About 3 years ago I stood on side of the pool in our 5 star villa with five amazing people and three giraffes.

This was no Marbella weekend break but a villa in the middle of Okonjima wildlife reserve, Namibia.

If you don’t know where that is, it’s one country up from South Africa, so pretty far removed from the gym and fitness camps I was running on my small home island of Guernsey.

We were there for one of five fitness retreats I ran with my friend Danny Groves and yes, I was making a few thousand pounds being there.

Not only did I want to show you a picture of me in the bath with a cheetah looking in, but I wanted to illustrate the value of having an Ascension Ladder in your fitness business.

You can make some handy ‘side cash’ from selling your members the things they are going to spend on anyway like supplements, coffee and clothing.

However, you will likely make more money from gradually moving them along to more steps in their fitness journey.

Most trainers simply focus on getting more and more people into their bootcamp or personal training and 0bviously lead generation is crucial.

However, once you have this system working well (and especially when your fitness camps are at capacity), it may be more profitable and a LOT easier to offer the same people higher priced services that bring more value to them and increase your profits.

It is also easier, less costly and less risky to do this than to look at expansion, new location etc.

To make this happen you need an Ascension Ladder.

At each stage of the ladder, your customer has got to Know you more, Like you more and Trust you more.

They are willing to spend larger sums of their hard earned money on your services.

For instance, they become willing to spend thousands to fly half way across the world and work out with you in the middle of the African Wilderness – something those just entering the door would NEVER do.

The number of steps in your ladder and how far you take this is entirely up to you and depends on crucial elements like how many hours you have available and WANT to work, what you charge and the structure of your business model.

I was able to do the retreats because I had staff to run the fitness camps so before you start adding weird and wonderful services, make sure you are able to manage them and deliver the quality that becomes more important with higher fees.

Example Ascension Ladder

Step 1: Free e-book / fitness camp class / 21 day trial                         COST: £0

Step 2: Beginner technique workshop                                                     COST: £30

Step 3: One month bootcamp membership                                            COST: £99

Step 4: Annual membership with 12 month minimum contract         COST: £960 (£80 per month)

Step 5: Semi-private training or Personal training with 3 month minimum    COST: £1000-1800

Step 6: One week retreat in Spain                                                             COST: £2000

Step 7: Two week retreat in Thailand/Africa                                           COST: £4000

After the initial Welcome Mat product that brings people in the door to find out what’s inside, we gradually progress the person along the ladder, giving more and more value whilst charging higher fees accordingly.

This is roughly what my Ascension Ladder looked like (I added the one week retreat for demonstration purposes). Of course yours can be the same or different with fewer or more steps and different pricing and the business model you use will affect what you can and can’t offer.

The important message is that customers are often LOOKING to spend more money on your services because they want to get better results, reach the next level or simply experience something new.

They are much, much more likely to spend that money with you because you have built strengthened the Know-Like-Trust path by continually serving them at each level.

Remember that each step must bring more value to THEIR experience of life, not must make you more money. Make it about them!

Within a year a person can go from being sceptical about your classes but trying one because it’s free to being your biggest advocate and wanting to experience everything you offer.

You should also know that the best time to offer an upsell is when people have just invested in you which is why it is important to have an offer that represents only a small commitment and ‘risk’ to the customer but which involves spending money on you.

Once they have spent even a small amount, they are much more open to spending larger sums. This is just like when you go to buy shoes and will ONLY spend £100. The shop assistant convinces you that the £150 pair make your legs look incredible and give a curve to your butt and next thing you’ve bought a £500 suit to go with them.

Oh and you should probably get a new belt as well…