Effective ways to find clients
The first and best piece of advice I can offer is that there is not one single best method to finding clients; you need to do everything that you can to communicate with members of your gym. Communication is most effectively received through as many channels as possible. Below are just some of the ways which, from my experience, are very effective.
1. Walking the gym floor
This is tough but it works. By being in the gym you are already making yourself known. Set yourself goals of talking to 30 people every day. This could be by approaching people on the treadmills, whilst they are stretching or even catching them in the changing rooms. By speaking to 30 people, you are more than likely to generate interest form at least 10 of those people, of which one will sign up for sessions. This is the 30-10-1 rule – give it a go. Remember to put yourself in your potential clients’ shoes: don’t appear to be a pushy sales person; don’t ever be rude; and choose your timing carefully (it’s obviously not best to approach someone when they are halfway though a set of bench presses).
- If you’ve caught someone at a bad time but they are still interested, give them your business card and book in a taster session for another time. They will appreciate your effort and understanding and look forward to seeing you again.
- Don’t worry if you get lots of knockbacks; stay positive and don’t necessarily expect to sign people up there and then.
2. Posters, leaflets and business cards
There is only so much time you can be around at the gym but your posters, leaflets and business cards can be communicating with members all the time. Make sure that any advertising you do looks 100% professional.
- Invest in business cards that look impressive – remember that first impressions are crucial and if your business cards apprear cheap or inappropriate, this may put people off contacting you.
- Don’t try to include too much text in your posters or leaflets as people won’t bother to read it all. You need something eye-catching and simple, which tells people who you are, what you do and why they should train with you. Include your USP (unique selling point) so that you attract clients best suited to you.
- Include a photograph of yourself (ideally a head shot or a photo of you training someone) in your posters so that people remember you and recognise your face.
- Don’t just stick to the gym – pin up posters in changing rooms, on notice boards, in the gym’s reception area, and leave leaflets in lockers.
- Make sure you leave contact details on all your advertising material.
Staples are fantastic for printing your posters:
- Simply save your poster onto disc or memory stick
- Pop into your local Staples and go to the copy and print area
- They will print your posters onto paper of your choice (I recommend high gloss)
- It will only cost you a few pounds and will look great!
3. Promotional clothing – look the part
If you want to appear professional then you have to look professional. If you have a gym uniform you have to wear, then make sure it is always clean, fits well and is not creased. If you are self-employed, why not go for personalised clothing?
- You will look smart, professional and approachable
- You will stand out from other trainers who may make little or no effort
- You will make a positive first impression when you meet people
- You will feel successful and important
4. Act the part
- Be around the gym as much as possible
- Train regularly in the gym so that people know you are dedicated to your own training and lead by example
- Always be happy, smiling and active. If you sit behind the gym desk yawning and looking tired and unhappy, people will not want to approach you.
- Always talk positively on how you are doing in the gym. People want to train with successful, positive people; they won’t train with you through sympathy.
5. Special offers or introductory deals
You do not want to undersell yourself and look desperate for business, but there are some deals that are hard to turn down and won’t leave you with a reputation of being cheap and cheerful.
- Train with a friend and save 50% – offer PT sessions for 2 people for the price of 1 for a limited time only. This will encourage people who may be nervous to try something new on their own, plus you then have the potential to sign up both people separately after the deal is over.
- B.O.G.O.F is a well-known sales technique. You could offer ‘buy one get one free’ on all Personal Training sessions throughout January, for example, but be careful not to make the deal too good. Remember, if a client books 10 sessions and gets 20, then your turnover is not great and you will not be making any more money for quite a while.
- Promote your training seasonally – design your posters and deals to suit the time of year. You may have January offers to fight the Christmas calories or summer beach body training to get ready for those summer holidays. If you are up to date, then you are giving the people what they are looking for, not just advertising your services with the same old poster all the time. This will get boring and eventually become un-noticed.
- Offer a free consultation – people love to try before they buy and may feel uncomfortable booking personal training without getthing to know you first. Put a sign-up form in the changing rooms of your gym headed ’Free Personal Training Consultation’, with spaces for people to fill in their details so you can contact them. This works brilliantly and people really appreciate your effort.
6. Free gifts
Make your PT packages exciting by offering your clients a free gift when they book their sessions in packs of 10, for example. You could offer a free medicine ball or exercise mat, boxing gloves or skipping rope. You will appear more fun and generous than other trainers and people always love free gifts, so you can’t lose.
This is offered as advice for Personal Trainers. No responsibility is accepted on our part for any losses or damages. Always use your professional knowledge on if or how to apply this advice to your business.
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