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Studies Are In: Results Of Using A Personal Trainer & Improving Your Retention.

March is upon us.  The month of decline.

After this, Fitness centres and Personal Trainers face up to 8 months of hunger.

The leanest times for Personal Trainers are between April and August.  In fact, lead drops can be as high as 57%!

And because motivation is at its lowest during these months, prospects are harder to come by.  You now have to search for them.  Motivate more and use killer Personal Training Marketing tactics to convert them.

The summer months are slowly fading away.  New year’s resolution is once again a ‘next year’s fantasy.’

Clients are slowly feeling the ‘routine’ of Personal Training and motivation is slowly dropping.  Your Personal Training Business slows down.  It’s expected.

The dedicated ones survive.  But how can you tell who’s ‘dedicated’…?

Is it the ones seeing results?

The ones being motivated?

Or is it those who just want someone to talk to…

Maybe All Of The Above.

Recent industry trends suggest when over 6500 members surveyed – 71% chose a personal trainer for ‘extra motivation.’

58% needed a Personal Trainer for guidance on what to do.

And 40% chose a Personal Trainer for nutritional guidance and goal achievement.

And if you really wanted to know… 25% needed a Personal Trainer for someone to talk to.

The results above suggest members chose more than one response.

What a Classic 1990 United Airlines Commercial Can Teach You About Client Retention…

“I got a phone call this morning from one of our oldest customers.  He fired us…  After 20 years… He fired us”

“He said he didn’t know us anymore…”

This classic ad demonstrates the importance of REAL contact with customers.  And how customers expect to be treated.

It exactly ties in with my previous article on distancing your clients payments and keeping the training real.

The more virtual our communication… the more disconnected we become.

And the beauty about being a Personal Trainer – there’s a lot of ‘Personal’ communication.

But most trainers leave it at that and their Personal Training business silently boils over and soon – evaporates.

Remember:  71% of members chose a PT because of extra motivation.

If motivation is what’s keeping customers paying you, then why not add motivation into your retention mix.

If you see a client working out in a fitness centre or studio, why not ask how they are – and provide extra tips.

If you just see your clients during your sessions, then a random follow-up call works wonders.

If you’ve asked your client to tweak their diet or do additional exercises on their own – and are wondering how everything is going – you can say something like…

 “Hi (first Name), I’m just calling to get an update on how you’re going with the new program I had written up for you.

I know it’s a new program.  I’m just wondering if there are any problems, challengers or concerns with it.”

In other words, if you’ve asked your client to do something on their own – you simply follow-up with a phone call and ask them about it.

That’s it.

Even if your help isn’t needed and they’re doing just fine, it doesn’t matter.  As long as they know you’ve called them and are on their back… they respect and appreciate it.

Don’t forget, your Personal Training business isn’t just about ‘training’ clients.  You’re also in the motivation business.

“And will you succeed? Yes indeed, yes indeed! Ninety-eight and three-quarters percent guaranteed!”

― Dr. Seuss

It’s motivation.

Remember this:  Motivation refers to a ‘motive’ as to why your clients should still be paying you.

If you’re connecting and providing more value than what you’re getting paid for – they’ll stay longer and refer more.

And a phone call only takes 2 minutes.  It’s way quicker and more connected than a ‘disconnected’ email.

The Ultimatum Game Study

In it, there are 2 subjects.  One is given $10 and is asked to split it with the other subject.

If the other subject refuses the offer, both parties lose the money.

When the split is 50:50, more often than not, the split becomes successful – and both parties keep their money.

The rejection rates were approximately 33% (when the ‘giver’ decided to give the receiver 20 precent less of the share)

In other words, even when the second subject (receiver) is offered at least ‘something’ – the very thought of knowing someone else having ‘more’ than them – they are prepared to end up with nothing than to know or see someone else walk away with more money (even though the dollar pot was only $10).

Researcher Al Roth repeated the study – but now with a twist:

The subjects were now engaged in face-to-face contact before the game.

The result: 83% more successful splits (50:50 splits).  And the rate of rejections went from 33% to just 5%.

The lesson:  Simple face-to-face engagement – about anything – increases trust, compliance and fairer deals.

And when your Personal Training business clients experience this with you, they’ll view you as fair and will continue paying for your services.

Even genuine conversations with a prospect in the initial meeting and before presenting your prices – pretty much eliminate objections.

Becoming too ‘business’ focused causes disconnect and clients start viewing you as a commodity and someone who’s not needed.

I’ve labelled March as ‘Retention Awareness Month.’

Start connecting with your clients on a personal level and show that you genuinely care about their progressions.

Motivate them.  Make sure they achieve their goals.  Provide nutritional advice.  Do random calls.  Occasionally email them some tips and information that’s geared towards their goals.

Wish ‘em happy birthday.  Send out birthday cards.  Thank you cards.  Be connected.  And retain your Personal Training business.

Dedicated to Accelerating Your Personal Training Business Every Step Of The Way…

John Toumpakke

P.S.  I’ve included the 1990 United Airlines Commercial Here:

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  1. Excellent writing John. If only businesses were still thinking like that. So disconnected, it’s a shame in today’s world.

  2. Man, they were saying those things in the 1990’s with ‘faxes’ if they were to look at today’s world with facebook and short comments, I don’t think any business will survive. Times have changed. Good old fashioned connection will never go away.

  3. I’m guessing this is one of your retro articles that got buried in the archives. But the message is timeless. I think we’ve all lost the ‘touch’ when connecting with people. They don’t make commercials like that anymore.

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