A few weeks ago I asked you to fill out a survey. You graciously took the time to complete it with some excellent responses so thank you!
Now, I’m not too much of a he-man to say that some of your questions are completely out of my depth. Or perhaps it would be better to say that I don’t believe that I alone hold all of the answers. So that is why I’m turning to you dear trainers, instructors and coaches.
Once every 3 or 4 weeks I will defer a question you guys, the trainers you are in the trenches experiencing the same issues. I will need your help for this, as an empty comment section won’t help anyone.
To say thank you I will be picking out the best comment and featuring it the following week so that it is immortalised on this site forever. As a bit of fun, I’m going to include a little prize too. To kick off the first week, I’ve picked out one of the more common and problematic issues with running any service business.
This weeks question is:
How do you deal with late payments or clients who refuse to pay?
Of course, the simplest answer is to just not let the client train. Alas I know what that is like, it can be hard to say no to someone, especially someone who has a very strong personality.
What I try to do instead, is reduce late payments in the first place.
Make it easy to pay
As I’ve mentioned before, my bootcamp runs in cycles of 4 weeks, so clients pay 4 weeks at a time (or buy packs of 3x 4 weeks – see below). We allow transfers online (via bank transfer) up to the end of the first week of bootcamp. We also have a portable EFTPOS machine available at the park on the first session.
If you don’t have one of these, talk to your bank, the fees are usually minimal and people tend to spend bigger when they can use their credit card.
Those forgetful ones
In most cases I’ve found late payers just forgot pay, so I be sure to include payment info in the two reminder emails I send out in the week leading up to the start of a new bootcamp cycle.
Those who still forget I follow up with a quick question in person or via email or text message by the end of the first week. You can hassle someone while still being polite and non-confrontational. By this stage there is usually only one or two (out of 30-60 clients) who still have not paid.
Ask for multiple months up front
We have a Winter Special where we sell 3 months (3x 4 week cycles) for 10% less. This is an awesome way to keep clients coming AND it’s several people less that you need to chase up about payment.
So what is your late payment story? Perhaps you would like to share your own techniques or software that you use to manage payments for you?
Image 1: 401(K) 2012