In this episode, enjoy an enlightening conversation with Susan Rothman on a topic that can be so muddled for studio owners. This episode is PACKED with information on how to structure your package options that best serve our market, clientele, and bottom line, while keeping it simple for our clients, front desk, and instructors to understand. We also talk about pricing and sales processes; how to sell based on value, rather than on price; in what way you should be looking at your competition; and how to set yourself apart. We talk about how you should train your team to have sales conversations and focus conversations away from being just about price, to about the value of our classes and the best way to serve our clients in order to help them meet their goals. We talk about the impact of ClassPass on our businesses, what we should be mindful of, and the boundaries to set with these kinds of relationships. Lastly we talk about how to structure the perfect intro offer for clients to lead them perfectly into a longer term commitment that is right for them.
What You’ll Learn from this Episode:
- Strategy behind your packages and pricing that truly serve your bottom line
- The components of a successful intro offer
- Elements of a powerful sales process
Here’s the Complete List of Tips:
(5:30) What is the ultimate pricing mix to make sure the business is not just “making it” but thriving?
- All pricing structures should be driving the client towards an unlimited auto-renewing membership. Structure drop in/class pack pricing in a way (high enough) that they naturally sell the value of an autopay.
- Move away from so many class pack options (3 pack, 5, 10, 15, 20). Have 2 class pack options max, and ideally 1 if you can get away with it. Overall, this accomplishes 3 things 1) keeps your pricing menu simplified enough that clients don’t get analysis paralysis 2) keeps your pricing menu simplified so your team can become masters at selling it and 3) still gives the client a price comparison (of class pack v autopay) to inherently sell the value of the autopay
- But remember, having packages as well as memberships is tremendously beneficial to your business because you’re able to suit the needs of more client types. Many clients like to cross-train, and you want to be able to capture the ones that only want to come once a week to your studio to have a balanced routine.
- For studios with multiple modalities- the simpler you can keep it for the members, the better. Don’t make it harder for members to go to both classes. Also, don’t devalue your other class type. Lastly, you’ll have more longevity with your clients because they won’t burn out doing one modality- they’ll be cross-training.
(26:30) How much should you take the competition into consideration when setting prices? How do you remain competitive with your prices while still preserving your brand?
- On the most basic level – staying price competitive requires a simple market competitive analysis (maybe once a year) to make sure you’re not in lala land – way too high or way too low – and also to stay abreast of what’s out there in terms of package/service offerings. Outside of that simple reality check, staying competitive is much less about a pricing conversation and far more about delivering the highest quality classes and services so you can back up your price point.
- You’ve got to be able to sell your value and not just slash prices right and left. Selling just based on price is a quick race to the bottom for all of us. This is especially true for small to medium boutique fitness studios – our classes are smaller, our instructors are highly trained in specialized disciplines, so the quality is better. The attention we can give the client and the results we can deliver are better. You have to stand behind that and learn how to sell the quality
- And going a step further, if your sales reps are always selling based on a discount/pricing pressure (on your autopays – not an intro offer per se), retrain them ASAP center the discussion on value. Otherwise, that becomes a quick downward spiral on your average autopay revenue and you also are training your clients to “always wait for a deal” vs appreciate the level of programming/services they’re getting.
- Train your team to get past JUST have sales conversations about price. Connect with your clients and find out what they need, and then sell them what they need. What are ways that you can personalize your experience more so that this serves the sales conversations?
(41:30) The impact of ClassPass on your business
- It’s super-important to feel aligned with third-party partners. To feel like you’re working together. If they’re helping you reach new markets and convert new clients aka good lead gen partners, that’s awesome. If they’re undercutting your class prices and slowly devaluing your services, that’s a problem.
- Red flags – seeing low conversion rates to in-studio packages and/or members cancelling to use CP, etc instead. AND A BIG ONE – increasingly relying on a third party for your revenue. Anything over 5-7% of my revenue makes me uncomfortable. I never want to be reliant on a third party to hit my goals – to me, it should always be the icing on the cake, not the cake itself.
- Other caveats – With third party aggregators, never assume you can “set it and forget it”. You MUST actively manage your class spot availability, your payout/compensation, conversions, basement pricing (so what’s the lowest and highest they’re selling your classes for, and impact on member attrition.
(53:30) What are the components of a successful intro offer? Time duration, discount level, other?
- This can vary so much from market to market, but a strong intro offer is key for getting people in the door. You’ve got to play with it to see what works for your market and absolutely track conversions so you know when you have a good one – whether that’s first class free or first week for x dollars. Don’t make decisions about whether an intro offer is working based on anecdotal info or gut feelings.
- Remember – no matter the intro offer – if your team isn’t well-trained in what to do before and after the class…. your conversions will suffer. So on a first class free, your goal is to convert after that first class. Boom! If you have a 1-2 week trial, you’re working the sale the entire time… not just on the last day of the 1-2 weeks. So when you decide on an intro offer, make sure the entire sales process supports it and is focused on conversion.
References in the Episode & Additional Resources:
FCM Experience Coordinator Training (email for more info)
What’s Next With Susan (podcast)