Over the last couple of years I’ve dedicated a lot of time to doing appraisals of the marketing materials that much of the Personal Training industry is currently using in an effort to gain a better understanding of why so many trainers are still seriously struggling to grow their businesses.
I’ve looked at thousands upon thousands of web pages, blogs, brochures and all the other paraphernalia associated with ‘getting clients’ and to be honest, I’ve been shocked at what I found.
You see, with the almost unlimited resources available to personal trainers today, I expected to find marketing materials that would capture my imagine, tantalise me, persuade me and get me to think ‘Wow, that sounds great, where do I sign up?’
But that wasn’t the case at all.
In fact, those sites were so few and far between that I can count them on one hand.
No, there was one theme that kept on coming through again, and again and again and it can be summed up in four words. Will – You – Marry – Me? (Yes, I know that sounds a little strange but bear with me…)
You see, most of the sites I looked at were the marketing equivalent of a stranger walking up to you in a bar and asking “Will you marry me?”
No pre-amble, no (as we say in the UK ‘chat up lines’) or anything else.
Now I don’t know what it’s like where you come from but in pretty much ANYWHERE on the planet this approach is likely to get, you at the very least, some strange looks and an answer in the negative and, in many places a slap in the mouth and a sentence ending in ‘off’!
If, on the other hand, you strike up a friendly conversation, build some rapport, go on a few low-key, no-commitment dates, build trust and develop a relationship and THEN ask the same question then your chances are MUCH higher that you’ll get the ‘Yes’ that you’re hoping for right? (Sure, you might still get a No but probably not the slap)
Well, marketing is no different!
Especially the marketing of your PT services where the development of a long-term relationship of trust is both desired and required…
And yet, as I said, MOST Personal Training websites just dive straight in there with the proposal.
No wonder most of ’em aren’t producing results and attracting clients!
Where are the dates?
Where’s the trust?
Where’s relationship development?
(Now you really think I’ve gone mad, after all, this is just a website we’re talking about here!)
The thing is, if you really want your marketing to work, to truly attract the clients that you’re absolutely committed to working with, the people that you’re passionate about, the people who respect your profession, your advice and your time and the people who’re more than happy to pay you every penny that you’re worth, then you’ve got to stop with the ‘wham bam thankyou ma’am’ approach (Yep, I know it’s a bit crude but in all honesty, this is what most marketing is) and take your prospects on a few dates.
What do I mean?
For a start, show them the town.
Give them the guided tour of your services, your systems, your techniques.
Use words that are meaningful and demonstrate caring and professionalism rather than ‘At Jimmy-Joe-Bob’s Personal Training Centre we focus on functional training….” This means nothing!
Shower them with gifts.
Everyone loves presents. In fact, there is no quicker way to show a person that you care than by giving them something that they want, like and can enjoy owning.
Do you give sample diets, workouts, e-books, reports, audios, videos… all of the above?
If you’re not then you’re really missing out on the chance to develop some high quality ‘bonding time’ with your prospective clients.
Well it’s obvious!
Only friends give gifts don’t they?
If you’re continuously giving gifts then you MUST be a friend right? And (this is SUPER important) if those gifts are high quality, valuable and well thought out presants then you’ll be considered a very good friend indeed.
Earn Their Trust
Gifts or no gifts, trust isn’t earned overnight.
You’ve got to show consistency of intent before you’re trusted by anyone. (In fact, very often those who shower us with gifts ‘too soon’ are often viewed with distrust)
So it’s no good offering a free report and then sending an email 5 minutes later trying to sell something.
It’s no good presenting a free audio program where all the way through it you’re simply trying to pitch a product.
You lose trust… fast!
People say ‘I knew they were after something!’ and they switch off to the value of your gifts, leaving you unappreciated and friendless.
So be consistent.
Give away more than you ask for.
Offer more than you’re trying to take.
In short, provide service, outstanding service, and you’ll gain their trust. That way, when you ask for their ‘hand’ the chances of getting a ‘yes’ will be that much greater.
To your many successful dates!