When you get a coaching job, you should try to be the best coach you can.
When you open a business, you have to sell.
Fitness is a hard business. No one is compelled to work out. Most people don’t want to work out. No one wants to do meal prep on Sunday nights.
Like it or not, you have to sell people on the idea of doing something they don’t like. Then you have to sell them on the idea that they will like your service better than the alternatives. Then you have to sell them on the idea that your price carries better value. And then you have to sell them on continuing—every damn day.
In this series, I’m going to shine light on the “Dark Side of Your Business.” I’ll tell you:
– Why you don’t need secret scripts (and what you actually do need).
– Why you don’t have to feel like a slime ball to sell more.
– Why I write about “selling” more than anything else these days.
– The huge epiphanies I learned from my first coach, Joe Marcoux (he’ll actually be on Two-Brain Radio with me).
First: the two sides to your business.
Operations and Audience
Your business has two parts.
First, operations. This is how you actually deliver your service. Great operations mean excellent coaching and care for your clients, consistency in your pricing, and clarity in your processes. A great measure of your operational excellence is how long people stay with your gym (we call that length of engagement or LEG).
Second, audience. This is how many people pay attention and how many of those people pay you money. Great audience building means high-value sales, following a Prescriptive Model, and using the Help First philosophy. A great measure of your audience-building excellence is how much people pay for your service (we call that average revenue per member or ARM).
Now, most coaching businesses and certifying agencies don’t tell you about the second part.
They say, “Just be a great coach and your clients will refer their friends!” or “Follow the path from Level 1 coach to Level 4 coach and you’ll make more money.”
Of course, they’re selling certifications. But I don’t need to give you my opinion on the value of this advice: Just ask yourself if it’s been true for you.
The truth reported to us by thousands of gym owners is this: It’s not enough to wait and hope. Your clients aren’t salespeople. You have to take control of the conversation and build your audience. As a business owner, that’s your job.
How to Build an Audience
First, you need to know exactly what your “core” audience wants. Then give it to them. This almost always results in your clients paying more (an increase in their ARM) for longer (an increase in their LEG).
Tip: They don’t all want the same group classes forever.
Second, you need to know what the people closest to your clients want.
Tip: You can give these people what they want, too.
Third, you need to tell strangers how you’ll solve their problems.
Tip: If you can’t actually solve their problems, don’t waste money on marketing.
Start from the inside out. Most gym owners don’t actually know what their best clients want from them or how much they’re willing to pay for it. Why would they start spending money on marketing before they figure this out?
You don’t need to hire a special “sales training” or “marketing” program. We teach you how to do all of it in the first stage of mentorship, then give you access to sales specialists in the second stage.
“Don’t find an audience for your product. Find products for your audience.” —Seth Godin