Client acquisition strategies for intermediate to advanced fitness business owners.
So you want to grow your client base to new heights in the year ahead? Well, let’s start off with a fearless question: How good are you, really? Are clients getting great results?
Are clients referring? Is your team aligned with your values and purpose, and do they have the skills the need to deliver results?
Here’s why these questions are so important (and why your answers need to be ruthless and fearless): As a fitness business owner, sooner or later, you will face the tipping point.
If you’re motivated, driven, and good at what you do… your business (and you) will first grow rapidly. You get new clients … you fill up your schedule–and it’s awesome.
Then some clients leave, but you get even more, and it’s all still good. But soon you run out of time, and you hire coaches, and as you try to do everything necessary to keep the business together, growth levels off. And right on the other side of that is the tipping point.
You either “double down” on a serious commitment to transform yourself (and your business) through investments to upgrade your skills and systems (and renew your business’s growth and success), OR staff and clients will continue to leave your business and things will get tougher… which can be incredibly disheartening if you’re someone who likes to win and is motivated by achievement.
Which path will you take? Well that’s entirely up to you. But if you’re ready to go “all-in” on your success…. here are five keys to making it past the tipping point and growing your fitness business once again.
Ensure you are delivering a GREAT service (good isn’t good enough).
As your business grows and more competition enters the market, the best growth strategy will always be to deliver amazing results. Your results need to be better than the competition (disruptive and jaw dropping is what you’re going for!) in the market segment you most want to serve and build your business in.
You need to review your current client base, programs, and service offerings. Ask the ruthless questions above: Are clients reaching their health and fitness goals? Truth is, in too many cases, clients are NOT achieving as good results as you may like to believe.
If clients are achieving results, do you capture those results and get testimonials and referrals to further grow your business? In too many cases, there’s no systematic follow up, so the answer is no.
How about your team? Do you have a team that knows your vision, purpose, and values, and have the skills needed to deliver results?
And are referrals driving further growth? If not, look at your quality of service. There’s no point in driving clients into a leaky bucket.
Great service means clients stay and refer. Clients who stay and refer build successful fitness businesses. Clients who don’t kill them.
Audit your sales and marketing engine from point of sale to top of funnel.
If growth is going to continue, you’ll need to get your sales and marketing engine with enough power–and you’ll need to keep it tuned. Your first step is check your mindset and understand there’s no magic bullet. Improving your sales and marketing systems and processes will be an ongoing process. Embrace the journey.
Do you clearly define your target market, know everything you can about them, and have you made sure all your messaging across all your channels aligns to that market? Do you know what problems you will solve (and which you won’t), and do you have a positioning statement that clearly articulates who you are, what you do, how you help, and why someone who doesn’t know you yet should believe what you have to say?
Do your offers, copy, images and design, and web pages all reflect your target market and resonate with them?
Do you have a lead-generation plan with at least three marketing channels, with regular updates, including original social media content, as well as referrals being driven to your website?
Do you have consistent plan execution, with clear goals for the next week, month, quarter, and even the next year?
And finally, do you have clear goals, can you measure your results with hard numbers, and do you regularly make changes to optimise your marketing results?
Based on your audit, prioritise the work to be done to improve results?
Whew! That’s a lot! And when you’re done a complete audit of the above, that creates a big backlog of jobs to be done.
The good news – you don’t need to do it all at once. Set priorities. Which actions have the biggest impact? What can get done the fastest? In general, you want to:
[dropcap]A:[/dropcap] Optimise sales conversion. Nothing has a greater immediate impact on business success than improving sales. Improving your close rate through better sales systems, increasing your transaction size and charging premium rates to increase average monthly client value, and increasing term lengths are a few of the adjustments that can be made.
With small improvements in each of these, you can have a dramatic impact on results! For example, improving your close rate from 50% to 70% and your average monthly client value 20% will DOUBLE your yearly income. If you can double the term length (by getting clients to fully commit to their health and fitness goals), you’re looking at another doubling of your annual revenue.
[dropcap]B:[/dropcap] Fix your positioning and messaging. Once you’ve been in business a while, you understand not all prospects are good prospects. You need to get quality prospects to grow sustainably. We recommend six-questions to better position your business in front of the prospective clients you want to serve.
What do you do? Who is it for? What does it do for the client? How is your service different? What do you care about? Why should someone believe you? Answering these questions clearly (one sentence each) will clarify your positioning and messaging.
[dropcap]C:[/dropcap]Increase lead generation. Once you get the first two things dialed in, then it’s time to push harder on lead generation. You’ll start to see more leads (and growth) very quickly.
Set sustainable growth goals, choose the best strategies, scale and diversify your lead sources to increase lead generation.
Sustainable growth is the rate your team can still deliver the quality and results that align with your brand promise and the expectations you set at the point of sale.
Choose the best strategies and channels to grow. That could be client referrals, partner network referrals, online advertising (Google, Facebook, Instagram). Some other options include: events, direct mail, and local media/public relations.
Make sure you diversify your channels, to avoid over-reliance on one or two, and the inconsistent results that can create.
Get to work, review a scoreboard daily, and keep going until you breakthrough!
Your focus determines your growth. What you pay attention to is what will get better.
Keep it simple. Keep yourself and your team focused on the scoreboard. Pay attention to just a few key metrics that will impact results. Those metrics are: New clients, Lost Clients, Net Clients, for recurring Revenue, New Revenue, and Total Revenue.
Next, commit to the journey of growth and change beyond your comfort zone. Your level of success will be a function of how willing you are willing to grow past where you feel comfortable. Finally, bring ten times the energy, focus and effort that you think you need. If you try to bring exactly the energy you think you’ll need, you’ll probably fall just a little short. But if you go hard, you’ll succeed before you expect. Pay the price for your success.
Growing your client base to new heights means you’ll need to ask yourself the right questions, and be ruthless and fearless in attacking the answers.
Remember good is no longer good enough– deliver a great service!
Audit your sales and marketing funnel from stem to stern. Prioritise your work and balance your desire to fix everything at once with making the quickest and most impactful changes. Set growth goals that are sustainable, choose the best strategies, scale and diversify your lead sources to increase lead generation.
And get to work–review your scoreboard daily and keep going until you break through!
Want to grow your fitness business, but unsure of the next step? Request a complimentary 30-minute coaching session with an NPE Business Success Coach at www.NPECoachesCorner.com/WNIF.
Overcome your biggest challenge, and come away with new insights you can apply now.
Article written by Sean Greeley for the What’s New in Fitness Magazine – Summer 2018 Edition. CEO & Founder of NPE, Sean’s passion is empowering fitness professionals.