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5 best and simple ways to keep your clients coming back.

These days I see a lot of Personal Trainers focused and exerting a lot of effort into getting more clients as a means to making more money. And while this is not a bad thing, I believe trainers should be focusing more on strengthening the connections with the clients they already have. Taking existing clients for granted is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. While taking care of them is the greatest investment you can make for your business. Doing promotional videos, flyers or whatever marketing strategies you may use to promote your services cost you money or time, and sometimes both. Putting out a little effort can keep your existing clients from moon-walking out the door, especially without notice at any given time, because when that happens, you would need to supplement that lost revenue somehow and fast, so you can meet your monthly expenses. In this article, I would like to give you the five best and simple ways to keep your clients coming back, because return customers are the life force of any business.

1. Quality Service and Value

Now there should be no surprise as to why this is number one. This is the main reason why your clients keep coming back, without quality and good service, why are you in business? Your main goal is to add value and amazing customer service. Make an effort to meet and greet your clients before every session. A warm welcome and smile sets the tone for a great session and let’s face it, we all feel good when someone is happy to see us. When the session is over, walk them out of the gym or to their car… Chat a little about the next session.

Don’t rush your clients… Take your time during your sessions, stop trying to rush them out the door so you can jump to your next session, you come across as a hustler and no one likes being hustled. This is not a good practice. You’re just making your client feel as though you’re just about the money and don’t care about their goals at all.

Having a clear and customized plan for each client, also including them in the process so they understand what they have to do and why, is valuable. Not only are they reaching their goals but they’re learning from you as well. Show that you’re seeking their interest by checking in with them to make sure they’re sticking with the plan you guys put together. It would also be a good idea to have a contingency plan for days when you guys are unable to meet… A remote training plan that you can quickly put into action in a few minutes.

2. Go above and beyond

So I think we all can agree that we’ve heard the saying “Under promise and over deliver.” If not, get with it… This is quality service and value on steroids!! Get to know them better outside of training. Ask about their passion and interests ,make note of birthdays or things that they may have going on in their life like working towards a promotion at work or upcoming exams they may be prepping for. This way you can always wish them well or give a small gift if it’s in your budget. You don’t need to go into great expense to impress them. Just the thought of you remembering should be enough to make an emotional impact.

Learn skills to keep your clients positive and motivated even on the days they just don’t feel like their best. Pay attention to their energy and if it seems a little off. Sit them down and chat a bit before the session, somedays you may have to be a “trainer and therapist.” If it’s a problem that you don’t feel comfortable giving advice on, let them know it’s ok to seek help and that you’re there if they need you to help them find a solution or someone else who can.

Suggest events they may like, or would benefit your client. As a personal trainer, you should always be looking out for events to partake in such as seminars and workshops so as to keep up to date with what’s going on or to even learn a new skill and enhance what you already know. Information changes everyday. Some events may be inline with your clients’ interests. For example, your client may have a desire to try bodybuilding, so inviting them to a Competition may be a good idea. They would feel motivated to keep training with you now that they know you’ve “got their back.”

Give your clients the tools they need like a fitness journal to track their progress. This is a game changer for when your clients are serious about their goals. They can use a fitness journal in so many ways. They can keep track of their body measurements and workouts, log their daily water and food intake, and even record how they felt on that day. Seeing their daily routine in this tangible way can act as a daily reminder of their goals. Also recording their bad habits such as seeing how little water they drink daily and how little sleep they get every night can motivate them to do better!

3. Ask for Feedback

How would you know if your customers are happy? Knowing whether you’re doing a good job or not is measured by customer satisfaction. Asking your client how they feel about working with you and if they have any tips on how you can make their experience better is always a good strategy. Listen and do your homework so you can offer excellent customer satisfaction to the point where you feel comfortable asking if they’ll be willing to write you a testimonial for your website. If you don't have a website for your business as yet, what are you waiting for? Go buy your website's domain name today and get started.

4. Keep in Touch

Out of sight, out of mind… Staying in touch with clients is a no-brainer. Sometimes we are easily forgotten if we don’t pop up somewhere now and then. By now you should have a mailing list of all your clients. Send weekly emails with tips or maybe articles and useful information, not only sales pitches and promotions. There’s also nothing wrong with exchanging social media links with your clients. This would help you guys learn more about each other outside of training so you can build a better relationship, but please don’t be creepy! It’s ok to “like” and “comment” on some of their posts.

Call to check in on them to see how they’re feeling from time to time, ask “how did the meeting go?”, or “Did you get enough sleep after studying?”. Also make it easy for them to get a hold of you. Try to always answer their calls and messages in a timely manner. This shows them that you’re reliable and prevents them from calling someone else.

5. Appreciation

What’s the very first lesson a child learns as soon as they learn to speak? It’s “THANK YOU”. We learn from a very early age to say thank you and as an adult we need to continue the use of this lesson in our day to day business activities. Not only when we get paid for our services but every once in a while let your client know how much you appreciate them, because without them your business will not be successful. Having a Loyalty Discount card is a great addition to saying thank you. After a number of sessions, they can get one free session or every three or six months they get the next month at a discount. You can even have a Referral Program where every client you get from their referral gets a discount off their next month’s fee. Giving incentives is great for keeping your existing clients as well as getting some new ones, because these new clients would have come highly recommended by your existing loyal clients…

These are some sure-fire ways to retain your clients. Remember, keeping old clients is easier than having to find new ones over and over again because of poor customer service! All the best!

Kirk Padmore

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