You started as a personal trainer because you wanted to “change lives”. Maybe you were an athlete, or you had a successful weight loss story, or you’ve seen first hand how fitness can improve health and happiness. What a great reason to start a career, one with the goal of helping others.
Well, one of the challenges passionate fitness professionals have is that they struggle to create demand for their services – in other words, they struggle to get new clients. They often spend time perfecting their craft with new certifications, but that, for some reason, does not automatically send people running to sign up with them. Or they struggle to learn how to present their services and overcome objections. Often, though, they’re left feeling that all of their attempts to overcome objections seem to either turn potential clients off or just make them feel like they are like a used car salesmen.
So what’s the deal? How can trainers get more people to WANT to utilize the programs they’ve worked so hard to create without having to constantly overcome objections?
Well, there are a number of high-level strategies for creating demand in your services that we’ll cover in this course.
These strategies drive everything from product development, Which means the services you offer, to marketing plans and sales strategies.
While we’ll mostly be focusing on marketing strategies in this section, it’s important to understand all of the strategies because you need utilize each of them at some level to be successful.
Let’s take a brief look at each of the strategies.
Product Driven Strategy
1st is the product Driven strategy. A Product-Driven Strategy attempts to create the best product in the marketplace. Think of companies like Ferrari or Ritz Carlton hotels. Not surprisingly, these products and services tend to cost more than the competition as well. But people ARE willing to pay for the higher quality in brands that they are familiar with.
A problem with relying on this strategy as a trainer is that since you are offering a service, it’s hard for potential clients to fully grasp how your knowledge adds value and differentiates you from others with similar letters next to their names.
They really don’t know the difference between one certification and another, and the science goes right over their head when you talk too much about it. This is what we call The Curse Of Knowledge When presenting.
Unless you have a strategy to communicate what makes your service different, the consumer can’t typically understand it based simply on the tools you use, or style of HIIT that you like.
With products like cars or hotels, or food, consumers can easily tell the difference by seeing, smelling or tasting… not with our services though, and that is why relying on a product Driven strategy can be a tough way to drive people to us, especially when starting out, because with a product focused strategy word of mouth over time is vital.
Number two is a strategy that is driven by selling. A Selling-Driven Strategy puts the majority of its efforts into hunting for new clients, or finding leads. This is a challenging strategy because you’re frequently trying to pitch a service, like personal training, to someone who is not yet aware of the value, or wasn’t even shopping for it in the first place. This is a tough way to increase value – selling something to someone who wasn’t even shopping for it AND hasn’t been given the opportunity to experience it’s value or benefit. THIS could be why you’re constantly having to overcome objections… You’re ignoring the customer driven strategy.
And the Customer-driven strategy is the last strategy we are covering in this course. This strategy connects with the customer’s journey through messaging that builds value. It builds value by speaking directly to their needs, wants, demands and the value that you offer in your ability to create the best programs. But, more importantly, it’s also focused on messaging to how you help get them past the barriers that are preventing them from getting to their goals. Studies tell us that the most common barriers to getting involved in exercise are Time, Energy, Motivation, lack of enjoyment, boredom, lack of confidence, rewards to progress, lack of encouragement, lack of guidance, uneasiness with change, cost and fear of being injured.
Now, each of the other strategies, in part, are necessary, but when it comes to building a business, they’re far more effective if you have first established an effective Customer-driven Strategy as a foundation.
This strategy creates demand by:
- Knowing the consumer’s needs, wants, demands and their specific barriers to solving their problem.
- Communicating not only HOW you solve their Problem, BUT, how you solve it better than any other solution.
- Delivering a high quality service that delivers on all of the promises that you have made.
The goal here is not to simply SELL things; instead, your goal is to solve the consumers Problems with your solution. And by doing so, you will inevitably drive more sales.
So while the Selling-driven Strategy is focused on hunting and gathering, the Customer driven Strategy is focused on planting seeds that you will later be able to harvest. The seeds we are planting, however MUST begin to create the perception of value for the consumer.