Since I started working on the Personal Trainer Masterclass material I have spent a fair amount of time researching other programs out there purporting to help personal trainers build their business. They seem to fall into three general categories.
1. Transition to online training using “auto-templates”. So… it seems like this is actually focused on getting you out of the business. Am I reading this wrong? I think going the route of online training is great, but the idea that you’re just going to drop people into “auto-templates” that do the work for you is… what’s the word I’m looking for? Oh yeah, it’s dishonest. People hire trainers for their skill, experience and ability to personalize programming. Dropping everyone into “auto-templates” is scammy. Don’t be that guy. Or girl.
2. MLM (multi-level marketing) schemes. Have you seen that ad on Facebook about how so and so is going to make your business explode? I have. About 20 different times from 20 different people all using the same text. You buy the program and then sell the program to other trainers. Awesome. Real cool.
3. Focus on lead generation. I will generate you FIFTY LEADS A WEEK! That was me shouting. This last one is our focus, so let’s break it down a little further.
Generating a lot of leads is not a bad thing, particularly if you’re running a gym, promoting other trainers etc. You need to generate a lot of leads, but they need to be quality leads. This is a good example of how business coaches working with trainers often take broadly based business tactics and then incorrectly apply them to a personal training model. This is also why trainers working with non PT specific business coaches are often met with disappointment when the tactics they are taught don’t pay off the way they were told they would.
Remember that scene from Glenn Gary Glenn Ross?
Blake was not wrong in that scene. In sales you can take some pretty weak leads and turn them over into a successful sale. The problem with trying to translate these concepts to a PT business model, is that you don’t have to sell your product once, twice, or three times.
You have to sell it a thousand times, and to the same person.
Could that character have gotten on the phone with the same weak lead and then managed to sell that person the same product three times a week for five years? Probably not. In the PT Masterclass material we get more in-depth into evaluating leads and the importance of how you handle that first contact.
Here’s my other problem with this lead generation idea.
If you are practicing good client retention in your business, you should not need to be generating 20 leads a week. Again, this assumes you are a lone wolf and do not need to provide leads to other trainers. In my opinion there is way too much attention being given to lead generation, and almost no one talks about client retention. So we end up with an industry experiencing an average client turnover of 8-12 weeks.
Don’t get me wrong! There are some great sources out there to assist trainers in their business development. Unfortunately they often get lost in the white noise generated by scam artists and just flat out bad information.
I’ll be repeating this next idea in future posts, but when it comes to taking advice from someone on how to build your training business you should ask for two things.
1. Show me evidence that you have run a successful training business for three or more years. Two years could be a coincidence, three is a pattern.
2. Show me your books. Show me that you know how to generate a healthy income.