Network Blog

Reflections on fitness, wellness, health and more

The results of Network's first ever PT Survey are here!

Look after your clients and they will look after you.
In Network’s recent PT survey it came to light that personal trainers rate attracting new customers as their greatest sales and marketing related challenge. This is perhaps not surprising, though surely if they had higher retention rates then attracting new clients wouldn’t be such an issue …?

To view the full results of Networks 1st PT Survey, click here.

Many people who embark on PT careers do so with high hopes of full schedules and great earning potential – and there’s no doubt that the opportunity for both of these things exists – after all, gyms and PT studios are crying out for quality trainers to meet the demand of their discerning members. And here, perhaps, lies the key; ‘discerning’. If personal trainers are charging their clients between $51 and $70 per session (a price range charged by the largest percentage of Network’s survey respondents) then the client has every right to expect a very high quality service – after all, this is more than twice the average hourly income of most Australians. If the client perceives it as being $51 to $70 well spent, however, it will cease to be seen as an expense and will simply be the price that they are happy to invest for one life-enhancing hour a week which they genuinely feel is benefiting their wellbeing.

Once this mentality has developed in the client’s mind then the services of their PT will cease to be viewed as an ‘extra’ to the rest of their lifestyle choices – it will become a permanent part of their routine, and a service of which that they would be reluctant to let go. So how do you achieve this? This issue of finding new business/retaining clients points towards customer service. I’m sure we’ve all met or experienced PTs who know their stuff inside out, or know how to train themselves very well, but who lack the affability, people skills and customer service to nurture friendly, professional relationships with their clients. It’s all very well knowing your theory and how to turn yourself into a man-mountain, but this doesn’t necessarily translate to the ability to pass your knowledge on in an easy-to-understand manner. Clients want reassurance, a clear explanation given to them in laymen’s terms of why certain exercises and dietary advice will benefit them, and fun – if they can look forward to their hour a week with you then they won’t even entertain the thought of ending your mutually beneficial relationship. The message here is; keep your training skills up to date – but, just as importantly, work on your ‘soft’ skills, your people skills, and clients will want to spend their time, and money, with you.

When you have nurtured this frame of mind in, if not all, then at least a very high proportion of your clients, you will find that you have a long-term client base which minimises the need to continually drum up new business for yourself. Of course there will always be a certain percentage of client turnover, but this should be welcomed – you need a little fresh blood to keep you on your toes!
To view the full results of Networks 1st PT Survey, click here.

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Posted by: Eddie S | 09-Nov-2008 03:16 PM | 5 out of 5 stars

WOW! It's a great eye opener to see what the salary levels are like for PTs. I would have thought that it would have been more per hour, but that must be the demographic I live in.

Also very interesting to see no formalised sales processes. I personally do have a process that I follow and it works quite well.. Anyone else have the same?

Posted by: G | 11-Nov-2008 01:18 PM | 4 out of 5 stars

Interesting that most PTs don’t really have a marketing plan nor really care about having one!! They faired a bit better on structured selling, but I guess the word “structured” may be interpreted that they have a list of rates that give different rates for multiple uses per week or for more than one person at a time, rather than they use a sales process …. Yet 42% of them are independent business owners!!! …. Hmmmm....

Posted by: Ryan Hogan | 20-Nov-2008 10:25 AM | 5 out of 5 stars

We note that the majority of you nominated “attracting new customers” as your single greatest sales and marketing challenge, however the overwhelming majority of you (73.2%) spend only 1-2 hours per week on marketing related tasks. We’d love to hear from you – is this a matter or prioritising a much needed activity, have you been underwhelmed by the results of your previous marketing activities so are less active, or perhaps you simply feel there is no time to work on the business due to the time you spend working in the business? We’d like to know what your marketing challenges are and perhaps we can all gain some insight into this important, yet seemingly underdone activity.
Any thoughts?

Posted by: Anonymous | 23-Nov-2008 09:25 PM | 4 out of 5 stars

I am one of those PT's who probably don't spend enough time on marketing my business. Though I have just put up a website and blog so I am planning to get things going in 2009! Mostly I want to attract people to my group sessions as that is what I like doing most and then you don't have the no cash problem when your 1on1 people go on holidays or get sick etc.

I like the idea of this network blog for exchanging ideas/information - good work.