There's a dangerous assumption in the personal training world: Clients will always be loyal.
We feel that once a client has signed up for a package of sessions, they are hooked. What we fail to remember is that clients are looking for three things:
- A unique environment where success is measured by the quality of their life, not their waistline or biceps.
- A convenient training session that fits into their day and results that come from a place just a short drive down the street.
- An approachable community that fits them, inspires them and has the tools to propel them toward real lasting results.
Clients are looking for a training facility they can trust. When they trust you, they give you something of value. Gaining trust, though, is more difficult than gaining a client's initial investment.
Trust takes time. Trust is relationship driven vs. a transactional decision. Trust is developed by delivering what your brand promises.
We know that our clients' career, their family and their life deserve something that lives beyond a quick fix. We know each client is more than just a membership. We know we should elevate their gym experience to stay relevant and continuously wow them.
But do we do what we know, or do we fail to follow through just like the average clients who have the best of intentions to regain their health, eat better and drop a few pounds?
If we do what we know, clients will begin to reward us in three ways:
- Extend their trust to us.
- Continue to invest in our services.
- Refer their friends and family.
When we fail to remember that trust is the key to lasting client loyalty, it becomes an identity crisis. Word will travel quickly and cost us current and future clients. It will cost us our reputation. It will cost us a negative work environment for our team. It will ultimately cost our facility profits.
How can we gain client trust on a daily basis? Try these seven things:
- Become an anything-but-average leader, coach and community builder within our facility.
- Anticipate every need our clients may have and then take action.
- Make a connection beyond a simple "hello."
- Deliver on what our brand promises.
- Create a healthy lifestyle that lasts beyond a workout.
- Elevate the typical gym experience beyond colorful paint and quotes on the wall.
- Aim for iconic. Go for legendary. Leave a legacy by how awesome we are at doing what we know.
Trust is delicate. Trust takes being reliable, honest and effective. Trust is built on character and the ability to deliver more than you promise.
Trust is not an external social media and blogging strategy. Trust is not monthly specials to draw more people in your door. Trust is not offering the coolest fad workout or diet program to follow.
Trust is simply becoming better with the basics before seeking to grow our facilities.
The challenge: What is one step you can take this week to rebuild the trust within your community of clients? Share in the comment section below what you plan to do to build this trust.
Brent Gallagher is co-owner of the 4,500-square-foot personal training studio West U Fitness in Houston with his wife, Cassie. The facility offers 30-minute training programs and a teaching kitchen for nutrition health. Gallagher has been featured on the Dave Ramsey Show and NBC Nightly News. He can be reached at Brent@westufit.com.