You can be the best marketer in the world, and generate tonnes of new leads to sell personal training to but if you can’t keep your clients (AKA Skyhigh Attrition) then you are dead in the water!
I’ve found for a lot of trainers it’s when they open their studios and hire staff that their personal training client attrition appears, increases and becomes alarming.
And it’s no surprise, I mean when we’re solo, we live, breathe and die by our clients.
We have to fight tooth and nail for every single one, and each personal training client we lost to attrition was like a mortal chest wound! (Ok maybe that’s dramatic but I remember plenty of times when someone quit I had that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach because I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to pay my rent on time.)
So as time goes one and we become industry veterans, well we do things naturally that keep our attrition low, and then we hire people and try to train and expect them to do the same. Only…they don’t.
They like the grind, hustle and ability to foster and maintain relationships like we can, and it’s no surprise, or skill was born of pain and frustration; they just work here.
What’s worse if you’re like me, I had no idea how to train or teach other people to do what I do, it just kind of developed naturally for me and I’d known it so long it seemed crazy that they didn’t, hence I too struggled with high personal training client attrition.
Now, results are a given, you’ve gotta get results for people, but beyond that there are three relatively simple things that you can do with your growing business that will put you back in the drivers seat and pretty much stop attrition dead, and once these things are in place you can delegate and let them go, though the rule is slowly, very very slowly.
Here watch this video I made on personal training client attrition and how to stop it, if you like it I hope you’ll subscribe! (Just click here to subscribe www.youtube.com/mrfitnessmarketing)
Even if you’ve been in the industry for a while as a personal trainer you expect that when the clock strikes twelve on January 1 that there will be a line up outside your gym like Best Buy on Black Friday!
But that’s rarely the case, and as the days tick on, you begin to get a little nervous and wonder what’s going on?
Even worse you have more clients cancelling than usual, it’s January, everyone has a fitness New Year’s Resolution, what’s going on?
Truth is, it’s like this every year, unless you realize what you’ve missed.
January presents a unique consumer psychology that doesn’t exist at any other time of year.
Christmas = time off work for most.
Time off work = smaller or missed pay.
Smaller or missed pay + increased spending = greater price sensitivity.
New Year’s creates a “Blank Slate” mentality, I mean I can’t even deny that on January 1 there’s a sense of relief that good or bad the old is gone the new is here I am, once again the master of my future (even though I know and believe this can hold true for any day of the year.)
When you add all this together you have consumers that are hyper-motivated and ultra-price sensitive, in other words they look for cheaper solutions because “they can surely do it on their own this time.”
I talk about this weird phenomenon in this weeks video and share with you the fitness marketing strategies to use to overcome it.
And it’s a high converting one, I remember one I used this personal trainer marketing strategy and it brought us more than $11,000 of new sales in just a month, and continued to deliver adding much more for months after.
And this will work for you too, in fact, arguably, with a little consistent effort it will work better and be cheaper than anything else that you are doing.
What’s more, this is the perfect time of year!
When I got started as a personal trainer there was no Facebook, Instagram or for that matter even having a website as a small company or solopreneur was a big deal.
Look I’m only 42 but I’ve literally been in this fitness game as a trainer for 25 years!
Here’s how I built my whole business, (and you could to on just this one personal trainer marketing strategy) and it’s so simple at first you may not even believe me, but I’ll lay it all out for you.
First, I made a list of:
- All the accounting firms in my city.
- All the law offices.
- I tracked down contact info for a number of local charitable organizations: Rotary, Kinsmen, Heart & Stroke Foundation, Diabetes Association, Weight Watchers, TOPS (Taking Off Pounds Sensibly)
- I made a list of as many companies as I could that had large numbers of employees (Start with over 100+ and then work your way down.)
Then I went and introduced myself.
I’d simply show up, talk to whoever I could, explain I was a local trainer, yes I was looking for clients but no I wasn’t there to pitch.
I’d explain that I knew if I educated people and gave them things they could use today and see and feel a difference (all without leaving the office) that some of them might look me up after.
Literally I’d do everything I could to make sure that introduction turned into a 5 minute impromptu fitness evaluation and demonstration for that individual.
Hint: A real good understanding of posture and being able to spot deficiencies and explain why and what to do on the spot really helps keep the conversation going.
Here’s an example, you walk into office XYZ, you see receptionist sitting at the desk, she stands up to great you. You notice her right shoulder is higher than her left, what might you discern?
Maybe she doesn’t use a headset, so maybe she holds the phone against her shoulder a lot. Maybe she carries her purse on that shoulder all the time, or a child/diaper bag. Maybe she sleeps on her side, on that side all the time. Or if it was her left, maybe she has a long commute too and from work each day.
Identifying these things and asking, “hey do you sleep on your right side at night?” worked quite often to arouse curiosity and keep the conversation going as I began to explain why I thought that which lead to discussions of headaches, back pain, and what to do about it!
You don’t have to be right all the time, and not every conversation will go somewhere.
But out of 5-10 I can promise you there’s a big chance you’ll be able to book a lunch presentation or meeting presentation where you get a chance to teach a group.
Larger organizations and charities etc that have regular luncheon meetings know very well that by having something education or entertaining on the schedule helps get people focused, inspired and engaged which leads to a more productive meeting.
That should be you!
Now you absolutely can’t pitch, but there’s plenty you can do to ensure you get the opportunity to pitch most people in the room; and not just once but repeatedly.
First, make sure your presentation is engaging and calls for participation.
Not only is it entertaining to watch people try to squat in business attire or high heels, you can turn into David Copperfield deploying things like PNF stretching that will have people who’ve never touched their toes touching their toes in just minutes.
Sure this boosts your credibility, but more importantly participation gives you a chance to offer reward.
“Hey for being a good sport you get to choose, I have a $5 gift card to Starbucks or a free session with me.”
Make sure you have little certificates for your session and the gift card, it doesn’t matter which one they choose as you just planted the seed in everyone’s mind.
The point is use your services as rewards for participation because that’s how you’ll get the audience to ask you about them afterwards without ever seeming to pitch.
Next…this is the grand finale.
Never have handouts, teach them things, stretches, meal planning, etc.
Something that will be much easier applied and remembered with a handout, tool, etc.
Sure some people will take notes, but here’s what you’re gonna do.
You’re going to place a clipboard at the back of the room (because it’s super non threatening and non solicitous) and at the end thank everyone and announce, “if you’d like handouts that show you exactly how to apply this or what I’ve taught please just leave me your email on the clipboard at the back and I will send them to you.)
Let people know your eco conscious and that’s why you don’t print them, or because everyone is so technology centred these days digital handouts are better because they can be saved in email or on a device and never lost and easy to access any time they’re needed.
My aim was always to make sure I left with at least 60% of the participants in the room, if it was less I knew my presentation didn’t connect well enough and that gave me hints as to what to change, what to improve or even what to speak on.
It’s not like I was doing these all the time, but I did likely go through periods where I’d have 1-2 of these sessions a month for 3, 4 or 5 months in a row.
Needless to say they gave my business a huge boost each time, and it didn’t take long for me to become “the fitness guy” in my city of nearly 100,000.
Even in my businesses right now I realize this is a huge gap and missed opportunity for us, in fact that’s one of the reasons I’m writing this for you, because it’s something I know is needed in my businesses and I’m gearing up for more speaking this fall!
Like this strategy? You’re a coach, you understand why your clients need you, but often we forget, we need coaches and mentors too. If you’re ready to take your business to a new level, or just looking for the guidance you need to turn the next corner reply, direct message or use the contact form on my website at www.cabelmcelderry.com I don’t know if coaching is right for you but only one way to find out! Consultations are no-obligation of course, I’m just a coach like you doing what I love to do!
Some time ago I came up with this acronym for EAS, which always stuck with me because growing up I was such a big Bill Phillips/Body For Life fan.
A few years ago I was hugely honoured with a special invitation to speak at the local TEDx event, this was a big deal for me I really wanted to do something impactful, in fact it’s the first speech I kind of wrote and the only one I’ve practiced to memory since college.
If you haven’t watched this video I really do suggest you spend the 18 minutes: https://youtu.be/3O1yYuOBFrE
You see EAS began as sales training and because of TEDx became the simple equation to harness the power of inspiration no matter who you are or what situation you’re in.
Why should that be important to you?
Because this is what I think is amazing about the world today.
Like it or not, you are always selling and selling to everyone.
If you weren’t always selling…
You wouldn’t have any friends…
No one (your kids) wouldn’t listen to you…
You wouldn’t have a job/career/business/etc…
You’d have never gotten laid (yep I just said that)…
You’ll never get “upgraded” on an airline or in Vegas…
Your clients wouldn’t be getting results…
I think you get the point.
Selling used to be that the salesperson knew more than the prospect about a product or service and they would leverage that information to convince (or coerce) a prospect into making a decision.
Hence we all have this gut response to dislike salesman or associate sales as being a bad thing or something to be avoided.
But that’s not how it is now.
The internet, the Facebooks, the YouTubes and all those kinds of things have placed all the information that we can handle (and more) at our finger tips.
As consumers we are equally or often more educated about a product or service than the salesperson whose job it is to sell it to us.
And this is great news (and where EAS comes in.)
Selling can now be honest, transparent, sincere (or at least that’s my belief and what I teach when it comes to selling.)
Your job as the salesperson now is to help people to take action on what they really want, to help them realize why continuing to procrastinate is hurting them, or they are the only ones losing out.
Your job is to be supportive, kind, caring and sincere and by doing so we give people the confidence to be decisive, to take action and make a change in their life.
Now that’s what I call sales! I love that I can be supportive, kind, and enthusiastic and give someone else a lift, almost no convincing necessary!
But…remember this is still sales (not to be confused with a conversation) all this goodness only happens when people make a consensual decision (like the conjugal situation I mentioned above) so you better hone your skills when it comes to participating in that decision process.
And that’s where EAS comes in.
No one makes a decision without being emotionally invested.
What would it feel like to wear that bikini with total confidence?
The conversation always begins with emotional questions, things that lead to a description.
You’re the assistant, you need permission to proceed.
Does this make sense?
Do you understand?
Can I show you the different options?
Can I be sure you will follow your meal plan to the letter this week?
Yes or no questions. (If you get a no you have to back up, they are not emotional enough to be ready to make a decision, or at least not the one you want.)
Only when you have their total consent, affirmation and permission does the solution, your product, service or offer even matter.
If you haven’t navigated the first two steps before getting here it’s going to be a negative outcome nearly every single time!
But don’t take my word for it, think back to previous situations, watch my video, put it to the test at work, at home, with friends and with your kids.
Anyways I hope that helps.
Here’s a great 4-minute video as a follow up that talks about how this same process works with a group of people https://youtu.be/nL5zujknLkM
Below is a weekly email I sent to my team to explain the idea of reverse engineering any goal, I thought you might find value in it’s application personally or even to your team so I thought I’d repost for you here!
Do you use reverse engineering in your life?
If not you should, and it’s a great concept to understand and be able to teach friends, family and especially our clients.
Reverse engineering is just as Stephen Covey (author of the 7 Habits books) would put it, “beginning with the end in mind.”
Most commonly people might think of this in terms of money or finances, and certainly in my crazy entrepreneurial world it’s a way I use reverse engineering frequently; but it’s so much more than that.
It can and should be used for any goal.
Simple, what’s the only thing that stops us from reaching any goal? (Finances, fitness, personal, any goal.)
Yup that’s it. We can be too intimidated to start, too stressed out about the work or how hard it will be, or fearful because we fail one or more times along the way (or have previously failed in our attempts to reach the goal.)
Reverse engineering helps absolve fear by shoring up another thing I’m a big fan of talking about with you and hour clients; and that’s confidence.
You know what I’m talking about, that when the step or next task is so small or easy that we’re not afraid motivation or action comes easy because well it appears easy.
Now what feels easy to you may not to me and vice versa, which is where reverse engineering comes in.
Step 1: What’s the big outcome you want? (ex. Buy a new car/lose 30 lbs)
Step 2: What time frame do you want this to happen in? (ex. 6 months/12 weeks)
Step 3: Break down to next increment. (ex. each month I need to earn an additional $500/each week I need to lose 2.5lbs)
Step 4: Break it down to next smaller increment until it feels easy.
I need to earn and additional $125/week, I work an average of 30 hours so I’d need to earn about $4.25 an hour more or increase my working hours by 5-8 / I need to lose only 0.35lbs/day)
Does it feel small enough to you yet, if not break it down further or begin creating a plan.
Could I talk to my teammates and offer to take some extra shifts?
Do I have a skill or hobby that I’m good at and could pick up a freelance project on the side?
What could I do to add enough value to increase my earnings by an additional $4.25 an hour?
Every testimonial/before and after we publish helps increase our reputation, every new Google/Facebook review we get helps someone on the fence make a decision, every new person that has a great workout has a chance to sign up, every new person you get to come workout the first time has a 50/50 chance of deciding to stay.
Every person you talk to about staying longer has a better than 50% chance of deciding to stay. Have a look at the “Levels in your job description” for ideas on how you can quickly achieve this. Could I speak to 3 people per day about continuing and basically “1-2” memberships per week? Or find 1-2 new people per week to try a workout by asking daily on my personal social media? Does that seem easy and sustainable?
(Now boys and girls, full transparency, I mention this because I want you to choose this one, as selfishly it’s the one that can help me the most, but there’s also a bigger reason. This is the one where if we all work together the results/potential are limitless so selfishly it should appeal to you too!)
Could I learn about something new and start building a passive or additional income?
Last year I became curious about Amazon, in September I sold $184 on Amazon all things I bought in clearance bins with less than $100 of starting capital, in October that was $1994 with a profit of $330, last month we sold nearly $40,000 on Amazon! Now I wish I could say you could grow like that with $100 to invest but that isn’t true. But my point is that anyone could easily generate $300-500/month on Amazon with 5-10 hours/month worth of effort and I will even teach you how.)
Could you dedicate 1 hour/day Monday-Friday to learn about how to sell on Amazon and another 3-4 hours/week to go and shop for things to sell? Does that seem easy and sustainable?
0.35lbs of fat = 1430 calories of energy.
30 minutes of boot camp = approx. 400 calories
Reducing daily calorie consumption by 10% = approx. 180 calories
Adding 30 minutes of slow distance cardio = approx. 200 calories
Reducing starchy carbohydrates and replacing with fibrous to increase energy utilization during digestion = approx. 150 calories
To me this is about the maximum that seems “easy” and might be overwhelming already for many, so we must re-evaluate the goal, if it took 16-18 weeks to lose 30lbs would you still be satisfied? Does the above seem simple? Only works if you can answer yes to both!
Anyways, that’s my attempt to teach you the power of reverse engineering, it can work for anything like: setting dedicated working hours or working less, like improving your relationships with others, like accomplishing any big milestone in your financial life, and even spirituality or emotional growth.
Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help!
Yesterday I was hosting a weekly video coaching call for some of my clients and I was teaching about why people fail when it comes to selling personal training to a group.
For the record, I was slow to adopt group selling, to me I always connected best with people one-on-one and felt I’d never be able to connect the same way to a group…which would lead to no one making a decision, me letting them down, and ultimately them not embracing change.
In short I was afraid everyone was going to lose.
But the thing is, it’s just a matter of understand people and behaviour, and more importantly being a real person.
Watch this 4 minute video and I explain exactly why most selling situations (group and one-on-one) fail before they even begin and exactly how to setup your next one for instant success (and I promise you you’re going to feel more genuine and relaxed doing it.)
If you liked this, I have a treat for you, just like I teach in the video, it’s all about establishing relationships, I have a gift for you. (I want to help you with selling more personal training programs or boot camp or really any kind of service!)
I’ve decided to make my give my wholes sales program away for free for a while in hopes I can help you and who knows maybe you’ll want to talk to me about your business some time.
Just head on over to: www.howtosellfitness.net and get instant access right now, totally FREE!
You spend marketing dollars right?
Does it make you crazy when you spend your hard earned money on marketing and the leads don’t convert?
Below are 5 tips you can implement today that will help you convert more leads each and every month, resulting in more money for your business!
Hi, I’m Jennifer Byrne, I’m Cabel’s manager at his South Edmonton Fit Body Boot Camp location. I’ve learned a lot during my time here about how this business works, Cabel has shown me the little things that make a fitness business work, here’s my five big takeaways that have allowed us to grow significantly while everyone in our region has been talking doom and gloom about the “worst economy for this region, possibly ever!”
1) Respond Faster
Go to your public Facebook fan-page right now. Is the “Green Badge” on ? Does it say 100% response rate ? If it doesn’t, it should. What’s the time it takes you to respond ? You should aim for 15 minutes or less.
Do you use the Pages Manager app for Facebook ? Do you respond to your Facebook messages and comments within an acceptable amount of time ? What is an acceptable amount of time ? I always ensure to respond to messages as soon as they come in ( unless I’m driving or sleeping ). As a consumer, when I’m researching a new company I’m much more likely to reach out to a business that responds in 1 hour or less than one that takes 24 hours to respond !
This applies to your emails as well. A client question should never go unanswered for more than 1 business day.
2) Contact your leads often, in multiple ways
First question is do you track your leads?
If the answer to that question is no, you should enter your name in Cabel’s optin on the front page to get his sales report, or visit www.howtosellfitness.net and get his sales training course; this is the exact training we use to train all of our new managers.
If you don’t know how many people are coming through your doors, how do you know how many you’re converting?
If you don’t know the names, phone numbers and email addresses of the people coming to check your place out, how will you ever follow up with them?
Once you’re tracking all the leads that come to you through your various marketing channels the fun begins.
You start texting, calling, emailing every couple of days.
I know what you’re thinking ” Won’t that get annoying to my prospective clients? ” the short answer to that is YES! That’s not a bad thing though. It shows them that you care.
How busy is your life?
Pretty busy I bet.
How often do you see an email or a text and think I’ll answer that later, and never answer it?
That’s what’s happening to your leads. They want to make a change, but it’s not a priority yet.
You have to be in the front of their mind all the time, and then one day a switch will go off.
They’ll come through your door and say to you “I’ve been getting your texts and emails for weeks and I finally decided to take the first step.”
If you hadn’t reached out to them as often as you did, they may have never walked through your doors.
3) Show your clients and your new leads that you care ( and really mean it )
If you’re in this industry I already know that you want to change lives. You want to help people. But how do you show them that you genuinely care about them?
First step is to take an interest in them.
What do they love?
What are their hobbies?
Make a little note of it in a book somewhere and remember to ask them about it.
I don’t know about you but when I go to a new hair dresser and then go back 8 or 12 weeks later and they remember details about me, I’m sold. I’m coming back time and time again. It feels good.
Can you think of a time that it meant a lot to you when a business remembered details about you?
Have community events.
Have customer appreciation nights.
Come to work with a smile on your face every day.
Greet people immediately when they walk through your doors
Celebrate victories and goals with your clients with photos or have a client of the week board. Show the people you care and they’ll continuously return.
4) Find a way to relate to your new leads
Find a way to get on their level. You’re the expert now, but you weren’t always that way.
Share a quick personal story with your leads or on your social media channels to show people that you’re human too.
Share your struggles.
Be real. Do you have a weight loss story? Share it!
Have you ever struggled to gain weight? Share that story!
Have you lost a family member to obesity related disease? Share your why.
Share with your clients why you’re passionate about what you do.
5) Be you.
This kind of encompasses all the other points. Be you. Be passionate. Be caring. Be transparent. Be kind. Be honest. Be real.
People want to trust the people they do business with, and the only way to have peoples trust is to earn it.
I get asked this question a lot…
How would you start a successful fitness business if you were just starting over.
Not how I would start one today with all the resources now at my disposal, but to rewind the clock and with all the knowledge (from all the painful mistakes I’ve made) how would I start out today (currently 2017) with limited resources?
The good news is, it’s cheaper and easier than ever. You have so much direct control over things that we never used to have, you can control expenses better than ever before and new customers are just a few clicks away!
In this video I share with your some of my thoughts of exactly how I would do it, I hope this gives you some direction.
What do you think? Did this video give you some ideas?
One of the things I’ve found is; that it’s easy to keep gathering information, it can be a pretty scary thing to actually go out and do it.
Something that seemed so simple suddenly becomes scary, or a lot more complicated.
Our industry is built on the fact that as people, as human beings, we need each other; we need support, community, confidence and accountability.
I love helping people, I love helping fitness professionals help more people, maybe I can help you.
From time to time I take on a few private coaching clients, if after watching the video above, if you’re serious about taking big action in your business maybe I can help you. Quite often I help fitness pros add $5000, 10,000, $15,000 a month in additional revenue in 60-90 days. If you’d like to know more about private coaching send me a message here.
Competition is fierce these days, having a strong point of differentiation is continually growing to be more difficult. Our approach is simple, help our clients develop such strong relationships not only with us but with one another that they never want to leave!
This isn’t as difficult as you think, this video will explain some of the systematic practices that have helped us do this (and some just so happen to really enhance your online authority and make all of your digital marketing efforts work better!)
There’s lots we can all learn about copywriting, in fact I’d argue you and I will spend our whole life learning. Just to be so-so copywriter’s at best.
We’re trainers, coaches, we understand the body. But we also understand people.
“Business” often intimidates us, sales is scary, and we negatively reinforce ourselves with fear thinking, “I don’t know what to do to get more clients.”
The curse I find is most of us way over think things when it comes to business. We’re worried about the right sale, the best offer to run at this time of year, what offer to run after we’ve done, this, this and that.
The list goes one.
Unfortunately it seems we wind up not seeing the forest for the trees.
Ever feel like that?
Here’s a little secret.
And you’re experiencing it right now in this blog post. What, huh?
I’ve found my best and most consistent marketing results by considering the following before I ever start writing the promotion.
What are they likely to be thinking about at this point in time?
Example. As I write this it’s November, two weeks before US Thanksgiving.
My American colleagues are likely thinking about the coming holiday, the food they’ll eat, the shopping and deals on Black Friday, and all the exciting times to come with Christmas.
In Canada we’re beginning to think about the coming Christmas holidays, those Christmas parties, the late nights, the great food, the “little black dress” and how out of shape we’re going to be come January.
So that’s what I’m going to write my promotion about.
The offer is the least important part, it’s more important to think about, “how will I connect with the reader?”
Can I get them nodding their head in agreement or thinking about how they relate?
Does this make sense to you?
If I can connect with them, if I can give them the feeling that I understand them or the feeling that I can peer into their mind I can get them to the next line.
It’s through this relationship on the page that I only hope to keep reinforcing in their own mind the thoughts they’ve already had.
That it’s time to change, it’s time to take control.
That it would feel great to look great in that “little black dress,” that by taking action now the New Year’s Resolution will stick and be a success for once.
The offer is the least important, if all of these other things make sense to them then the offer only needs to “fit” and feel good too.
Adding the elements of social proof, schedule information, directions, and of course a money back guarantee will further the cause but none of that matters if they don’t read past the first line.