, this never happens. If you are a good personal trainer and know how to satisfy your clients, as well as know the type of clients you’d prefer to work with, what they want and work hard to give it to them, there’s nothing to worry about.


While $100 might sound like a lot of money, it's really not that big of a deal when you consider the potential lifetime value of a client. When you think about the people you train, how often do they only do a few months' worth of sessions? If you're like most personal trainers, you probably answered “almost never”. Once your client gets a few good workouts in with you and begins to see the results they’re looking for, why would they leave?


Consider a client who stays with you for 10 years. Obviously this is a person who greatly values what you have to offer them. Let's say they pay $80 and have two sessions per week; that's approximately $8,000 a year or $80,000 over a 10-year lifetime of a client! This can lead to a lot of money down the line, whether you raise your rates or keep them at the same level.


Does $100 every so often sound like very much money when you may end up with a dozen clients who are perfectly happy to pay you several thousand dollars a year? A hundred dollars is a drop in the bucket when you think of it that way, right? Especially when you consider that it's basically your ‘tuition’ to learn why a particular client isn't satisfied.


I would pay 10 times that if someone could identify a significant problem with how I conduct my business. After all, if every client becomes extremely satisfied, you can raise your rates higher and end up making even more money for the expertise you’ve worked so hard to gain and hone.


Another really interesting thing happens when you hand someone a $100 bill just for being unsatisfied with your services. When someone finds out that you're for real about this, they'll end up talking to their friends about it, which can get you more customers in turn.


It may sound ridiculous, but the effort you put in to be better than the rest will get you a lot of new clients this way.


Is $100 still a big financial burden to shoulder when you consider that you might end up ‘buying’ several qualified prospects who each end up being worth several thousand dollars a year?


If you can find any other kind of investment that performs so well, I'm all ears.


But while I offer this “if you're not satisfied you get $100” guarantee, do you think anybody would know about it if I didn't advertise this fact?


Brad is the co-founder of Create PT Wealth, Australia’s largest Business Coaching and Mentoring program for Personal Trainers.  Brad has taught thousands of Personal Trainers internationally the methods on how to become multi six-figure Personal Trainers.

Brad is the co-author of the best-selling book A Personal Trainers Guide To Wealth Creation and has delivered over 100 live presentations at events including Filex, Network, PT Pro and the Create PT Wealth Summit to name a few.

Brad is a highly sought after business and motivational speaker and is passionate about creating a more professional fitness industry by volunteering his time on the REPS council of Fitness Australia.




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