- Coaching is not simply hosting a workout
- It’s more than “come in and sweat”
- You must give much needed personal attention
- Clients aren’t a bother or just a transaction
- Being client-centric is necessary
- Treat it as a relationship and a partnership
- Bring in new clients, but not at the expense of current clients
- Relationship coaching is the foundation of a business that will last
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Hey Pat Rigsby here. And today I want to follow up on the last couple of episodes I did where we talked about fixing your lead generation, fixing your conversion. Well, let’s talk some coaching fixes. So we’re going to talk about how you can really dial in the coaching experience so that it becomes an asset for your business in this episode.
Welcome to The Fitness Business School podcast – the show for fitness business owners who want to grow their income, increase their impact and improve their lifestyle. Be sure to listen til the end of this episode, because we have a brand new special offer exclusive for listeners. So stay tuned.
Now, I’m going to preface this by telling you I, I’m not going to clearly talk about the programming that you use or how you assess clients or anything like that. That’s, that’s not you know, the, the, the scope of what I want to address, and I’m sure that you have some wonderful things in place there, and there are people who are far better at helping you dial in what you do in that facet of your business. But I am going to talk about the, the coaching unit of the business, because I think of the coaching unit is, it’s just kind of a short way of saying it’s our job to deliver a dream come true result through an experience your clients enjoy. It’s not just hosting a workout. It’s not just delivering a training program, but that’s what most fitness businesses provide. They just say, Hey, come here at 10 o’clock, we’re going to have a session. Come here, five o’clock, we’re going to have a session scheduled time to come in and sweat. And, you know, that’s, it, it is more common now than it’s ever been, but it’s interesting how the industry is evolved.
When I first got into the commercial side of the fitness industry and out of the college setting you know, if you walked into any health club, they had this really robust group training schedule that had everything from kickboxing to spinning to body pump you name it. And, you know, and all of a sudden people pulled out some of that stuff and stuck it in a standalone location and charged about 5, 6, 7 times as much as the health club membership costs to have access to everything else. The health club provided. And that, and I mean, it was, it was a bubble that was eventually going to burst right there, there was eventually going to be this recognition that like, well, Hey, I can just go to the health club and get this same thing way cheaper. So you know, what we have to recognize is we’re charged with doing more.
If you’re doing things right, you’re delivering something completely different. You’re delivering this daily sense of accomplishment. You’re delivering a feeling of connectedness and community. You’re enhancing somebody’s, self-worth not just through body composition changes or whatever type of changes you deliver, but through the personal attention that most, every client kind of craves, and a lot of times they’re missing out on another places in their life. You’re making people feel important. So, you know, a lot of our, our competitors and a lot of businesses in general, just make them feel like a transaction, right. A kind of a bother even. And you know, I get it. You probably already think, well, Hey you know, that that’s kind of woven into what I do. I, I know it’s a goal of mine and it’s probably important to you, but a lot of times we, we address it passively. We don’t specifically look at ways to be more client centric, to make people feel more important to make sure they do have that daily sense of accomplishment to make sure they’re, they’re being provided with accountability to stay on track.
A lot of times we just think that, Hey, it just kind of inherently is what is happening during our sessions. But you know, if you want people to stay and pay longer they’ve got to enjoy the process. It’s not just about the goal. It’s not just, Hey, they’re going to lose 15 pounds over the next six weeks, but the whole six weeks is going to stink, right? They’re investing in your profession because you’re making their life better. It’s a partnership, right? And if you treat it as a partnership, they’re going to become ambassadors for what you do. You know, but there, you know, there’s some other things we gotta think about. Sometimes we get so caught up in bringing in new people that we alienate the people who our best clients, our biggest fans are our truest advocates because we flood people in on some front end offer.
And, you know, we, we start to maybe weak in the experience that our best paying clients have. Right? now I’m not saying you shouldn’t run challenges, they’re fine to create more engagement in the current client base and attract some new people. You know, you, you need to make sure that, that new person coming in there they’re being brought in and on-boarded in a really positive way, but also it’s not at the expense of the current client, right? And when we deliver the, the coaching we provide, we need to be delivering what people want, creating relationships that that really are, are tough to break. So it’s not perceived as a transaction. A lot of times people worry, Hey, there’s a new gym coming into my town or whatever else. Well, if you have a really rock solid relationship with the clients, it’s not going to matter, right? Like you’re going to be able to keep the people that you have. And once you have those people who, who love you and your business, it’s easier to get them to go out there and advocate on your behalf to, to invite other people into experience what you do to spread the word on social media, to introduce you to the other people in their lives, right?
It’s a far different approach than the way that a lot of people think of referrals as really just clients being commissioned sales reps that say, Hey, we’ll pay you to go get us clients. Well, I mean, I don’t know about you, but when I refer somebody to a restaurant, it’s because I think that somebody is going to really have a wonderful experience at that restaurant. Not because the restaurant is going to give me a free appetizer, next time I come in. Right? So, you know, if you pour yourself into delivering a great experience for clients, it’s earning their willingness to spread the word about you and making it really easier, easy for them to do that, give them opportunities to bring friends, help them, share their story with others, ask them for help in reaching out to more people like them, but you’ve got to earn it first. And then it becomes easy for them to help you connect with new people and convert new people. So really those first couple of units in the business that I, that I’ve talked about in the previous episodes, this may be one of the easiest and most powerful ways to fix those units. So to speak is by getting your current clients to make warm introductions. So it’s never a cold call, right? And you know, one more thought on this and you need to understand that not every client’s the same. So you gotta have other like varied ways to get them to spread the word. They’re all unique individuals and should be treated accordingly. One may be really excited to gift copies of your book to some friends. Another may be willing to document their journey for you. So you have case studies. Somebody else might be willing to be a co-leader at a charity event that might bring in dozens of people to support a great cause and to meet you in the process. And some people will just happily bring a friend to a, bring a friend opportunity.
But if you follow this approach, you’re building a business that can last, you’re building a business, that’s going to withstand competition, you know, and market fluctuations because, you know, you’re not dependent on a Facebook ad and a funnel. You’re not dependent on one of the, the marketing tactics that was so invoked for a while and left like a Groupon or something like that. You’re really building a business that is growing from the inside out and getting stronger day by day from the inside out. Honestly, I used it this type of approach 20 years ago to build a nationally competitive college baseball program where all my competitors had much better resources than I had. I use this approach to build my first local training business in a town of like 23,000 people to over 420 clients and about a year and a half. And I still use this approach today, but maybe more importantly, when I think about any service or experienced business that I have enjoyed, right? Anyone I’ve been a client, a customer, a patron of, they all use this approach in some form. And my suggestion is that you do You too.
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