The Alternative to Discounts…!

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Here we go again.  In the next few weeks, millions of health and fitness professionals and top health coaches will continue to make this awful mistake.

 

Sure, we all want new clients and members.  And, we all want to make more money.

 

But, for some reason, Black Friday and Cyber Monday turn us into us into a bunch of “follow-the-herd” marketing looney tunes!   

 

Oh man… I get caught up in all the excitement, too!

 

But, at the end of the day, it’s truly an example of “Group Think.”   And, it’s dangerous.

 

What’s the easiest “no-brainer” way to promote Black Friday and Cyber Monday…?  Auggghhhh…!

 

DON’T DE-VALUE YOURSELF…

 

Listen, this is some of the best marketing advice I ever received.  And, once again, I’m passing it on to you because it is PURE GOLD.

 

It comes from an “old school” retailer named Ray Scherring.  But it’s good advice that is even more relevant in today’s competitive fitness environment. 

 

Here’s the golden nugget he shared with me:

“Discounting is for lazy people who can’t think of a better way. It’s a sign that the owner is creatively bankrupt!

 

Just think about this.  How many fitness professionals, club owners, studio owners, trainers, etc. are all about to discount their products, services and memberships as a Black Friday or Cyber Monday promotional strategy!  Thousands…!

Here’s Why Discounting is
so Bad for Your Business.

 

The moment you discount your product or service — or anything with YOUR NAME on it…  you have immediately committed to a de-valuation of your BRAND!

 

And, what’s worse, you’ll not regain it because in the consumer’s mind, this discount price is the new value from now on.  It becomes the “new normal.”

 

It happens all the time in fitness facilities.  Every time I walk into a 24 Hour Fitness, I see supplements, clothing, everything on sale.. 50% off!   What’s that mean?

 

  • Have the supplements gone stale?

 

  • Was the apparel never really worth the 100% price?

 

  • Or how about their memberships?  Did they just kill the perceived value of their own services?

 

But 24 Hour Fitness and Planet Fitness are a commodity brokers. Everything is based on volume. Just like Walmart. Just like eBay.   

 

And, if that’s the game you want to play… then GO FOR IT!  Make it 80% OFF!

 

“You can still promote without
devaluing your
products or services.”

 

Here’s a simple one:

  • Let’s say you’re thinking of offering a 20% discount off your $100 dollar session package. That’s $20 right? Instead of devaluing your session, why not take that same $20 dollars and put it toward a branded polo shirt (or something else that costs you $20 but may have a higher perceived value).

 

  • So now the value proposition is: Buy a $100 dollar session package and get a monogrammed polo shirt free. You’ve maintained valuation of your services, yet, provided a value-added element.

 

Bundle Some “One-Off” Packages

You can create all kinds of “one-off” special Black Friday or Cyber Monday training packages by bundling things that hide the costs.   

 

For example, you can incorporate various items like:

  • Non-branded apparel
  • Bands, balls, weights or other home workout gear
  • Bars or supplements
  • CookBooks or Gratitude Journals
  • Skin Care products

 

Just make sure you are NOT devaluing your most prized asset… YOUR SERVICES.

 

More Advice From Ray – My Favorite!

 

Ray also said, “You can always devalue a product from someone else, but never, ever devalue your own.”

 

At his men’s clothing store in NYC he worked trade-outs with all kinds of other merchants. He constantly devalued their products while maintaining full price on his own.

 

For example, he ran a promotion where every customer who bought an Armani Suit for full price $1,100 (plus tailoring) was given a complimentary dinner for two at a posh NYC restaurant (which of course he traded out for next to nothing).

 

The perfect place to wear the suit! Ray worked deals from vacations and dinners to ball game tickets and even live monkeys (don’t ask!).

 

Here’s the point. Think.

 

What types of promotions can you develop to protect your price points and valuation?

 

I know of several PREMIUM fit pros and health coaches who work “Trade-Outs” or hand out “Gift Cards” for: 

  • Movie theaters
  • Ball game tickets
  • Subway sandwiches
  • Grocery store coupons
  • Dry cleaners
  • Hair salons
  • Massage therapists
  • Chiropractors
  • Auto oil change franchises
  • Starbucks gift cards
  • Amazon gift cards
  • Local merchant gift cards
  • Travel agent discounts
  • Resort discounts

 

As a Last Resort

As a last resort, if you are hell-bent on offering a discount, then make it a “Loyalty Coupon” or any kind of overall discount coupon that covers EVERYTHING you have to offer.  

 

With an overall discount coupon (like 30% off everything you offer), it will be perceived more as a sign of appreciation than a devaluation.  

 

Remember, as a best-of-breed health & fitness professional you must maintain your value proposition… at all times.”

 

As Ray would say, “Be promotionally savvy, not creatively bankrupt!”

 


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