Does Offering Discounts (or free trials) Devalue Your Services?

by Mark Fisher

No, offering discounts or free trials does NOT devalue your services. In fact, they can be a powerful tool to grow your business.

But it’s not always wise to hurt your revenues by reducing prices. 

And if you’re looking to create an incentive to inspire action by a certain deadline? It’s often better to add more value with a time-sensitive bonus offer or offers.

(Want help unpacking how to apply this to your training gym? There’s still time to sign up for our 2-day deep dive, Inside the Unicorn. Learn more HERE.)

So how should we think about leveraging offers without hurting your business?

First off, discounted — or even free — trials are the best way to get leadflow. If you want any kind of scale in your business, you can’t rely exclusively on pre-sold referred prospects who will sign up right away for a Core Offer with a one-year commitment. More thoughts on how to leverage a free or Low Barrier Offer HERE.

To put it another way, it’s completely appropriate to give people a chance to “try before they buy.”

It doesn’t make you look cheap. Your actual monthly rates are still — or should be — premium as compared to other less valuable fitness solutions.

But by being generous upfront, you’re acknowledging that you want to give this person an easy way to see if your services are a fit. As your business grows, this is all the more important. Because if you develop any marketing chops, you’ll encounter a high percentage of people who find you without being pre-sold by other clients.

What about periodically offering promotions/ discounts on your Core Offer(s)? 

This can also serve its place BUT it can totally be overdone. The last thing you want to do is train your audience to wait for discounts. But used very judiciously, you can create compelling, time-sensitive, and quantity-limited offers to inspire people to take action. 

This doesn’t necessarily mean you always have to reduce prices. Perhaps you give your members a bonus pack of sessions or classes or a free nutrition consultation in exchange for signing up for a new membership by X date. Maybe you stack several bonuses together, including some discount on the first month.

Long story short, you can cut this cake a few different ways. But making compelling offers can give people the nudge they need.

Only word of caution: if you decide to use these kinds of offers, do NOT make a habit of wheeling-and-dealing. In other words, decide on the terms and don’t waiver. If you do, you may condition clients to negotiate with you. 

Your prices are not up for individual negotiation. You’re just making a very specific time-sensitive offer that people can take advantage of or not. Dassit.

Lurve you like coffee ice cream,


PS Remember, the price for Inside the Unicorn goes up by $300 after Sunday September 26th.

(See how I model time sensitive offers? :-))

For more details, go HERE.



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