I’m not sure what type of facility you are in or your offerings. If a weight loss program, I really can’t answer. I have never and don’t work with long duration agreements, though understand the concept and reasons.
I simply contract for 2 sessions at a time: no deals on payment and they pay in advance because of cancellation charge.
Have never had a problem with anyone signing my contract and awesome retention. Also before asking:I conduct initial fitness testing, measurements and about an hour consult w/q and a. (Done with first workout) People see what they are getting for their money…
There are so many options out there for people it makes their head spin if they have to commit to something sometimes.
Maybe offer 30days? Then look to convert to longer.
when I first meet new clients, I require that they pre-pay for an into package with consists of the assessment and three sessions. After that, I bill them monthly for the number of sessions that had with me.
Works great for me; I am busier than I can handle, have great retention and never had any problem with payment.
My advice is to offer a 1 month agreement, show them how awesome you are and provide so much value that they will sign up for the 3, 6, or 12 month package. Put yourself in their shoes, would you want to sign up for a 12 month package right off the bat without knowing the value? They have to go for a test-drive!
I do a consult first with potential clients to assess and discuss goals to see exactly what they need. This will give you a chance to give the client an individual time-frame based on goals. It also gives you a chance to really connect with the client–which is an important factor in retention.
I offer packages from starter 3 session package, to 20 sessions (which offer a small percentage off the hourly rate). Clients pay up front for their package. The majority of my clients are long-term, and just re-purchase their packages when sessions run out. This has worked for me and I retain my clients for long periods of time (many for years).
If contracts work for you, perhaps shorten the time-frame a bit, and offer an “8 week” or “12 week” special. Weeks sound shorter than months. Hope this helps!