Ah, the new year. Time for fresh starts, new beginnings, and most importantly, New Year’s Resolutions.
Think of the resolutions your clients will be making: get in shape, lose weight, eat healthier, drink less, stop smoking, reduce stress, and sleep more. The beautiful thing is that trainers are in a position to deliver on, or at least contribute to all of these.
Now, let’s take a moment and think about your resolutions:
- Build your business,
- Get organized,
- Improve your marketing, and
- Retain more clients.
Close? Okay, so do you have a plan for accomplishing these goals?
Think, ‘Retention First’
Unless you’re living under a rock, January is one of the easiest times to pick up new clients. They come to you the way a salmon run comes to a waiting horde of grizzly bears.
So, if client acquisition isn’t a problem, how do you improve? Easy, work on client retention from day one!
You might be asking yourself, “if I just signed a new client what steps do I need to take in order to retain them after the first training package.”
I think we can all agree that it’s not by offering them bottles of water and fresh towels?
Prepare for the Conversation
Within the first few sessions after signing a new client, you should be preparing yourself to have the resign conversation without waiting until the last day.
What’s the easiest way to do this?
Assessments start on day one. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to run every test in the book on your client, but you should absolutely think about “areas of opportunity” you can find and correlate progress to.
For example, if Jane Doe has high body fat, poor cardiovascular capacity, but optimal strength, the roadmap to programming and feedback becomes very clear and these are data points that you can speak to throughout her program.
Because you went through the process of taking assessments early on in the relationship, it doesn’t mean that you you’re done.
By thinking of assessments as data points or performance indicators you not only have designed a better program for your client, but you have so much more information to tell their story when it comes time for the resign.
Let’s be clear, we’re talking about performance tracking and not activity tracking. We’re talking about setting goals, making progress, celebrating milestones, and referrals to friends getting ready for summer!
Presenting clients their results, regardless if they show significant increases, reinforces your credibility as a practitioner and makes it exponentially more difficult for your clients to object to additional training.
Results don’t lie.
Hard data shows where they started from, how much they’ve accomplished with you, and how they’re tracking towards their goals.
Use Professional Tools
You might be using a paper and pencil to manage all of this information, but the likelihood that you are writing down more than weight, circumference, and skinfold measurements is pretty small.
That’s okay though, no one is expecting you to calculate compound formulas like VO2Max and graph results by hand.
So let’s think beyond the traditional paper system.
Instead, try using a web-based system, or app, that keeps track of clients, creates custom fitness tests for each, stores the results, does the math, and prints out reports with all of the information showcased as charts and tables.
This will make your life so much easier when thinking about retention, preparing for the conversation, and delivering results.
Crush Your Retention Goals
If you don’t re-sign your January clients in March they won’t share your fitness reports with their Get In Shape for Summer friends in April. The grizzly bears know the salmon run is there to prepare them for lean times.
Invest in your January clients to keep the re-signs and referrals coming all year around.
You can’t afford “lean times”.