Thursday, November 30, 2006

Making Money With Weight Management

Hopefully I peaked your interest the other day with my brief post about weight management. Personally, I think that for virtually all fitness pros - excluding the sports performance folks - it's a 'no brainer' to add weight management programming to your business model. By adding this component you can potentially double your income and your client base.

Starting to sound interesting?

So just to start you thinking, here are the 3 ways we use our weight management program in our business:

Entryway Program - We use it as a"feeder program" because it funnels more people into our personal training services with an open-to-buy mindset. People who otherwise probably would not have been interested in personal training. Better yet, these people ALMOST ALWAYS (200% more often than our traditional clients) are willing to invest in dietary supplements like meal replacements and multivitamins.

Deluxe Program - We also use our weight management program as an Up Sell at the point of innitial sale with personal training. We offer a discount from our normal WM price if the client would like to upgrade to our 'deluxe program' that incorporates both training and WM. Not only do you increase the transaction value, but you also increase the likelihood of the client's success by giving them more nutritional guidance.

Back End Program - We also offer our WM program to our exisiting clients as a 'back-end service.' If a client is not progressing at the rate they would like it is often due to the dietary choices that they're making, so this is a logical addition to their program.

So we have 3 different ways that we position our WM Program...and the best part: No matter how we get the client involved they invest more in our other back-end offerings like dietary supplements, are more likely to be successful, refer more frequently and stay with us longer.

Getting more interesting by the minute, huh?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

4000 Diet Books Can't Be Wrong!

My friend Alwyn Cosgrove and I just wrapped the development of a product that is going to make a lot of fitness professionals A LOT OF MONEY :) During our conversations we discussed the importance of Weight Management programming as a component of a fitness pros' business.

Did you know:

  • There are over 4000 diet books currently in print? The reason: supply & demand. There is a huge demand for them so authors - both credible and questionable - keep churning them out.
  • Weight Watchers has been in business for over 40 years and has served MILLIONS of clients.
  • Curves - like them or not, they're the most successful fitness franchise in the world - has launched a weight management program. Why? $$$$$$$.

So, why is this important?

Simple. People don't hire a trainer to workout. They hire a trainer to achieve a desired result. And the general consensus among consumers is that their preferred choice to obtain the "typical desired result" - fat loss - is to diet, not to exercise. This means you are leaving a windfall of profits on the table if you ignore what the consumers are telling us when you choose your offerings.

I'm a little pressed for time today...Lots of cool stuff going on at FCG Hedquarters. So, over the next few posts I'll elaborate on the concept of Weight Management Programming for Fitness Professionals. I'll also share an interview with Weight Management Expert Jayson Hunter in an upcoming post.

Stay tuned!

Monday, November 27, 2006

The Most Important 10 Minutes Of The Day

I was just about to sit down and go through what I consider to be the most important 10 minutes of my day - and then thought I ought to share what I do with you.

Who knows, it might even help you like it does me.

Basically, at the end of my work day...after all the phone calls, e-mails, writing, meetings and whatever else the day might hold...I sit down and do three things:

1. I review my daily action plan in my Franklin Covey Planner (yep...I still use a paper planner. I started using the same model I currently use in 1994). I assess what I accomplished today that moved me closer to my business and personal goals, what I failed to get done that I set out to do and the progress that was made on the tasks that I delegated.

2. I review my 6 month and 18 month goals. I read these goals aloud simply to affirm them - and because I like to hear them :) Not only does this strengthen my resolve to accomplish the goals that I've set, but it serves as a great motivator to see myself accomplish things at an even faster rate than I initially anticipated. This time also serves as a period to reflect on the good fortune that has already come my way. I've been extremely fortunate and I never want to take that for granted - so I make a point to appreciate all that has come my way each evening.

3. I create my action plan for the upcoming day. I list and prioritize the actions that I will perform during the upcoming day...primarily focusing on things that will move me closer to achieving my goals. Every task gets scrutinized because I have no interest in falling into the trap of creating a "to do list" that keeps me busy but does little to help me achieve my personal and professional goals. Doing this activity in the evening also offers the added benefit of allowing me to clear my head. Several years ago, when I was still creating my action plan in the morning - I was rarely able to get to sleep at a reasonable hour due to the abundance of ideas and thoughts racing through my head. The beer probably had something to do with it too.

You probably read this and thought "what's so f$%#ing special about that"? Honestly, not much. But I will leave you with 3 questions:

1. How much time do you spend planning your day?

2. What is the ratio of time that you spend moving you closer to your goals vs time you spend that doesn't move you toward them or moves you away from them?

3. What are you doing to improve that ratio?

I am frustrated if I go a couple of hours without taking actions (even small ones) that move me closer to my goals, but I know dozens of people who go weeks - sometimes months - without taking even a step toward where they want to be.

How are you spending your time?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

An Interview With Dax Moy

Here is an interview that I did with Dax Moy that ran in the most recent edition of our newsletter. For those of you who don't know Dax or don't know much about Dax - he is one of the most accomplished and successful fitness professionals in the world today. He'll talk a little bit about what he's achieved during the interview - but he's very modest so I'll tell you this: If there was someone in this industry that I'd want to follow in the footsteps of - it would be Dax.

What I didn'tknow until recently was that Dax followed a specific goalachievement program to achieve his vast array of successes - The Magic 100. He has let his clients in on this extraordinary program with great results - and recently made it available to the public. I wanted Dax to be able to tell you more about this life-changing program - so here's what we discussed:

1. Dax, can you briefly tell me what The Magic Hundred is?

The MAGIC Hundred is quite simply a system of action steps that allow a person to go through the entire process of goal creation in a logical, systematic and results-oriented fashion which, if followed, will create success 'hits' day in, day out for 100 days. It is quite unlike anything else on the personal success 'circuit' at the moment in that rather than focusing only on positive thoughts, it asks you to commit to positive actions daily until they become habituated. It is this combination of thought, word AND action that allows those utilising the MAGIC Hundred program to achieve amazing, almost impossible things in so short a space of time. Through the book, the 2 audios and the 100 daily emails, the program keeps you focused on your goals (thoughts become things), helps you to maintain a positive attitude toward their achievement (Your attitude determines your altitude) and holds you accountable to yourself through a series of questions that need to be answered every day. The result is, I believe, one of the first systems that guide you, motivate you and support you for the entire journey that you've embarked upon. In this case, 100 days.

2. How has implelmenting the Magic Hundred in your life paid off?

The MAGIC Hundred has changed my life completely! When I first created the system and told my colleagues about it they told me I was nuts. They said that I had set myself goals that were unrealistic, out of my reach and sure to end in failure. One hundred days later I owned my first studio, the car of my (then) dreams, had nearly tripled my income, was published in national press, presented my first seminar and so many other things that I can't even remember now. In short, 100 days after writing my 'impossible' list, I had achieved 86 of those things and in doing so had changed my life forever. The MAGIC Hundred has since helped me appear on every TV channel in the UK, hundreds of publications worldwide, open 3 studios, travel the world and stay in luxurious and exotic locations, live in the outback in Australia with my family for 1 month, freefall onto the Great Barrier Reef with my 15 year old daughter, fly aeroplanes, helicopters and, I know this will sound corny but it's true, live the life of my dreams. And I don't mean that in some vague way. I mean, I literally dreamed of these things happening, I wrote about them, I visualised them, I spoke about them to anyone who would listen and... well... I now live them!

3. I understand that you use this program with your studios' clients. Can you briefly explain the premise behind that?

The 'danger' time for failing at ones goals is within the first 6 weeks or so of commencing a new behaviour. For example, when clients start with a trainer they're being asked to change how they eat, how they drink, how they move, how they sleep etc. The trouble is, all of these things are habituated behaviours. They are governed by the subconscious mind and as such, are passed into the autonomic (automatic) centers of the central nervous system where the programs related to these events and activities are run automatically. Great for freeing up mental energy but awful if those behaviours are opposed to the desired outcome. The MAGIC Hundred short circuits this programming by asking for conscious thought about many areas of life related to your goals and enables a new program to be written. One that is more conducive to the stated goals. This isn't just idle speculation. I have seen this truth hundreds, if not thousands of times with people who had tried and failed to stick to their nutrition or exercise plans or other lifestyle changes who after 100 days are not only committed to their results but self-programmed into them too.

4. What can a fitness professional expect by utilizing the Magic Hundred program?

Well, the results will be two-fold. First, any fitness professional utilising the program will see an increase in productivity, income and purpose as they find a way to re-kindle their passions for life again. If this sounds a little over the top, it's not. Abraham Lincoln once said "You can't help the poor by becoming one yourself" and not only do I agree with him, but I expand this poverty and wealth consciousness to all areas of life. Many trainers are lacking any real motivation in their own lives due to long hours, low pay and goals that they really don't believe will come true for them. How then can they with an honest heart, charge money from others for providing 'motivation' and setting goals with their clients. I know that with The MAGIC Hundred, FITPRO's will rekindle that passion again. Next, they will find that their clients will achieve more. Not just more, but faster too. They will be more driven, more focused and more intent on success than probably any other time in their lives because they will have a time scale that adds urgency to their goals and keeps them on track. Sure, people will be a little dubious at first, maybe downright sceptical but within DAYS of starting the program they will see evidence that will convince them to stick with their nutrition and exercise plans and strive for greater results in all areas of their lives. This will make the work of all fitpro's so much easier because rather than fighting a battle of wits and guile with their clients as they try to bring about adherence, they'll be co-conspirators in their success strategy.

Pat here again...pretty amazing, huh?

Well, let me tell you that I've recently started on my own Magic 100 journey and it's already been incredible. I have no doubt that Dax's program is going to play a big role in 2007 being my best year ever. If you want to learn moreabout how the Magic 100 can improve your business and your life, go to:

As you can see - this is not an affiliate link. Dax's program is already having a profound impact on my life and I have no doubt that it will do the same for you and your clients. I have nothing to gain financially from this - honestly, I just want you to be able to enjoy the same results from this that Dax already has (and continues to) and that I'm beginning to enjoy. So, as Imentioned before, you can learn more at:

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Separating The Winners From The Losers

Last week Alwyn Cosgrove, Nick Berry and I were discussing Fitness Riches and all agreed that at $37 it was perhaps the most underpriced business-building resource available today. Where else can you get valuable insight from almost 20 highly successful fitness pros about the most crucial areas of their business?

We all agreed that the price should be raised but we wanted to give everyone one last chance to order at the original they had several days to order before the price went to $49 - still a huge bargain.

So after ordering the book for $37 a trainer e-mails me to tell me that he doesn't think the book is underpriced at all. He thought that he should get more than "vague generalities"...which, I assume, meant that he should have a personalized business plan created and implemented for him.

Let's take a moment to look at this - there were 17 fitness professionals that contributed to this book. Conservatively, lets say that each of them would charge $100 / hr. for their time (very conservatively - good luck getting Alwyn, me, Eric Ruth, Nick or most of the others on the phone for $100 / hr.) So if each of the contributors spent one hour putting together their contribution - it's $1700 (minimum) worth of their time.

Now if these fitness pros would've delivered this same material in a 1 hour presentation at a seminar, what would that seminar be worth? Bedros Keuilian is charging $200 for 10 speakers at 1 hour per talk in his upcoming Fitness Business Summit.

So maybe it's the delivery format? Who knows.

But let's say that you take one idea from Fitness Riches...maybe you implement Alwyn's approach to semi-private training which is discussed at length in the first chapter. Let's say you currently charge $60 / session for 1 on 1 training, but now - by implementing this one strategy you can train 2 people at $40 / session (or three - but let's be conservative.)

Say you trained 15 sessions per week:

15 X $60 = $900
$900 X 50 weeks (2 weeks vacation) = $45,000 yr.

Now you train those same 15 sessions per week - but using the "Cosgrove Approach":

15 X $80 = $1200
$1200 X 50 weeks (2 weeks vacation) = $60,000 yr.

Hmmm...maybe I'm not much of a mathematician - but I think that's a $15,000 return on a $37 investment.

Yep - not underpriced at all.

See - I feel very strongly that if you by a book, a CD series or attend a seminar and you can't improve 1% or learn 1 thing - that is ENTIRELY your fault - not the materials fault. You just have to put your ego to the side and be willing to learn. Look around at your fellow fitness professionals - who are the most successful - the people who think they know everything or those who continually strive to improve?

My prediction - if you're bitching about making an investment in a $37 e-book - you probably have hit your ceiling as far as improvement goes - and that ceiling isn't very high.

If you want to grow, improve and "climb the ladder" in this or any other industry - you must continue to invest in your education. Ask Alwyn, Ryan Lee, Craig Ballantyne or Jim Labadie what they spend on education. I know my tab is upwards of $20,000 / yr.

Ever heard of Tom Venuto of "Burn The Fat" fame? He only has the most successful fitness e-book in history (among several hugely successful products.) On the surface it would seem he doesn't need to learn anything else - he already knows what it takes to be TREMENDOUSLY SUCCESSFUL - but guess what - Tom's purchased a couple of my products and I have no doubt those are just a couple on many that he invests in to keep himself ahead of the pack.

So if you're serious about being successful - understand that continual growth and education separates the winners from the losers.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

The Business of Fitness

As you may have already heard, the price of Fitness Riches is going up to $49 Sunday at 8 p.m. (EST). If you haven't already picked up a copy, you can at

Here is one of the chapters that I contributed to the book:

Early on in my fitness career I was yearning to own my own business, but I didn’t have any idea where to start. I was browsing around the local bookstore looking for something that might provide me a little direction when the by-line of a book caught my eye: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work And What To Do About It. Little did I know that I had stumbled across what would become the most influential business book I had ever read, The E-Myth by Michael E. Gerber.

If you’ve not had the good fortune to read this book, I urge you to go pick it up immediately, but in the mean time let me share with you excerpts from that very important book, and I quote:

“The technical work of a business and the business that does the technical work are two totally different things. But the Technician who starts a business fails to see this and that is the root cause of most business failures.

The carpenter becomes a contractor. The barber opens a barbershop. The technical writer opens a technical writing business. The hairdresser starts a beauty salon. The engineer goes into the semiconductor business. The musician opens a music store. All of them believing that because they understand the technical side of the business they are qualified to run a business that does that kind of work.

Not true!

Forty percent of start-up businesses fail within the first year. Within five years 80 percent will have failed and of those that survive those first five years 80 percent will fail within ten years.

Most businesses are operated according to what the owner wants rather what the business needs. And so you work. Ten, twelve, fourteen hours day. Seven days a week. You’re consumed by it; totally invested in doing whatever is needed to keep it alive. But you’re not only doing the work you know how to do but also the work you don’t know how to do. You are not only making it; you’re also buying, selling, shipping it. You are a master juggler keeping all the balls in the air.

It’s easy to spot the Technician’s business. If you removed the owner from the business there would be no business left. The owner and the business are one and the same thing

You don’t own a business. You own a job.

IBM, McDonalds and Procter & Gamble did not end up as mature businesses. They started out that way. Tom Watson, the founder of IBM said, “I had a very clear picture in mind of what the business would look like when it was finally done. You might say I had a model in my mind of what it would look like when the dream - my vision – was in place.”

Wow, did this hit me right between the eyes. I thought about every trainer that I knew that “owned their own business.” They all worked from five in the morning ‘till eight in the evening. No sick days. No paid vacations. They simply traded their time for their clients’ money. They had simple bought themselves jobs.

I thought back to my father. He owns a very profitable automotive repair business. Same story. Sure, he has employees, but the business completely revolves around him. If he’s sick…the business is sick. If he’s on vacation, so is the business. He bought himself a job.

The trainers, my father, they were technicians that owned businesses. I wanted to be a Fitness Entrepreneur. I wanted to own a business, not be owned by one. So I had to begin by starting from a different perspective. The mindset of a technician and an entrepreneur are almost polar opposites of one another.

The Entrepreneurial perspective asks the question. How must the business work? The Technicians perspective asks, What work has to be done? The Technicians perspective starts with the present and looks forward to an uncertain future. The Entrepreneur envisions the future and builds the present to achieve that vision.

The Technician sees no connection between where his business is now and where it is going. Lacking the grander scale and visionary guidance manifest in the Entrepreneurial model the Technician constructs a model each step of the way based on past experience - the model of work – exactly the opposite of what is needed if the business is to free him from work.

The Entrepreneurial model has less to do with what’s done in the business and more to do with how it’s done. It looks at a business as if it were a product sitting on a shelf competing for the consumer’s attention against a whole shelf of competing businesses.

The Entrepreneurial model does not start with a picture of a business to be created but of the customer for who the business is to be created. Without a clear picture of the customer no business can succeed.

The Technical business however, is designed to satisfy the Technician not the customer. To the Entrepreneur the business is the product.

Think of your business as anything but a job! Go to work on your business rather than in it and ask yourself the following questions:
· How can I get my business to work without me?
· How can I get my people to work without my constant interference?
· How can I systemize my business in such a way that it could be replicated 500 times so that 500th runs as smoothly as the first?
· How can I own the business but still be free of it?
· How can I spend my time doing the work I love to do rather than the work I have to do?

The problem isn’t your business. The problem is you and will always be until you change your perspective about a business and how it works.

In order to have a business that works without you, a business that can be duplicated, pretend there are standards you have to abide by. There are rules of the game. The rules are:

1. The model will be operated by people with the lowest possible level of skill.
2. The model will stand out as a place of impeccable order.
3. All work on the model will be documented in operations manuals.
4. The model will provide a uniformly predictable service to the client.

It is not the product that requires innovation but the process. Where the business is the product, how the business interacts with the consumer is more important than what it sells or provides.

Innovation is the heart of every successful business. It asks the question. “What is standing in the way of my clients getting what they want from my business?” It always takes the clients’ point of view.

Your business is not your life. Your business is something apart from you, with its own needs, its own rules and its own purpose. An organism you might say that will live or die according to how well it performs its sole function – to find and keep clients. ”

I know…I’ve thrown a lot at you in just a few paragraphs. For many fitness professionals this is a complete shift in mindset. Most fitness professionals can’t imagine even delegating clients to other trainers assuming that “no one can do the job as well as I can.” So what I’m asking you to do is really consider the long range goals you have for your business. Start with the following questions:

If you’re 30 years old now, do you plan on training clients at age 60?

If not, what is your exit strategy? Do you have one?

What is your business worth without you?

Could you sell it if you wanted to?

Take some time and come up with your honest answers. Then, if you’re not satisfied with what you discovered, utilize some of the concepts and principles I’ve provided and look for ways to engineer your business around them. You’ll soon find yourself in a situation where your schedule is more flexible, you don’t feel guilty for catching the flu or going on vacation and you have peace of mind that your employees are providing consistent, quality service.

If you don’t have any employees, approach it in the same exact fashion so that when the day comes that you want to add one (or more), the transition is seamless. Document and organize your systems and your methods and before you know it you’ll have a business that you own instead of one that owns you.

Pick up your copy of Fitness Riches before 8 p.m. Sunday at

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Success-Building Habits

It’s actually very simple to be successful. Just decide to do it, and then take success-building actions today and every day from now on.

We all have habits – some bad and some good. It sounds simple, but to start on the path to success you need to start replacing the success-killing habits with success-building habits. This can be difficult and uncomfortable for a while – oh well – suck it up.

Initially, it may seem harder to success-building habits than it is to keep the success-killing. And it is. But the difference making this trade will make is enormous.

It gets easier as you move along. The more success-building actions you make, the more success- building habits you create – the easier it is to continue down that path. It’s like someone embarking on a workout program. The first few weeks are tough but after a while they can’t miss a day without feeling guilty. The more you do it, the more it becomes a part of you.

So today I’m going to help you create a success-building habit.

I want you to read both Jim Labadie’s blog post at:

and Alwyn’s Cosgrove’s at:

After digesting what they both talked about, here’s the habit I want you to create:

Every time you read something, listen to something or watch something – instead of turning a deaf ear to it or saying “I already know that” – instead I want you to say “how can I improve from what I just experienced.” If you make small, incremental improvements over and over – you have no choice but to be successful. Everything you see and everywhere you go provide learning opportunities – make sure you don’t waste them.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Lifetime Value of a Client and Your Taxes

You can use the Lifetime Value of a Client concept to cut taxes legally. Once you determine a potential client’s long term worth you can pay for certain expenses during the last few months of your fiscal year, such as advertising, promotion or mailing pieces that you’ve tested. When you mail 500 pieces, you get 50 responses – 20 of which you convert to new clients. Those clients are worth a predictable amount of money to you in the following tax year. Once you know with fair certainly what a promotion will be worth, put whatever you can afford into marketing at the end of your fiscal year. The campaign will generate no revenue for two or three months but, having tested it, you know with some certainty that the money (written off this year as a marketing expense) will come back next year as new business. If you conduct seminars, pay in advance for the space that you’re holding them and other seminar related expenses this year and have it roll back next year when your clients attend and pay you for it.

Test and learn the Lifetime Value of Your Clients. Once you know with fair certainty how many inquiries, prospects and ultimately, clients a marketing campaign produces and how long it takes to convert them, spend your money on marketing towards the end of your fiscal year. The campaign will bring in prospects relatively quickly but they won’t convert until at least January in the following fiscal year. Once you know the potential value of new clients, spend on marketing whatever you need to spend in order to reduce your taxes. Your investment will accrue future earnings.

Friday, November 10, 2006

You Can’t Create Successful People

The most amazing paradox I have experienced is this: Those who need help the most wont pay the price!

I read Alwyn’s recent post titled “Sandwiches or System Design?” – he made reference to some jackasses who actually had the audacity to complain that Ryan Lee had added an extra FREE session at this year’s Bootcamp. I’ve had similar experiences when I’ve given out FREE things – people actually complained about the FREE stuff.

When I started doing our newsletter and created a couple of inexpensive products like Fitness Riches, I thought that we would primarily be helping those fitness professionals who were struggling. I thought that by delivering free or inexpensive tools and advice we could help those that we thought needed it most.

As the orders rolled in, I was astounded. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I had predicted that the strugglers would subscribe or buy. It was amazing to see that exactly the opposite had occurred. More often than not -it was those who were in fact doing well who had subscribed or purchased.

What does this say about those who were doing well? There is probably a reason behind their success-the same reason that is behind the failure of the others, people who ultimately succeed in life are those who recognize early on that success is a state of mind and has nothing to do with their current level of financial assets. Success comes in direct proportion to a person’s ability to recognize this, and his or her willingness to pay the price.

I learned then that you cannot create successful people, you can only take successful and help them become more successful.

Everything you have read on this blog, in our newsletter or in our products will not work for you unless you already have what it takes. You may not have external signs of success or wealth yet, but these resources and others will help you get there a lot more quickly. Anyone who takes the time to read this and invest in our products in the first place most likely has this spark, so hopefully that says a lot about you.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Big Jim's Blog

My good friend Jim Labadie is now actively posting on his blog. If you're smart - it will become daily reading for you. He already has a couple of kick ass posts up today - go look for yourself:

I can't wait to see what he posts next :)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Thinning The Herd

I periodically direct you to my friend Alwyn Cosgrove's blog. He always has valuable things to say - but recently he made a post titled "Crab Theory" that really hit home. You can read it here:

Virtually all of my adult life I've been in a position that would make me subject to the attacks that Alwyn alludes to. Being a college baseball coach led to a lot of "armchair quarterbacking." Everyone from parents to journalists came after me at one point or another.

After I moved into the mainstream fitness industry full-time (following years of working with athletes only) - this phenomenon continued. However, the biggest surge has been since I started giving my knowledge away for free in newsletters and on my blog. Strangely enough, the people who pay the least complain the most.

Why am I telling you this?

Well, I occasionally talk about firing clients. There's no since in going through life dealing with people that try to bring you down. Here's how I'd approach it:

Rate your clients on a 1-3 scale. 1's are those clients you can't wait to show up. 3's are those clients you can't wait to leave. Now - simply start gradually ridding yourself of the 3's.

No, you don't have to tell them all to get out in a weeks time. Just don't renew them.

Quick Story - One season when I coached our reigning conference player of the year was injured to start the season. We won 19 of our first 21 games. He came back and was disruptive...we lost 7 of the next 8. I did the unthinkable - I "booted" him - our supposed best player - we won 28 of our next 35 and finished 5th in the country.

Moral of the's too short to deal with negative shit. Even if we'd have continued to lose, dropping the player would have been worth the trouble because 80% of my headaches came from him. Even if you couldn't replace your 3's - it would be worth it because the headaches would be gone. (But you will replace them - every time.)

So go rate your clients and start replacing 3's with 1's. I'll be busy unsubscribing the people that complain :)

Monday, November 06, 2006

3 Marketing Tips

1. Ask Yourself The Right Questions

Every ‘successful’ marketing plan should start off with the following questions:

What Am I Selling?

Remember, you are always selling results. You are selling how your client is going to feel after doing business with you.

Who Am I Selling To?

Who is your target market? This is very important because each type of prospect can desire different benefits and results.

The more specific and clear you can be on who your market is; the more precise you can be when explaining the benefits they will experience.

If you are unsure who your target market is – ask your clients. Run a survey, and offer them a gift in return as an incentive. Here are some points your questions should touch on:

Income Range
Marital Status
Magazine, newspapers, television shows and other publications they read

The survey arms you with a stack of useful information to answer the next question.

How Will I Communicate My Message?

If you are not clear on who your clients are, you will not be able to find them effectively. After all, how will you know how to get into contact with them if you don’t know who they are?
After you discover who your target market is – you can then decide what medium they respond to.

What Price Am I Selling At?

Is your price too high? Is your price too low? I’ve seen trainers that are more expensive out pull similar trainers that were considerable cheaper on a per session basis. This is because there is a perceived value of quality. Have you ever heard or seen the price of something, and because it was expensive immediately assumed it was good quality? Of course.

To run a profitable business you need to sell your product or service at a price that appeals to your target market.

2. Reverse The Risk

This is one concept that most trainers feel very uncomfortable about at first – but it is a principle that could double your business almost immediately.

Reversing the risk is offering your clients a satisfaction guarantee – if they are not completely satisfied they receive their money back.

An incredible amount of trainers are not willing to offer guarantees and stand by their service.
If you are unwilling to stand by what you provide, why are you in business?

By offering a guarantee, your proposition becomes so much more powerful and appealing to your clients. The outcome will be clients will feel more comfortable to do business with you – and, as a result, your profits will increase.

A few clients will take advantage of you and your guarantee. Don’t worry about it though. A lot more clients are going to purchase in the first instance because of the guarantee. More important is your net result - an increase in your profits.

3. Incorporate a USP In Your Business

A Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is the one element that sets you apart from your competitors. It’s why your clients do business with you… over your competition.

A USP can be on price, convenience, style, guarantee, quality of service, exclusivity or results. There’s an infinite choice of USP’s that you can use. Don’t be limited to the examples above. The one way to determine the USP for your business is to speak to your clients and ask what’s most important to them when working with you.

A good USP will separate you from the rest and help you secure market share with your target market.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Your Ideology

The last area of Upside Leverage I’m going to discuss is your Ideology – or your belief system. Your belief system will dictate what changes you’re willing to make in your business – if you’re willing to make any at all.

Do you believe that trainers can’t make money? They you’ll never make any real money.

Are you personally opposed to selling? Then you’ll never be good at sales.

Do you think that one-on-one training is the “only way?” Then you’ll be restricted to trading your time for one client’s money forever.

Do you believe that you’re always right? Then you’ll never be able to take advantage of a mastermind group.

You get the picture. If you are sincerely interested in growing and improving, then study other’s ideology and compare it to yours. What elements could you borrow and integrate into your own.

Said another way, this all boils down to your personal comfort zone. You will do what is consistent with your current belief system – or your comfort zone. If you want to see profound changes in any area of your business or your life, you’ll need to leave your current comfort zone.

It all begins with shifting your beliefs.

I hope you discovered some untapped opportunities as I went through the nine areas of upside leverage. If not, start from the most recent one and look at your current beliefs...are they what are holding you back?

Friday, November 03, 2006

Your Systems or Processes

Most trainers don't really have defined systems or processes. If there is one thing that Nick and I accomplish in this industry - it will be to change that.

So, let's digress...Every mechanism in your business can be broken down into a series of processes. Once you've figured out what these processes are you can measure them. Once you have quantifiable ways of measuring them - you can improve them.

Everything you do involves a process. Running a direct mail campaign, having a sales consultation or performing a training session. Everything. Identify the process in each of these activities and measure them. Once you find out how your current processes perform - then you look for was to improve them.

Look at what other fitness professionals do.

Look outside the industry all together.

Seek out ways to do things better, faster, easier, more productively, more profitably - more effectively.

Don't settle for the status quo.

Once you discover processes that you've developed that yield better results than those that anyone else uses - you can leverage that. If you can quantify dramatic results from a particular process, you can package it and sell it, license it or franchise it and make it available to others.

Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself - but understand that by improving a process you can improve results, perhaps only 1 or 2% - maybe 100 or 200%. So here it is again:

1. Identify what you do.

2. Document the process for each activity.

3. Measure the results of the process.

4. Discover ways to change the process to yield better results.

Simple and effective.

If you want to use the same tools we use for this process, go to:

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Your Services or Products

Two great ways to create additional wealth in your business (i.e. - discover the upside leverage) are to create new offerings or to tap into different markets with your existing offerings.

I'm going to give you some ways to brainstorm this...

  • Could you simply re-package your existing offerings and target different niche markets? If you offer weight loss / body composition improvement - could you package that and sell it to women post-pregnancy? How about brides to be?

  • Could you work through someone else and let them "private label" your services? How about partnering with a chiropractor to allow him / her to offer their own nutritional coaching program?

  • Could you create a deluxe version of your servcies where you package multiple things together? Maybe training, nutritional coaching and dietary supplementation?

  • Could you offer a "streamlined" version of what you currently provide? How about a weekly or bi-weekly small group program that allows people to begin working with you at a lower price point but actually pays you more per hour?

  • Could you market wellness services to small businesses instead of approaching general consumers?

  • Could you package your approach into a product?

The key is just looking for opportunities to take what you currently offer and re-package it, combine it with something else, create a variation of it or find someone else to deliver it to.

Don't fall into the trap of doing the same thing because it's habit.

Same actions - same results.