Everyone knows and expects the first of January to bring a crowd of new people that have made new year resolutions find their way to your facility. According to research, only about 8% of those making resolutions, keep them.
My personal belief is that people make big, general resolutions without and real plan. “I’m going to eat healthy!” What does eating healthy even mean? Where do they start? “I’m going to join a gym!” To do what? Weights? Cardio? Yoga? These generalities make it difficult, if not impossible, to succeed. People come in, they flounder, they fail, they quit. How can we keep these new members and clients, help them reach their goals and sustain them?
My suggestion (and I know many of you know this), is to catch them early and get them started right. Every new member should receive a complimentary consultation, or strategy session, or whatever you’d like to call it. We need a chance to listen to what they hope to accomplish, help them clarify their goals and set priorities, discover strategies to overcome past obstacles, and help them decide on the best first step.
I know. I hear the naysayers in the back (sometimes in the front) say that we should be charging for this, that it is a service of value. You’re not wrong. It is a service of value, BUT… a fee is a barrier to taking advantage of it. If half of the new members or clients don’t take part because they think they can go it alone and don’t need to pay for the guidance, we are losing out on their potential long-term business, not to mention condemning them to probable failure (remember, only 8% stick with their resolutions). Nobody wins. Whereas, offering a complimentary consultation is likely to get them in our office to have that discussion. It helps put them onto the path to success and buys us the trust and loyalty that we hope to have with all of our members and clients.
So, don’t let them slip in unnoticed or uncared for. Offer all of those resolutioners an opportunity to find the success they are looking for. Make time to sit down with them and help them discover the next, best step in their journey to better health.
Have a healthy, happy, and prosperous new year!
I was just watching a video by business guru, Gary Vaynerchuk, about how patience and hard work are essential in reaching your goals. It reminded me about all of the young personal trainers I’ve known through the years that had great potential, but when their business didn’t build as quickly as they thought it would, they left the field for a guaranteed pay check (one in particular, with a degree in exercise science, went to work in a lumber store). This, to me who has had a wonderful career spanning more than 37 years, is incredibly sad and it stems from some preconceived notion that success should somehow be quick and easy.
Why aren’t they prepared to put in the time and effort? Maybe it’s that see other personal trainers in the club doing well and believe that will just happen for them, or maybe they have seen some get rich scheme or system that is marketed to personal trainers. I may never know, but it’s just like we tell our clients, it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and consistent work to reach our goals.
Now, of course, the time and effort it takes needs to be well spent. Continue to learn, particularly marketing and sales. Then implement. Try different things, different ways of approaching potential clients, different ways of bundling services, different ways of asking for a commitment, etc. Then know that you will fail on some of these things and don’t fear it, embrace it. Every time you fail is a chance to learn, get better, and come that much closer to succeeding the next time.
Don’t be one of the “could have been” stories. Success will come to those willing to be patient and put in the work that it takes.
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” Calvin Coolidge
In all of the years that I have been coaching personal trainers, one of the biggest stumbling blocks for them is getting a potential client to commit to a training program. This is often rooted in the trainer’s mindset about… “SELLING”. The act of selling, asking for people’s money, conjures up images of used car salesmen, telemarketers, and late night infomercial pitchmen. How can an honest, idealistic trainer, who only wants to help others live healthier, happier lives stoop so low as to “SELL”?
This is where the mindset needs to change. Sales doesn’t need to be this evil thing. Selling is doing what is best for the person sitting in front of you. It’s recommending the best course of action for that person to reach their goals. Let’s see… You just greeted them in a warm, friendly way, went through their medical health history and lifestyle questionnaire, helped them clarify their goals, uncovered obstacles that have stopped them in the past, you may have done some health and/or fitness assessments on them. What do you do now? You’re the specialist. You’re the professional. So, you need to tell them what you believe is the best way for them to succeed. “Based on your goals and the information that we’ve gathered here, I recommend that you participate in the _________ program. It will teach you ______, take you through ______ step by step, and help you to pre-handle those obstacles that got in your way in the past (list the obstacles). How does that sound to you?” That’s it! That’s selling your service. The only time you need to discus price is when they are actually paying for it.
One last thought on this. What happens to them if you don’t get them to sign on? Do you think they will succeed as well as if they were working with you? They might not succeed at all if you don’t help them. Go forth now and make some heartfelt, professionally-based recommendations that will change people’s lives.