It’s the most wonderful time of year – well, for most people anyway. While you, on the other hand, might be asking yourself every year, “Why does my training business dip in the winters?” Or maybe your clientele base is dipping in the summers every year. No matter what season it may be, it can be a very frustrating thing to endure as a business owner. We know clients tend to go on vacation with their families in the summer and people travel for the holidays — but is that really a reason why someone shouldn’t be training regularly?
Perhaps there’s another real reason why your business takes a dip. Hate to say it, but you’re probably not building enough value in your training. We’re not saying your clients don’t like you, they haven’t received good workouts, or they don’t enjoy your company. But rather, when push comes to shove and when their commitments are at an all-time high, your services are the first thing to get cut, whether it comes from a time or financial standpoint.
Being a trainer is hard enough without having to deal with seasonal influxes in our client schedule, so let’s go over the tools to be successful during this strange time period. Here are three ways to build more value with your clients so you prevent a drop in business during the summers and winters.
Include Them in the Process of the Program
While your clients probably aren’t looking for an anatomy lesson or a deep-dive into biomechanics, it doesn’t mean they don’t want to feel like they know what’s going on. Most of our clients look at what we do and have no idea how we filter and keep track of so much information in a world that is oversaturated with good and bad information.
The creation stage of your client’s programming shouldn’t be a solo act. Bring them in on the decision-making process and make them feel included. Continuously make their goals the focus of the whole thing. When you bring your client into the conversation of why their program is built a certain way, it gives you the opportunity to get them more invested in the process. This hopefully will encourage them to buy in at a deeper level to the point where they would still put training and health as priorities even when life starts to pile up on top of them.
Continuously Educate Them
Don’t just make your clients work up a sweat and call it a day. Coach and educate them on how the body functions, why you program their sessions a specific way, what the regressions and progressions are of the movements, etc. This will help your clients learn how to coach themselves when they’re not able to fit in a session with you. Give them the tools so that when they are doing a workout on their own while they’re traveling, they feel confident in all the movements and know how to make the right adjustments.
Keep in mind your clients are forever representations of you. There’s a big difference between just writing exercises down on a page and truly training someone. When you train someone, you have assessed their goals, you know their movement proficiency, and you are building a program that helps hit their goals.
Empower your clients with knowledge. Give them more ownership and tools to be successful so you can progress them longer and farther. That’s how you get the client to see you as a long-term teacher, rather than just another transaction.
Explain Everything You Do to Your Clients
When your client decides they want to get fit or get in shape (you know those generic goals), they do not think in terms of front squats, back squats, kettlebell swings, and push-ups. They look at the details as an inconvenience to learn in their spare time.
They may have heard over and over again that squats are good for building strong legs or a nice butt, but they don’t look at their fat loss goal and think that improving their front squat will help them get there. Make sure when you’re talking about training with your clients, you’re using language they understand and can connect to. Does your client want to hear about the glenohumeral joint or the shoulder? Use terms they prefer hearing.
When they do front squats, explain to them why this movement is going to help them reach their goals and improve their body’s function. The more you connect what you’re doing with your client’s goal, the more they’ll want to continue working with you, even when times get tough and things are stressful.
The Final Word
Don’t become your excuses. There’s no reason to accept that making less money in the summers and winters is because of clients going on summer vacation and leaving town for the holidays. Build a better business that is reliant against seasonal and economical influxes. Stay consistent and make yourself available to clients if they want to ask questions or express concerns. It might take some extra work at first, but your hard work will get to the point where your traffic doesn’t get shaken by the holiday cheer.