In the term "personal training", I think the word that gets lost a lot of times is personal. The personal dimension to what we do is very, very important. And this doesn't go only for the contact we have with our clients inside of our sessions but outside as well.
This isn't just for existing clients but also previous clients and even for prospects we've never met. With the power of the Internet, there really is no excuse not to stay in touch with your entire network of contacts regularly. This is especially true when you consider that when done properly, a good web initiative can increase your business by at least 50%!
There are really four results we're looking for with our communications to customer groups:
- Converting new leads into clients
- Staying in touch with existing clients
- Communicating with old clients; and
- Upselling all of them
Let's explore each of these areas in detail, and explore how to get the absolute most out of each of them.
Have you noticed how every single site you visit these days is trying to squeeze your email address out of you? That's because there's huge value in having a "list." It's been estimated by top online firms that as much as 90% of online sales can come from your email list. Although that figure doesn't translate directly to personal training, that figure alone should tell you the power is unmistakable.
Gathering these names is very easy. You can accomplish it by just having a simple customer contact form on your website. In this day and age, you may also need to provide a strong incentive or reward in exchange for the email address, such as a high value report or audio. But this is all very easy to do and simply requires using one of the major "auto-responder" providers on the market. I've had experience personally with three of these providers, and here's my opinion:
Getresponse.com was the first one I used. This is used by millions of people and also has shopping cart service, but I'm not web savvy at all and had difficulty with it. Constantcontact.com was something I used for a project besides my training business; they have very attractive templates you can use to customize your messages and make them look very fancy. But my fastest and easiest experience has been with aweber.com. It literally takes five minutes from start to finish creating your campaign and putting the code into your website. Trust me; if I can do it, you'll have no problem with it!
Not only does this email list help you stay in touch with prospects, you get to keep in better touch with existing clients more cost-effectively and easily as well. Staying in touch with them will cause them to adhere to their regimens, leading to better results (which is what it's all about, anyway). This naturally brings higher value to your training experience, which justifies higher rates without taking up any more of your time.
It's not just present clients, but also past clients that play a huge part in your training business. Staying in touch with them leads to them coming back and continuing to refer friends to you. If they are on your email list, you'll always maintain top-of-mind awareness with them. They will come back when the time is right, send you referrals and be open to purchase other products, which we'll discuss next.
If you sell high-priced, high-value training services, you may not normally think about offering minor up-sells. After all, if you make over $50 profit on a training session, why bother to sell a $35 e-book that makes you only a $20 one-time return?
But when you have a large list of past and present prospects and clients, these activities can turn out to have tremendous value. If you have strong list of several hundred people that have either inquired about or used your services, one small recommendation to them can bring hundreds to thousands of dollars into your pocket.
My buddy Joel Marion, the author of the Cheat To Lost diet, an Amazon.com bestseller, recently released an online product that I really believed in, paying $75 commission per sales. One email blast to my list that took me only a few minutes to write brought in a few hundred dollars in a few days. This type of income from affiliate marketing is one of the most amazing things we can benefit from as trainers, and it all comes from having a strong list.
So the next time you're entering your email on another website to get a piece of "free" information, just think to yourself why everyone does it. There has got to be a reason, and it's because it works. At least a 50% increase in revenue from one small addition to your website? I'll take that any day!