I’m willing to bet that at one point or another in your career you came up with a creative new way to shake things up with your clients. Maybe that idea didn’t make it that far from the drawing board. At some point in the process it was stifled. Either you or your clients weren’t ready for change.
Our profession can inspire creativity and stifle it at the same time. Our time with clients is precious. They want results, and you can’t risk using them as guinea pigs to try an untested service.
This is where the focus group and a trial period come in. While long time clients may be set in their ways, there are people out there looking for “the next big thing” in fitness. Market your new training program to them. Offer it as a “low cost” trial period. This accomplishes four things.
- By offering something new to the marketplace at a discounted price and to a small sample size (a.k.a. new clients), you have created a live experiment for your personal training business.
- It helps break you out of your funk, and gives you an opportunity to let your creativity run wild.
- This experiment will help you figure out if it is something your target audience wants and if you can incorporate it into your regular services.
- It also helps you iron out any kinks before you offer it to the entire service area.
Focus Group Process
- Limit the size and availability of the focus group.
- Market it as an exclusive trial period for a certain demographic and/or psychographic.
- Schedule all members within a certain time period for the same number of sessions.
- Have each member fill out a survey prior to the first session.
- Document current state of health of members.
- Have each member keep a journal of their experience with you as a trainer.
- Keep track of results.
- Provide results, tips and advice on how to improve their overall health.
- Request that each member fills out an exiting survey.
- Ask each member if they would like to continue as a client at a discounted rate.
Marketing the Focus Group
Promote the focus group through traditional channels, through social media and your community to spread the word. Use gift cards as the means to offer the discount.
For a limited time you have the undivided attention of your focus group members. Use this opportunity to build a relationship with them. Really show them the value and benefits of your services. Utilize this opportunity to build your fan base. Whether they become regular clients or not, they can always be brand ambassadors who refer their friends and family members to you when asked.
Plus, they will provide you feedback about not only your new “idea,” but also your regular training tactics. They will help you improve as a personal trainer. Their feedback can save you time and money by giving you a thumbs up or down before marketing your new service to the marketplace.
And, ultimately, this trial period offers you a means to get you face-to-face with potential clients. Take full advantage of this process to show these “potential clients” how much you care about becoming the best personal trainer possible and that their opinions matter to you.
Regardless of the industry, customers want to know that you genuinely want to see them succeed, and that you are are always willing to listen and change.
So, pretend you are our focus group, what would you say about NFPT?