The fitness industry is driven by people. The most successful people who work in fitness know not only about business, but about people and customer service. Any successful trainer I have sat down with and asked them how they retain business is pretty simple. Communicate with your clients, show results, and constantly be ready to take on new clients.
When it comes back to earning back your former clients, we should preface this with the notion that there are some clients you just won’t get back due to certain circumstances. Clients that stop training due to finances, time constraints and health issues are all fair game for trying to get back. There will be instances when you will part ways with someone that you feel it’s better to keep it that way. Stick with your gut on these!
For the other instances, here are a couple of key tops for earning back those former clients.
When we talk about follow-up, make sure that you have a reason of why you are reaching out, an action item for them, and a timeframe of when you will reach back out if you don’t hear from them.. Maybe it’s been 2 months since they trained and you want to get them in for re-assessments? Or you know they just got back from a trip and wanted to see how their back held up? Offer them something, such as a complimentary session and ask them to send you dates and times that work to meet. Then let them know you will contact them again via phone within 2-3 days if you don’t hear from them. This is when keeping track of assessments and personal notes on clients comes into play and can make it much easier to reconnect!
2. Social Media
Assuming that most of your clients are connected with you on social media, use this as a great way to engage with your audience and showcase all that you do! Post before and after pictures of current clients to show results. Make a funny video of you goofing around at the studio you work at. Post fun seasonal recipes complete with pictures of the final product. You want to entice former clients to want to come back and work with you!
3. Continuing Education
You just went to a great workshop and learned some cool new exercises. Or you started a new certification on assessments. Whatever the case, this is an opportunity to offer a complimentary session with former clients. Invite them to experience something different with you. This also lets them know that you are continuing to work on your craft as a trainer which can establish more credibility.
4. Social Events
Plan a fun social event such as a cocktail evening and invite both current and former clients. It’s a great way to have everyone mingle and commiserate about their least favorite exercises over some vino. And it can make it easier to get a client re-committed after a couple of glasses right?!
Have some fun with this one! Have a monthly contest on social media with trivia to give away silly prizes such as water bottles and t-shirts, or maybe an introductory session showing up your new skill set or assessment tool. Or showcase a competition that you are doing amongst clients by posting results and client testimonials. Both of these will catch attention and steer that former client to want to get involved in all of the fun!
The bottom line is some client client attrition is inevitable. Utilize the tools above to get former clients back and remind you to continue to strengthen the relationships you have with your current clients. Good luck!
About the Author:
Liz Callham is an AFS Community Expert and received her Bachelor’s Degrees from Illinois State University in Exercise Science and Public Relations and also completed a Masters in Business and Administration from DePaul University. She holds certifications as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist from NSCA and Health Fitness Specialist through ACSM. She also sits on the Advisory Board for the Exercise Science Department at ISU.