These days everyone is talking about getting leads and new prospects, but few people are talking about what you should be doing to make sure you KEEP the clients that you do get.
(It costs 7x more to get a new client, than it does to retain a current one) <—–
So I’m going to share with you my 10 things I used that made my clients stay with me for 5-10 years.
But before we get started, I need to cover one thing. You may look at some of these rules and say to yourself, “Well, that’s pretty simple. I already know that.” If you catch yourself doing this, I urge you to take a step back and see if you or your trainers could do it BETTER.
Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, lets move on to the 10 things…
Rule #1 – Always Have More Energy Than Your Clients
I know you get up at the crack of dawn and you’re tired, but when you walk into your gym you better turn up the juice! I don’t care if you were out till 2am on a drinking binge or up all night taking care of your kids. When you walk in those doors, all excuse stay outside and you put on a SHOW! Your clients feed off of YOUR energy. That is why they come to you. So make sure for every session that you teach…you bring the ENERGY.
Rule #2 – Personality Matters
If you compared the boring dry trainer that knows everything there is about exercise science to a funny, energized, happy trainer that only knows a little about exercise science. The trainer with personality is going to WIN every time when it comes to who does the client want to train with. Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t be educated and good at your craft. All I’m saying is, if you have a shitty personality, it doesn’t matter what you know. The client is more interested in how you make them feel and if they are having fun in your gym. So make sure you have a balance between FUN and good PROGRAM design.
Rule #3 – A Genuine Compliment Goes A VERY Long Way
This is a rule I struggle with. For me, I didn’t grow up getting compliments from my parents, so it does not come natural to me. But I now make sure that I give out at least 1 compliment a day to a client and/or employee. You may be surprised at how one genuine compliment can change someone’s life forever. I personally would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for one compliment my mentor gave to me back in 2001. I was ready to throw in the towel and quite training, but all it took was him taking me to the side and telling me I was going to be an amazing trainer.
Rule #5 – Every Client Should Feel As If They Are Your Top Priority
For some reason we as trainers tend to focus all our attention on the newbie’s in the gym. It is important to make sure they feel welcomed and part of your fitness family, but you also need to make sure your not neglecting the clients that have been with you for years. YES…they still need you to make sure they feel special. We all want that. So make sure you are giving out special trophy or plaques for clients on their 1,2,3 year anniversaries and beyond.
(You can also download my CLIENT APPRECIATE calendar for some helpful tips)
Rule #6 – Always Leave Your Personal Problems At Home
Yes…we ALL have personal problems once in awhile, but successful people don’t bring them to work with them. For some reason trainers think their clients want to hear about their personal problems just because their clients ALWAY share their problems with them. Sorry to say, but this is NOT true. Your clients want to unload their problems on you, but they don’t want to hear about your problems no matter how much you think they do. Save those conversations for outside the gym.
Rule #7 – Never “SMOKE” A New Client
When a new client comes to you they are looking for a leader, someone to show them a better way. The worst thing you can do is push them so hard on their first session that they walk away feeling defeated and even worse about themselves. Your job is to lift them up. Gradually increase the intensity over time and commend them on the things they did right, so they want to come back to you for your guidance.
Rule #8 – Practice What You Preach
I know this will ruffle a few feathers, but this is the profession you chose. So if you are preaching healthy eating and promoting working out…you BETTER be following your own advice. Don’t be an out of shape trainer. When people come to you, they should look at you and say, “I want to look like you some day”. We all look for leaders that lead by example. So make sure your diet is on point and you’re scheduling time for your own workouts. Don’t use running your business as an excuse.
Rule #9 – Welcome Everyone By NAME
Do you know what the MOST precious word is to a person? If you haven’t guessed by the title of this rule, it’s their name. I want you to think back to the last time you walked into a business and they greeted you by name. How did that make you feel? I don’t know about you, but it makes me feel pretty damn special. So make sure you make greeting your clients by name a MANDATORY thing for EVERY session and watch for the smile on your clients faces.
Rule #10 – Physically Touch Every Client
No I’m not talking about grabbing asses or any other inappropriate touching. I’m talking about the pat on the back, the gentle squeeze of a shoulder, the hands on form correction. Just the smallest amount of human contact causes a stronger bond between you and your client.
They are going to feel more connected to you without even knowing why. So make sure you are getting around the room and physically touching EVERY SINGLE one of your clients in EVERY session that you teach.
So this is it…my 10 rules that I guarantee if followed, will make your clients stay with you for years. I know they may seem trivial and basic, but a lot of times we don’t need fancy new things to get our clients to stay. All it takes is getting better at the basics.
Nick is a seasoned veteran when it comes to the fitness industry.
Over his 16 years in the industry, he has worked with Marines, built up and ran a brick and mortar gym with over 14 employees and 500 clients. He was also a co-developer on one of the top fitness iPhone apps.
Nick is currently the CEO/Founder of FitRanX®.
FitRanX® is a licensed fitness ranking system that he offers to gyms and trainers around the world.