Episode 69: Lessons in Increasing Your Retention Rate with Dr. Paul Bedford- The Retention Guru

Dr. Paul Bedford

What can trainers or studio owners do to keep their clients loyal and coming back to class?

Dr. Paul Bedford

Owner, Retention Guru

What can trainers or studio owners do to keep their clients loyal and coming back to class? Spoiler: It’s not about the money. In this episode we talk about how to create a loyal following and high retention rates – and why it’s all about psychology. Learn how to keep your clients coming back!

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

• How to skyrocket your retention rate

• Understand your client’s motivators and psychology

• How to connect with new and long term customers

Here's the Complete List of Tips:

1. Success in Fitness (00:50)

“The sign of growth and success in fitness is the ability to have a high retention rate”

Not only does it speak of the quality of your classes, it’s also a prerequisite for a financially successful business. You need people that continually seek your services and want to belong to your community. Cheap deals and lowering prices won’t do the trick – but an emotional connection will. “If you don’t get their head, you don’t get their body”

2. It's all about Psychology (08:54)

To begin with, you need to understand your clients’ psychology: Programs and teaching quality are important factors, but above all you need to manage anxieties. Very often people who come to your studio or class are afraid of embarrassing themselves or not fitting in or not being able to follow. It’s important that you make your newcomers feel comfortable, confident and like they belong. Help them develop their basic skills in order build up self-esteem and compliment on smaller achievements. Shouting motivational slogans alone has no real impact: If you actually want to motivate, comment on a specific skill progression and the effort they put into their workout and showing up.

Action Tip: Transform your first timers into loyal customers by helping them to get rid of anxieties around working out.

3. New vs. Experienced (14:00)

When working with first timers it’s all about getting them to recognize the routine of showing up and how important regularity is. You should praise on their effort to be involved and their persistence; your first timers need to start thinking of themselves as exercisers, because when they are confident they will show up.

The more experienced exercisers mainly want recognition for working hard – show them that you know them personally and that you recognize that.

4. Creating a Connection / Trainers (19:44)

Giving your attention to each of the class attendees can be difficult, but there are some simple strategies you can follow: Greet everyone as they’re getting in, and thank them for coming as they leave. Make eye contact when speaking (especially when giving recognition) even if you can’t come over. Ask people for a show of hands if they’re going to be joining you next week and get them to make a public commitment.

In a nutshell: Exercisers who have a personal connection with their trainer are a lot more likely to keep coming back.

5. Creating a Connection / Studio Owners (23:40)

The front desk is usually a client’s first impression of your studio and can be a great asset in managing a (potential) client’s anxiety: Front desk staff should be the first to greet when someone new walks in, welcome them and help answer any questions or solve problems. Think through all the issues where a newcomer might get stuck and make sure that they get acquainted with your processes and receive instructions on navigating the studio. As they leave, ask them about class and their experience: If people hear themselves confirming they had a good time, their unconscious will take notice.

6. Practical things (32:11)

Action Tip: Get the little things right! A lot of things that might cause the customer issues (like forgetting an essential workout item) and showing that you thought of it by providing it (even without someone asking) creates a huge amount of loyalty for customers.

7. When people stop coming (37:37)

The numbers show that if someone starts visiting less than once a week, they are very likely to quit. Oftentimes, instead of recognizing that they’re having trouble with committing, they’ll blame the club for not providing what they need. If you want to get through to those clients, you need to understand their motivation first. Goals like losing weight or getting strong are not motivators, they are results. Becoming more confident, e.g., would be a motivator. You need to remind your clients of what motivates them. When someone's frequency drops you should to get in touch with them and ask how they’re getting on, but don’t directly talk about them not showing up.

8. All about the experience and timing a sale (44:35)

The experience is the real product you’re selling – not any equipment or amenities etc. If you want to make a sale, don’t do it when people come into class but while they’re actually buying something (since they’ll already be in the right mindset); up-sells work best at the counter while people are already buying.

Other References in This Episode:

Retention Guru
Episode 35
Episode 61
Spin Towel & use promo code "BARRY" or for studio owners, mention FCM!

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