It is January. You could almost say it is the Fitness Industry Buffet! More people make New Year resolutions to get into shape, eat better, lose weight and change their habits. For people in the fitness industry, we see many new faces. What we also find is a new batch of potential clients that need our direction and expertise. The challenge is, by the end of the year, those new faces are seen just as often as they were before they joined the gym.

One thing I believe gets overlooked is the damage that happens when people do not see their fitness goals through. Not only are they no longer in the gym, which takes them off of our radar, but they become harder to convince they can actually reach those goals if they have failed at the past attempts. Have you ever tried to sell training to someone who has quit the gym several times? Have you ever sold training to someone that has had training in the past and STILL did not get the desired results? Was it harder than the usual sale? Of course it was!

So, how do you keep your clients engaged? How do you ensure they are in the gym at the end of the year? More importantly, how do they become your biggest fan and a walking/talking advertisement for your services? We all know the answer, results! Sometimes it takes us getting back to the basics and spending a little more time with them. Here are three basic rules to follow:

  1. Set checkpoint goals for them to keep. If they have a checkpoint throughout the year, we are trying to assure them results will come. The results are not overnight. If we keep them engaged and we hold them accountable throughout the course of the year, they will be around when the year comes to an end. They have a role that is just as crucial as ours.

  2. Do your job! So many times we trainers get a little lazy on changing up the workout, diet or cardiovascular program. Maybe the client is fun to talk to during the session, maybe your booked back to back and you need to get moving or maybe your limited with equipment. Whatever the reason, we all know if we do our job the way we know how, results will come!

  3. Get as much up front as you can! No, I would never suggest you take advantage of a client. I would absolutely never suggest you lie, cheat or steal, so you have to keep up a good training log. I suggest you get as much monetary commitment up front as you can because people will usually not walk away from something they have already spent money on in advance. I have told my clients many times, "You have already spent the money, don't waste it! Do the work and make the money a successful investment." Isn't that what personal training is, an investment into an eventual return?

Whatever is your basis reason for encouraging people to hire you, your value proposition, figure it out and use it! The idea is to gain new clients at the beginning of the year and make sure they are still there breathing heavy and sweating it out at the end of the year. Oh, yeah, and seeing results! Happy training and happy new year!

Mike McDaniel is an authority of leadership, goal-setting disciplines, sales strategies and corporate physical fitness. He has been a professional trainer for over 18 years and owned two health clubs, employing over 75 personal trainers. Mike can be booked for speaking engagements, sales training or consultant at