I will speak with a potential client for free over the phone. I will spend about 15 minutes doing this. At about 15 minutes into the conversation, I offer to schedule them to come in for a consultation. I explain the fee for the consultation and what will take place. It is a soft sell, they can say yes or no. But the conversation ends there. And I get on with what I need to be doing or get back to spending time with my family/friends.
I will answer one free question if someone comes by my studio, if I have time. Otherwise, I set up a time for me to call them later. Again, if they are interested I call them, if not, back to business. There are so many things I can be doing that I want to do if I have the time. I don’t give up my free time easily, because baby it isn’t free. I work very hard for every client. I research, contact their health team members, put together workouts with progressions/regressions, and so much more. This is my profession and I take it very seriously.
I do take a few clients for very low fees who are unable to afford working with me. I teach classes for senior fitness that are only one dollar per class. And I work with local people living with Parkinson’s. Those are part of my community contibution. I provide assistance for local health fairs at no charge and volunteer for several local charities as well.
I think that all of the answers have merit. One benefit of a complimentary session is that it gives you and your potential client an opportunity to evaluate your compatibility in a training environment. If you schedule a complimentary session and your potential client is a no-show, it may well eliminate that hour or so as a time when you could be training a regular client. The other factor that I think is worthy of consideration is that generally when a potential client pays for a session and likes the results, it’s more likely that he/she will continue as your client.