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Personal Training Profits From Retention – Are You Just Hoping They Stay?


Personal Training Profits


Everyone talks about retention, but how many people actually have systems in place to ensure they reap maximum reward from what should be the lifeblood of their fitness businesses?


Probably 10% at best.

Most trainers approach to retention is this: “If I’m getting my clients great results they won’t leave.” I don’t think I’d define that as a systematic approach.

Personal Training Profits Are Right In Front Of You

We all know (at least I think we do) that it’s much more expensive to acquire a client than it is to keep one. So why so little attention to keeping them and so much to new business?

Well, it wouldn’t be fair for me to point out the wrong way without providing an alternative, now would it? So here are some tips for improving your retention:


1. Learn everything you can about your clients. Brian Calkins (one of the smartest trainers anywhere) created a form modeled after Harvey Mackay’s “Mackay’s 66”- a questionnaire in his book Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive. Brian and his staff know everything from their clients’ anniversaries to their favorite music. (I’m trying to get Brian to do a product detailing all the things that he does to separate himself from the pack. Cross your fingers.)

2. Use what you learn. Send cards and notes during special occasions. Play client’s favorite music when they’re training (when you can), mention family members by name. People love special attention. Give it to them.

3. Constant Contact. Dan Kennedy suggests contacting your clients at least 26 times per year outside of the times they are actually doing business. Send weekly email newsletters (Cliff Latham’s is awesome…Check it out at, send monthly or at least quarterly “snail mail newsletters, send the cards and notes in just mentioned. Have special client appreciation events. Make them really appreciate doing business with you.

4. Use the “Velvet Rope.” Ryan Lee and Jim Labadie really pushed this concepts last year and it’s brilliant (wait to see the “buzzword this year…It’s going to be worth big $$$$.) Make clients feel fortunate to be able to do business with you. If they don’t take you for granted they’re less likely to leave.

5. Clients must make commitments. If you’re clients are on contracts they are automatically retained. It goes back to the velvet rope thing…Only accept people will to make a commitment. Over 80% of our clients are on 12 month contracts. I believe that Alwyn Cosgrove only offers 3 month and 12 month programs. There is some piece of mind with this approach. If you’re not constantly having to re-sell them, you can focus on getting to know the clients and develop a long-term strategy for getting results.

6. Have flexible plans. Develop programs that have the clients with a trainer 3 sessions per week for 2 months, 2 sessions per week for 4 months and 1 session per week for 6 months. You now have a client retained for 12 months. Offer “continuous success” programs where you’ll meet with people and provide program design and assessment on a monthly basis. By being flexible you can keep people on board that would typically drop off.

This is probably just scratching the surface, but I think it’s a good start. I’ll talk about referrals and how they will boost your personal training profits in a couple of days.

PS – Jim Labadie asked me to write an article about systems for his newsletter that went out today. Needless to say, I was very flattered as I am not aware of Jim asking anyone to do that before. I’m certain he doesn’t make a habit of it. If you don’t subscribe to his newsletter, you’re really missing out on some great Personal Training Profits tips…It’s one of the few that I really look forward to. You can subscribe at:

Talk to you later.

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