If you’re a Personal Trainer it’s an absolute must to be good with people, right? We’ve already talked about this: A great trainer is a great people person. But if you really want to expand your fitness business into something remarkable you’ve got to make use of those finely tuned social skills far beyond the walls of your studio.
Why is this important? Well, it’s easy to fall into the habit of seclusion. Maybe you can’t stand other trainers or boot camp owners in your area, maybe you loath the local business owners who operate near you, or, like so many others, you just don’t enjoy talking to strangers.
All those situations are perfectly faultless. No one says you have to like people you don’t get along with and no one can blame you for being unwilling to push yourself into awkward and uncomfortable situations.
But while it may be OK not to like any of these situations it isn’t OK if you never learn how to get over those dislikes.
Sorry folks, but this isn’t the type of business that allows you keep to yourself all the time.
So if you’re shy or feel awkward or uncomfortable, or maybe you just don’t care enough to make the effort, you’ve got to get past all that.
Have I ever told you that I consider myself to be socially awkward? Yeah, in fact, I CAN’T STAND challenging social situations. The first time I had to speak at FBS I just about had a heart attack.
But guess what: I got over it! Because I needed to. Not because it was good for me or because I felt the need to break out of my shell. No, I broke through my social qualms because my business required it.
Just like yours requires the same of you.
Well, how then, exactly, does social grace grow your fitness business? Why is this skill so utterly important?
(This one is especially important with FBS15 just around the corner so if you’ve got a ticket and you’re getting ready for another incredible Summit make sure you read this section.)
If you’ve spent the money and gone through all the trouble to attend a fitness business conference, be it FBS or otherwise, you better make damn sure to meet as many people as you can possibly shake hands with. If you don’t, if you stick to yourself and just take in the presentations, you’ve missed the whole point.
Conferences, Summits, whatever you want to call them, exist so that you can meet and form relationships with other professionals working in your industry.
New business opportunities, ideas, and moneymaking opportunities will flood your inbox if you make friends with the right people.
This is your chance to be one of the cool kids— one of the most successful trainers in the industry. But unlike high school, you don’t have to play football to fit in. All you’ve got to do is walk up to the people you want to connect with, stick out your hand, and start doing businesses.
But what about when you aren’t at a conference? What about your day-to-day networking?
Get to know other trainers in your area.
Just because someone is a competitor doesn’t mean they’re your enemy. You have and always will have competition. You can’t put them all out of business and you don’t need to in order to be successful. So instead of working against them for your own gain, why not find ways to work with them for your gain as well as theirs?
Look, you don’t have to go out and give a chunk of your business to your rivals. All I’m saying is that you should see competitors more as colleagues than challengers.
If you spend a bit of effort, introducing yourself and forming relationships with the other trainers and fitness business owners in your area, what do you think will happen?
You’ll get a call or an email inviting you to take part in this event, work with that city organization, speak at this conference, or whatever it may be. The more people you know, the more opportunity you have. The more colleagues you form positive relationships with, the more opportunity you will have to grow your businesses.
But your networking skills are also going to come in handy when you’re just out and about running into perfect strangers. Whether you’re checking out at the grocery store or waiting in line for your coffee, you’re constantly surrounded by potential clients.
Increase your odds of catching someone’s attention with a branded shirt or sweatshirt and get ready to schmooze your way into getting some new clients.
If you’ve got those social graces primed and ready you’ll never have a problem convincing strangers to come and check you out at the gym.
Your business network should expand far beyond those who work in the fitness industry. What about the owner of the local health foods store? Maybe the guy who manages the juice bar down the street or the gal who sells you supplements every month? All of these people should be more than acquaintances; they need to be nurtured members of your network.
Use cross marketing to get some free advertising out of all these local business owners. Have them send an email to their list promoting you and send one out to your own list promoting them.
Ask if you can leave a stack of business cards or fliers in their stores. Or if you get real chummy they might even start referring every customer who mentions personal training. Return the favor with referrals of your own and you’ll begin to realize the power of cross marketing relationships.
You need to make sure you’re name is always on everyone’s lips. You want to become the go-to fitness expert that everyone knows but you won’t get there if you don’t make enough face-to-face connections. You’ll just be that guy that no one ever wants to talk to…
Committed to your success,