03 Sep 2016

Retain your PT Clients with These Top Tips

Step into Life Group Outdoor Personal Training.

Linda Schlencker shares on top tips on client retention rates in the Personal Training arena. 

Did you know that 90% of people who join fitness clubs will stop going in the first 3 months*? And most people only stay with their PT for 6 weeks. Yes, that’s right – less than 2 months! [* Time Management Facts and Figures, Dr Donald E Wetmore.]

That sounds horrific, doesn’t it? Without great client retention, you are bound to be in the churn cycle, always recruiting but never able to get a steady base of members.

But there’s a brighter side and this is where it gets really interesting: At Step into Life, we have maintained a member retention rate of 90% with an average life span of more than 18 months. We even have members who have been with us for 12 years!

So how do we do it?

The simple answer is we understand our members and have a great system that grows and nurtures our membership retention. In business, customer is the king (or queen!). You’ve got to know your members: what drives them to make a buying decision, what makes them happy, what motivates them? Unless you’ve invested a good many years in fitness businesses studying what clicks and what doesn’t with your customer, you will find it HARD to maintain a high retention rate. They say there’s no shortcut to success, but in this case, there may be one. Franchisees that join us get instant access to profitable models we’ve built over a period of 17 years. Of course you still got to do the work, but it’s much easier when the path’s set for you.

As leaders in outdoor group personal training, here are just some of the cool strategies we employ to keep up our customer retention rate:

1. Group Dynamics: While one-on-one personal training can be extremely labour intensive for personal trainers and members, Step into Life has found the balance by providing group training where the trainer does not have to work as strenuously due to group support dynamics. It’s simple math. Groups keep the costs low – 3 sessions per week cost only $40-$50, which is less expensive than 1 one-on-one PT session. This is something that people can build into their budget month after month, year after year.

2. Fun: It’s not uncommon to see a Step into Life group really enjoying themselves while they train. Each session goes beyond just training — it consists of warm-ups and interactive activities. Plus, along with the trainer’s expertise, members have each other’s support and motivation all along the way. Our members look forward to long-lasting friendships which are built during sessions.

3. Variety: We offer over 400 session plans which are accessible to all Franchisees. These sessions are carefully designed and hand-picked from what has worked in the past. Members love the variety and come back asking for more!

4. Personal Attention: Despite being group outdoor personal training, we care about the individual. Our groups are of a size that makes sure it is manageable, fun and personal attention is given at every session. Trainers maintain personal progress diaries to monitor member’s goals and every two months each member is given fitness evaluations with personalised reports.

5. Training Club: Based on the total amount of time a member has personally invested in their training, points are “awarded”. Each Step into Life Trainer allocates and keeps a record of every member’s points through their tracking software – sharing progress with individual members every two weeks with a report. On the report they see a barometer which represents the levels of Training Club achievement and they are acknowledged in front of the rest of the group each time they reach a new level. The member then gets to “show off” their level by wearing a shirt that has a colour code for the number of points. Congratulating people in front of the group is very powerful. Being appreciated is so important to retention.

6. Metabolic Jumpstart: It’s no news that the right diet and nutrition will fast-track your health goals, and that’s why we’ve partnered with the best in the industry. Carefully designed by Matt O’Neil, the MJ Nutritional Package helps members achieve real, tangible results and keeps them motivated for the next session.

7. Packages: Setting goals with members is an on-going project. They need new goals to keep them focused and achieving new levels in their fitness. Our achievit™ fun run package program is vital to member retention (especially in the winter). We offer training packages specifically designed towards an event like the City to Surf that is in August – this means members need to train through the winter to be able to complete the event.
As a Step into Life Franchisee, you have all the business models that work, training with leading experts, advertising launch, manuals, flow charts and loads of other material that will help you get started from the very first day.

Our distinctive product delivery takes people out of the gym to work-out in a social, fun and supportive way. This ensures that you, the trainer, have less contact hours which (in turn) mean you have a greater financial reward.

See videos from members and franchisees on our YouTube channel.

Get in touch with AIPT today.

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Male trainer with arms crossed inside a gym