I am a relatively new trainer and am wondering how to handle the odd case where I meet with a potential client who really needs personal training and is 100% ready to commit, but absolutely cannot afford my services.
Hear me out- today I met with a young woman who is obese and having severe knee pain. Her doctor has told her that she must lose weight through diet and exercise to treat the pain. Without going into detail, she is severely economically challenged. After meeting her and conducting an assessment, I’ve determined that it is a good match. However, she cannot afford personal training at all. I would hate to deny her help just because she can’t pay. Have any of you set up a type of scholarship or trained someone for free for a long period of time? I was thinking of doing an exchange- if she would let me post monthly before and after photos and write about her experience, I could offer her my services at low or no cost.
What’s your take? I tend to be a big softie, and it doesn’t work out to well for me financially but I’m trying to find a silver lining or solution here…
this situation is particularly tempting for a rather new trainer who does not yet have many clients, and there is nothing wrong with training someone under those circumstances. I would still try to come up with some form of exchange, maybe a very reduced rate of training. I would also limit the length of the commitment on your part so that you have a defined end date. It should not end up to be a ‘long period of time’.
After all, we all know MANY people who can benefit greatly from personal training but who cannot afford it, and you need to decide where you draw the line. What if a second person asks for the same deal, and then another? What do you do then? You also need to keep in mind that someone may ask you for training at a normal rate at the very times of training you have agreed to with your non-paying client.
I wish you well.