The beginning of the year is an opportune time for fitness professionals to market themselves to clients who are desperate for change. The following strategies will help a fitness professional, regardless of market or level of expertise, attract quality prospects and convert them into paying, loyal clients.
ATTRACTING YOUR IDEAL CLIENT
Be the solution
Prospects are looking for a way to feel better, whether that means weight loss (which is what approximately 60% of women and 50% men want), getting ready for a 5k, improving sport performance or having a healthy pregnancy. If a coach knows the problem, he/she can create a marketing plan and materials to target that specific group. Be sure you offer a very clear solution to the problem your ideal client wants solved.
A prospect who simply tells a coach he/she wants to lose weight is not offering enough information for the coach to communicate the value of the service and to provide an exceptional experience. The coach must ask “why” (and often ask it multiple times) to really find why the client desires change. Will they feel more confident if they lose weight? Is the weight loss so they can perform a particular task or activity more efficiently? Maybe it’s due to a health scare. Knowing the real ‘why’ is crucial in creating content and programs to attract new clients. This will in turn help the coach maintain the client.
Build it and they will come
To attract new clients, the facility must have not only the necessary equipment to accommodate the type of client they are trying to attract, but they must have the right ambiance, play music that is appropriate and talk-the-talk of that particular client. For example, if a facility is trying to get more weight loss clients in their 30s and 40s, the facility should not be dirty, play vulgar music, have isolated equipment, or have pictures of extremely fit clients in swimsuits. Rather, the facility should be particularly clean, play music that is appropriate, have open space for dynamic movements, and post testimonials and/or before-and-after pictures of similar clients. This look is going to be much different than if the facility’s focus is youth athletes or bodybuilders.
CONVERTING YOUR IDEAL CLIENT
Now that the prospect has signed-up for an initial consultation/assessment, how does one convert them to a paying client? The following are tried-and-true ways to convert from prospect to client:
Use the right information to offer the right solution
If the client has come in for the initial appointment based on weight loss marketing, the coach should not worry about discussing programs that do not relate. Knowing which marketing tool and/or information brought the prospect in will allow the coach to know what questions to ask to help find the real ‘why.’ Here are sample questions that will help a coach create a solution for the client and that reinforce authenticity:
· Why do you want to lose weight?
· After we accomplish this goal, how do you think you’ll feel?
· Have you tried to lose weight in the past?
· What has worked for you in the past? What did you like?
· What has not worked for you in the past? What did you not like about that diet and/or exercise?
Listen, then respond
Too often, fitness professionals feel they know the answer to the questions before they are even asked. However, the coach may often be wrong. The coach assumes they know what it feels like to be overweight, not be as fit as they want, not be confident. Maybe at some point, they themselves experienced this. However, everyone is different, and one must listen to what the client is saying about how he/she is feeling and what they hope to feel like after working with the coach. In this meeting, one should be listening for any concerns or barriers and know how to combat them. Some of the more common obstacles and barriers to clients are:
· Cost: A way to overcome this is for the fitness professional to help the client think of ways they are currently spending their money. For example, unhealthy items they are buying or the amount of times they are eating out. Cutting out just one or possibly a couple of these items/dinners would free-up money for training.
· Location: Having an app or offering online coaching will help the coach overcome this barrier. Offering that the client come in even just once a week and writing a plan for him/her to do on their own is another way to overcome the obstacle of facility location.
· Time: An obstacle some prospects or clients may use is the amount of time they need to commit to the program. Offering 30-minute sessions and creating workouts the client can do on his/her own are ways to find a solution to this problem.
Attracting new clients and converting them comes down to the coach knowing his/her strengths, the type of client they are looking to train and creating marketing materials to attract these prospects. The coach needs to make sure their facility is set up for the client they are looking to attract, and listen to the client and the real ‘why’ of starting a program. In addition, the coach must listen and be prepared for objections and know how to overcome them without being pushy. At the end of the day, the coach must be willing to sell, and always under-promise and over-deliver.