Should You Offer A Free Trial?
There’s nothing new about offering a trial or test drive program for your private training or group training programs at this point. Nearly everyone is doing something.
At Hoops Institute, we even teach it as a part of your sales and marketing strategy. We call these programs Front End Offers (FEO). They are designed to be a low barrier to entry experience for potential clients that may be on the fence about joining your regular program (we call it your Core Offer).
Trouble is many basketball business owners are relying on the Front End Offer to sell their programs for them and thus have hurt their business.
Front End Offers are designed to be a low barrier to entry experience for potential clients.
Many FEOs actually provide more value than the Core Offer. To compensate for less than adequate marketing and low sales skills many trainers will throw the kitchen sink at prospective new clients to get them into an FEO. Then it becomes incredibly difficult to get the client to commit to the Core Offer at a higher price point.
Traditionally FEOs have been free or low-cost offers. Every so often a trainer would run a challenge or contest with a lot of bells and whistles as an FEO. Now it seems that everyone is running free or low-cost offers and throwing in all the extras for all their FEOs, all of the time.
For the prospective client, this is confusing! Why would they pay $200/mo or more for your regular program when they just paid $49 for a 21 day program will all the extras.
There are 3 solutions to the problem…
Lower the value of the FEO
Take away some of the bells and whistles while still providing a good experience. The purpose of your FEO isn’t to achieve the final result for the client. It’s to help them see how you will help them achieve the final result by giving them a taste of what you offer.
Increase the value of your Core Offer
If you want to continue to provide all the bells and whistles with your FEO, then you have to really ramp up the perceived value of your Core Offer. You can do this by being great at selling the benefits of the Core Offer to the client or adding in some special incentives to join.
Change your pricing
You can raise your FEO or lower your Core Offer price points to overcome this as well. Raising your FEO prices will reduce the price jump someone will make, but it doesn’t completely solve the issue you created in the first place. Lowering your Core Offer price is a risky move that I typically wouldn’t suggest.
Your best bet would be to evaluate your FEO and determine the perceived value to your client and compare that to your perceived value of your Core Offer. To do this create a list of all the features and benefits of your FEO and your Core Offer. Assign a dollar value to each of these items.
While this isn’t a perfect way to identify the perceived value, it is a step in the right direction. Now you can compare the two programs to determine which one you’ve made more valuable to your prospective clients.
For example, if your FEO is 21 days and your list looks like this:
- 3 weeks of 3x per week training = $249 Value
- Game Plan = $99 Value
- Accountability Calls = $99 Value
- Assessment = $49 Value
That’s a perceived value of $496.
Your Core Offer may look like this:
- 3/week basketball training for the month ($399 Value)
That’s a perceived value of $399, and you’re likely asking the person to commit for 3 months or more.
Do you see the disconnect?
Unfortunately, this is the approach that many trainers take when trying to attract new clients to their business. You could improve conversions from your FEO to your Core Offer if you simply remove some of the bonuses in the FEO and added them to the CO.
- 3 weeks of 2x per week training ($179)
- Assessment ($49)
- Weekly Game breakdown Tips via email ($49)
Perceived value of $277.
You could charge $49-$99 for this FEO.
- 3x per week training each month ($399)
- Weekly Accountability Check-Ins ($99)
- Jump Start Package of bands, foam roller, and Workout PDFs ($199)
- 8 Week Game Plan Course delivered online ($199)
- 1-1 Goal Setting Meeting ($99)
Perceived value of $995.
You could charge $399-499/mo for this Core Offer. Most of the work is front-loaded to the first 8 weeks to add value to get someone to sign up. The rest can be delegated or automated as needed.
A slight shift in your presentation can make your FEO more valuable to your business. And then a few times per year pull out all the stops to run a big contest or challenge where you provide all the bells and whistles.
Just price it accordingly ?
Should you offer a trial or FEO?
Absolutely, just don’t let it devalue your Core Offer.