In our personal training department here at Gainesville Health and Fitness (GHFPT), we have clients who have been working with personal trainers consistently for as long as 16 years. We take great pride in this.
But of course, not all trainer-client relationships can have such longevity. It’s inevitable that every once in a while a personal trainer will move on to a new opportunity, and that client will have to be placed with a new GHFPT trainer.
It is important as a department to have developed a relationship of trust with these clients. They have to trust that any trainer we put them with will be able to meet their needs, just like they did when they began personal training with us.
What is different when a longtime client is being placed with a new trainer, versus a new client being put with a new trainer? Well, the new client is moving from curious skeptic to a new client, according to Kenneth Blanchard’s book “Raving Fans” (a must-read here at GHF). With a new client we are building trust; with a longtime client we are maintaining trust.
This trust has to be developed in more than just their personal trainer. Our clients here at GHFPT know that we do extensive ongoing training and continuing education with all of our personal training staff. They see on a daily basis from friendly interactions and customer service solutions that they are valuable to everyone in our department. Our goal is to create raving fans of GHFPT.
Here are the 7 steps of creating raving fans of your personal training department, courtesy of the book “Raving Fans.”
- Target: All personal training staff should be friendly and approachable. It should be clear to any observer that the personal training staff could be a source of assistance, even to those who may not have an interest in personal training.
- Acquaintance: As a personal training department, take prospecting opportunities both inside and outside your facilities to show potential clients how your staff can add value to their health and fitness. This could include speaking events, fun runs, health fairs. Ask in as many ways possible, “How can we help you?”
- Curious Skeptic: During a fitness assessment find out short-term and long-term specific goals. Focusing on these goals, ask, “Would it helpful if you were able to…” As well as giving valuable free tools to help them reach their health and fitness goals.
- New Client: Once sold a personal training package, no matter how small, it is now important to build trust. Have sales staff and managers periodically check on their progress both formally and informally. Invite feedback and act on it when possible.
- Solid Working Relationship: Continue to build trust. Undersell and over deliver. Take any viable request from the client as an opportunity to continue to expand on the quality they receive in your personal training department. “Yes we can order new towels.” Reach out to them to see if there are any other ways your department can help them reach their goals.
- Trusted Advisor: If a client has a need, see how your department can help. Find ways that your department can partner with them in their interests and organizations. The goal is for the department to be like a trusted advisor or good friend.
- Raving Fan: Now the relationship between the client is multi-dimensional. The relationship is with your whole personal training department, not just their trainer. They look to see your success, because they feel you are vested in theirs. They promote and make referrals based on the experience they have received.