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The 10 Stages of a Personal Trainer’s Sales Pipeline. Do You Know What They Are?

If you’re looking at people as either clients or not, you’re likely leaving a lot of money on the table and doing your sales process a disservice.  But, this is how many trainers look at their prospective clients.  If you have any kind of consultative process in your personal training business, you probably have about 10 stages that any person could be at at any given time in their lifespan.  Let’s go over what they are and how you can better manage each stage to hopefully sell and retain more clients.  All of your marketing efforts progress leads into falling into these stages.

  1. Suspects-Anyone in a large pool of people who could buy from your business. You know little about them.
  2. Prospects-A more qualified person who has stronger indicators of being a good candidate for your service.
  3. Leads (unqualified)-Someone who has taken some action to distinguish themselves as interested in your service.
  4. Qualified leads not scheduled for consult-A lead who has all the right indicators (time, budget, location, etc.) for your service, but have not set a consult appointment time yet.
  5. Leads scheduled for consultation-These are people awaiting their consultation appt. with you.  
  6. Leads who have done a consultation, but not signed-Did not convert for whatever reason. Need to think about it, look at budget, talk to spouse, going on vacation, etc.
  7. Follow up of those not signed-This person could sign up in a day or in a year. Follow up is needed either way.
  8. Leads signed on as client
  9. Retention process for signed clients-You need to keep this person successful and happy which requires a whole process in itself.
  10. Referral of new lead (start back at stage 3 again)-If you’ve done stage 9, the person should refer you to others like them who are leads back at stage 3.  Start the pipeline over with that new person.

Chances are you might not have ever recognized that there were that many stages.  Most trainers fail in pre-qualifying leads and in the follow up process.

Tools to Manage Your Sales Pipeline

If there’s that many stages and you have many people in them at any given time, how can you keep track of it all.  How are you ever going to have time to do all of that?  That’s where organizational tools come in to help you visualize where each person is.  And to keep you on track for following up when you need to, what tasks you need to do for each person, who to email, who to call, whose birthday it is, etc.

Tools can also help you automate the process.  Like follow up.  Marketing is a lot about repetition.  In general it takes multiple touches before a person decides to actually pull the trigger to call you.  If you get a lead, email them, don’t hear back and then throw their contact info in the trash, you’re not marketing effectively.  Let’s say you get a lead, they appear to be fairly qualified.  But, you use your automation software to follow up with them through a variety of channels for as long as a year or more.  Maybe once a week for 3 weeks or a month.  Once a month after that.  It might be a year before they ever actually call you, but they were aware of your business the whole time. After a year, they may realize they have not improved at all on their own and they finally need to call you.

I have a friend who built almost her entire business off of following up with 1 lead after a year that turned out to be such a great evangelist and referred a number of other people.

Imagine if you had a system that could prompt you to do all the tasks and follow up you needed to do or just do it for you.  There would be no forgetting, no mistakes, no lost sales, no lack of contact with leads for extended time, no missed occasions.  All the things we’re all guilty of forgetting as humans.

You could have someone move easily from each stage of the sales pipeline to the next with the click of a button and be able to view them all in a clear and organized manner.  Easier still is if they are moved on their own by taking some action that triggers a conditional workflow. Maybe they click a link in an email, respond to an email, open one, subscribe or unsubscribe, and the system takes the appropriate action you assigned it based on tracking their behavior. They may be moved to the next stage, started into another automation, a tag added to their contact, sent to another list, criteria added to their contact to reach a goal, a task added to their contact for you to do.  There are many possibilities.

Let’s say you have 2 new consultations this week, your system follows up with a text to remind them of their appointment (automation) while simultaneously following up with educational content for 100 other prospects and leads on your list (follow up), and sending out a birthday card for an existing client this week (retention).  This is how an efficient business should run.  If you have any amount of clients currently, it’s easy to see how you can get busy and these things can fall by the wayside.  But, you probably don’t want to hire someone else just to follow up with your leads manually either.  The technology at our hands is a solution to this situation.  Subscribe to learn more about maximizing the value in your personal trainer sales pipeline.

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3 Selling Strategies Every Personal Trainer Can Automate

Since most of us as personal trainers don’t like the act of selling very much, wouldn’t it be nice to automate parts of the sales process we don’t like doing?  You can take some of the leg work out of the process and only deal directly with people who are good candidates when they come in to see you.  In that moment, you can be confident that you don’t have to put on some show or use an arsenal of combative sales tricks to try to close the person.  You can be calm and comfortable know that they are likely a good client and there’s a better chance than not that they will end up signing up.

In our experience, most trainers look at people as either a client or not.  And that’s really missing the boat when it comes to the sales process.  If you use any kind of consultation process, there is likely 10 stages to your sales pipeline.  There is a lot that you have to manage between a group of random suspects in your local population and an actual paying client giving your repeat business and referring others.  Getting any given person from one stage to the other requires about 8 other stages in between.  If you don’t know that or if you aren’t managing your sales pipeline that way, you’re likely leaving money on the table and losing leads that you worked hard to get.  Luckily, with the right tools, you can automate a lot of that process.  So if you don’t like it, or forget to do things like follow ups, automation tools will take care of that for you.  Probably better than you or another person can because it will be on time and mistake free.

Click here to read the article.


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3 Lead Generation Strategies Every Personal Trainer Can Automate

Click here to read the article.

Lead generation and sales are the hardest things for all of us in the fitness business. Take a look at this article from our friends and Infusionsoft on 3 lead generation strategies personal trainers can automate.

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Tips for Writing the Best Facebook Ads (With Examples)

We can’t tell you how many people we talk to that are obsessed with facebook ads lately. And for good reason. But, it can be tricky. It’s not as easy as slapping up an ad and getting 300 leads and $10,000 worth of paying clients in one month in a single step. But, a lot of people seem to think that’s going to happen.

This is a good article to help you break down each step in the process to maximize your targeting, and hopefully, your conversions to paying clients.

Check it out here. 9 Tips to Write the Best Facebook Ads Ever (With Examples)

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Starting a Fitness Business

Starting a Fitness Business

Starting a fitness business should be no different than starting any other business.  Many people get into it because they enjoy fitness and working out, themselves.  That may or may not be a good reason.  But, that’s something you’ll have to explore for yourself.  Consider that because it is something you enjoy, that doesn’t mean that it will translate well into the coaching skills you’ll need to convey concepts and deliver programs to other people.  Obviously, it helps if you’re passionate about the subject.  So even if you don’t have those skills yet, if you have a burning desire to learn and immerse yourself in it, you can acquire them.

Before you start, it is always good to ask yourself or really assess yourself for readiness to actually begin in this field.  I always like this list of questions from Harvey Mackay.  It’s sort of an entrepreneur test.

Additionally, there are some industry specific things that you will want to ask yourself too.

  1. Are you ok with irregular income especially in the beginning?
  2. Is this something you want to do part time or move to full time?
  3. Are you ok with working odd hours?
  4. Do you feel like you have the energy to bring your A game for every client’s session?
  5. Are you ok with not being able to generate income if you are unable to work (sickness, vacation, injury)?
  6. Are you ok with managing the business side of things in addition to building your technical skills?
  7. Are you ok with dealing with difficult or demanding problems clients may have?

Professional Trainer adIt’s quite a challenge to navigate all of that.  Some of us may never be ready to handle all of it.  Some people are.  I’ll be honest, most people I work with never make much of getting into the field.   Probably 1% or less.  Most times, it’s because their skills are lop sided one way or another.  Maybe they are great at delivering programs, but don’t want to market to find new leads or new clients.  Maybe they get new leads and clients all the time, but don’t have a good ability to retain them with their technical skills and good relationship skills.

If you are ok with all of that and have a high tolerance for such things, you may be a good candidate for starting a fitness business.  The next hurdle to overcome is people tend to wait for the right time.  No time is perfect.  Wasted time is the biggest cost you could ever incur.  You should absolutely be organized and have a solid plan, but don’t let fear or the unknown paralyze you either.

The barriers to entry into the field are currently low.  If you realistically feel like this is right for you, the time for starting a fitness business is now.  S.P.A.R.T.A. is here to help with that.