How To Beat The Big Gyms and Keep Your Clients Happy

If there is one thing that i think is really important, it's supporting and giving business small local independents where I live.

Whenever there's anew restaurant open in our town, we make an effort to visit and give it some business. Same thing goes with smaller retailers like the local farm shops we have round here in Wilmslow, near Manchester.

But it can't be at the detriment of service.

There's a coffee shop where I live and once they found out what I did for a living they were complaining that they couldn't compete with the Starbucks and Costa (where im writing this from).

Trainers and studio owners have the same problem competing with big gyms and weight watchers so what can you do about it.

1. Don't try to compete. Be different.

The coffee shop in my town tried to do this by offering more fresh food and doing these great salads at lunchtimes (more on that in a minute). As a personal triner or facility owner you need to be different by offering something that others in your area don't. Maybe you only work with stressed office workers or offer pregnancy fitness or are the only high end facility in your town.

Despite what you got told at school, being different is definitely better.

2. Manage expectations (but over deliver).

You walk into Starbucks or Costa Coffee you know exactly what you are gonna get and how long it takes. Same thing in Macdonalds, or even Nandos bro. Weight watchers have this down to a Tee, they tell people not to expect to lose more than 2 lbs a week and they keep most of their members happy with these sort of gradual losses. As a trainer if the expectation is 2lbs a week and you can offer a guarantee and over deliver on that you are going to get more referrals and keep your clinets for longer. Yes we know you can help someone drop a couple sizes in a month, but what if you don't, what if you only help them drop a size and a half, even though still amazing results the clients is going to be disappointed. The key here is to carefully manage expectations and as a great trainer then you can over deliver.

Just last week I popped into the coffee shop for a salad for my lunch and they said it would be 5 minutes. It took nearly 30 minutes to get to me and I was pretty annoyed. Not becasue it took 30 minutes, but because my expectation was that it would take 5 minutes.

FACT: Client Happiness = Reality / Expectations

3. Find out what your clients /customer want and give it to them.

This sounds simple in theory but most small business don't do this, especially fitness businesses which can be driven by the ego of the owner or trainer. If you have ever watched Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares you will now exactly what I mean.

Reason I like Costa here is that the seats are comfy (not hard plastic), the WiFi is good and the coffee are huge and caffeine loaded. Yes I know we are in the results business but if someone doesn't want to eat chicken and broccoli 3 times a day and that's your nutrition plan, then they are not gonna comply. Its one of the reasons weight watchers, slimming world etc work and why this Joe Wicks dude is so popular, they allow people to still have the things they like, such as an occasional drink at the weekend.

^^^^^ Application forms (Included in our SWAT Personal Trainer Website System) are great for this and make it way easier to sell your packages as well.

That's 3 actionable things you can implement in your fitness business right now to keep your clients longer and keep them happier.

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Liam “Coffee Addict” Thompson
Internet Fitpro
Home of The SWAT Personal Trainer Website System

About the Author Liam Thompson

My name is Liam Thompson and I’m the strategic half of Internet Fitpro. I live in Wilmslow in Cheshire which is just outside Manchester in the North of England but I’m originally from Ballymena in Northern Ireland.

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