The Maestro -
The Maestro -
To me a free trial is a way for someone to see if they are as interested in training as they think they might be or if your school is a good fit for them, etc. If a school offers free trials then they should have no expectations attached to them other than letting someone try out their gym.
In my experience though the school owners do not take this mindset and they theirs elf are not up front with the customers. Some school owners see the "free trial" as nothing more than a gimmick or trick to get people in the door where they can begin hard selling them with, often times, more manipulation. Anything they can do to get them to sign year long contracts whether the gym is a good fit or not.
My question becomes, it it ethical for gyms like this to offer free trials in the first place?
Yes trials can be bad on both sides. There are definitely unethical practices from gyms out there. What you're typically referring to is the gym that hides all pricing info to get you in the door and hard sell you. I'm not defending that practice.
My problem with the trial member is that I know that they can't afford it because I've already given the prices over the phone. There is no new pop-up price, so the trial member goes in knowing exactly what it costs to train at the academy.
Some of these guys come in and they're kids; 19-23 years old. I can tell from what they're driving and their appearance if they will be afford to train there. I ask "Oh so you work close by?"
"Ya I'm not working right now. I go to school."
So how are you going to pay $200+ for a membership? I'm not trying to get you interested in fitness. I'm trading you a free in exchange to potentially sell you a membership to MY academy.
Are you losing anything? You're letting them sit in on a couple of and, if they literally have no experience with BJJ, you might spark something in them.
The resources of time and space for the mat. If Im focusing on a new student, I have less time for paying members. Trials are perfectly fine if the person has a legitimate shot at purchasing the service, but would you say that the Ferrari salesman is losing anything if I take an hour of his time and do a test drive? There's no way in hell that I can currently afford a Ferrari
I get the sense that you value people's monetary potential over anything else. If other people get that same vibe from you, that could be costing you a lot of business. That would also explain why people come in for a trial and then tell you they can't afford it. I would do the same thing, then I would go find a school that I like better, even if it's more expensive.
I get the sense you’ve been to several academies over the years, and you’ve left them because of “the vibes”.
Well, I hope you're better at BJJ than you are at sensing things.
I've only ever left one academy due to "the vibes" and it was when they joined Team Lloyd Irvin and started doing things like having blue belts pay for training courses to take over teaching the regular A disgusting money grab from beginning to end which definitely resulted in substandard instruction.
I wish I had left the first academy I trained at because the guy was a complete shyster, but I was in my teens and didn't know any better.
There's a gym in this city that takes your money and ignores you, focusing on the a select clique of students while everyone else is left to fend for themselves. I've trained with several people who are pretty disgusted with their time there. Listening to these people, and other people with negative experiences in other gyms, it's pretty obvious that there are bad gyms out there and the consumer needs to be careful.
This guy has said a few things that would set off my radar and also the radars of many people I've talked to with negative gym experiences. Was there a better way to offer constructive criticism? I'm pointing out something that could be costing him business.
Now you know better, BTTMike.