|I'm sure you've heard of the supplement company called EAS and maybe even the mother of all transformation programs, Body For Life. This column has nothing to do with EAS other than the association in these first few sentences will likely burn this acronym forever in your mind.
EAS is the acronym I now use to teach all fitness professionals the key elements to continual success when it comes to attracting new clients.
E stands for Emotion, the first and most critical element when you meet a new potential client. As people we all have the same basic fundamentals when it comes to making decisions. First, we have a strong protection mechanism, this is ingrained in us from the time we're children and mom first said, "don't talk to strangers." Throughout life we've learned we never trust without reason, we don't allow ourselves to get talked into things, we don't kiss on the first date, you get the idea.
When you first meet someone, if you're serious about helping him or her help themselves, you have a responsibility to make them emotional. It's when we are wrapped in our own emotions we are willing to let go of mom's teachings and throw caution to the wind and make a decision today. Let's face it when it comes to fitness if people don't take action today the probability is that they won't tomorrow, next week, next month or next year. Could this be a trend that's led obesity to crisis levels?
We elicit emotion by providing reflection and by asking questions. Some examples of emotional questions would be: What other programs have failed you or let you down in the past? When were you last happy with your body? How do you feel now as compared to then? A lot of people look in the mirror each morning and feel tense about how they look, have you ever felt that way?
You notice one key element, we're not directing these questions directly at their previous actions, meaning it's not them that failed but rather the other program failed them. Elicit emotion not guilt or despair; be sure you understand the difference or the ship is sunk before you leave port.
A stands for Affirmation. Communication studies show that the process of positive affirmation or agreement increases the feelings of trust. Trust is what relationships are all about, which is why next to eliciting emotion any sense of immediate trust is critical if a decision is required. Some examples of gaining affirmation are affirming or "yes" questions: Does this make sense? Do you see how this might work for you? Here's what I think, do you agree? Would you be willing to try if you felt comfortable? All positioned for "yes" responses, head nods or affirmations. Set yourself a challenge try to gain 10 affirmations in any conversation you have with a prospective client.
S stands for Sale. The final key component. After you've helped them to recognize their own emotional connection to why they are considering a change of habits, gained as much trust as possible with affirmation as to why this will work for them then it's time to ask for the sale. Take a moment now and really think about this, as it's different than you first might think. We're not talking about a process of selling them something, but rather we're talking about a relationship where we've expressed a sincere wish for them to do what they feel is likely to help them with the problem that started the conversation in the first place. The point is in a fast paced world where it can commonly feel like everyone and everything is out to get you it's quite refreshing to feel like someone care's enough to listen and that you feel comfortable enough with to express how you feel. They say, "home is where the heart is." Doesn't it feel great to be somewhere you know is safe, where someone will listen, where we once again feel that tender embrace of nurturing like we received from our family? Logically if we can satisfy or recreate similar feelings to this we're more likely to gravitate toward or commit to whatever has made us feel that way.
Where I speak of this today in the context of client acquisition what we’re really talking about is an effective coaching process that takes into consideration general human behavior. Whether it's acquiring new clients or trying to ensure the strongest amount of compliance from your current ones I hope you see the value of EAS, after all I truly can't change your life I can only hope through my words you are inspired to do what you need to do to change your own life. Wouldn't you agree?
Cabel McElderry, now known as the Profitable Personal Trainer, struggled as a solo personal trainer for nearly eight years before learning the strategies he needed to transform his barely six-figure business to a seven-figure (and growing) training studio in just a couple years. His studio (One-to-1 Fitness), now 5 years old, has won multiple awards for business excellence. Cabel has been recognized as one of the top 100 fitness entrepreneurs in North America and is currently one of 50 nominees for Optimum Nutrition's Canadian Trainer of the Year. Cabel still trains a handful of clients as his passion to help others will never fade but has also evolved. Cabel now also mentors fitness professionals in an effort to help them achieve similar or better results than his own. www.ProfitablePersonalTrainer.com