Yes. There should be an expiration date on personal training sessions.
Here is my rationale.
If they are seeking your services, they obviously want some health, fitness, performance outcome. The science is clear on what is necessary in order to effect such. That needs to be explained during the subjective assessment. Too, readiness to change an unwanted behavior has to be assessed.
If an individual is taking forever to finish a a package of 10 sessions, it is indicative to me that they were not in the ACTION stage of change.
On another note, Karin’s suggestion gave me a good idea. You might think of putting packages together that a suitable to an individuals stage of readiness. In this way, you don’t have to have clients with sessions that have exceeded their sell by date.
I would definitely recommend an expiration date on person training sessions/packages. You can implement two different methods:
1. Have different expiration dates which depends upon the amount of sessions someone purchases (i.e., 4 sessions expire in 1 month, 12 sessions expire in 4 months).
2. Set one expiration date for any amount of sessions purchased (i.e., your sessions will expire in 6 months).
Either way would be good, and like LaRue said this will help build consistency with your clients. Also, spell out any type of cancellation policy, expiration policy, and payment policy within your waiver/agreement so everyone is on the same page. One thing that I do is include the expiration date on the wavier/agreement that the client reviews and signs, and I give them a copy as well.
Hope this helps!
Hi Dave. I say “yes,” and I use expiration dates with my session purchases. My reasoning is simple. In my opinion one of the single most important elements to achieving their fitness ‘success’ is CONSISTENCY. I want to encourage my clients not only to sign-up for sessions, but to actually use them. I do this, in part, by enforcing an expiration date. Recognizing that everyone has issues that come up in their lives that preclude each of us from meeting certain commitments, I give a fairly lengthy expiration date, and I always include, up-front, information on how the expiration works. So, when a client decides to sign-up for a series of training sessions, they do so with full knowledge of the expiration policy and with at least the intention to use their sessions fairly consistently.
Everyone’s practice is different and their justifications for having certain policies may be personal in nature. Those are mine for having an expiration date on purchased sessions.
I hope that this helps.
It may go without saying, but I definitely think that’s up to you and how you want to conduct your business. I chose to add expiration dates on packages because I believe (besides helping me know what income I have coming in/how long it will last) I think it is more beneficial to the client to be consistent with sessions.
My expiration dates are fairly generous as I know things come up, and some clients can only afford 1 session a week (which is better than nothing for them if they have a hard time working out on their own).
I have one initial ‘package’ for personal training with is introductory and consists of 3 sessions plus an assessment. This package is pre-paid.
Subsequent sessions are billed monthly. Thus I do not run into the issue of whether sessions expire or not. This is working very well for me. Large packages can be very expensive. This method necessitates a conscious decision to every few months. The monthly billing ensures a steady income flow and has helped me with remarkable client retention.
Hope this helps.