Chew on this: How can you create something so valuable and so unique that clients will continuously invest in your services and invite friends to experience your facility?
When it comes to adding value to a personal training department or private studio, there's the standard response: more certifications, lunging variations, new class formats and additional "toys."
Then we have to learn to sell the training: 10, 20 or 50 packs of training, supplements and additional programs a client needs depending on the path they choose.
To round out the value we aim to deliver, trainers are pushed to walk the floor to strum up additional business.
But have we actually put ourselves in our clients' shoes to grasp the true value they want and we can provide?
Almost 99 percent of the personal training clients (potential or current) are not looking for more workout time. They are not looking for a trainer to sell them a training package. They are not looking for a trainer to magically walk into their life while they are on a treadmill, either.
What they are looking for more than anything else is access to the leadership that will help them achieve their hopes and dreams in as efficient manner as possible.
But when it comes to leadership development, we have a tendency to allow our teams to navigate this path solo. That's the same as expecting college students to teach themselves without guidance from an experienced leader.
Leadership is all about vision casting, developing strategy, evaluating success, maintaining awareness, attracting followers, effective communication, leveraging accountability and leading by personal example.
Training is following a set program anyone can implement. Walking a client through a workout is easy—nothing more than taking an order at a fast food restaurant and remembering to smile.
Leading a client through a session requires discernment, creative thinking, hearing what's not being said, confidence, encouragement, independence, defining reality and current obstacles, and relationship building.
Here are a few simple steps you can begin taking today to develop a team of leaders within your personal training department or studio:
- After you read a great article on leadership, make a copy.
- Give that copy to three of your trainers.
- Ask them to read it and take notes.
- Set up a lunch gathering a week later to discuss key insights they learned.
- Repeat on a regular basis with small groups on your team.
It's that simple.
The best investment we can make in developing our next generation leaders is not more certifications, training conferences or workout DVDs. It's spending quality time with them emptying our cup—the lessons we've learned, past failures, challenges overcome and times we had to grind it out day and night to achieve success.
You should delegate leadership authority as much as possible, as if your future depends on it—because it does. The success of your facility rests on the shoulders of the leaders you develop.
As leaders in this industry, we have to carry a vision of a better and healthier future. And the best place to start bringing that vision into reality is within our own four walls as you develop next generation leaders.
What's one way you can develop leaders within your facility so you can help the unfit and unhealthy communities you serve become better versions of themselves? Share your leadership insights and growth strategies in the comments below.
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.