Issue Date: November 2011 Web Features, Posted On: 11/28/2011
Entrepreneur: Using business-to-business marketing By Cabel McElderry
If there is one thing that's true it's that personal trainers generally find it difficult to continually attract and find new clients. It doesn't have to be this way.
First, you need to think about what you can "give" before you ever consider how much you will "make." By this I don't mean the free test drive session or consultation that should be a standard part of your service. What I'm really referring to is mountains of unconditional value. Test drive programs that last a week or more, gift cards, deep discount opportunities, e-courses and resources that are instantly accessible and provide mountains of real benefit to prospective clients. A wise man once told me, "Give your best stuff away."
Once you realize both the importance of these types of offers and how to structure pricing to be able to offer them stress and worry free you will have created an entirely new platform to market from.
Building mutually beneficial relationships with other local businesses is one of the highest priority items I stress to my coaching clients. Having other businesses actively speak about and refer to you is both an incredibly fast and cost effective way to ensure you are your community's top expert.
Here's a little idea I recently thought of that I know can take your business over the top. In fact if you hurry it can become the ultimate Christmas promotion ensuring your January is over the top.
Consider what other local services your clients may use on a regular basis. Some of the top candidates that come to my mind would be aestheticians, hair stylist, massage therapists, tanning salons and health stores. These days, small businesses know just how expensive it is to attract customers and more importantly how expensive it is to keep them. Big businesses have been both a curse and a gift to small entrepreneurs like you, me and the complimentary services listed above. You see big box stores cut corners, costs and ultimately service relying on sales and volume to guarantee bottom line profits. The curse is that from a cost and supply standpoint you can most assuredly never keep up, but the gift is that many people are beginning to acknowledge the value of real service. Real service earns long term loyalty; these are the kinds of customers we want.
Here's a way you can help your strategic partners increase customer appreciation and loyalty and also send you a steady stream of qualified leads. Visit you local printer and ask them to craft you a simple folding thank you card. On one edge you will need a removable perforated information slip with blanks for name, email address and a privacy statement such as: I have agreed to share my contact info with (your business name) fitness to register my gift.
Within the thank you card (or Christmas card) you will have text that reads something like the following:
"Thank you for being a great customer. I truly appreciate your continued business. As a small gift of appreciation I have teamed up with (your business name) to provide you a _________ program as my gift to you. Thanks again for being my customer."
Make sure you are offering them a great program. I recommend something no shorter than 10-14 days with extra value added benefits and a minimum of $97 value. Have your printer make these cards with the perforated info slips into a booklet of 25.
Now talk to any or all of the service providers I mentioned above. Explain that you would like to provide them these booklets to give as a gift to their customers. Explain why it will help them improve customer loyalty and pay them to do it. I suggest for every completed book of 25 people you pay them a small bonus or provide a gift of service.
Here's the super secret to taking this over the top. The first thing you do is send these 25 people and the person that gave you the leads the following email:
"Hey, you recently received a gift from __________. Isn't he/she an amazing (business/service)? I love sending all my clients to him/her because he/she does such an amazing job. I'm excited to provide this gift to you. Here's how you can get started..."
Just imagine the instant relationship and credibility you will have with these people, and imagine how happy the other business person will be to receive that email knowing the value of the third party social endorsement you just provided.
A trainer can fast track their new business for weeks and months with just this one low cost strategy.