Holiday season is just around the corner, which is a busy time for most personal trainers. That means it’s time to start planning for the break. Keeping your clients motivated during the festive season can be challenging—not just because their enthusiasm for workouts might dip, but because, like you, they're time-poor.
Here are some ideas to help your clients stay motivated during the holidays and keep your PT business growing.
The 80/20 Rule: 80% of Your Income Comes From 20% of Your Existing Clients
The 80:20 rule means that it's easier and more cost-effective to retain clients than it is to find new ones. A lot of time and energy goes into attracting new clients, and like most PTs, we're guessing this is time you don't have to spare. That's why it's important to focus on long term relationships, which for a PT, are critical during the holiday season.
- Typically, acquiring a new client costs five times more than retaining an existing one
- Increasing client retention by 5% can increase profits by 25-95%
- The success rate of selling to a client you already have is 60-70%, whereas with a new one it's more like 5-20%
You can see why it's worth putting effort into making your existing clients your biggest billboards, so let's look at how to keep them happy and motivated during the festive but busy holiday period.
1: Spend time creating a holiday fitness plan with your clients
One of the best ways to keep your clients motivated as they start thinking about family, trips and carbs is to be organized. If you have sessions booked in advance throughout the holiday period, your clients are more likely to stick with you. Sit down with them and discuss their holiday plans, and schedule workouts to fit in with their other commitments.
It's the same for their nutrition plan. You know they're going to indulge a bit over the holidays; you probably will too! Have a chat with your clients about how they can balance holiday indulgence with their regular nutritional requirements, and then tailor the plan to suit.
If you invest time in each of your clients now, are organized and plan ahead for the holiday seasons, it will pay off down the track. Not only will you help keep them motivated, but if they're still getting results despite indulging in a bit of cake and carbs, they'll make a point of telling their family and friends about it.
2: Organize Loyalty Packages That Align with Your Clients' New Year Goals
Speaking of planning ahead, now is the time to understand the goals of each of your clients for the new year. If they don’t have one, now’s the time to come with one. Celebrate what they've achieved so far, and reward them for their efforts. You could offer them a discount on a package deal that fits those goals, or if they sign up for a series of classes or workouts in the new year. The idea is to get them thinking ahead and continuing their relationship with you once the holidays are over.
3: Offer Limited-Time Only Holiday Deals for Churned Clients
All PTs experience customer churn to some extent, but just because a client has left doesn't mean you can't win them back. Holidays are the perfect opportunity to reconnect. Go back through your client database and reach out to those who left with a holiday greeting.
Personalize each one—ask after their kids or their partners, if they've recovered from an illness or injury (which may have been the reason they left), then mention that you've got a great offer on workouts or classes coming up that you think would be ideal for them.
If they left for reasons that weren't about you, or lack of results, then the holiday season is a great time to get back in touch with them and get them thinking about their fitness journey again.
4: Create Customized Greetings and Holiday Cards
Don't limit holiday greetings to ex-clients. If you use a client relationship management (CRM) solution, you should have all the details you need to individualize each card. Recognize their achievements and emphasize how far they've come; this helps them keep their fitness and training front-of-mind.
If something amusing happened during one of your workouts or classes, refer to it; it helps remind them you're in this together.
Let them know that as proud as you are of them for their success, you're looking forward to celebrating even more milestones in the future; this helps them remember that their new level of fitness is a reality and not one they want to let slide.
5: Keep Up Communication During the Holidays
This is where social media comes in really handy. If your clients can't attend sessions during the holidays, don't lose touch. Keep your social media updated with what you're up to, and when you see a post from a client, acknowledge it. If you've got a solution like PTminder on board, you can use the instant chat feature to send holiday messages.
If you've given your clients at-home workouts they can do while travelling, check in every now and then to see how they're getting on, and ask if there's anything you can help with.
6: Do Your Best to Make Their Life Easier
Workouts can sometimes go on the back-burner as your clients catch up with friends and family, travel or have a houseful of guests.
Use a business management solution like PTminder to simplify their bookings, membership and payments. The last thing you want is to add to their to-do list; if they can swiftly and easily schedule and pay, the more likely they are to do so.
Don’t Forget to Take Some Time for Yourself
Everyone needs a break, you included. Remember why you chose to work for yourself; so you could have some flexibility in your working life. If you don't take some time out like everyone else, you run the risk of burnout.
Factor in your own time off so that you return refreshed and ready to meet the challenges of your business and your clients in the new year.
Keen to discover more client retention strategies? Download our practical guide and checklist.