By Stefan Ianev
Most trainers are much more concerned with acquiring new clients than focusing on retaining the clients that they have. However, acquiring new clients is far more costly and time consuming than retaining your existing clients.
If most trainers just focused more in retaining their current clients, they wouldn’t need to be so aggressive in pursuing new clients.
In addition, if you focus more on retaining your clients you will have happier clients who will be more likely to send more clients your way. It’s a win-win situation.
So, in this article we share our top 5 tips for retaining your clients.
1. Set Clear and Realistic Goals
Setting clear and realistic goals with your clients right from the start is one of the best ways you can retain them as a client for longer.
If you sell a client a 12-week coaching program, your coaching relationship will end in 12-weeks because that is how you have pre-framed them. It becomes about the 12-weeks rather than how long it will realistically take to achieve their goal.
In reality, the average client will take 6-9 months or longer to achieve their goal. You need to make that clear from the start and focus on how long it will take to achieve their goal rather than an arbitrary time frame like 12-weeks. There is nothing magical about 12-weeks.
2. Set Clear Expectations on Both Ends
Setting clear and realistic expectations on both ends gives you the opportunity to best serve your clients by being mindful of what they expect from you, while also respecting your personal boundaries.
Furthermore, it allows you to maintain a professional relationship where the lines between coach and friend don’t get blurred. This is important because as a trainer or coach you need to be able to maintain some authority over your clients to influence them.
If you become close buddies, you will lose that authority over them, and they will stop listening to you. That is also the reason why it isn’t recommended to coach your family or friends.
3. Take Regular Measurements
Taking regular measurements helps clients stay motivated and remain on track. As we said earlier: most clients will take 6-9 months to reach their end goal or longer.
Taking measurements along the way allows them to see small wins, which helps them keep their eyes on the prize.
For example, a client might be 6 weeks into their program and visual progress might be minimal, especially if they are quite overweight. However, if you can show them that their skinfolds have dropped over 10mm or their waist has dropped by 2 inches that will give them the drive and motivation to keep pushing forward, one step at a time.
4. Believe in Your Clients
Believing in your clients is critical for their success. Sometimes all a person needs is for someone else to believe in them when they do not yet believe in themselves in order to keep going and keep pushing forward.
The Pygmalion effect is a well-known phenomenon, similar to the placebo effect, whereby high expectations of a student by their teacher leads to improved performance in a given area.
5. Upskill Regularly
By focusing on upskilling yourself regularly, you will continue to bring more value to your clients, and as a result, your clients may end up staying with you for years on end, even past the point where they have reached their initial goal.
That is because once most people hit their goal, they become motivated to set a new goal, and set the bar higher. As long as you are able to continue helping your clients set and reach new goals, they are likely to stay with you for a very long time!