How to Keep Clients Long-Term in Your Boot Camp

Today we’re going to talk about the secret weapon of all hugely profitable fitness boot camps…

Client retention! 

You see, there’s research that proves that, especially in our industry, it’s expensive to get new clients, but KEEPING clients you already have is cheap and profitable.

Now obviously, you can use the systems, tools, and advice I’ve been giving you to get a constant stream of clients with every low overhead…

But guess what?100 dollar puzzle 3

Paying ANYTHING for a new client is never going to be as sweet a deal as getting FREE MONEY from your current clients.

Now of course, you consider your clients part of your tribe. They are your special people that you need to support and protect.

I get it, dude, that’s exactly how I think about it.

Still, from a business perspective, you might as well consider your existing clients a source of free money, and I’ll explain why.

Think about it this way…

To get a new client, you need to pay for Facebook ads and schedule time to consult with them and close them.

But with your current clients, you only need to keep them in your program and get them to renew their contracts or refer new clients to you.

So today, I’m going to give you some zero-cost techniques for just that!

Boot Camp Client Retention Technique 1: Private Facebook Group

 

If you don’t have one already, set up a private Facebook group for all your boot camp clients.

Here, either you or your admin or trainers should jump in regularly to interact with clients and give them fun conversation topics to work with.

The idea here is get them to think of your Facebook group as their go-to, favorite online hang-out spot.

Really, you want them to think of your Facebook group as their “second home” online. It should be where they feel safe and comfortable, and where they know they can find all their friends.

Not only will this make it easier for them to hit their fitness and weight loss goals (making you look like a badass trainer)…

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 7.42.40 PM…this makes it tougher for them to give up, leave your program, or simply forget to renew their contracts.

Think about it: most people can give up on their workout routine pretty easily – they’ve done it many times before.

But few people are able to easily break away from a community or group of friends. Our human tribal instincts encourage us to stick close to groups that we like once we’re already in.

Boot Camp Client Retention Technique 2: Say it Up Front

 

A lot of struggling trainers I know have this idea that it’s easier to sell people on short-term training packages so that you can upgrade them to longer packages later on.

This is really the opposite of the truth, and I’ll explain why:

If you sell your prospects on short-term training, that sets up a particular frame in their mind. It makes them think of your training as a “quick fix” that they only need to do once.

That means that you’ve going to have fight like heck to get them to renew each time the contract goes up, because you’re basically negotiating a completely new deal each time.

Here’s what you want to do instead… 

Every time you interact with prospects, even in your email and social media marketing, make it clear that your program is part of a fully integrated healthy lifestyle.

Sure, you definitely should still use things like LBOs, challenges, and free trial workouts to give your prospects a taste of your training and lower their resistance to buying.

But you ALWAYS want to make sure they understand that real clients, the ones who are serious about getting in sexy shape and living healthy, are in it for the long game. Your program is designed for 6, 8, even 12 month commitments because you know you can make the results stick.

AND, your smartest clients will renew every time because they want to keep up their awesome progress.

When you build all of this into your marketing, and when you build it into your sales process as well, you are “future pacing” your prospects to become long-term clients. That way, they’ll be more willing to sign longer contracts and more likely to renew those contracts when the time comes.handshake

Also, you should do the same thing with referrals. Make it clear up front that providing referrals is a condition of doing business with you, and you will have no trouble getting referrals later on.

Boot Camp Client Retention Technique 3: Give Unexpected Rewards

 

The key word here is “unexpected.”

Thanks to some weird features of human psychology, when people get unexpected rewards for doing something, they are WAY more likely to keep doing it.

In fact, they are even more likely to keep doing it than if they receive expected rewards!

So the best way to implement that in your personal training studio or boot camp is to reward your clients for things like “best attitude” or “most intense workout” or “most inspiring.”

Don’t tell them ahead of time these categories exist. Don’t even tell them you plan on giving out awards.

When you’ve picked someone one, just pull them aside before or after a workout and present the award to them.

If you want to keep this simple and cheap, you can simply grab a certificate template online, put in your signature, their name, your business name, and the title of the award, and print it out to go on your wall.

If you want to multiply the effect, you can always spring for something more expensive or flashy.

Remember: the point of this is to make your client feel special and make them LOVE working out at your gym. Really, you want to turn your training into a positive addiction for them – something that helps them have health and confidence and is something they can’t give up.

Do all this, and you should have no problem keeping clients around long-term.

Committed to Your Success,

Bedros