Personal Trainer Marketing 101: Exceed Your Clients Expectations

Published: 17th February 2009
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If you are like most personal trainers, you automatically think all your problems will be solved if only you could get more new clients. Well, this may come as a shock to you, but there is a really good chance that may not be your problem!
Or, at least not your only or biggest problem.
In fact, doing a great job marketing and getting a ton of new clients may be the worst thing you could ever do, if you do not apply what’s going to be revealed in this article first. How can getting a massive amount of new patients possibly be bad? A Great Marketer once said: Being a top-notch marketer without giving your customers a top-notch experience once they respond to your marketing is the quickest way to alert your entire possible customer base that they should NOT be doing business with you.
The big lesson here is: You need exceptional marketing now-a-days. Anything else just won’t cut it. People are literally bombarded by marketing messages from every possible media about 24 hours a day.
Exceptional marketing means you do as many as 20 different marketing or promotional programs a month, and promise a unique, EXCEPTIONAL experience in your gym or training studio. An experience they can NOT get anywhere else. Especially the guy down the street offering his training at half the rate of yours. That’s the ONLY reason they will give you money when they can get it basically free right down the street.
Now, when you market that way, it will be TREMENDOUSLY effective. Your phone will ring off the hook and clients will line up outside your door, expecting a unique, exceptional experience. I call that a “Knock-out” experience. If you don’t deliver – you have just burned them like every other slick marketer out there that has burned them in the past. And they will resent that in a big, big, big way.
Now imagine doing that to 50, 60 or 100 people every month, which is easy to do if you’re doing a lot of marketing. And believe me, all those people talk.
Girard’s Law of 250…
Joe Girard is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as being the best car salesman ever. During his 15 year career (from 1963-1977) he sold 13,001 cars… all retail. That’s, on average, 867 a year. Most years were more than that considering his first year he only sold 267. Point is: Joe knows a little something about acquiring, keeping and getting customers to refer.
Joe had a strict rule about dealing with customers that was a very big part of his success – Girard’s Law Of 250. Here’s how it works:
Joe said he went to a Catholic funeral and… for whatever reason… asked the undertaker how he knows how many mass cards to order. The undertaker said he used to count all the signatures in the sign in book… and… after a while of doing that, he realized the number was almost always right around 250.
A short time after that, a Protestant funeral director bought a car from Joe. Joe asked him the average number of people who attend a funeral. The director said, “About 250.” Next Joe asked a caterer what the average number of people at a wedding was. That’s right, you guessed it: 250!
So, you’ve probably guessed it by now, but I’ll tell you anyway, Girard’s Law of 250 is that, on average, everyone knows 250 people well enough to come see them get married or go to their funeral. Sure, some people are hermits, but, others know many more.
Why is this so important? Well, for every person you don’t deliver what you promised… they can tell 250 people. We all know people are much, more likely to spread bad news than good. Just watch the news for a week and tell me what gets just about all the coverage; warm and fuzzy; or death, destruction and scandal?
Bottom line is: If you don’t deliver to just 1 person a week, you are risking bad word of mouth spreading to 13,000 people over the course of a year! It won’t take long ‘until your gym or studio is a ghost town. No matter how hard or brilliantly you market. Pretty soon you won’t have anyone to market too.
You must promise a knock-out experience, and you must also deliver one. Now here’s a million dollar secret: You must not only keep your promise and live up to their expectations, you must exceed their expectations.

Dr. James Roman is a sales and marketing consultant to the fitness industry. He teaches personal trainers how to market, promote and sell their services. For more information, go to

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