It’s pretty interesting what we’ve been talking about in this series so far -it hasn’t been client getting strategies, or advertising, or anything like that.
It’s been about getting more out of what you already have – getting more from each client and each training session. And not in a sales judo kind of way, but in way that the client feels that they are getting a tremendous value and are eager to tell other people about it.
If you already implemented some of the stuff we’ve talked about, you either already have or are setting yourself up for at least a 10% price increase. Don’t think that’s a big deal? Keep in mind that’s all profit, so it could mean as much as a 30% increase in your earnings – do the math and you’ll be surprised by what a big deal it turns out to be.
That being said, price increase strategies can ALSO be the biggest client getting strategies out there. For any personal training business, referrals and word of mouth are your best and also cheapest source of new leads. Using the strategies we’ve shared in part 1 and part 2, this is will be a definite reality for you.
Those two articles were from THE SIX-FIGURE MANUAL and appeared in Personal Fitness Professional Magazine. By the way, if you don’t have your copy of THE SIX-FIGURE MANUAL, get it now because I can’t guarantee how much longer it will stay at that price.
Now we’re going to talk about what it takes to step your game up. Doing what we talk about in this post will have you feeling better about yourself, what you do, and will translate into other areas of your life outside of training. This is the groundwork for creating a strong and successful career in fitness.
This post is about making more of yourself as a person – about bringing more of yourself to the table. The reason behind that is if you want to make more, you must become more. That’s what will make clients and people in general gravitate toward you, and give you the leadership qualities that will allow you to lead a strong team when the time is right.
When it comes to punctuality I have a saying:
On time is the new late.
With the fast pace of business and life today, you can no longer just be on time.
In a business like Starbucks or Mcdonald’s, making the customer wait 5 seconds without service is something that can create such a negative experience that they may not want to come back – just take a moment to visualize it yourself. By the same token, when someone is paying absolute top dollar for Personal Training, they don’t want to wait even a minute for the session to start. Punctuality is part of your perceived value; a trainer that’s consistently punctual can charge ten dollars more in the marketplace just on that point alone.
But like I said, on time is the new late. You can’t just depend on being on time anymore – you’ve got to be a couple of minutes early every session. When your client over the course of time realizes that you’re always early; that you’re always there waiting and your serious about their session, they’ll be more serious about the training themselves. They’ll talk about you with others in a positive way, which is exactly the kind of effect you want.
So if on time is the new late, what is late by the way? Well being late reflects that you’re not serious about what you do. If a client who themselves is not motivated about working out and has hired you to motivate them, sees that even you’re not motivated about the training session, it creates s a tremendous negative impression.
If you’re constantly late, you need to ask yourself why.
When I started out as a Personal Trainer, I was always exactly five minutes late to every training session. I couldn’t explain it, but it was always five minutes, no matter when the session started. As I’ve moved on in my career and have begun dealing with employees,
I’ve seen the same phenomenon in my employees and have begun to understand it: your punctuality is a reflection of your own self-esteem. If you don’t really believe in yourself, don’t believe in what you do, and your life is a raving mess, then you can never manage to get yourself anywhere on time. You subconsciously make yourself late everywhere you go on purpose – it’s a form of sub-communication.
Have you every known a sloppy person that doesn’t really believe in themselves? There’s always something wrong with them, like a stain on their shirt, or it’s wrinkled and fitting poorly. It doesn’t even matter if this person somehow earns a lot of money and can afford to do better: they just don’t. What they’re doing is sub-communicating their self-esteem to you. It’s a completely subconscious process that tells the world what they think of themselves.
It’s exactly the same with punctuality; that’s why you’ll hear some employers will immediately get rid off someone who shows up late to an interview; they won’t even bother to see them. You might ask yourself why are they being so hard? The person might be good; they were just a little late. The reason is that employer has found through experience that lateness is a sign of an even bigger problem. They’ve probably found that out the hard way, and so they choose to make this judgment call from the very first impression. You also hear about this with girls when dating; that they’ll dismiss guy for some strange reason like his shirt was too big or he had a bad haircut. From experience too, they’ve found that we communicate a lot through these non-verbal criteria.
In my case, I found that once I got better at this profession and had more success, I couldn’t even imagine being late to a session; I couldn’t fathom making a negative impression about the services which I worked so hard to build and believed in. The most important point is this works both ways: if you want to improve your self-esteem and the quality of what you do, just improve your punctuality.
It will force the quality of what you do to get better; this is called backwards engineering and it’s remarkable to watch it happen to yourself.
As a top consultant in any field, you play the role of white knight; your clients view you as a super-human savior that’s come to slay the demons that have been tormenting them. While in other fields most consultants only need to fulfill this role for a short time, as a Personal Trainer you’ve got to be like this every time your client sees you, sometimes for months or years on end. It might sound like a daunting task, but it’s really a great discipline to learn that will set you up for more success in the future. For one, this means that you can never be tired or allow anything in your own life to take away from your personal energy. It’s only your client that’s allowed to feel tired sometimes or have bad day – but you never are. If you ever show up to training session with the same problems and complaints as your client, then you lose your position of power.
In your position as a Personal Trainer, your client will completely follow your lead. They look to you not only for fitness, but also on how to behave; many times my clients begin dressing and talking like me as well. In that case, you need to set the standard: if you’re flaky, you’re clients will be flaky; if you’re tired they’ll be too; if you’re boring, they’ll be bored. That’s why you need to bring your A-game to every single training session.
A trainer that can effectively maintain the position of an expert adviser can charge double what a trainer who doesn’t do this can. I regularly have charged at least double what the trainer standing right next me charges in the marketplace because I pay attention to these points. Was my training twice as good as this other trainers? Probably, but that’s besides the point; what’s more important is that I positioned myself in the clients mind so strongly that it appeared like it was.
Even if my client knew the other trainer’s rates were lower than mine, and most often they did, there’s no way in the world they would switch because of the way they feel from training with me.
Another key to maintaining excellent energy is creating a Top-Level Trainer’s Lifestyle for yourself. Your average trainer has a very hard time to remain energetic because he/she is usually over-worked and doesn’t have adequate rest time. But a trainer that earns a higher income can have more time spend on rest and recovery, allowing them to bring more of themselves to each session.
A positive personality is an indispensable part of any success image. This is one of the ironies of success: it’s hard to achieve success without a positive personality, but people that aren’t successful usually aren’t very positive. It’s kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy; people that don’t genuinely like others usually don’t get very far.
If you’re starting from a position where for whatever reason you’re not very successful now, smiling might not be a natural thing for you. You might not like other people, not have a generally positive impression of others, and not have too many friends either (I wonder why). You may have been working at a crappy, dead-end, no respect job before you became a TLT. You might have been earning a very low salary and may not have a very active social life. That’s completely understandable, but now that you are one, that’s all going to change. But until that transformation is complete, you’ve got to fake it for while. You’re going to have to go out of your way to be in a good mood, smile at people, and generally like others. This may be hard and feel unnatural in the beginning, but after a while you’ll find your groove and it’ll become second nature. At that point, you’ll find your outside world (your finances, friends, and lifestyle) greatly improved as well. I don’t need to get into all the self-help talk of why this is the case; just take my word for it.
Ironically, your personality betrays you success level; if you’re a negative person, people will assume that you’re not very good at what you do. When I was flat broke, living in my parents basement, with absolutely no friends or prospects, I had no reason to smile. But I consciously made an effort to be a more happy and positive person. With that decision, my life and success started to change as well.
That’s one of the gifts this career can give you; this might sound a little sappy, but it can literally save your soul. It allowed me to become a more positive person and bring happiness and value into the lives of other people. It will be able to do the same thing for you.
Developing the success personality is the last step that will unlock all of the success you deserve. And just like all the other aspects of the Success Image, it’s something you can control. You can do so by proactively looking to create positive relationships with people, making them feel at ease with you quickly, and doing your best to resolve negative situations and turn them positive before they take away from your well being.
Most people are largely lost and they’re living in reaction their entire lives; not just with their bodies, but in every area. You must be the leader and take the initiative in creating positive interactions. You can influence people and change lives in many areas beyond your work. Take my word for it: smile more.
Staying in outstanding shape is a critical success area for Personal Trainers. Unbelievably, some find this one of the most difficult things to do. But if you’re in the business of helping all kinds of people achieve outstanding physical results in the shortest time possible, you can’t get away with being out of shape yourself.
There’s no excuse for being out of shape if you’re a trainer. I don’t want to hear that you’re a power-lifter, off-season, or have a bad knee; you need to get your ass in gear. If you work out and eat correctly, you can achieve an absolutely amazing body in just four, one-hour workouts a week. I have done this myself and helped many, many people do the same. If you can’t put in this commitment, find a different line of work.
One way to hold yourself to being in good shape is to enter some sort of competition in your field of expertise. You can then blog (detailed in the chapter Web Marketing) about your training process, which your friends and clients will find very entertaining, inspiring, and motivating. At the same time, your seriousness will establish mega-credibility to any new prospects who are referred to your blog. In general, the whole experience can prove to be very positive and beneficial to you and your training practice, and get you in outstanding shape at the same time. You don’t have to even win the competition you’re entering for it to work in your favor: the journey alone will be enough.
When you get a roster of high value clientele, you’ll find yourself spending your working hours face-to-face high value people, extremely successful business people, and other top performers. People like this can smell a phony from a mile away. For that reason, even though my work day is usually only three hours long, I prepare for it like I’m going to speak at a national conference. I make sure I look good, am well groomed, and have each client’s session thoroughly planned.
Why do I prepare so meticulously, probably a little more than I should?
Because just like in every other area, I want to constantly maintain the psychological edge in the mind of my client. This is the reason why I never have to market, advertise, and spend time on promotions, but still continue to get new high-level clients. That preparation time for my clients is actually my marketing time – I’m reselling myself to my current clients, to anyone these clients may tell about me, and to anyone else that may be watching the training session in progress. If you can learn and master this aspect of the job, you’re success is almost guaranteed.
We’ve seen that there are many aspects to creating a Success Image, both inside and out. How we present ourselves to the world has always been something most people take for granted, but ask any serious professional and you’ll find he/she is always on top of this and is always trying to improve it. There are many knowledgeable, hardworking, and well intentioned trainers in the world that are doomed to mediocrity because they can’t really understand this point: don’t underestimate it.