Most of the time the word "value" gets confused with "price" - which is completely wrong, writes James Anderson. You see, "price" is what you pay for something, "value" on the other hand is what you believe something to be worth.
A perfect example of this is art -- let's use Picasso in this instance. I look at his work and have no idea what the fuss is about, but some people are willing to pay millions for his paintings. It's all about subjectivity.
In the case of the personal training industry, your clients have to first have see value in you before they'll be willing to part with their hard-earned cash. But once they're training with you, don't forget that you can always offer more value to them to ensure you develop an even greater relationship.
So, here's a list of 24 budget-friendly, creative ways to add value to your personal training clients and customers without breaking the bank.
1. Be present
In a world full of distraction so the precious commodity of being fully engaged and present with the people you come into contact with will instantly create a valued connection.
The more you listen, the more you can learn about someone. It costs you nothing but adds everything you need to be able to ensure you're fulfilling your client's needs.
3. Eye contact
You'd be surprised how quickly you can connect with someone when you look them directly in the eye, not only when listening, but also when communicating.
One of the best things about Facebook is that it now tells you when it’s someone’s birthday. However, if you’re not Facebook friends with your clients, then at least ensure you enter their birthday in your phone as a reminder.
Then either text, call, email or give them a big hug if they’re silly enough to train on their birthday. Just do something to make sure they know you’re thinking of them.
5. Follow up
It’s as simple as a text message the day after their session to check in on how they’re feeling. Don’t make it a generic message, ensure you personalise it to each client.
6. Random message/call
Although it may seem like an out of the blue message to your clients, these can be planned in advance by you. These don’t have to be a weekly thing, either. I suggest making these type of calls/messages once every 3-4 weeks to ensure they continue to have a powerful impact.
7. Check in
We all have bad things happen, so if one of your clients seems a little off, or mentions something that they're having a tough time, then "check in" with them. A simple "Are you ok" goes a long way to show your clients that you're thinking of them.
8. Handwritten letter, note or card
Although emails and texts are easy forms of communication, they don’t have the same impact as something handwritten by you personally. You’d be surprised how powerful this one can be.
9. Complimentary session
Reward your clients with a complimentary session for reaching a milestone, goal, or simply for being an awesome client. This costs you nothing but an hour of your time but will give you so much more in return.
10. Be punctual
No matter how busy you become, always be punctual. Schedule more time between clients or just plan your sessions to ensure you're not going over time — whatever you do, just make sure you value your clients by valuing their time.
Reassurance and encouragement are great, but it’s far more powerful to be honest when they're doing well, as well as not so well. Praise and reward results and support and encourage when things are not going so well.
Make sure your current clients always come before potential clients. If someone approaches you about training when you're training a client, quickly and politely offer them a business card and state that you're training someone.
13. Photo shoot
If your clients have an amazing transformation then rather than just record their before and afters, pay for a professional photo shoot for them as a gift.
14. Small gifts
Movie tickets, supplements, books, magazine subscriptions, and iTunes vouchers are all easy ways to show appreciation for your client's hard work, dedication, commitment, and business.
Have a monthly newsletter that you send out to your clients keeping them up to date with things that they might find helpful. You don't always have to create new content either, a simple trick is to provide and arrange links to great articles, in addition to your own content.
16. Specific information
Many of your clients will be time poor and won't know where to look when faced with a more detailed problem about their health.
This is where you can take the time to research and learn about their problem or concern and offer them a concise explanation as well as educating yourself further about more areas in health.
17. Hold regular social events
BBQ, restaurants, rock climbing and lawn bowls are just a few ideas. None of these cost more than a few hundred dollars, but your clients will love you for it.
18. "Client of the month"
Include them in your newsletter with a little blurb about why they're the client of the month.
Give them a small gift as well as sharing on your social media channels (with their permission). Everyone loves to feel significant.
19. Client event
This event could be more of a once a once a year thing and may cost you a little more money but it's a great way to bring all your clients together and say thank you.
20. Special occasions
If you get invited to an event, especially their birthday or wedding, then go. This shows that there's more to the relationship than simply being paid by the hour.
Another great way to show value whilst being efficient in your time is to develop seminars for your clients about specific topics.
Make it free for your clients, as well as offering them the chance to bring along a friend for free, too.
22. Create a private Facebook page
This is another great way to keep in contact with all your clients as well as creating a platform for them to ask health and fitness questions that may have answers that will also be beneficial to your other clients.
This is another place to add value through content such as daily quotes, articles, discount offers, and motivational videos to name a few.
I write about being "human" in a lot of my articles because it's the one thing that we all share in common.
An easy way to connect with your clients is to ensure you think about the person and what they might be going through and ensure that you show compassion and empathy. When people know they're not just another number, then you're doing things right.
24. Get results!
At the end of the day, if you're not getting results for your clients, then you're not showing them the value they're paying you for and all these other things are just fluff.
At the end of the day, these are simply scratching the surface of what is possible when it comes to adding value, but as long as you're trying to improve your client's life, then you're on the right track.
Ready to develop your career in fitness? Read more expert advice from Australia's personal training professionals, here.