The Fitness Zone
So, you’ve just completed your Master Trainer Program™ and you’re now a qualified Personal Trainer, ready to change people’s lives! This is a very exciting time when your passion for fitness is aligned with your new found career, however it can also be daunting as you enter the world of business ownership. So, to make things a little easier for you, we caught up with Darren Fidge, Training Team Captain in South Australia and Northern Territory, to find what business skills you need to start implement NOW to succeed in the Industry!
#1 Have a Business Plan
As the old adage says, “prior proper planning prevents poor performance,” and a good business plan is the backbone of the operation. A plan helps to give a business direction when seeking opportunities, and here are the KEY components:
Choose Your Target Market:
You can’t market your skills and business to potential clients, if you don’t know what kind of clients you are after. Things to take into consideration are your skill set, location and passion when choosing your ideal target market. Once you have decided on a target market, you need to create a plan on to market to them.
Know Your Competitors:
To be number one, you need to be ahead of number two, so know who your competitors are, and think about how can you stand out from them, to maintain a competitive advantage.
Know When It Is Time To Grow Your Team:
It is VITAL that you allocate time ON your business, not just in your business, so there may come a time that this a one man band needs to add more staff in the instance you no longer have the time to train everyone. TIP: When this time comes, it is great to have a mentor who has grown their own team that you can learn from.
Create Effective Business Systems:
Having key system in place will aid efficiency, and help you get the job done, which is CRUCIAL when you are super busy and working long days. With strong customer service systems, such as celebrating clients birthdays, or sending a post workout txt message and offering a WOW experience, long term clients and word of mouth referrals will take care of themselves. Plus these are systems you can replicate across ALL clients! So what systems would you put in place to ensure you keep your clients for the long term?
Have A Financial Plan:
As exciting as it is establishing a new business, you are earning enough to pay those bills and put food on the table, and a financial plan will help you do this. When creating your plan, things to think about may include; how much money do you need to kickstart your business? How much would you like to earn? And how much money should go back into the business to grow it?
#2 Sales Skills
Now that you have created a business plan, and started advertising to your target market, you will have new clients knocking on your door in no time, so what now? You need to SELL them on your services! So here are a few tips on what your sales systems should involve:
Qualify and Build Rapport with Your Potential Client
People buy from those they trust, so superb communication skills are key. Listen to what they are wanting to achieve and find their WHY - why they want a PT? Once you have this, you can provide the solution with your training techniques. We also need to work out if your style of personal training fits with what they want and need. The relationship won’t last long if there’s a mismatch with what they want and what you offer, and don’t be afraid to refer a client on if you know you are not the best fit.
Know How To Present Your Price, Handle any Objections and Close the Sale:
Using a well thought out price presentation that offers a time efficient and affordable solution to their health plans should limit any objections your client may have.
This will help to fast track their entry into your fitness training regime and get them on the road to achieving their health and fitness goals.
Deliver What You Promised:
You’ve built the trust now it’s time to deliver on your promise!
#3 Customer Service
Gaining new clients, and growing a personal training business is one of the most common challenges a trainer faces, and this is usually due to lack of business skills and lack of a business plan. With this in mind, it is very important you look after them, to ensure longevity. So here are a few simple tips that will aid your customers experience that you can embed into your customer service strategy;
- Be a good listener, remember the sessions are about the client not you! Tip for new clients: remember their name.
- Make them feel important and appreciated all the time
- Give them more than the expect. Going the extra mile makes your client feel more valued, and will be sure to keep them for longer.
- Offer some simple loyalty or referral programs. It’s nice to be thanked for being a part of the success, so if a client refers a friend, why not give them a free session to say thanks.
- Have fun and be consistent. As a trainer, the session is all about the client, so leave the baggage at the door and if in doubt put a smile on your Dial.
With that said, a combination of excellent PT skills and consistent business practices are the KEY to a personal training business' success, and remember, it’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion come together.
About Darren Fidge
When his 10-year professional baseball career came to a close, Darren turned to his other passion – fitness. He has been a Personal Trainer, Group Exercise Instructor, Pool Operator and Gym Manager, and since 2002 is the Training Team Captain at the Australian Institute of Fitness SA.