- Being client-centric has shown its value during Covid times
- Your facility isn’t as important as your relationships and experience
- Put client needs over your own plans
- “What do you want/need?” vs “Attend my gym”
- Workouts have become a commodity
- TurboTax vs H&R Block vs CPA
- Make your clients feel like the centerpiece of your day
- Most gyms are based on sales, not goals met
- Your clients trust you, so guide them
- Help clients be part of something bigger
- Catch people doing something right and build them up
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Hey, Pat Rigsby here. And we’re into episode number three in this series about the things that you need to do to succeed through the rest of 2021 and beyond. So let’s get to it.
Welcome to the fitness business school with Pat Rigsby, the podcast for fitness entrepreneurs who want to make more income, have greater impact, and enjoy more freedom in their ideal business. If you’d like an accelerated route to these goals, email me at [email protected] and put BGA in the subject line and I’ll get you all the details about our business growth accelerator program.
So in this episode, we want to talk about the service that you’re going to provide, right? The experience your clients are going to have. So we’ve talked about the mindset. We talked about kind of the foundational elements that we want to build our business around, but now let’s talk about being client centric. And this is something that I’ve spoken a lot about over the past several years. And I think it became maybe more prominent than ever over the past 12 to 18 months, the need to be focused on the client because let’s face it, the tools that we were using, the, that, that atmosphere that we were in such great control of inside a facility. A lot of that kind of had to be put on the back burner for a while, and it became about us and the clients. It was no longer about bringing in clients into this setting where we, we had access to our whole kind of warehouse full of fancy equipment. And we were able to kind of choreograph everything. It became us being more sensitive to the client’s needs us really kind of meeting them where they were, whether it came to what they had access to train with or the things they needed help with or really the way they were feeling overall through these unprecedented times.
So as we go forward, I think it would be wise if you, especially, if you’re an independent business owner, which most of the people that I work with are if you are focused on being client centric, not falling in love with thinking, Hey, this, this particular tool, this system, this, this is what’s magic. In fact, if you look at most of the people who you know, who we see as leaders in the industry, the people that we feel like are maybe at the top of their game professionally, if you go back and look at the things that they were doing with clients five years ago, and the things they’re doing with clients now, it, I mean, it evolves, it evolves very quickly. And, you know, I’ve, I’ve been able to watch some of the best of the best really kind of I wouldn’t necessarily always say pivot in the way that they serving their clients, but definitely take steps forward where you can look back at a program and say, man, that doesn’t really look like it looked a handful yeah. Years ago. And what that speaks to in my mind is being very client centric, really saying, okay, I am always putting the client first. I’m always saying, okay, what do they need? How can I best serve them? How can I best move them from where they are to where they aspire to be? And if we think with that mindset, we’re going to be so, so much better off and let’s face it. What do clients want? So often in our industry in the past, we’ve, we’ve been focused on selling it and delivering workouts. We’ve said, okay, we’re going to deliver this, you know, this thing for 30, 45, 60 minutes, and you’re welcome to attend. We’ll even occasionally nudge you to attend.
And I’ve seen that happen over and over in our fitness industry where people feel like, Hey, I’m, I’m this coach, I’m, I’m this leader. I’ve got all these clients that really count on me and depend on me, but in many cases, and you know, if this is you to take it for what it is, it is looked a lot. Like what I saw in group exercise classes in the late nineties and early two thousands, it just was, Hey, people walk into the group X room and join the workout and walk out. Maybe they mingle a little bit at the end. And then they walk out and go home. And it wasn’t about the client. It was about the instructor, right? It was about the gym. And that was just free. It was like included with the gym membership.
And now, you know, we’ve pulled that out, thrown it in a light industrial space and charged $150 a month for it. And ultimately that bubble’s going to burst, right? Like let’s face it. People just like in the health club world, the planet fitness is kind of recognized the, Hey, you know what? We can charge $10 a month to rent people, access to it stuff. And now people weren’t going on a Bally’s and sign it up for $49 a month on three-year commitments or anything like that. All that, all that has evolved. And the market is evolving. Now people can get workouts anywhere, right? People can access workouts on their phone. There are plenty of online competitors that are selling high, highly marketed workouts from high profile trainers on equipment that these companies provide God. And, you know, cats are a commodity at this point. So you need to be thinking about what does the clients actually want? You know, they, in all honesty, they want to feel happier than they, they feel without you. They, they come to you something to change that they believe that they can’t change on their own. They or they feel like changing with you is a more efficient path, right? It’s the best path available to them. And I think of this as the people that I serve. I mean, you know, it’s kind of around tax time here, as we’re doing this you know, people can buy a turbo tax, they can do it themselves. People can go to H and R Block and they can have a minimally qualified person essentially fill in TurboTax for them. Or they can hire a CPA and have something that is customized to be focused on them. Right. It’s about that person. And, and we’re that CPA. And so we need to understand that very much like the CPA. Yeah. People can go fill out their taxes on their own, but if they want tax planning, if they want done for you, if they want the, the best possible experience with the best possible outcome, they probably need to hire a high quality professional. And, you know, we need to make sure that our people are happy.
And a lot of times we think so much about the workout, the programming, the end result, right. People come in and we say, well, Hey, if they follow this plan of AB and C, they, you know, they can lose the weight that they want to lose. They can lose the 20 pounds that they, they feel like they need to get rid of. But why do they want to lose those 20 pounds? What’s important to them? Well, maybe you don’t feel happy. Maybe they don’t feel good about themselves. Well, we can help them feel better about themselves and make them happier. Every day they walk in, we can validate them. We can help them feel a sense of accomplishment for doing something for themselves, for taking a step forward. We can make them feel appreciated. We can make them feel important in a world where man, we’ve got plenty of people around, but they’re all staring at their phones. Or maybe at home, they feel under appreciated or at work, they feel under appreciated. Well, we can make them feel like they’re the centerpiece of our day. And if you’re building a service that allows you to do that, like you may think, Hey, that’s, that’s still talking about the fundamentals you talked about in the last episode. Well, to a degree it is, but when you’re building your service, this needs to be part of it. Right? A lot of times people get so caught up in the program design. They forget about the fact that, you know, this is about client experience and we’ve got to mesh the two, the program design matters, but the client feeling good about their experience with you long enough to stay the course with the program to get the result they want is paramount because you could have the best program in the world, but they don’t execute. It doesn’t matter.
So we need to make sure people feel great about their experience with us. And we need to take care of the people that hire us, because all too often I’ve seen in our industry, people will sit down and they’ll go through this really precise diagnostic sales consultation. They’ll say, you know, Hey, we’re going to help you do a, B and C. We’re going to really help you escape these things that you are unhappy with now and get to this place that you’re really excited about. And what’s interesting about it is there are all these kind of implied promises, and then it’s just, Hey, okay, I’m going to dump you into this group. Good luck wish you the best. And there’s no accountability. There’s no tracking of the progress they’re making. In fact, sometimes I’ve seen the salesperson doing all this kind of discovery and learning about the goals, but then the people actually delivering the workouts are never made aware of the client’s actual goals. So they don’t even know what they’re trying to help them achieve. They’re just saying, Hey, I’m going to show up, follow the program checklist and call it a day. And if we think about, Hey, this person trusted us to help them on this journey. They came to us, we told them we can help them get this result. Now it’s on us to be their guide, to be their partner in this journey. And we’ve got to take a meaningful amount of responsibility in helping them get from where they are, to where they aspire to be. That’s a, that’s a big deal.
I mean, we should probably have some sleepless nights. If our clients are not making progress towards where they want to go now, where they want to go can often be a moving target, right. But if people aren’t showing up for workouts and if people aren’t, you know, really seeing improvement, you know, we gotta look in the mirror and say, Hey, we told them we were going to help them. We need to do better. And that’s a hard pill for a lot of people to swallow because it’s very common our industry to say, well, I’m only supervising them for three hours a week. The other 165, they’re kind of unraveling all the good work we do. We probably need to figure out a way to support them better. During the other hundred and 65, we probably need to provide more accountability. We probably need to provide a plan. They can actually follow rather than this aspirational plan that you know, nobody’s ever going to adhere to. So understand that if you want to be client centric, it means that there’s more responsibility, but there’s also a lot more reward. You’re going to have people that become ambassadors for your business billboards, for your business. They’re going to be people that stay longer. They’re going to pay longer. They’re going to be fun to work with.
But again, like we’ve talked about before, it starts with you. You have to lead from the front. They came to you for help because they saw you as the expert. Now you’ve got to live up to it and then, you know, understand that we need to provide this experience wrapped around the service, whether it’s people like if you’re training people that want to be in a community setting, we need to be providing that. We need to be providing different things for clients outside of the training sessions that allow them to feel connected, allow them to feel part of something. I mean, that’s just kind of human nature. We tend on average to gravitate, to being part of something, right? So we want to, to really make people feel connected. And we want to recognize somebody. I mean, one of my pet peeves in our enemies is us kind of being quick to do outreach to people who don’t show up, but we don’t celebrate people who do show up. And I mean, if you think about it, if you think about that, right, like we’ll, we’ll chase them because we don’t want them to, you know, to, to stop paying us. So if they don’t show up and we see that is a leading indicator of somebody who’s going to cancel, we’ll chase them. But in reality, what we shouldn’t be doing is saying, you know what? This person came in 200 times this year too, to really improve them self care, to take care of themselves, to, to move towards a goal. They rearranged their life. They paid for that, that opportunity to do this thing. They invest, we did so many hours in makeup making this change and improving. We need to celebrate every opportunity we can with that person, because that is something to be commended, right? We need to make sure that, that we catch people doing stuff, right? People you want to feel better. That’s part of why they come to us. And we have maybe more impact on the people that we serve than any other service provider that is in their life.
Because we have the opportunity to see them with great frequency. So if you catch people doing things, right, if you build your service around that notice, I didn’t get into. And in this episode, I didn’t get into talking about what, Hey, you need to be semi-private. You need to be one-on-one. You need to do groups. You need to be hybrid that that’s kind of a personal preference thing. What kind of service do you want to operate? And that gets into your ideal business, the business that you want to run, but whatever you’re doing, it needs to be focused around the person you want to serve. And it needs to check these boxes, because if you’re doing that, you’re going to stand out from the crowd because no matter which of those kind of channels you pursue, or some of the ones I didn’t mention, most people don’t do those things. Most people show up, they deliver workouts. They check the box that, okay, I did my job. I collect my money where even if you think this as a Relationship where you’re being compensated for helping somebody really get the result they want through an experience, they enjoy it transforms everything. So that’s three, we’ll be back with the fourth episode before you know it.
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