Attracting clients is one thing, but retaining them is another. The most successful trainers know that a loyal customer is a happy customer. How then do you foster loyalty? Here are 5 no-fail tips:
1) Go the extra mile:
It’s easy to take clients for granted. Don’t let a happy client become an unsatisfied one due to lack of effort on your part. Show you care. Send them thank you notes. Take interest in their lives. Are they celebrating a birthday, anniversary or promotion? Reach out with a message of congratulations. You might also consider putting out regular communications like a weekly email newsletter or blog. Top of mind awareness is everything in this business. What are you doing to stand out?
2) Dig deeper:
So much of training is psychological. Every client will have a different motivation for hiring you. And sometimes it’s not surface level. Your job is to uncover the why. Why do they want to have more energy? What would losing 10 pounds mean for their quality of life? Equally important is working with them on their terms. Sometimes that calls for listening more than talking. What kind of communication motivates them? If you train a very soft-spoken client, don’t try to motivate them by shouting like a drill sergeant.
3) Foster a sense of community:
Clients tend to be loyal if they feel they are a part of something bigger. You might consider a client appreciation event. Host a cookout and encourage clients to bring a guest. Organize a Biggest Loser style competition. Not only does this build community, it can be turn into a referral source as well.
4) Be flexible:
If money or time becomes an obstacle for a client, be willing to meet them halfway. Perhaps you could cut back the number of sessions or offer a discount for paying in advance.
5) Be the expert:
People hire you because they trust you know what you’re doing—and you do! Make a point to read industry articles and studies so you can stay on top of any trends. Attend seminars and continuing education opportunities. Knowledge will only enhance your practice.
A closing thought: If the cost of acquiring new customers is five times the cost of maintaining existing ones, a minimum of 20 percent of the time and budget for marketing should be focused on current clientele.