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…
All the points Karin and Jonathan made are excellent. However, keep in mind that this is how you have decided to make a living. I have given clients 1 or 2 free sessions in the past, but I have never trained anyone for a long period of time for free. I understand this is a unique case, but if you do it for one then why not for others?
Maybe if you decide to take her as a client, it would be a great idea and opportunity for you to make a contact with her physician and establish a professional relationship with him/her. If you do a good job with this patient of theirs, you could earn some credibility and have the doctor (or the office they are working at) to keep referring you future clients who will need your help. This way you giving your time wasn’t for nothing (as far as $$ goes).