Archive for August, 2009

What Women Want…

August 21, 2009

What do women want?

I attended a fabulous session with Karen Wischmann, the president and CEO of Total Fitness & Spa for Women, one of the most successful women’s only clubs in the world.

Since 54% of club members are female and 70% of Personal Training is purchased by women, it’s probably a really good idea to understand their needs and do whatever we can to meet them.

Let’s start with some interesting facts:

• 85% of all customer purchases are made by women
• 90% of all food purchases are made by women
• 55% of all electronic purchases are made by women
• 80% of home buying decisions are made by women
• Women use the web more than men (51% vs 49%)
• Women spend $3.7 trillion dollars per year

So what does that all mean to us? First, women seem to like to spend money – especially for something they want and feel they need!

Psychology of Marketing to Women:

Karen pointed out that generally, men shop for what they need right now. Women tend to shop for what will benefit them over time. Hence the popularity of lotions, scrubs, hair products, and anti-aging products with women. Compare a guy’s list of must haves for his daily routine – deodorant, razor, and a 3-in-1 shampoo, conditioner and body wash and he’s good to go. Compare that to the products required for a woman’s daily routine and you’ll see the difference and how that relates to retail sales. Bottom line – men keep it pretty simple. Men want to look and smell good right now whereas, women want the same but they have the foresight to think about what they want to look like in the future.

Women generally need to understand the value of a product or service and this helps them feel good about the buying decision. For example, a woman doesn’t care how many treadmills or dumbbells your club offers. She wants to know that she is going to look and feel better by working out with you. She wants to know that her bone density will strengthen, her posture will improve, she’ll raise her metabolism making it easier to lose weight She wants to know that she is going to get toned and sculpted and fit back into her skinny jeans. She doesn’t really care that much about the workout and the program as long as it delivers results. She doesn’t want a membership or Personal Training, rather, she wants to get excited about the results and her new life! She doesn’t like to exercise – she likes how she FEELS when she works out and how her whole life is so much better when she’s in good shape.

A great line that Karen scripts her staff to use is this:

“It’s really simple. You just do exactly what we tell you and your entire life will change!”

Karen emphasizes that when selling to women, you HAVE to sell from the heart. You have to focus FIRST on developing a relationship and making a connection. You have to listen to her closely. What are her needs? What is she concerned about? If you focus on bending over backwards for a female member, she will be a client for life! Once you fully understand a woman’s goals, then you can show her how your service, membership, and/or personal training are going to help fix the problem.

Women often come to us after they have let themselves go due to kids, work and trying to juggle life. They have put their health and fitness on the backburner and they need us to help them get their life and their body back. They need to know that you understand this.

Specific Guidelines for the Fitness Industry:

There are certain areas of our clubs and studios that are women dominated. For example, the Kids Club, Women’s Locker room, and Group Exercise studio are used almost exclusively by women. Pay special attention to décor and cleanliness in these areas. Women want to know that the showers are cleaned regularly throughout the day – there is nothing more disgusting for a woman than walking into a shower with a clog full of hair. Women want their club to smell great so Karen suggested the Air Fresheners that send out a spritz of fresh air scent every so often – nothing too overbearing but something that just smells refreshing and good. Women want to know that the Kids Club area is cleaned and the toys are sterilized regularly. She wants to know that day staff are CPR certified and are women, preferably other mothers, that she can trust with her kids so she doesn’t have to worry about them when she’s working out. She wants to feel good when she walks into these areas so hire a designer to help choose warm colors, beautiful and inspirational art and perhaps paint meaningful quotes on the walls.
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Women will pay for quality: All women like a deal but will pay more for quality. Case in point, consider Whole Foods which saw a 1,552% increase in stock value. Women will pay a lot more for certain items and an atmosphere that is pleasant, customer-service oriented and offers knowledgeable staff. Karen mentioned that she often discusses the price issue with members in the following way:

“Are you looking for the cheapest club? Because we are definitely not that but we’re also not that much more than our big club competitors. But if you’re looking for value and results than we are definitely the place for you!”

Women love to be complimented.
It makes us feel great. But you have to be genuine and authentic. So when talking to a member or potential client, if you notice her cute shoes, fabulous purse or great hair cut, comment on it. There’s nothing more pleasing to a woman’s ears than “Your shoes are adorable” or “That outfit is killer!”.

Women appreciate the little touches
…thank you cards, inspirational emails, a motivational text message…

Women are social beings: Ramp up your social media outreach. Women in their 40s and 50s are one of the fastest growing segments on FaceBook. Start an educational, interactive blog and encourage comments from members. Make it mandatory that all new members go through a group equipment orientation. Not only is it better for liability insurance reasons but also, it allows the opportunity for relationships to develop. Regularly encourage and inspire women to participate in group fitness classes, host group events and get-togethers, offer small group training…It’s important to note that surveys show us that the happiest members and therefore raving fans are those that participate in group fitness and personal training so do whatever you can to get women involved in these programs.


Specific Marketing Tactics for Women:

• Women respond to soft and warm colors, they find sunsets, sunrises, golds, browns, yellows, and rust hues very appealing. Avoid blues and cold colors.
• Women respond to photos of beautiful but realistic women
• Women respond to lots of detail; women will read the text
• Women respond to an add that implies “Use this product/service and you’ll look like me”

Changing the world – one woman at a time!

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

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Highlights from the IDEA Convention

August 17, 2009

Hey Fitness Pros.

I just returned from IDEA. My sessions were a blast and I also took a number of sessions. For those of you who couldn’t be there, I wanted to share with you some of the things I learned. I’ll try to post something everyday over the next little while to pass on any nuggets of info that I think you would benefit from. However, it is summer and CanFitPro is this weekend, so I’ll do the best I can. icon smile Highlights from the IDEA Convention

Also, FYI, you can purchase numerous DVDs of the live sessions so you can still be a part of the event. Here’s the link. Two of my sessions were filmed if you’re interested “Partner Tubing” & “Fun Games and Drills for Small Group Training”.

http://www.ideafit.com/world-video-package-2009

Highlights from the IDEA KeyNote Presentation:

I attended the keynote with Matt Weinstein, a motivational speaker and author. He said the problem with all the self help books is that they’re too hard to remember – the 8 secrets, the 7 Habits etc…So he’s come up with the 4 unforgettable keys to a Successful Life. He promises that you will never, ever forget them! I thought I’d share them with all of you in hopes that it will help you live your dream life.

#1 Key to an Incredible Life: ‘ Row, Row, Row your Boat’
This is your boat – your life! And if you want something, you’re going to have to work at it – you’re going to have to row, and row, and row some more. You’re going to have to put some muscle into it. Rowing can be a challenging activity but you can direct which way you want that boat to go! This is your life to create!

#2 Key to an Incredible Life: ‘Gently down the Stream’
Go with the flow. Don’t fight so hard. It’s so much easier to row your boat downstream rather than upstream! You’ve got to Focus on your strengths – that will make everything so much easier.

#3 Key to an Incredible Life: Can you already guess it??!! Yep – “Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Merrily”
Be positive. Be content. Focus on what you have versus what you don’t have. Look for the good in everything. Notice everyday miracles. Incredible opportunities come to those with a joyful spirit. No one wants to be around or offer opportunities to those who are negative! Why? They are just going to complain about it anyways!

#4 Key to an Incredible Life: ‘Life is But a Dream’
Life should be a dream – a pleasant, beautiful, wonderful dream – Not a nightmare. Reality happens first in your mind. Dream big for your life. Make the life that you want so vivid in your mind that it’s easier to make it come to fruition!

That’s it! Four keys that you will probably never, ever forget. Simple but powerful messages! We’ve all heard it before and now all we have to do is live it! I hope it gives you a little boost for your week! Maybe you could share these tips with your clients and members. Stay tuned for more IDEA highlights…

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

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Be a Lover of Knowledge and Win!

August 10, 2009

“Empty the pennies from your purse into your mind and your mind will fill your purse with dollars and keep it full forever.” Ben Franklin

It is no surprise that those that seem to spend the most on continuing education are also those that tend to earn the highest incomes in the fitness industry. So invest in yourself and reap the rewards.

Education comes in many forms…

1. Academic knowledge…Associates, Bachelors, Masters, PhDs
2. Experience – learn by doing
3. Conferences and workshops – in person (the most fun!), online, correspondence
4. Articles & Books
5. Mistakes & Trials – sometimes your best learning opportunities
6. People – surround yourself with amazing people and glean from them!
7. Stepping out of your comfort zone – the sink or swim model..you may not know it now, but jump in and you’ll learn it quickly!
8. Doing what you preach – it’s hard to grow when your life doesn’t line up with your message.

On that note, just getting ready to head out to IDEA and then directly afterwards to CanFitPro – the Top Two largest and most amazing fitness conferences in the world. If you’ve never been, you have to promise me that you’ll put it on your list of Must-Dos. It will absolutely change your career and open your eyes to so many opportunities and possibilities.

www.ideafit.com

www.canfitpro.com

Yours in health, fitness & business,

Sherri McMillan

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Think outside of the Box!

August 7, 2009

Hey Fitness Pros,

Do things differently. Get clients laughing. Make workouts an experience.

Check out the following video clip. Notice how clients are laughing, interacting, and smiling all while getting a great workout. Also notice the bonding that happens at the end of the workout – when clients are friends they will never want to leave you because they’re not just leaving a trainer and their workouts, they’d be leaving all the friendships they have developed.

So host fun outings, client appreciation nights, awesome adventures and specialty classes. Give clients something to talk about! You can’t buy that kind of word of mouth advertising!

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

ps. I hope to see you at either IDEA or CanFitPro conferences in the next few weeks. Please find me and introduce yourself. I love putting faces to those I’m working with to inspire a healthier world!

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Create Moments of Magic for clients

August 4, 2009

Hey Fitness Pros.

I’d like to encourage you to have all your clients complete a Fitness Bucket Wish-List…all the fitness related adventures they’d like to do before they die.

And then help them train for these events and/or adventures. It will solidify your relationship with them, and create moments of magic that they will never forget which will drastically enhance client retention.

At Northwest Personal Training we like to get our clients together as often as possible. By doing this they feel part of a family or community. We host a variety of events to encourage them to mingle together such as running clinics, hiking clubs, biking treks or indoor rock-climbing events. By providing an environment that fosters the development of friendships, they will want to continue training with us because if they decide to discontinue our services, they just won’t be leaving us as their training company but also, they will be leaving all the friendships they’ve developed. And on top of that, when they participate in a beautiful, magnificent hike or snowshoe or bike ride, when we get to the top of the mountain, they’ll always remember that we were the ones who helped them get there. In fact, when we’ve been invited to clients’ homes, we’ve been pleasantly surprised at how many framed photos on our clients’ walls were from events or adventures that we hosted. You know the memories have to be pretty special for them if they are going to frame and post the photos in their house. We create and facilitate these ‘Moments of Magic’ and that develops a sense of loyalty. These activities also give our clients the opportunity to get to know each other. It cracks us up to watch how the conversations always seem to eventually center on their workout sessions. They start to compare notes and we’ll hear things like “Does your trainer make you do those crazy lunges too?” or “Don’t you love that new piece of equipment” or “He really can’t count can he?!”

In addition, hosting events and adventures can be a profit center for your business. For example, we just got back from taking 14 of our clients to Crater Lake for a hiking, camping and biking adventure. Each paid $149 to attend and that only included our organizing and fitness tour guide time – they were responsible for all other expenses including food, travel, rentals etc. So do the math – 14 people x $149 for a weekend of fun! At the very least, we get a wonderful free vacation out of the deal. Here’s a video clip of that trip to give you some ideas for what you could do with clients. And remember, we were ‘on the clock’ for this trip – gotta love it!

So start by having clients write down anything they have ever thought of achieving with regards to their own individual health and fitness. Which goal, if they achieved it, would make this year unbelievable? Have they ever wanted to hike the Grand Canyon, complete a marathon or triathlon, cycle through France, learn to Scuba Dive or inline skate or rock climb, cycle the Oregon coast or would they just be happy with working out 4x/week consistently? What are their health and fitness wishes? The only rule with this wish list is that none of their goals can be related to their body. Have them stay away from listing a goal such as losing 10 pounds or 4 inches off their hips. Keep this list positive and focused away from body image.

Many clients take this approach – ‘As soon as I lose the weight/get fit, then I’ll start doing the things I’ve always wanted to do”. But we take the opposite approach. Let’s set the goal and in the process of training for the event or activity they’ve always wanted to do, then they lose the weight and get fit! And it’s such a positive, motivating focus. For example, let’s say a client sets a goal of finishing a 10km fun run. Setting this kind of goal, because it has a deadline, provides a compelling reason to stick to the program and not miss workouts. In contrast, if the goal is to lose 10 pounds in 2 months, if the client gets off track, they can negotiate with themselves and say, “Well, I guess I can wait an additional week or two to achieve my goals.” But if they get off track with their training program while preparing for an event, they can’t call a race organizer and ask them to postpone the event because they aren’t going to be ready. A client knows that every workout or skipped workout with either positively or negatively affect their performance and their ability to achieve their goal. In addition, once he/she crosses the finish line, that’s something no one can ever take away from them. They will always have their medal, t-shirt and photos crossing the finish line. Whereas, with weight loss, someone could lose the weight and then gain it all back next month and feel like a failure. There is a lot of status associated with conquering a tough challenge or finishing a event and so a client’s confidence and self esteem receives a huge boost providing them with the belief that they can achieve the next goal. We have also found when someone succeeds at a goal such as this, they then inherently look towards the next goal – it’s just human nature. So they make then desire to attempt a half marathon, full marathon, a challenging hike, biathlon, triathlon etc. It’s a positive spiral. Whereas, with weight loss, it’s a negative spiral. They lose the 10 pounds but they are still not happy. They then desire to lose another 5 pounds and get rid of this fat and so on and so on. Some of our clients who have had the most ‘perfect’ bodies have been those that struggled with their body image the most! For all these reasons, we try to keep the focus away from Body Image and instead focus on behaviors, events and actions.

When you have enough clients who want to do the same type of adventure, organize a group event. I encourage you to start with one adventure and see how it goes. For those of you who already do this on a regular basis, feel free to leave your comments for others to read and be inspired by.

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

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