Are any of your clients leaving town for a summer vacation? This is the time of the year when people go adventuring around the world or maybe even in their own backyards! Wherever the vacation (or staycation) may be, you may notice clients cutting back on sessions because they’re spending so much time having fun in the sun. Here are a few tips to make the scheduling gaps feel smaller by using the season to your advantage.
Network with likeminded people
Other independent health practitioners are also experiencing more downtime with clients away in the summer. Get connected with personal trainers, Pilate’s instructors, yoga teachers, massage therapists and nutritionists while you all have the extra time.
Start by making a list of like-minded colleagues who have a mission similar to yours. If you don’t know any, search your area to see who’s out there. Contact someone every week and invite them to lunch, for a walk or to trade services.
Getting together and sharing what’s happening in your professional life can stimulate referrals and ideas and provide you with support. You’d be surprised at what arises during a brief meet-up with someone on the same mission as you.
Trade clients for full coverage
If you’ll be vacationing, consider finding another trainer who will be in town, and trade clients with them. It’ll help fill your open time slots and theirs. This will also expose each of you to a fresh set of faces.
When natural concerns arise about losing business to each other, keep in mind:
- The clients will likely be filling spots that aren’t usually available.
- Most clients are committed to the trainer they see regularly.
- The visiting client might have a friend who wants a time slot you have open that their regular trainer does not.
- This all goes both ways; it’s a win-win.
Fearful competition between professionals is uncomfortable for everyone. Clients come and go whether or not you decide to be a team player. Being collaborative sets you apart from others and creates a more supportive community. Get on board with sharing!
Organize group outings
Many people prefer to be outside in the summer. If clients fall off track a bit because they’re busy with family activities and vacations, stay on their radar by organizing a casual group hike, run or walk. This can be free, by donation or for a cost. It’s important to remind them that you’re there, even if they can’t commit to regular personal training sessions.
Exercising your leadership skills can make or break client retention. The beauty of a regular activity group is that it provides a pressure-free invitation to potential clients. It also makes it easier for your current clients to invite a friend or family member without obligation.
One other great part of group activities is the social support. Humans are creatures of community. This is why group fitness classes are so appealing. People are more likely to engage in a positive behavior when there are others doing it, too. In addition, groups help facilitate a natural feeling of accountability.
Cool off in the gym
Consider that many people want to get out of the heat and into the air conditioning during the warmer summer months. Use this as a pitch to potential clients—“Join me in the cool air of the gym; it provides relief on hot days!” If you have a pool available to you, that’s another avenue for meeting the desires of over-heated exercisers.
Attract new clients
Finding new ways to attract potential clients is key. Most school teachers have the summer months free from students. Consider organizing a group fitness class just for teachers. It’s a tight-knit network, so once you attract a few, the rest will likely hear about it.
Create a 12-week personal training program geared toward setting teachers up for the school year with a plan. You can spend the first few sessions getting to know each other and understanding their specific needs, just like you’d do with any other client. Then, set them up with a routine they can do on their own throughout the year.