Whether you’re new to the fitness industry or have been around for a while, you’ll know how competitive the market can be. It’s a tough industry, requiring hard work, initiative and a test of strength (and we’re not just talking about your fitness programmes!) So how you do you stand out from the crowd to ensure your business is bringing in the clients?
Many Personal Trainers gain new business through word of mouth via referrals between their clients and their clients acquaintances. It’s a great way to develop a strong customer base, as your prospects are buying into the recommendations they have received from others. If nothing else, that’s a great sign that you’re doing a fantastic job!
So, aside from outright asking clients to recommend you, how can you be more proactive in getting out there and grabbing business opportunities?
We came up with some great ideas you can put into action…
Networking is a popular business development tool for many businesses. There are plenty of networking groups out there to choose from, from formal events, to local chapters, industry-specific or ad-hoc groups. Networking is a great way to drum up business, spread the word about what you do and generate referrals.
Put together a short introductory statement (most groups give you 60 seconds to provide an ‘in a nutshell’ speech about your business). Include your business name, what you do, why people should book you or refer to you, and what kind of business you’re looking for. Trust and credibility go a long way in face-to-face networking, so build up your network of supporters by being reliable and providing a great service.
Social media is a great way to get your name out there. If using social media channels to promote your business, include a brief description of your services and don’t forget contact details. Social media for business marketing is very different to the way you use social media in your personal life. Keep the two separate! Your next potential client doesn’t want to know what you had for breakfast, just how you will benefit them!
Every satisfied client is a testimonial waiting to be written. Get into the habit of asking clients for (positive!) testimonials that you can use for marketing yourself further. You could do this informally, by asking them verbally, or build it into the sign-off or catch-up process. Consider putting a short section asking for a testimonial on one of the forms or letters you send out to clients once they’ve been working for you for a while. A great time to ask for a testimonial is when the client has reached an important goal. Harness the high they’ll be on! Always remember to ask them for permission to use their quote, name and picture (if relevant) in your marketing and promotional literature. They won’t thank you for publishing a picture of them keeled over on a yoga mat!
Your satisfied clients – and their friends and family – are your most powerful sales force. Ask them to champion you wherever they go, whether it’s simple steps like telling their friends about you, or more formal referrals. Give your clients some of your business cards. Ask them to follow you on Twitter.
You could even consider incentivising the referral process by giving clients free sessions, a sports massage or some branded kit whenever they pass a referral which leads to a new paying customer.
People who know, like and trust you and your business are your most powerful weapons when it comes to generating new business referrals.