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July 12 2010 12:00 AM

If building a professional fitness business is a goal of yours, trust me when I tell you that you can do it without the best web designers, top social media experts or a big budget. What you need is to be a trusted "grown up"-- experienced, passionate and striving to over-deliver to customers in every area.

Follow these key points and you’ll never worry about where your next dollar is coming from. You’ll be able to walk with your head high, and your lifestyle will be a reflection of a revered business pro. 

Be true to your word. Following through on a promise speaks volumes to your customers, especially potential ones. Not keeping a promise will lose you a customer, and people share negative experiences 10 times as often as positive ones. With so many fitness options, trust is vital to success.

Give Ritz Carlton service if you want to attract top clients who will stay with you longer, pay on time and rave about your services to their friends. Mediocre service will make a customer feel indifferent as to whether they matter. Expect them to drop out and never return. You will get what you give when it comes to the kind of clients you attract.

Keep information confidential. At times, we hear more intimate stories than psychologists from clients. If  a client knew you passed on what they disclosed to you, they will no longer see you as trustworthy. What seemed harmless to share can harm your bottom line in the long run.

Communicate openly. None of us are mind readers, and without communication we are only guessing what a person may be thinking. Approach even the most dreaded conversation openly and honestly. Most times, the outcome is not as bad as you imagined.

Admit when you are wrong. None of us are perfect, and being in business is a continual learning process. We are constantly faced with new challenges and will learn more from our mistakes than successes. Face your errors and take the necessary steps to correct them.
 
Listen attentively and use people’s names. A person's favorite word is their name. Use it often, and when they are speaking, give them full attention. Not giving your customers undivided attention is rude and diminishes the relationship. Actively listening is a perfect chance for you to learn something about your client.

If you find yourself in a situation that could affect your character and professionalism, stop and ask, "If put before a judge, which action will lead to an outcome most in my favor?" Be devoted to building trust and taking responsibility and your business can be an enjoyable source of prosperity.

Kelli Calabrese is the Master Coach for Phil Kaplan's Be Better Academy, an eight month  transformation to discovering the career possibilities inside you. This self-searching, mind shifting curriculum unlocks the potential in trainers who desire to have a career and life they can live to the fullest. www.KelliCalabrese.com, www.BeBetterAcademy.com

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