Let’s throw an idea around.
We are both personal trainers.
Both of us charge $100 per session. We are hired by two identical twin females who want to drop 20lbs of fat.
You train twin one, three times a week for ten weeks (30 sessions) and succeed in reaching your goal.
I train twin two, twice a week for five weeks (10 sessions) and we also reach the goal.
Under the traditional billing model for personal training – you would have made $3000.
I would have made $1000 – or significantly less – despite delivering the result in half the time you did, and with a third of the sessions (effort).
In other words I get the same results, in half the time, for a third of the effort — therefore I HAVE TO BE worth more.
Yet under normal billing, I’d get paid less.
This represents the problem in fitness training as I see it.
Most trainers are getting paid for their time – not for their results. I think the future will be short term project management.
A client wants to lose 20lbs of fat? The fee is $2500, whether it takes me ten weeks or four weeks. Client wants to bench press 200lbs and is currently at 150lbs? The fee is $1500, regardless of how long it takes.
Doesn’t it make sense? Why should a trainer, who can get better results in less time, not be paid more? If it takes Trainer A 8 hours to train a client and get a result, and Trainer B writes a better program, and gets the same result from 2 hours of training – isn’t Trainer B better? Absolutely. AT LEAST four times better! But under normal billing – he or she would make less than Trainer A.
A client asked me how much it cost for me to design a program for them. I told them and then they asked how long it took. I replied “17 years of intensive study so far”.
They got the point.
At this point in my career I can write a better program in 15 minutes than most trainers could write in three hours. I literally spend 1/12th of the time they would. Doesn’t that make me worth more, as opposed to less?
I think the future of billing in our industry will be project management. The fee is based upon the clients goal, and when we achieve it — not based on a “per hour” “dollars for time” arrangement.
If you can get a result faster than anyone else – you are worth more. Same reason a cross country flight costs more than a cross country bus ride – it gets people to their goal faster.
Just something to think about.
previously published in 2006