My post about my experience at Orangetheory has me thinking about what it must be like for a new exerciser. (The same could go for a new wellness client, too.) It may feel like forever since you first walked into a gym or dove into the pool or had your first experience with chiropractic or acupuncture. Do you remember what that felt like? Do you remember what doubts and questions ran through your mind? We overcame those uncertainties and now it’s a way of life for us, but not so for everyone else.
Your next client may be someone who hasn’t exercised since high school. Someone who grew up with poor eating habits and has no clue where to start. Someone who doesn’t even know they need you…yet. So, how do we reduce the distance between yet and now?
- First step is to decide who your clients are. Your business may cater to obstacle course veterans or whole food-vegans. HIIT gyms may not appeal to everyone in your area. Get clear on who you are trying to attract.
- Put yourself in their shoes or try on their mindset. How does that person feel? What are they thinking? What are they wanting or needing? What kind of life do they want?
- What barriers will they have to overcome to take those first steps through your door? Mental barriers are as intimidating as physical barriers. Try to take an objective look at your practice. Maybe even ask a few passersby to give you their honest thoughts on your online presence, your storefront, your product.
- Where are they hiding right now? Are they spending time at the public library or the local Tim Horton’s instead of in your facility? Are they attending community functions? Find them where they are and reach out to them there!
- Consider creative ways to reduce the intimidation factor when meeting potential new clients. Hold introductions on neutral ground (get out of the office for a bit!) Show new clients around your gym when your die-hard bodybuilders aren’t pumping iron. Be a member of your community an attend local events.
- Remember what it was like to be a newbie. Recruit new clients keeping in mind this may be a scary and life-changing decision someone is contemplating. Take time regularly to look at your business objectively and fine-tune your promotional strategy.
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