Highlight the Holiday Season and everyone Wins!

Hey Fitness Pros.

The holidays are just around the corner. My question to you is ‘Do you have a plan to encourage clients to focus on the “Gift of Health, Fitness & Vitality”?!

Here’s the thing – people are spending money and buying gifts in late November and all through December. So would you rather have clients purchase a gift that will literally change someone’s life or let them buy someone a sweater that probably won’t fit and their loved one will never wear?!

Here’s some ideas for you:

1. Offer a Holiday sale or promotion. All smart businesses do this during the holiday season. You’ve got to entice your clients and prospects to want to invest in YOUR services. Plus it will get them to prioritize their commitment to their health and fitness NOW and set them up for a healthy and fit 2010 – BEFORE they have spent all their funds.

2. Give clients $25-$50 Gift Cards as a Client Appreciation Gift for the holidays. Again, this will encourage them to use it and therefore, increase the chances that they will continue with you into 2010. Consider giving them two gift cards – one for them to use and one for them to give to a loved one as a Holiday gift.

3. Give all your clients FREE or offer low-price Trial Pass Gift Certificates that they can give to their friends, co-workers, family members or acquaintances like Hair Stylist, Kids’ Teachers, Neighbors etc. They make for great stocking stuffers and if they are free and super inexpensive, it’s a win:win for everyone. Our Gift Certificates include an Initial Complimentary Training session and 1-2 weeks of Free Group Training sessions. Let your clients spread the word and help you launch into a fabulous January!

4. Display lots of great gift ideas throughout your studio/gyms. Hot items include Heart Rate Monitors, Foam Rollers, Tubing with Protective Coating, Stability Balls etc. You can usually sell quite a bit of product over the holidays and clients like the convenience!

I hope this gives you some ideas and gets the creative juices flowing.

Remember, if you are part of our Personal Training Mastermind Group, you would get access to all of our promotional and marketing templates year-round that you could use for your business. If interested, email our Fitness Education Director at kari@nwpersonaltraining.com and she can give you more details.

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

Is it a Crappy day or a Miracle day?

Hey Fitness Pros.

We’ve all experienced business and life challenges. Maybe revenues are down, maybe you lost your star trainer, maybe your landlord raised the rent, maybe an event you organized wasn’t as successful as you hoped, maybe your best client just discontinued training with you…We’ve all had to deal with some type of struggle.

The question is how do you deal with it? When you are presented with an obstacle – do you let it deflate your enthusiasm, do you lose your momentum or do you decide to go through, around, underneath or over the obstacle?!

I just got finished speaking at the fabulous Vancouver CanFitPro conference. I was able to listen to the keynote presentation with Rod MacDonald and it was great. The message was basically this. You can’t control your life. Sometimes things happen that are absolutely outside of your control. But you can control how you react to what happens. You can control the meaning you attach to what has happened. For example, let’s say I’m having a really crappy day and I’m really bummed, upset or angry about it. Well what is my crappy day, for someone else, say living in a 3rd world country, my crappy day, may be their Miracle Day. They might look and say ‘Wow, how fortunate to have a house over her head and 2 beautiful kids and a career that she loves.” So anyways, it’s always a really nice reminder. When you’re going through stuff, ask yourself is there a different perspective? Can you attach a different meaning to the event? Can you find a gift in any of it?

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

Get Insight before Action!

Hey Fitness Pros.

It’s hard to believe but 2009 is quickly coming to an end and 2010 is fast approaching. As a business owner, I take this time of year to start planning and preparing to ensure the upcoming year is very successful. But before I start finalizing any plans, it’s absolutely critical that I get input from my team. Remember 3 heads are better than 1 and 10 heads are better than 3 and 15 heads are better than 10!

So all this week, I have been meeting with each member of my team to get insight in a variety of different areas. See the notes below. Each meeting is one hour in length.

Remember that if you manage a team, they are probably spending a lot more time with clients than you do, so they often have a much better understanding of what truly works and what doesn’t. If you are a solo trainer, answer the following questions yourself and perhaps run your answers by a consultant or mentor.

Individual Meetings – Please come prepared with thoughts/ideas etc
*How can we stay strong as a company?
*What should we keep doing, stop doing, start doing…?
*Where should our focus as a company be?
*Pricing structure – what needs to be added/changed? Should we increase prices? What’s the best way to present prices/options?
*Paid Time Off – do you like the proposed system?
*CSR in the evenings – yes or no?
*2010 Ideas for Seminars/Challenges/Events
*How can we increase numbers in group training classes?
How can you add to Community Outreach/Relationships? Is there a business you have a close relationship with that you could commit to going to weekly? Is there an association that you would like to become a part of (Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce etc)How can you increase promotion/asking for referrals/giving out gift certificates?
*Which supplementary products should we be offering/selling to clients?
*Any other thoughts/ideas/questions/concerns…

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

Help your clients not stumble through the holidays!

Hey Fitness Pros.

T’is the season when clients often fall off the fitness wagon. So if we know the holiday season starting with Halloween, then Thanksgiving, into Christmas and New Years is a major obstacle for clients, help them plan and prepare now.

Start sending out articles, tips on how to overcome the temptations, motivational emails/texts and inspirational quotes to help them stay focused on the big picture and their goals. They will thank you for your extra efforts! And it may even help get you a bigger Christmas gift. Hee Hee – just kidding!

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

Role Play your way to Success!

Hey Fitness Pros.

We currently have an intern trainer, Robert. He is fabulous and we are hiring him to start with our team.

Today, I gave him my number, name and he had to call me to schedule me for an initial appointment. We role played the scenario and I evaluated him using a variety of criteria. There are certain expectations that we have at NWPT – what he should say, shouldn’t say, what the flow of the conversation should look like etc to ensure this contact is successful. At the end, we went over what he did well and where he could hone his skills.

Next step, we’re actually scheduled for that initial session and he will take me through it and I will evaluate him again based on a set of criteria.

Bottom line – all of this role playing and practice functions to ensure he offers the best experience which will increase his ability to influence the client to invest in his services and therefore, ultimately experience incredible results.

I can’t stress enough how important these types of leadership initiatives are. Now if you don’t manage or work with a team of trainers, have someone else evaluate your skills. Perfect practice makes perfect!

Sherri

ps. If you would like to access all the forms and systems we use for our evaluation process, contact kari@nwpersonaltraining.com There’s no use reinventing the wheel!

Send out the troops…

Hey Fitness Pros,

There is strength in numbers. One person can never sell as much as a whole sales team.

So if you manage a group of fitness professionals, every week/month give each person on your team a few gift certificates for Trial Passes. Encourage them to hand them out to people in their community – their chiropractor, their hair stylist, their kid’s teacher, their neighbor etc. Also encourage them to hand out these gift certificates to their clients or participants so they can give them out to their loved ones.

If you’re a solo trainer, provide everyone you know these gift certificates to give to their friends, family members and co-workers.

Consider giving a gift for all the gift certificates that come back in. For example, in our business, anyone who refers a new client to us, we give them a free training session or massage.

Let others sell for you. Then reward them when they do.

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

Keep it in the family…

Hey Fitness Pros

If you manage a group of trainers and fitness professionals, create that family feel. Foster a community of fitness pros supporting each other. Here’s some simple ideas:

*Do any of your trainers have their own blog that they write? If so, post a link to their blog on your websites and on your blog. Have them be a guest writer on your blog.

*Do any of your fitness pros have their own facebook page? Be sure they are fans of yours and you are a fan of theirs. Give them access to post on your Fan page so they can invite clients to their classes and programs.

*Are any of your trainers geniuses at creating programs and inventing products. If so, align with them and help them promote it for a fair % of the return. It’s a win:win. It creates a new income stream for both of you.

*Get your team together for brainstorming sessions. The ideas that will surface will always so much more than you could ever come up with by yourself.

*Have fun. Schedule regular outings with your team outside of the studio. Friendships will develop and that will positively impact all aspects of the working environment.

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

FREE 90 minutes of tips to ensure PT Business Success

Hey Fitness Pros,

A little while back Todd Durkin interviewed me for his Personal Training Mastermind Group. Todd is a world-class trainer and business owner and he asked some very insightful questions. It was a great discussion and provided some great tips on what we all need to be doing to ensure we run extremely successful PT businesses.

It turned out to be about 90 minutes – we just couldn’t stop talking! So it’s chock full of great ideas for you. Best part – it’s FREE!

Here’s the link. You can listen now or at your leisure…

http://www.instantteleseminar.com/Default.asp?eventid=6737880

Let me know what you think.

Have a fabulous weekend!

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

How to get new clients at no cost!

Hey Fitness Pros.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if other people were sending you clients all the time?!

Well, what if I told you there’s an easy way to do this and it doesn’t cost you anything. I wanted to fill you in on the best way to develop a strategic alliance with a local business.

First, I’ll share a real life example for you.

Angela is a wonderful woman who owns a little restaurant, Manhattan Cafe, across the street from our Portland studio that offers coffee, tea and healthy sandwiches and salads. She also takes my fitness classes and has the most fun, caring and charismatic personality. I recognized her as someone who has incredible influence in our community so I offered her a free membership to our club and discounted prices on all of our services. I also offered her the ability to promote her menus in our studios and on our website. In return, with our assistance she has created a number of healthy menu options and has put our logo on all of her menus. She has also put all of our promotional materials in a prominent location in her restaurant. She also raves about us to her customers because she can speak from first-hand experience. It’s a WIN:WIN relationship and those are always the best types!

So ask yourself the following questions:

*What type of client do you want to attract to your Personal Training business or club?
*Where does this type of client shop or spend their time or money?
*Are any of these businesses in a 10-15 minute driving radius from you?
*Do you have any close contacts with any of these businesses? (It’s always easiest to approach someone who knows and likes you!)
*Which 3 businesses could you go to tomorrow to initiate a cross promotion?

When initiating this type of relationship, always remember to focus first on what’s in it for THEM!

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

Create Raving Fans with 1 Step!

You need testimonials and lots of them for marketing initiatives and to promote your business throughout your community and online. But what if you don’t have a lot of documented testimonials and success stories?

Here’s an easy way to get a ton of really amazing testimonials.

Host a Before/After Success Contest.

Promote the contest for about 6 weeks to your clients before you launch so you get people really excited. Make it simple, low maintenance, and make it FREE to enroll in order to ensure you get lots of participation. Have clients take a before photo. Then have them follow your program for 6 weeks. Then have them do an after photo. Create a list of questions you will have each participant complete. For example, ask them to record their training program, their results, and why they love training with you. You could have a prize of say 5-10 sessions for the individual chosen as the best success story. Be sure that everyone understands and signs off that you will be using their photos and success stories in your promotional initiatives.

Voila – you’ll now have a ton of really amazing success stories to use as needed. You can schedule a challenge like this once a quarter so you always have fresh new faces and happy fans who will rave about your services! Plus clients love the extra boost of motivation to help them achieve incredible results.

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan