- Strategies don’t work if clients can’t follow them
- Note: pistol squats aren’t intermediate
- A system is only great if it is doable
- “If you’re serious, put it on credit” is not factoring in reality
- Look at who your clients are and figure out how to best coach them
- Their experience with you isn’t in a vacuum
- You’re setting clients up to fail if you don’t factor in who they are
- High ticket is squeezing money quickly because clients won’t be long-term
- Clients’ lives should come first, be client-centric
- Meet them where they are and move them forward step by step
- Have a reality-based approach to coaching
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Hey, Pat Rigsby here. And in today’s episode, I want to talk with you about the truth regarding why most coaching, whether it be coaching clients or coaching business owners fails. We’ve got a lot to unpack here, so let’s get started.
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.
After coaching for almost 30…gosh, it it’s a little bit daunting, even when I say that and makes me realize that I’m getting up there in age, but after coaching for almost 30 years, it’s just a amazing how much theory there is out there that just doesn’t work when it comes to being put into practice. And this, this was true back in the, the coaching baseball world, like when I was a college coach and this is held true when I was coaching fitness clients. And then it is definitely held true when it’s come to coaching business owners. You know, whether it will coming up with all these pretty drills or exercises that might look good on a video or make you seem really smart or might get you a bunch of views on Instagram. You know, they, they didn’t translate if the the, the person you were asking to execute them. Couldn’t do ’em. And I, I think that has become the, the focal point of the coaching world for a lot of people, not clearly not the people who are doing great work, but the, the percentage of people doing great work is pretty small relative to the entire pool of people who might call themself coaches. Let me tell you kind of a, a funny story that illustrated this so way back, probably in around 2007, you know, we had a really successful training business.
We had a really successful health club as well. And we had started to get into the, the online world. We had started to work with business owners, kind, sharing what we knew, and Holly was getting ready to launch her info product. She was gonna take the things that had worked with her client. She had a, a com like a completely full schedule with a waiting list of clients for new nutrition coaching, and then personal training. And she was just gonna take the stuff that had worked in the gym with these, you know, probably 90% busy moms and package it up in a training program. And we were working with a guy because most of my, my experience at the time had been you know, in the online world, I was trying to work with business owners. So we were gonna work with a guy that had some success with serving the consumer population. And so, so he said, well, Hey, this would make a really good program. Maybe you want to you know, if you, if you need some ideas, what a program looks like, you could put this in. And, you know, I, I mean, it was fine, you know, originally it was like, Hey, you know, he is trying to help, even though we had plenty of programs, we had been doing this with literally hundreds and hundreds of clients. I mean, in just one location, we had well over 400 paying clients. And you know, so we look at this program and it’s listed as an intermediate program and this audience was busy moms.
And one of the exercises was three sets of eight pistol squats. And it’s like, you know, I don’t think he’s ever actually trained a real human being. And, and, and little did I know that was gonna be the, the precursor for what I would see really kind of permeate the entire in is the online side of things grew. It just, you know, things that sound great in theory, but they don’t take into account the fact that we’re dealing with real human beings on, on, you know, on the other side of zoom or the people standing in front of us. And, you know, so there’s so much talk a about, you know, having this system and yeah, if you follow the system, it’s gonna work. It, it makes me think of some of the, the, the old network marketing stuff that we’d see, you know, and now I, you know, I’ve been around plenty of network marketing businesses.
I’d get approached very regularly with those because of the, the audience of, of fitness business owners I’d have. And almost invariably, they would talk to, to, to people about, Hey, you know, what, get out, get out of working your job and, and, you know, get out of that break free of the handcuffs of corporate life. Just quit your job and pour yourself into this entirely. And, and I, and I’d laugh like, you know what I mean, you have a responsibility in, in many cases, most of the people that I work with, you know, they may already have a family. They may already have a, a mortgage, or they, you know, they they’ve already signed on to leases in their facility and pay for equipment. So it, it sounds great theory like, Hey, just burn the boats and quit what you’re doing, but it doesn’t work in practice very well. There are plenty of people, that’ll say, you know what, here join our coaching program. And, and here’s a, a, a financing deal where you can pay, you know, 30% interest or, or some thing like that. I mean, and, and they’d say, you know, if you’re, if you’re serious, just put it on a credit card or put it in this financing deal and say, man, it, it’s not dealing with the reality that people are actually facing the responsibilities that they may already have.
And, you know, I mean, the morning routines that people would put out there, you’d see these people write books about the, these morning routines, where it was like, Hey, do these things for the first three and a half hours of the morning. I’m like, do you not have a job or kids or anything else? And so, you know, I mean, basically I, I think what I want to get at is people, you know, I, if we are going to coach people, whether it be a, an actual training client or a, you know, a, a in my world, a business client, we have to see them for who they actually are and meet them. ‘Em Where they’re at. We have to be a realist about the fact that their experience with us doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It has to weave into all the other areas of their life. It has to work around the fact that, you know, they’ve gotta go pick kids up at school, or they’ve got to drop kids off at soccer practice. In, in my world, it ha you know, I can ask business owners to install new systems or processes or strategies or deploy tactics, but for a lot of them, they’re already in business. So they already have obligate to people who are already paying them. They have a schedule that they already are, are obligated to fulfill. And frankly, the only way they can probably pay me is if they’re doing things that make money.
And so, you know, I’m a realist about that too. So I have to see those people for they are it, it’s why you’re never gonna hear me talk about, Hey, let’s create your avatar, your fictitious person. That’s named John and has a household income of X. And, you know, because nobody ever puts in their avatar that this person is stressed out over money. And I is juggling the responsibility of being a business owner with who, who signed on to a bad lease with trying to keep hi, his marriage stable and, and take care of his kids. Nobody ever puts that into their avatar. They talk about this hypothetical person that doesn’t have any problems, or if they do have any problem, it’s just a one problem. They have a marketing problem.
So we’re gonna talk, talk to ’em about ads, or they have a sales problem. So we’re gonna give ’em our magic sales system. You know, if you are going to work with people, you, you have to be able to meet them where they are, because I, I mean, if you don’t, you’re setting them up to fail. You’re you are really kind of undermining their opportunity for success. Sure. you know, a few people will, will figure it out out, or they’ll put everything else in their life, on the back burner, and probably cause any number of other problems in order to, to fix this one thing. But, you know, if you are going to help a client, then you have to, to figure out, okay, well, what does their day actually look like? What are the challenges they actually face? Where are the stressors in their life? Where are their responsibilities? How do I build something they can actually execute and get some momentum with in, in my case, you know, I mean, there, there’s a reason why I’ve always charged pretty reasonable fees in a subscription model instead of this high ticket, big fee approach up front. Because people that do this high ticket, big fee approach up front, kind of, kind of know in a lot of cases that, Hey, most people aren’t gonna seed with my system.
So I need to extract as much money as I can as quickly as I can, because they’re not gonna be around for long, in my case, you know, I mean, I’ve tried to, to do things in a way that would allow somebody to grow with me and build a relationship over time. And, you know, so it’s probably not an accident that I’ve got it, a couple dozen clients that have been with me for at least a decade. And, you know, if you want to build a successful, sustainable business, you have to be client first, you have to be client centric. And a lot of that just comes with understanding who you’re P people are. And, you know, I, I, if you are training athletes and you’re not building around the seasonality of their sport, and the fact that when practices start, they have to prioritize those things. Or if you’re working with young athletes and you’re not acknowledging the fact that in, in addition to sport their sport, they’ve got homework too. You’re, you’re not being client-centric, you’re not being a realist about who people are. If you are working, like if your marketing is designed to serve busy moms, well, they’re busy. So we have to plan accordingly and create something that allows them to succeed and, and stay the course in, in my case, if I am helping a business owner, well, you know, I need to a B be a realist about the fact that maybe they, you know, they’ve got one or two employees and they’re already kinda working in the business training clients and managing and selling. And so they’ve got all these other things on their plate. It, it’s not realistic for me to say, well, in, at commit 20 hours to my program, I’ve got to kind of spoon feed things and provide templates and make it simple for them to replace the, the operating system that they have with a simpler, more effective one. That’s more profitable.
But I can’t just ask ’em to scrap it, throw it all away in a week and, and replace it then because they don’t have the time or bandwidth to do it. I’ve got to meet them where they are and, and kind of move them along step by step. And then, you know, I, I have to be sensitive to the fact that, you know, I can’t go and ask somebody, Hey, spend $10,000 a month on Facebook ads or install this system. That’s based on what fortune 500 companies do to operate. When I’m talking to somebody that’s business is making $10,000 a month. Well, a, they don’t have the budget for spending as much on Facebook. Ads is the, the big box clubs might and B. They don’t need an operating system that is built for businesses that are doing a hundred million a year. They need something that allows them to produce a predictable high quality result for clients, be profitable in doing it and have a life. So why am I bothering to tell you all this? Because honestly, it it’s. I mean, I think the difference maker for a lot of people in our industry is having a reality based approach to coaching and being client-centric. And I, I can tell you from my own personal experience, it, it’s probably one of the most important things that I have embraced. I is being a realist about who I was dealing with and, and trying to meet them where they are and build systems and tools and resources to support them in that way, rather than this hypothetical thing that they’ll never be or whatever else. And I know it works and it’s worked time and time again, and it’s allowed me to have a great business. So, you know, I, I wanna share what’s working and it’s worked for me, and I know it can work for you too. If you take a similar approach. And if you focus on who your people really are and meet them there, you can build this wonderful, lucrative, high Impact business that you Love to own.
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