Customer Retention Saying No: When a Client Isn’t Right for Your Fitness Business

Saying No Client

As fitness coaches and business owners, it’s always our goal to bring in as much dough as possible each month, right? This often means taking on either too many clients or taking on clients that might not be right for your specialty. When starting out, we don’t actually know how many clients we can handle in our business or what exact clients we want to train. Maybe you haven’t specialized yet, or maybe you need some time to test the waters. This is a perfectly normal route for a new business owner! As entrepreneurs, we are constantly testing and learning.

I’ll tell you one thing though, as soon as you realize the exact type of client you want and how many of those clients you can handle, you will be much better off! As much as it seems like a great idea to be a “jack of all trades” it’s actually better to niche down and focus your attention on a specific group of individuals.

As much as it’s often difficult to turn down potential clients and business, it becomes easier as you begin to learn your specialty and client load. Here’s how to do it!

Just say no

It’s important to remember it’s okay to just say no. This could be because your client load is full or you don’t specialize in their required area of training. For example, I have been asked multiple times by both in-person and online potential clients if I can train them for a body-building show.

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Personally, I have never done a show, nor would I ever attempt to train someone for one as I do not have enough knowledge of that area of the fitness industry. I simply say, “I’m sorry, I’m not going to pretend I can train you for this. It’s not my area of expertise and feel I would be doing you a disservice when you could find someone better.”

Then, I told them what to look for when selecting a fitness trainer to help them with this. No shame in my game and the clients in the long term will be better off because they are then able to find someone who can truly help them.

Build up a referral network

This is a great idea if you have a network of different professionals who specialize in areas different from yourself. This means you can send clients their way who might not fit into your specialty, but they can also send clients your way who might not be right for their business. Within my brick and mortar fitness studio, I have a network of local physiotherapists, massage therapists, yoga instructors, and other fitness professionals who have specialities different from our studios.

We get many referrals from this network and also send referrals out to these people as well. We all help each other out without leaving a client hanging. This can be true for the online space also with other fitness professionals with different specialties.

Add to your waitlist

If you are too full and have too many clients, that is a great problem to have! I often advise people to have a waitlist that people can sign up to work with you once you have time. This allows you to capture that lead without risking losing contact with them. Another option is to have another program that you can get these clients started on until you have some time open in your personal training business. This could be into a group class in the meantime or a generic non-individualized online program to keep them in your business until you have time to work one-on-one with them.

I hope this helps you really niche down and focus on building a successful business filled with clients directly related to what you are best at! Saying no can be helpful to them, and beneficial to your business!

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