Archive for October, 2009

Get Insight before Action!

October 28, 2009

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

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Help your clients not stumble through the holidays!

October 26, 2009

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

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Role Play your way to Success!

October 21, 2009

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!


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

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Send out the troops…

October 15, 2009

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

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Keep it in the family…

October 13, 2009

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

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FREE 90 minutes of tips to ensure PT Business Success

October 9, 2009

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…

Let me know what you think.

Have a fabulous weekend!

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

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How to get new clients at no cost!

October 7, 2009

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

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Create Raving Fans with 1 Step!

October 6, 2009

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

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A tip to help you hone your skills as a Fitness Pro

October 6, 2009

Hey Fitness Pros,

This month in our business we perform On-floor reviews on our team. It’s such a helpful tool to ensuring we’re constantly growing and developing as fitness pros. So if you manage a group of fitness pros I would suggest you adopt this system into your business. Perhaps try it once a quarter. If you are a solo fitness pro, I would suggest you have a friend or colleague evaluate you based on some pre-determined criteria.

Here are some of the things we look for when evaluating our Personal Trainers to help give you some ideas.

*Arrives early and prepared for session
*Appropriate attire, hygiene and speech
*Gives a warm greeting to client
*Checks with client on the status of their workouts/fitness routine
*Has client sign in for session
*Finishes session on time
*Teaches exercises using an appropriate style (explain, demonstrate, client practices, quizzing)
*Session is dynamic and interactive
*Offers regular and appropriate eye contact
*Body language demonstrates focus and attention on client / Hands-on spotting
*Offers regular positive feedback and regularly looks for and acknowledges client success
*Uses client’s name
*Offers at least one new exercise, a new fitness fact, or provides written literature for client
*Spends the last few minutes of session stretching/nurturing
*Announces upcoming events/seminars and Encourages Participation
*Gives something for client to work on until next session
*Client exercising at correct training level
*Client demonstrates full control and excellent technique during session
*Exercise choices are safe and exercise sequence effective – Displays an exceptional knowledge of anatomy / biomechanics of movement / equipment usage / modifications
*Method of tracking client progress is professional and effective. I could cover your client and based on the current file, would have no problem knowing exactly what to do with them and how to train them safely and effectively.

We also discuss strengths and areas to focus on to help them hone their skills.

I hope this helps you take your skills to world-class levels – my guess is that most of you are already there since you’re reading this blog 😉


Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

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What are you doing this weekend for YOU?!

October 2, 2009

Hey Fitness Pros,

TGIF! I have a question for you. What are you going to do this weekend to give back to YOU!

In our industry we give and give and give. We have to be positive and upbeat at all times. And at the end of the week it can be exhausting. The burn out rate in our industry is high so you have to figure out what it’s going to take to keep you fresh and excited for what you do. For some trainers, all they have to do is take a short holiday once every 3-4 months to just rejuvenate. Others make sure their schedule is balanced so that they only say, work early mornings 3x/week and evenings 2x/week and they take the weekends off. Others refuse to work split days. Some trainers enjoy a massage once a week to help them relax. Others meditate or pray. Some stay excited by attending workshops or conferences. Figure out what it’s going to take for you and do it.

For me, I’m going to go for a short run on Saturday morning with the kids. Watch Brianna’s soccer game in the afternoon. And then take the kids to my friend’s house Adrienne for dinner and some great friendship time. Sunday I’ve got a 12 mile run planned with my girlfriend Toni. Then soccer game with the kids. A massage to help recover from the run and then some downtime in the evening. Notice – there’s no work scheduled. Yahoo. Just a nice mix of exercise, time with the kids, time for myself and time for friends. Now it doesn’t always happen that way on weekends but I definitely try to find balance in my days and weeks.

Take a moment to think of the things you need to do to avoid burnout and then this weekend, try to do at least one of them.

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

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