Personal training isn’t only a fitness job but a sales-oriented job too. Yes, you’re delivering fitness coaching, but you can’t deliver your coaching services if people aren’t paying you to do so.
The personal training industry may be easy to get into but it’s certainly not easy to stay in, and the amount of coaches who are making the amount of money and living the life they want to live is extremely low. So how do you get out of no man’s land and build your business and career into a spot you’re proud of, not just professionally but personally and financially as well?
Most people think they need fancy ebooks, expensive Facebook ads, a big social media following, and high-level athletes to grow a successful business. While those are all beneficial things and they definitely hold value, they actually don’t matter at all if you don’t have good communication. That’s what it comes down to at the end of the day. Here are four ways to communicate successfully with your current and potential clients.
1. Communicate your brand effectively
When a new potential client is considering working with you, the final nail in the coffin that makes them hit the “buy now” button is how your message resonates with their personal pain points. You can have all the certifications and equipment in the world, but if you can’t convince them that you are the coach they have been looking for all this time, none of it matters.
You need to send a clear message that explains how you can help clients reach their goals. It’s about so much more than simply sharing your rates and your certifications. Whether it’s on your social media pages, on your website, or in person, show who you are, what sets you apart, and how you can help people in a unique, effective way. Communicate through everything at your disposal — easy-to-read copy, interesting photos and videos, and personalized design.
2. Make sure your client feels heard and understood
A strong rapport between you and your client is extremely important. This is developed by making sure the client feels heard, so listen carefully to their concerns and show you’re invested in helping them. They will always be evaluating whether it’s valuable to train with you. Are they seeing the results they want to see? Are you helping them connect the dots and understand each element of their programming? Empowerment of knowledge is one of the best ways to connect with your client and make them feel like they’re improving.
The more they learn, the more questions they’re likely to ask. Never make them feel like they’re asking dumb questions. You want them to feel comfortable inquiring about the programming and sharing their concerns with you because that’s exactly how you’re going to help them achieve their goals — and encourage them to continue working with you longterm.
3. Set clear expectations
Have you clearly defined your no-show policy, how you want them to warm up, and how you deal with payments? You may think clearly communicating your expectations in the beginning will push new clients away, but if someone doesn’t want to train with you because you clearly communicate the way you choose to do business, they weren’t meant for you anyway. Plus, it’s harder to come to an agreement on expectations after you’ve already been working together for some time. Kick off your relationship on a strong, clear note and they’re more likely to stick with you in the long run.
Here are some things you might want to consider setting clear expectations on: coordinating schedules for training sessions or check-ins, making sure you know when your client is going out of town, when they have social gatherings they want to feel in control of, program goals, and what hours of the day are appropriate for texts or calls. These housekeeping matters may not be the most fun part of your job, but they’re necessary to having a strong foundation with your clients.
4. Always recognize their hard work and accomplishments
People like to know they are making progress and doing a good job. It gives them the motivation they need to keep pushing forward and working hard. Because it’s your job to help them set up attainable goals and get results, and a little bit of praise or recognition from their coach goes a long way, shower them with encouraging words when the time is right. They’ll feel more connected to you and much more inspired to continue on their journey.
Before you start with your client, ask them to define how they measure success. It’s also a good idea to have them send you their three-month, six-month, and twelve-month goals, and how they plan to fit these goals into their personal life and relationships. Sharing this intimate information will develop a trust between the two of you and encourage your client to be vulnerable with you when they mess up, feel overwhelmed, or aren’t happy with their programming. Having this strong connection will likely lead to them working with you for an extended period of time.
All in all, there are many ways you can improve your business that’s free and within your control. Although there are plenty of best practices out there and proven strategies that might help dictate success at the end of the day, it’s you and your ability to connect with your clients that determines if you will be successful. Everything else is just icing on the cake.