No One Signed up for Our Transformation Program, and It Was a Financial Success

Two is one and one is none. 

If you have a military background, you’ve likely heard this phrase before.  The gist of this message is simple: whatever can go wrong, probably will, and you’d better have a backup plan prepared for all circumstances.  In essence, “two is one and one is none” is the solution you put in place to deal with Murphy’s Law.

So how does this apply to the business of fitness? 

Let me start with a story…

A couple of months’ back we decided to launch a 6-week transformation challenge at Cressey Sports Performance (CSP).  With roughly 80% of our clients being baseball players, the month of April is extremely quiet around the gym.  Why not try something new and see if we can help out those in the community who are interested in fat-loss and lifestyle change?

We designed the training curriculum for 18 (3x-weekly) bodyweight / kettlebell training sessions.  We prepared a comprehensive nutrition guidance component for daily distribution throughout the program.  We titled the program Fit-In-6 and had a nice little logo designed.  We even had a 90-minute Skype conversation with Brian Patrick Murphy, one of the co-founders of Mark Fisher Fitness, and also a primary influencer of their massively successful Snatched in 6-Weeks transformation program.

We’d figuratively crossed our t’s and dotted our i’s. 

Next, we spread the word.  We distributed flyers.  We sent emails.  Went live on Facebook.  Created the leads. Delivered the pitch.

I converted just 4 of those 30-ish leads into our FI6 program.  So much for considering myself an effective salesman…

“Sounds great…I just can’t afford it”

I’ve become pretty comfortable selling a premium-priced performance enhancement service out of our destination training facility over the past decade.  The problem in this case was my failure to realize that outside of the baseball community, the CSP brand doesn’t carry equal weight.

It’s a whole lot easier to say: “the price is the price” when your leads have already come to the conclusion that you’re among the best in the world at what you do.  Selling to the perpetual program-hoppers and tire-kickers of the fat-loss community is a whole different story.  If I thought diligently about my audience, I probably should have anticipated some serious push back on a high price-point .

Thankfully, I didn’t NEED this program to thrive to keep our doors open.  I simply wanted to experiment with an alternative service offering in advance of the spring sports season wrapping up and the gym suddenly getting flooded with high school and college baseball players.  When you don’t absolutely have to collect those dollars, you can make the decision not to compromise on a pricing structure that you feel is fair for the services you’re providing. 

So, we worked 4 individuals through a 6-week transformation program, and they had fantastic results.  Awesome…but how can I call this a financial success?

Two service options became one, instead of one becoming none

The FI6 program generated leads, and that’s what matters.  While most of those leads didn’t love the cost associated with the program, I still had them on the phone, and I had another tool in my kit waiting to be implemented.

“I completely understand your hesitance with the cost. Did you know that we offer Strength Camps in the mornings here at CSP that start with a $99 trial month?  The metabolic conditioning component to these classes is pretty similar to that which you’d experience in our transformation program and if you don’t love it after a month, you just walk away!”

Well, would you look at that…dead leads are suddenly converting in to business.  Add 6 new strength campers in to the mix and I’ve suddenly filled my strength camp pipeline.  When all is said and done, all I want is the opportunity for my staff to win over new clients by delivering an exceptional training experience. 

My point is this: we earned trust with a new audience and found a fit for them, even if it wasn’t what we (and they) initially thought they wanted. Ultimately, they achieved a price point they were comfortable with for a service they find valuable. May not be the end goal we initially sought with this particular audience, but certainly ended up a win-win.

Make sure to have a low barrier to entry option

Premium-priced services are typically profitable, and immensely valuable to the right kind of client.  Unfortunately, they aren’t for everyone.  If you’d like to make efficient use of the leads you’ve worked so hard to generate (and possibly invested in), it is a great idea to have a lower-priced service offering to fall back on. 

Does your premium service selling strategy have a contingency plan?  Remember, two is one and one is none.