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Fitness Industry Archives & News

How to differentiate yourself as a personal trainer

By Fitness Business Management Archives & News, Fitness Industry Archives & News

Hypothesis: Most personal trainers that are open for business can’t actually be reached.

The test

In researching this article, our team decided to conduct a small test. We called 50 personal trainers we’d found on Google between 9-5pm on a Tuesday to try and make a booking. If we got through to them, we came clean around why we were phoning and congratulated them on having excellent customer service. If they didn’t answer, they went straight into our data-set.

We’re not a team of data scientists, and as such we’re well aware that a test pool of 50 isn’t always statistically significant. That said, our small test still managed to show some startling results.

Straight to voicemail

How many PTs do you think we were able to get hold of right away? Here’s your answer: 9 out of 50. That’s less than 1 in 5. 80% of PTs could not be reached. 12 had a web form to book one-to-one sessions. 100% had email addresses or contact forms on their websites. We could have chosen to follow-up if we wanted to.

Why is this important?

As a potential new customer looking to start a client relationship in my area, I can easily find PTs on Google, but I can’t actually speak to anyone or purchase anything when I need or am ready to. So in theory, over 50% of the PTs in our mystery shopper exercise technically lost a client.

But…you’d phone back, right?

Consider the customer’s initial decision to establish a trainer-client relationship. A potential customer thinks long and hard about whether personal training is right for them, and then they make the decision based on an intangible reason – like a moment in time or a sudden burst of motivation. They don’t want to send an email, they want to lock in their free test session now.

Customers searching for a service via Google are not choosing you based on personal referrals. They’re making decisions based on who looks the most credible.

Of course, some potential clients will try again, leave a message and be happy to drag out the purchase process with a series of email or texts. But in today’s world of instant gratification where the click of a button can get you a taxi, order your takeaway, or purchase your clothing, your customers might expect to be able to book a training session in the same amount of time.

Why should we make them wait to get access to our premium services?

We’re not advocating that every PT has a receptionist answering telephone calls and fielding customer questions, but there should be a level of self service accessibility that allows your future customers to get in touch directly.

Point made. So, how can Gymcatch help?

Gymcatch you lets you advertise your free appointment windows and allows prospective customers to book in sessions via the web, iOS or Android.

All appointments and reminders sync to their personal calendars and cancellation policies ensure no-shows won’t hurt your wallet.

Our custom packages for classes and appointments also allow you to offer bespoke free trials and bundled sessions, automating the admin tends to be a drain on your time.

In our experience, it’s amazing to see how a bit of innovation goes a long way in helping customers. It’s free to register and take drop-in payments, and we’re the best value management software on the market. Worth a try?

For more information on Gymcatch personal training management system, and how it can help with your booking, admin and marketing. Get in contact to book a demo or start a free trial.

software for personal trainers

What’s driving fitness consumers’ decisions to buy your services?

By Fitness Business Management Archives & News, Fitness Industry Archives & News, Fitness Marketing & Social Archives & News

In this post, we’ll discuss the health and fitness consumer, trends in their buying habits and how the industry can meet them head-on. We surveyed over 400 buyers and prospects and here’s what they told us…

1. Location, location, location

With increasing health and fitness options and improving delivery, consumers are increasingly treating fitness as a commodity. Of course, this is not to say you can’t differentiate in delivery and build strong relationships, but understanding how most buyers initially choose their fitness provider is important to maximizing lead generation.

Our industry research revealed that location was the number one driver for choosing a fitness provider. Conducting a high level analysis of your local community, researching what times to provide sessions for customers, and making your details and schedule easily accessible will be key to your success.

2. Referrals

The second biggest driver in choosing a fitness service is peer recommendation. Ensuring you are enabling referrals (and making them easy to do) is important, both through incentives such as free sessions and with a booking system that readily allows for information to be shared.

3. Convenience

Health and fitness consumers now spend more time on mobile than desktop and are increasingly used to making bookings for services such as taxis, hotels, restaurants and takeaway through via mobile apps. This trend has been growing for some time, and it doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon.

Providing the level of convenience consumers experience elsewhere in their lives is important. 27% of our survey participants said they struggle to find important information from their fitness provider, even when looking for it.

4. Social

Our analysis revealed a clear trend towards customers wanting to integrate a social aspect into their fitness regime. In today’s busy yet increasingly health-conscious environment, fitness consumers would like to use their workout as a means to connect with friends, meet new people and maybe even find that special someone:

– 37% are more engaged when they’re able to workout together with friends

– Over 10% are hoping to meet that special person when they workout

– 13% would like to work out but don’t because they don’t want to go alone

Offering and encouraging a way for customers to bring a friend along for a workout, and allowing them to easily refer sessions to friends is therefore important. Delivering non-fitness events for your community is also a good idea.

5. Rewards

Loyalty programs in retail, hospitality and your weekly grocery shop have proved that they can drive increased purchasing frequency and customer retention.

The downside is that creating and managing schemes can be both expensive and time-consuming. Thinking laterally around how you can provide value through discounted packages is one approach. In those instances, try to clearly communicate the saving aspect against the pay-as-you-go alternative. While the up-front payments can be helpful to your cash flow, you don’t want to create a future expectation for deep discounting.

Occasionally, gifting a free session to a loyal or infrequent customer can also have profound effects, with the unexpected nature of the gift generating a deeper psychological impact and overall better relationship between you and your customer.

The bottom line

Location may or may not be in your power to change but what is for certain is that you have the power to influence criteria 2-5. Gymcatch is here to help.

For more information on Gymcatch fitness management software and how it can help your yoga, pilates, dance business. Get in contact to book a demo or start a free trial.

client management software for personal trainers