In the personal training business we want to improve people’s lives and that’s why getting new clients is important! We also want them to establish good habits, smash their goals and stay healthy and that’s why it is even more important to retain existing clients. Retaining clients is more cost-effective than acquiring new ones, and it could also lead to increased revenue in the long run. Focusing on your existing client base should also be a priority. As trainers, we know that our clients’ fitness journeys are never linear. There are always ups and downs! It’s our job to help them through the down times to help them be successful.
Even if their progress slows downs, spending the time, effort and resources to keep clients focused on their goals will be a key component to retaining them. Inevitably, we will all have clients that start their journey with lots of motivation but somewhere down the line it dips, shifts or disappears. I have a few tools that I like to use to build trust. It is important to be of service to them, create a good relationship, and be committed to their goals. This will help them feel like they have a support system and the tools and knowledge they need to get unstuck from whatever it is that’s slowing them down.
It’s important to define progress. For some clients, progress will be a goal weight while for others it might be feeling energized and revitalized. Clients come with requests based on their own experience and it’s up to us to manage their expectations. If someone’s goal is to lose ten pounds in a month, we have to break that down and set an expectation that is realistic to the person’s fitness level, commitment and lifestyle. Being conservative, avoiding overpromising and enrolling them further in the process of achieving their goals is the best approach. This will ensure that they understand what it takes to get to where they want to be! It’ll also help them focus less on the end result.
Remind clients of their wins
Motivation is not a constant feeling. For those who might be intimidated by their training plan, this is especially true. Setting big goals can be overwhelming. For many, getting outside of their comfort zones to tackle their fitness journey is a big step. That’s why you need to do a good job at programming their workouts and meal plans—but also communication!
Remind them of every win they’ve had along the way. Any type of win is important when it comes to a fitness journey and it is our job to identify and bring that to the attention of our clients especially when their progress starts to slow down. Plateauing is normal, losing motivation is normal and having doubts about the journey is normal. Teaching them how to deal with that can help us build deeper trust and retain clients longer. It’s all about unlocking your clients’ motivation and using that motivation to empower them!
Go the extra mile
This is actually one of my rules when it comes to training too. I ask my clients to go the extra mile along with me. I ask them to over-communicate how they’re managing. Further, I encourage feedback on my programs! Further, I ask them to go the extra mile in their own workouts. I care about their progress and I use this as a method to make sure that I over-deliver on their expectations in working with me as a coach.
Sharing extra resources with them, creating a video addressing a specific situation, making them part of your community, shouting them out on social media, sending them a birthday card, rewarding them with an extra workout or a free session are some examples of things you can start doing today to make sure that your clients love you for caring about their health and journey. Retention is about trust and most times, a simple automated message or an email won’t create nor restore that trust. Why not set up a Facetime call to help them with an exercise? You could also call to check in on them or set up a meeting too! It’ll take you a long way in making sure they trust your knowledge and your commitment to them.
Follow these tips for a really effective method to keep clients long term. Don’t offer them to pay less but do give them more value and reasons to stay with you. There are so many ways to do this that will only cost you a bit of effort and time that in the end, is well worth it. Keeping clients long term will ensure that your business is stronger, will open doors for more success stories and will create a more reliable gateway for client referrals.