The Secret to Winning New Clients with the Perfect First Impression

So my buddy Jeff Sherman and I had an interesting conversation the other day…

We’re driving back from Doheny, this great surf spot in SoCal. Guess what happens next?

Jeff turns to me and says, “Hey, man. You’re not going to believe this. Back in Baltimore there is this guy who owns a gym, and he asked me to come in and help him out, just to look around and see how I can help him with his marketing.”

So Jeff’s a cool cat. He swings by the gym. There, the guy starts telling him, “Yeah. When I get prospects and leads in here, I have a hard time closing them. None of my clients give me referrals, and I just don’t understand what’s going on.”

If it isn’t obvious, his clients aren’t big raving fans, and they’re not going around delivering referrals to your doorstep. He wants to know what the hell is going on.

So he thinks he’s got a marketing or sales problem, when in reality, he doesn’t have a marketing or sales problem at all.

Guess what he has? He has a first impression problem.

A lot of personal trainers don’t realize that the very first impression they make is the impression that’s going to determine whether a prospect will buy from them or not, or even whether they’ll refer or not.

Here’s what I mean.

So Jeff’s telling me, “Hey man. So I walk into this guy’s gym, and the walls were painted, but they weren’t even painted all the way up. You could see paintbrush strokes almost all the way to the ceiling, but you can tell where he couldn’t reach anymore and just stopped.”

And then he says, “There was an office where he could be doing his consultations, but he really wasn’t doing consultations in there. He was doing them in this makeshift little folding school desk that was sitting outside. He also thought it’d be a good idea to rent part of his gym out to a karate guy for 200 dollars a month. This karate guy has martial arts equipment piled up in the corner. And in what was going to be his foyer, his waiting area of his gym, are plastic chairs from Costco.”

He goes, “Then his flooring was completely mismatched. It was bubbled over. There were cracks in the matting. Nothing made sense. The paint is chipped. There’s equipment just falling apart.”

Listen, man. People pay us personal trainers thousands of dollars throughout the course of their lifetime of training with us, right?

So, if they’re paying you that kind of money, don’t you think they deserve to have a Rolls Royce-type facility instead of a facility that runs like a janky little donut shop that’s falling apart?

That’s not what these people are looking for.

They’re not looking for a place that’s falling apart and screwed up. They want to know that the money that they pay is going towards great equipment, good smell, good sight, etc.

If you have light bulbs that are burnt out, replace those light bulbs, man. I can’t tell you how many gyms I’ve walked into across the country with light bulbs that are burnt out.

If there’s a marker board on the wall, and the marker board is crooked, fix the marker board.

One time, I was at a gym in London, and the dudes had a black leather couch—stained with white blotches—in their facility. That was actually part of the waiting area.

I asked them, “Fellows, what are those?”

“Oh, we were mixing up a protein shake and some spilled.”

I go, “ If I’m a Miss Jones, and I come in here to test drive you guys for two weeks of a low-barrier offer, man, I’m not going to buy from you.”

If you have cables sticking out, tuck those cables in somewhere. If your place smells like broccoli and egg whites, fix it. Do something about it.

That is the number one factor that determines whether people are going to buy from you and refer you.

So let me give you an example. A lot of prospects who want to join our Fit Body Boot Camp franchises owners will first check out Fit Body Boot Camp locations in their neighboring towns and cities.

But after they do that, guess what they do next?

They come to the Fit Body Boot Camp headquarters, because they want to meet us and see what we’re all about. They meet our staff, the team that will be working for them and driving their traffic and all that great stuff.

Now, I’m guessing that if you want to become a Fit Body Boot Camp franchise owner, you’ll spend a lot of money with us over a long period of time. If we’ll be in a working relationship, you want to know that our place is clean and well managed.

We’ve got almost 30 people working in our office here, and it looks spotless.

We keep the HQ clean because first impressions are everything.

When someone comes in to our headquarters, it doesn’t matter if they come to the business development center, or if they go to where we website design, or if they check out our filming studio—everything is spotless.

You’ve got to keep your shit spotless and updated, because if you don’t, the first impression you’ll make is that you don’t give a crap about your facility. What that shows is that you don’t give a crap about the service that you provide and the results that you claim to deliver.

That’s the truth.

Think of it this way. What do we tell our clients? When you get in better shape, when you start eating cleaner, when you work out more, you start building what? You start building confidence, in addition to losing weight and getting fit, right?

When you have more confidence, what typically happens? Your relationships improve. Your working relationships improve. I’ve had clients tell me that they’ve gotten raises after they started training with me because they were just better at their job and more confident at what they did.

If someone is unsure about their facility, if their place is kind of janky, what do you think that does to the subconscious mind?

What do you think it does to their confidence?

Do you think they’d be able to close with full confidence that they’d sell a multi-thousand dollar training program?

Probably not.

So if you’re wondering why you’re losing sales, why your current clients are not referring people, odds are you’re either not getting results or you’re not that proud of the place.

And if you’re not proud of the place, you’re not going to talk about it, right?Screen-Shot-2014-11-11-at-9.22.41-PM-300x204-vIQqmL.png

Really, this is the intangible that 99 percent of all personal trainers forget to do. There are literally FREE leads being left on the table, and you have the chance to take them for yourself. You just have to tie up the loose ends.

Part of it happens because when you get into your own training facility or boot camp, you get desensitized? You’re used to it.

You’re used to that light bulb being burnt out. You’re used to the marker board being crooked. You’re used to the paint falling off the walls. You’re used to the funky smell.

But the prospect who just came in, and is comparing you to the place down the street, they’re not used to that shit.

If you deliver a donkey, but promised a unicorn, man, you’ll have a hard time getting your clients to know, like, and trust you.

Committed to your success,

Bedros