I remember when I first became a Pilates instructor. I was so excited, and I couldn’t wait to be teaching as many clients as possible. I mean, everyone should be doing Pilates right? My first few clients came from other teachers so when I had my first “Pilates is too expensive” comment I was a bit caught off guard. I knew Pilates was more than I could afford in the beginning but I loved it so much I started making my own coffee and became an instructor so I could make room in my budget for my Pilates sessions. A girls gotta do what a girls got to do! The client asked for a discount, and I said no. She left, and I sat there wondering what I could have done differently. Was Pilates too expensive?
Obviously no! I spent nine months and thousands of dollars in my first training not to mention almost a thousand hours after you added up all the apprentice hours, training hours, meetings, the clients I was teaching that didn’t count towards my hours. Also, I was still working with my mentor and taking sessions every week so that I could be an even better teacher. My story isn’t much different than many of yours. You spent a lot of time, energy and money to become a teacher. You spend just as much time now trying to find new ways for your clients to move better. We Pilates instructors are not just trainers, we are coaches, we are connectors and guiders of movement. Our rates are not just for the 50ish minutes they are with us, they are for all the time we spend thinking about their bodies, their needs, their goals and all that other business stuff that comes along with the career.
Everyone has a right to their opinion. If someone thinks Pilates is expensive, that is their opinion. But, I don’t have to worry about that. You as an instructor do not have to worry about that. Your job is not to convince someone to overhaul their budget to be with you. No one told me “Lesley, stop buying lattes and lunches and instead make your own so you can afford Pilates.” Nope! I wanted Pilates in my life so badly I made it happen.
After that first objection/complaint, I thought about why I didn’t stop after seeing the price tag. What forced me to make Pilates a priority? I realized it was how I felt after working with that instructor. I thought back to the session and what I did and what I could have done better. Now, sometimes I still hear that “Pilates is expensive” comment. But, more often than not it’s just someone complaining. People love to complain about everything. “The lines are too long at that store,” “parking there is terrible,” “traffic is a disaster” and insert-complaint-of-the-day here.
When someone says something about your rates listen for a moment, are they complaining or objecting? The complainer if you listen will often begin to reason through and purchase anyways. The objector is often more upset that they can’t have what they want for the price they want it. That is not your issue. Also, that person is probably not your ideal client.
A lot goes into designing your rates. It’s not like we all just copy each other’s rates. We look at the costs of doing business, the costs of the time during the session, the prep, the post, the scheduling and then you can look at going rates in your area. But, your rates are your rates for a reason. You do not have to justify them to anyone, especially a potential client. Do you feel bad? Sure, you’re a human being, especially if you know this person needs Pilates with you. You can empathize. But, you never apologize. You can understand, but you don’t have to make special arrangements.
It can be so hard to hear those comments, complaints or objections to your rates. But, if you focus on showing them in their first session what Pilates with you is all about the costs will sort themselves out. I know, easier said than done. Those of you who took my webinar on Converting First Time clients or my online course on First Time Sessions know what I am talking about.
This week I am diving in deeper on how to handle discounts, coupons, class pass and all those questions you have on getting paid your value, your worth! Join me Live by registering here. If you cannot make it for the live time, then be sure to register you’ll have until Sunday evening to watch the replay. Do you want to get paid your worth? See you at my next webinar!