How to velvet rope your fitness business
By: Jim Labadie
The most important part of the client/trainer relationship is, in fact, the relationship. Just because it is a business relationship does not mean the two-way street that exists in any relationship is eliminated.
While that may seem obvious to some it is grossly misunderstood in the world of personal trainers. For far too long fitness professionals have felt the need to coddle their clients for fear of being of losing one of their sources of income.
Many trainers aren’t seeing the long-term ramifications to their business that come with non-compliant clients failing to see results because of their own failure to hold up their end of the relationship. That’s all about to change. Well, at least for the fitness professionals who are worth the rates they charge. Let’s start at the beginning.
The relationship begins as prospect/trainer.
Meaning, someone is not a client until they pay you money or exchange value with you in some other way. Until that happens someone is merely a potential client or prospect. It is at this time the ground rules for the relationship are established.
And yes, YOU make the rules. You are the expert. You are the one who can deliver the results the prospect seeks. They have come to you for help. When the rules of the client/trainer relationship are established at ground zero there will be no confusion as to what each of your roles is in your mutual success.
Yes, mutual success. Again, this is a relationship where you are exchanging value for value. Do not be fooled by the absurd and outdated notion that the customer is always right. There’s a technical term I use for that idea, it’s a bunch of crap. And just because someone pays money for something doesn’t mean they are in control of the relationship.
Let’s look at what value you each receive to shed some light on the matter. The client receives your guidance, motivation and expertise which in turn provide them the health and fitness benefits they wish to receive. They will likely achieve certain short-term goals. For example, they may reduce their body fat % by 5 points with your assistance.
Now take a moment and think about the long-term value their body receives by them hiring you. Can you put a dollar figure on long-term health and well-being? Can you put a dollar value on living a dynamic, pain-free existence? They are receiving value beyond measure.
What are you receiving? Well, you had better make it perfectly clear when you begin the relationship what they are truly receiving.
And you had better make it clear you expect a return in value far greater than the few bucks they are doling out to hire you. That’s just the start of this relationship. Your prospect needs to fully understand the impact they have on everyone they come in contact with and how that reflects either positively or negatively on your business. They need to be made aware they are truly walking, talking billboards.
And as a living marketing piece, and by far and away the most valuable marketing method in your arsenal, you simply cannot have non-compliant clients because the ramifications to your long-term revenues will be disastrous.
It’s ok to turn away business. It’s ok to tell a prospect no if you don’t think they would make a great client. It’s called putting a Velvet Rope around your business.
Not everyone can get in.
And not letting everyone in means you are only taking on clients who truly understand the value for value exchange that occurs in the client/trainer relationship. Will you have fewer clients? Potentially.
But wouldn’t you rather charge more money and work with fewer people? Additionally, wouldn’t you rather only work with the types of clients you want to work with? It’s easy when you put a Velvet Rope around your fitness business!
Jim Labadie is a fitness entrepreneur, speaker and the author of the new e-book: 63 Must-Have Sales Tips for Personal Trainers. To download your FREE copy please visit: http://www.ptsalestips.com