It happens every year around this time: the summer slump. Walk-ins are few and far between, check-ins are down and group class attendance is even starting to dip. Not to mention the negative impact on personal training lead generation. So, we put our heads together once again to try to figure out how to get more people in the gym. It’s kind of like trying to reinvent the wheel every summer. Let me invite you outside the box. Here are six ideas that can boost the personal training lead generation for your team this summer.
1. Venture into the group fitness room. You won’t find a more captive audience that the people in group fitness classes. Group exercise regulars are some of your most dedicated members, especially this time of year. A trainer that teaches group exercise is always on the lookout for potential personal training clients among participants. This is where some other trainers tend to miss the personal training lead train. A trainer can gain exposure in this space in two ways.
The first way is by experiencing the class as a participant. It is amazing how many people will approach you when you are out of uniform. Another option is to ask the instructor if you can speak to the class for a minute just before the start. Trainers can use that time on the mic to introduce themselves and offer to be available after class to assist in stretching or answer any questions.
The most difficult part about this group is that they typically choose group exercise as their workout because they want to blend in rather than stand out. The thought of one-on-one attention might be intimidating. If you don’t get the response you are looking for, try again by offering a trial group training session for up to four or five people.
2. Take your workouts outside. Remember how much you loved recess as a kid? Most of our clients are cooped up in an office all day and miss the opportunity to get outside for some fresh air. Even if you just do the warm up and/or cool down outside, it is a great way to increase your visibility as a trainer as well as give your clients the recess they might be missing. You might be surprised at how many regular and prospective members take notice.
3. Reach out to your corporate partners. This is the fastest way to reach some of your most qualified personal training leads. Choose a small group of corporate partners and offer to host a quick 30 or 60 day “Biggest Loser” competition. If you get more than one company to agree, offer to make the competition company vs. company rather than employee vs. employee. Each contestant will receive a complementary 30-minute consultation with a trainer to get started. These will be some of your hottest leads all summer.
4. Sponsor a local race. Getting involved with events in the community seems like a no-brainer; however, there are ways that trainers can be more involved. Ask the event coordinator if trainers from your gym can lead stretching before the race. Invite all participants to your booth afterward for stretching and recovery. Last, invite everyone that stops by the booth to register to win a personal training consultation specific to their goals.
5. Use your social media pages for the training department. These days, more people get their ‘breaking news’ on Twitter and Facebook than from an actual news broadcast. Assign your fitness director or lead personal trainer to be the single administrator for the page. Hold a brainstorming meeting with your training staff on what the page should be called and which clients to approach about sharing their success stories. Have each trainer invite their current and former clients to ‘like’ the page. Once this happens, your training department page and all the content will be visible to the member and non-member friends of your club’s entire client base. Before you know it, you will have an audience of hundreds that are potential personal training clients.
You also can generate new leads by offering contests through the page. For example, post a health or nutrition trivia question and invite followers to comment with an answer. Offer prizes to the first three people who correctly answer the questions. The prizes can be things such as a week pass, a complimentary training session, etc.
6. Create vacation training camps. Everyone has heard of the Bridal Boot Camp, the Bikini Boot Camp and the Beach Body Boot Camp, but don’t underestimate the power that changing a buzz word or two can bring to the table. How about Transformation Training Camp, Extreme Weight Loss Vacation Edition, Vacation Countdown Mini Camp, just to name a few. Brainstorm with your team on ways to revamp a group training program without using the words “boot camp.”
There is no need to fear because, as you can see, there are still plenty of ways to generate personal training leads in the summer. Pull your team together to decide which of these might work best for your club at this time. You might have a little fun, too, while you’re at it.