Nothing keeps a man or woman from succeeding at anything like fear does. Fear is what keeps people from living the life of their dreams. Fear of change. Fear of taking risks. Fear of success. That’s right, fear of success. While it may not be something you think of consciously, I assure you, deep down inside many people harbor a fear of success. Don’t believe me? Well, let’s examine it.
How many clients, or potential clients, have you encountered that are so close to making the permanent changes associated with a fitness lifestyle, yet they just can’t seem to turn the corner and slip back to their old habits? Hey, it happens. Why though? Personally, I believe it is often due to a lack of imagination. What causes it? Fear of success. As I’m sure you are aware, major success comes as a result of major change. And whether you’re aware of it or not, the only limitation you have in your life is what you imagine yourself capable of. Period.
Your imagination allows you to create in your own mind everything you want out of life. It’s entirely true. I’ll give you an example. Before I sat down to write this article, I imagined what I wanted the end result of it to be. I imagined you reading the entire thing and coming away from it amazed. I imagined you immediately putting to use the things included in the article. I imagined you emailing me and telling me thanks for helping you grow the business of your dreams. After I did that, I sat down at my computer and began typing and the words just came to me. The success I imagined is going to become a reality. I’m certain of it.
Ok. So what does all of this have to do with your fitness business? Good question. The point I am making is simple. Whatever you imagine success to be, you can make it a reality. Again, the only limitation in your life is what you imagine yourself to be capable of. That being written, can you imagine a day filled only with clients who are exactly the type of people you want to work with? Let’s face it, we’ve all had clients that we just didn’t get along with. I know I’ve had my share. Some people just don’t work well together. But getting back to my question, do you think it’s possible? Having a book filled only with clients who are an absolute joy to work with? I hope you answered yes because it’s more than possible; you owe it to yourself to make it a reality.
So how do you do it? You make your personal training business based solely on referrals. You educate your clients how to promote your services for you. You develop a following that keeps prospective clients either on a waiting list or allowed to work with another trainer who works for your company. You give $10 worth of value for every $1 your client spends with you. You learn what type of clients you enjoy working with most and then make a firm resolution to only take on those people as clients from here on. Not possible you say? My friend, all things are possible.
I can’t tell you how many trainers tell me they hate to bother their clients by asking for referrals. Sounds like fear to me. Bothering them has nothing to do with it; they’re afraid to do it. No problem, it’s natural. However, it needs to be overcome. How? Quite easily, actually. Think of all the terrific benefits your clients receive from your services. Next, imagine how happy they’d be if the people they loved were working with you so they too were receiving those extraordinary benefits. Lastly, start asking for referrals. It may seem simplistic but it truly isn’t any tougher than that. Once you start to ask for referrals, you’ll venture out of your comfort zone and, before you know it, asking for them will be second nature
It’s very important when you ask for referrals to educate your clients as to the type of person you want to work with. Do you only work with men or women? Do you have a specific niche? They will need to be reminded of that. They will also need to remember you are looking for prospects who can afford your services. You may have a particular time slot you’re looking to fill. The more specific a picture you can paint for your client on what you are looking for in a referral, the easier it will be for both of you.
A friend of mine who owns a financial planning firm started his referral based business using a list of 100 people. That is, he sat down and made a list of 100 people he knew. This included friends, family, classmates and anybody else he could think of. If you sat down and really tried to do it, you could easily come up with a list of your own. And if you’re reading this and thinking you don’t want to bother these people by asking for referrals, well, please re-read this article starting from the top.
I can tell you from my own personal experience, not teaching your friends and family to be on the lookout for your perfect prospective client is a huge mistake. Yes, one I’m guilty of. They too need to be educated on what to look for. Just because they aren’t clients doesn’t mean they don’t know someone who would make one. Chances are someone in your life right now knows someone who should be utilizing your services.
Make certain that you always reward those who refer to you. And I don’t mean reward only when those referrals turn into paying clients. I mean always reward them as soon as they give you someone’s name and number to call. Not all referrals will pan out. However, when you consistently reward people, they will consistently be on the lookout for your perfect client. What do I mean by a reward? I suggest something very personal you know they would enjoy. If they enjoy the movies, get them gift certificates to the movies. If they have a specific hobby, get them a book on the subject. The dollar amount of the gift doesn’t matter; it truly is the thought that counts. And believe me, the small amount of money you pay for these rewards will pale in comparison to the revenues the referrals will generate.
Imagine yourself waking up in the morning. You take a deep breath and you look forward to working with each and every client in your book. Every single one of them is exactly the type of person you love to help. Every day of your life is better than the day before. Don’t think it’s possible? Don’t worry, it’s just your imagination.