- Pat has spoken one-on-one with more individual fitbiz owners than anyone
- He still sees himself as a coach and loves the connections
- This is his secret weapon
- The pandemic has many people’s business down and looking to rebound
- If 30 people left, you can’t get 30 new people, you need 1 at a time
- They didn’t leave as a group and they won’t return as a group
- You must simplify and get personal across the board
- Individual conversations lead to more conversions
- If you have a personal relationship with clients, referrals are more powerful
- When onboarding clients, a personal touch is more valuable than an automated sequence
- People want to feel important, relationships lead to better retention
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Hey, Pat Rigsby here. And in this episode, I want to talk with you about what I’m going to call the I’m stuck solution. So there are a couple of things that go into this that I think are going to help you a lot. I know they’ve helped me. So let’s get started.
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.
One of the cool things about my job, my kind of career over the past 15 years is I’ve talked to more individual fitness business owners than anyone on the planet. I’m completely confident of that. I’ve done more one-on-one coaching calls because you know, most people that have done some sort of business coaching you’ve figured out, Hey, I want to elevate and kind of move away from actually coaching people or they’ve just kind of moved, they do a workshop model or something like that. Whereas I just, I really have always kind of seen myself as a coach and enjoy the individual connection. And because of that, I’ve always felt like that was my secret weapon.
When it came to marketing, when it came to selling, when it came to business growth, I’m constantly talking to people. I know where they’re, where they are. I know what’s important to them. I know what they need help with. What, what problems they’re trying to solve and the past, you know, year plus that we’ve experienced this, this pandemic, I think it’s been even magnified how valuable that’s been, because I, you know, I talked to people on how they they’ve gotten through. They’ve done done a good job through the past year. In fact, I know of our, of our active clients. We only had one business close and they were a franchise that really just didn’t have the autonomy to implement any of the things we were coaching them on.
But we’ve seen plenty of people say, Hey, I’m down 20%. I’m down 30% year over year. And you know, it, whether it be prospects that I talked to, or you know, some people who, who are clients, I, that’s not been an uncommon theme. And so, you know, when that happens so often, you know, people feel stuck. They kind of get into that mode and, and they feel a little bit of overwhelmed because it’s like, okay, how do I go get 30 clients back? How do I go add the $5,000 in monthly recurring revenue that we had a year ago that we, we couldn’t maintain because we’ve not been allowed to train in person for a whole year.
And the path back is rarely kind of their first reaction. The first thing they think about, they think about everything in aggregate. They think about the big picture and Hey, I need to go get 30 people, but really the path back is one client at a time. it’s, you know, doing simple things and getting personal. And so when I think of any problem that I have, this was the default solution to almost every problem that I’ve ever had. And it’s the solution to this problem as well, its simplify and get personal because you didn’t have 30 clients leave you. I had one person leave at a time and in total it was 30 people, but each of them left for their own individual decisions. The way that the world was in, in, in their eyes at the moment, whether their job had changed or the, their feelings towards moving to training online, or you know, just their kind of response to the dynamic. And you know, this isn’t a 36 person group that left as a team. It’s individuals who make decisions based on their beliefs and their interest in everything else.
And so that’s how you win people back and it holds true in every facet of your business. If you think simply like, I need to go get one person today, I need to connect with one new lead. I need to follow up with these individuals and treat them as individuals. I need to get one new client in the door. And if I get one new client today and one new client tomorrow, then ultimately I’m gonna look up in a month or two months and I’m going to be right back to where I needed to be. And it’s not overwhelming to think, Hey, I can get one new client today because there’ve been hundreds of times during the course of your career that you’ve gotten one new client today, but there probably haven’t been a whole lot of times that you’ve gotten 30 in a day.
So how do we simplify and get personal across the board? Well, the first thing the, that I think of is marketing in a people. If they follow up it’s, how do I automate this? How do I make it less personal? How do I send broadcast emails? How do I send them broadcast texts? How do I send ringless voicemails and everything, you know, it becomes very impersonal, even though we’re selling a very personal thing. Coaching is a really personal and probably pretty emotional thing for people, and we’re trying to do it in the most distant and detached way possible. So add more one-to-one followup that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t send your broadcast emails and you shouldn’t send your automated texts, but it means you should weave in personal texts and personal Facebook messages and personal outreach via email, or even personal calls and connect with people and make them feel important. And to answer the questions that they have I have, and really make them feel comfortable. Yeah. Moving forward with you starting individual conversations, because conversions happen through those conversations.
And then the, the next thing that comes to mind is with referrals. Again, it’s, you know, when, when I hand a client, a referral message or referral script, a lot of times their first response is, so I just copy everybody and send this out via email, or I just send this out as a group text or something. No, you ask somebody individually, you say, Hey, is there anybody you’d like to bring in next week that you think would enjoy what we’re doing now that we’re back in person? Or, Hey, would you mind sharing this new core guide that we’re giving away on social media? I really have a goal of having a hundred new people download this. And it’d mean a lot to me. If you’d do me that favor. If you ask people individually that you have a good relationship with them, almost always, you’re going to, you get a positive response. That doesn’t mean they’re always going to have a friend they want to bring in, but they’re not going to ignore you. Like they may, if you just send out a mass broadcast and message.
And then onboarding, we had a massive mastermind meeting last week, at least last week, relative to when I’m writing and the, the talk came up about onboarding new clients and how to make onboarding better. Because I think most of us know that onboarding is this really crazy, critical period for new clients, because we’re getting them out of their comfort zone. We’re exposing them to not only a new environment, but new information. We’re trying to get them to build new habits and behaviors. And so, you know, we need them to know things. We need them to do things and hopefully they feel things and it’s not easy to do. And just, Hey, I’ve sent out this 10 day auto-responder sequence. And so that’s going to be enough, no matter how articulate you are, no matter how great the videos that you send are no matter how much you simplify things, if there’s personal attention, if there’s one-on-one connection or, or even some sort of live interaction that’s done in a small group environment, like, like a small orientation, it’s going to be better. It’s going to be more effective.
And then finally, you know, if you want to retain more clients, we, we actually saw what I considered a staggering level of retention for the businesses that we worked with over the past year. I mean, they retained so much more as a person age of their clientele. Then the big box gyms, then the franchises, because they jumped in and really did a bunch of personal care. They, they provided a lot of accountability. They provided a lot of personal outreach. They, they stayed connected and made clients individually feel important. And so retention rates were so, so much better on average than what I was reading about through our club industry, that the franchises, whether they were training based franchises or health blood-based franchises so much better than what they were seeing. And if it’s going to work in that environment, then it’s something that we should carry on in any business environment.
Because I mean, this is not new. People want to feel important. They want to feel connected. They want to feel cared for. And if we integrate more, more personal, we’re going to see better results. Let’s face it. Most of the people that I connect with are independent business owners. They own one location, two locations have an online business. You know, I don’t work with a ton of franchised businesses at this point. Even having founded a couple of franchises, but what, what I say C is one of our biggest opportunities as independent business owners is to really lean on the personal stuff that that is not inherent in a franchise or a big box type of model. That is a competitive advantage. We have, we need to use it. So if you mixed together the simplification, the, Hey, I just need to get one new client today. I just need to do these three things today and understand that the cumulative effect of those, the, the kind of synergistic work that that you’re doing over time is, is going to add up and the results will be there. And it’s things that you’ve already done in the past. So it should be more comfortable.
You should have more confidence because, you know, you can go get one new client a day. You can go get a couple leads a day. You combine that with more of a personal approach and you won’t be stuck anymore. You’ll have momentum, you’ll win today. You’ll win tomorrow. And before you know, it you’ll look up and you’ll say, man, I’m on a roll and I’m back on track. And I’m almost where I was, or maybe I’m beyond where I was in the past. So if you were stuck, that’s your own stuck solution.
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