Sunday, December 31, 2006

Are You Ready For 2007?

Are you ready to make 2007 your best year ever?

Are you ready to help more people change their lives than in any year past?

Are you ready to grow your business to new heights?

Are you ready to share new experiences with your family?

Are you ready to step out of your comfort zone and make a reality of the things that you only dreamed about in the past?

Are you ready to 'walk the walk' instead of 'talk the talk'?

Yep - it's that time. Whether you believe in New Year's Resolutions or not - we're at the point in the year when people 'promise' themselves - and often others - that they are going to make changes in their patterns of action.

I'm all for it.

Maybe 3% of people actually do anything. Oh well. That's 3% that reached their 'tipping point' and took action to achieve their goals. Better 3% than 0%.

See - my perspective is that most motivation is temporary anyhow. As a fitness professional, hopefully I can help someone achieve some positive results and capitalize on the New Year's momentum to turn that into long term behavioral change. As a business coach it's the same. Getting a fitness professional to step out of their comfort zone is tough. Maybe that New Year's resolution will be enough to get them to step out and try a new approach. If I can show them some results, they're open to continuing to grow.

So I hope you do set some goals for the New Year. But more importantly - I hope you take action and perservere until you achieve them. My good friend Dax Moy wrote a great report to help you along, you can get a copy here:

If you want an extraordinary example of people committed to making 2007 their best year ever, Jason Brown and Pam MacElree of Crossfit Philly ( talked to Nick and I during the first week of December about their desire to grow their business. Instead of doing what most people do - talk about it, dream about it and do nothing about it - they asked us how quickly we could fit them in for a visit to Kentucky for a 'Complete Business Makeover.' We gave them a set of dates and they they bought their tickets immediately. While everyone else relaxed during the week between Christmas and New Years - Pam and Jason hopped a plane and came to FCG headquarters for 2 1/2 days of intensive work on their business. While everyone else was getting ready for their New Year's Eve celebration - Pam and Jason were flying home this afternoon ready to double their income in 2007.

What's truly great about this is that Pam and Jason are already in the top 1% of fitness professionals. This isn't just my biased opinion - I saw exactly what they earn and know their business. But as successful as they are - they want more.

And they'll get it.

Will you?

I hope so - and I hope I can help.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 29, 2006

New Year's Liars

My buddy Dax Moy sent me over a wonderful article about the New Year's resolution phenomenon and I was about to put it up on the blog and saw Alwyn already did.

It's a must read so check it out here:

I'll be back tomorrow with a final post for 2006.

Talk to you then!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Achieving Your Goals

Here's a question for you:

Where do you want to be at the end of next year, and how will you get there? If you don't hesitate with your answer, I'll bet you'll reach it. If you can’t directly answer the questions – next year likely won’t be any different than this year. So let's break down the components in setting crystal-clear goals.

Big-picture objective. What is the ultimate goal?

Smaller objectives. What "checkpoints" do you have along the way to measure yourself? Where do you want to be at the end of next month, or next quarter?

Specific tactics you must implement. What will you do to reach the main and smaller objectives? What must you change personally in order to have a chance? How will you reward yourself when you reach it?

Can you answer these questions?

If you're serious about having your best year ever, I suggest you take some time to sit down with the following questions. Think about your answers. Challenge yourself. Write them down.

Then go to work!

What are you going to do to improve your fitness and business knowledge this year?

How many inactive clients will you revive? What do you need to do to make that happen?

What will you do to ensure you're protecting your best clients and adding more value to those
relationships? Can you attract even more of their business? How will you do that?

How many new clients will you bring on this year? How do you plan to do that, specifically?

What will you do to improve your physical health this year?

How much more money will you make this year? How will that happen? What will you need to do, today, to take the first steps in that direction?

What will you need to do to increase that number by an additional 10%?

What are you going to do every day to keep your attitude at a high level?

How much time are you going to spend, daily, to improve your own training and business skills?
What will you do?

How many referrals will you get this year? How will you get them? From whom? What will you do to turn them into new clients?

In which areas will you improve your personal, family, and spiritual life?

How are you going to maximize the use of your time? Where will you cut out the time-wasters in each day?

What have you been putting off that you will take care of within the next two weeks?

Who can you help to feel important every day?

What challenge, wish, or desire—that you've never attempted before—will you finally achieve this year? How will you do that? Why?

Where are you going to write all of this down so you can review and revise your plans regularly?
What will it look like when you accomplish everything you've just been thinking about? How good will it feel?

Why couldn't you do all of this?

Any answer to that last one is not a reason, but rather a self-imposed limitation, excuse, or lack of desire or effort. The biggest deterrent to success looks us in the mirror every day. Winning at anything, especially building a business, involves executing the fundamentals over and over.

If you want access to the best goal achievement system I've ever come across, go here:

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

6 Proven Tactics for Generating High-Quality Referrals

The more comfortable clients are talking about you, what you do, and how you do it, the more persuasive they will be when recommending your services to friends and family. Use this game plan to make referrals a powerful part of your business-building strategy.

Referrals are the lifeblood of any successful training business. A steady stream of high-quality referrals is the best indicator of great service and ongoing client satisfaction. By contrast, sporadic, unqualified, or lukewarm referrals are an indicator of mediocrity. It may be mediocrity in your service, or it may be mediocrity in your referral strategy—that's for you to figure out.

The best way to secure a steady stream of high-quality referrals is simply to encourage your clients and your sphere of influence to become comfortable talking about you. Word-of-mouth endorsements are powerful. Listed below are 6 tactics for getting clients and friends to sing your praises to their friends, family, and business acquaintances. All of them will help you get to the point where your clients feel naturally inclined to bring up working with you when casual conversations turn to the topic of weight loss, fitness or health.

1. First things first. Before you even think about generating referrals, you must make sure you are referable. The best way to do that is simply to deliver on your promises. Once people remember that your word actually means something—that you do what you say and you say what you mean—they will tell others about it. This sets the foundation for future referrals.

2. Just ask. Sometimes even when a trainer is providing great service, they face another stumbling block to getting referrals: They don't ask for them. Asking is the simplest and the easiest way to get referrals, but there's a right way and a wrong way to do it. If you feel you simply need to get more systematic about how and when you ask, keep the following points in mind:

- One of the best times to ask for a referral is the moment a prospect becomes a client. This is a moment of maximum confidence in your abilities and your character.

- Ask for referrals throughout the relationship. Clients can sometimes forget about the importance of referrals—you can remind clients how they came aboard as the result of a referral.

- Remind clients how receiving high-quality referrals means you can spend more of your time serving their needs rather than marketing your services.

- Referrals require an enriched relationship. People need to feel a strong personal connection before they're comfortable giving referrals. So be a people person. Learn about the friends and family of your clients. For all of your contacts, get to know their interests, hobbies, and where and with whom they spend their leisure or business time.

3. Ask for testimonials. One subtle referral tactic is to ask for a testimonial instead of a referral. Once clients have written a testimonial for you, they should feel more comfortable talking about you with close friends and family. In fact, since you have a copy of what they're saying about you, it becomes easy to simply ask them to repeat those words to other like-minded people they come across.

4. Create a "network hub." One excellent way to generate more referrals is to target prospects who have the power to refer others. By targeting these "hubs" of larger professional networks, you leverage your referral efforts. Niche-market business owners, directors and board members of professional associations, corporate executives, fund raisers, local celebrities—all are natural communicators and are typically plugged in to their respective communities. Build a strong relationship with them and you have a natural introduction to all the people in their respective networks.

5. Articulate your uniqueness. It's one thing for clients to tell others that you're unique. It's quite another for them to be able to explain it quickly and persuasively. You can give your clients the tools they need by articulating your USP and educating your clients about it.

6. Build top-of-mind awareness. Referrals are a by-product of communication. Frequent, high-quality contact with your clients ensures their satisfaction and keeps you at the top of their minds. This in turn makes it that much easier for clients to refer you to friends and family. How often should you communicate with your clients outside of sessions? There is no hard and fast rule, but fitness pros that make calls to clients at least once a month and send ‘thank you’ cards will see instant referral improvement. You will also notice a jump in referral activity if you implement an additional monthly communication mailer such as an e-mail newsletter, snail mail newsletter, or event invitation.

If you want to turn your business into a referral generating machine, I can help. I wasn’t going to make The Referral Manual available until February because of a couple of other projects that we have in the works – but as part of the ’12 Days of Fitness’ promotion, I’ve agreed to make it available until the promotion is over. I haven’t put any snazzy graphics in it yet – just the profit producing information. So, until the ’12 Days’ ends, it will be available for only $17 instead of the future price of $29. You can get it at:

But remember, when the promo ends, so does the offer and you’ll have to wait until February.

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Entrepreneurial ADD

Most fitness professionals we encounter that consistently fall short of achieving their goals suffer from a debilitating disease…Entrepreneurial ADD. Since Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline have failed to create a type of Ritalin specifically for fitness entrepreneurs, I’m going to help you understand this disease and how you can overcome it.

Understanding EADD

When I was younger there were guys that would come to the gym each week with a new ‘Best Mass Building Program Ever Created.’ Week One might be Lee Haney had all the answers, Week Two, Mike Mentzer’s High Intensity Training might be the solution. Week Three ‘Old School’ might be the way to go and Vince Gironda held the keys to success.

These guys would read every magazine they could get their hands on, always in search of the ‘quick fix’ to getting big and strong. So, in their never ending quest for the ‘perfect program’ they never saw any program through long enough to reap real benefit - and remained in the purgatory of 13 inch arms and 150 lb. squats until they finally just gave up. In the mean time all of us that weren’t ‘in the know’ and stuck with the basics – squats, deadlifts, rows and presses – and worried about getting stronger, never had any problem adding size or strength.

As I moved into the fitness industry I quickly saw that the same mindset was prevalent among trainers. They’d start project after project and never see any them through. The e-book would never get done. That great idea for a web site never became more than an idea.

‘Moving from one-on-one to semi-private seemed like a brilliant idea but then I decided to focus on my membership site and I put it on the back burner’ was something I heard from a fitness pro last week. So I asked how the membership site was doing. “I never finished it’ he said sheepishly.

Most fitness pros are afflicted by EADD. It’s only a select few that consistently finish what they start. No wonder there are so few truly successful fitness professionals.

A Case Study In EADD

I have an acquaintance – and he’s not a fitness professional, but he was a co-owner of a health club. Over the past two years I’ve seen this guy start 5 different businesses, all in separate industries.

Each time he’d run the idea for his business by me and show me all the research he’d done on his concept. Each time, I’d play ‘devil’s advocate’ and he’d refine his plan until it appeared sound. In every case I though he had ideas that not only would work, but in couple of instances I was downright jealous that I hadn’t thought of the concept myself. Any one of these businesses could have easy made this guy $100,000 a year, perhaps significantly more.

Each time he’d work his ass off to get the business started. He’d spend 16 hours a day and dump plenty of money into each venture. About the time the business became ready to market and really take off – 3 months or so, he’d lose interest and move on to the next ‘great idea.’ Sure, he could take action to get it started – but he was completely devoid of the persistence necessary to be a success. So, instead of making $100,000, $200,000 or even $300,000 a year by following through with any one of these businesses – he continues to ‘just get by’ working for someone else waiting for the next ‘get rich idea.’

Sound familiar?

Overcoming Your EADD

Until the drug companies come out with their version of Entrepreneurial Ritalin, here are my suggestions for holding your EADD in check:

Focus On Your Core Business – Not everyone has to have a dozen e-books or a membership site. Get your offline training business running at an optimal level before you bother trying to get ‘internet rich.’ If online stuff is your core business, get great at one or two things instead of being ordinary at six or seven.

Think One Project At A Time – Set a goal of not just finishing what you start, but tie goals to the project and don’t move to another project until you’ve reached the goals for the first one. If you are working on an e-book, finishing it isn’t enough. Don’t move to the next project until you have 30 affiliates, $10,000 in sales, etc.

Vertical, Not Lateral – Have you maxed out what you can do with your offline training business? Add things like weight management, autoship supplements, group programs and other things that fall under that ‘personal training’ umbrella and are marketable to the same people rather than branching off to another are unlikely to provide a quick return – therefore unlikely to hold your interest.

How Do You Eat An Elephant? – One bite at a time! Commit to spending an hour a day working on your project until it’s done. I’ve gathered that Alwyn Cosgrove writes for the first hour of the morning each day – seems like a pretty good plan to get a lot of writing done doesn’t it?

Stick To What You Know – If you’re passionate about something you’ll be more likely to want to work on it and less likely to lose interest. Most of the fitness pros that I know that have enjoyed great success with businesses or products were passionate about the topic – not just putting something together that they thought might sell.

Hopefully this helps you understand what EADD is and how you can cure yours. Most people struggle with trying to juggle several projects at once – it’s a select few that can work on five or six things at once and not only complete them, but do a great job with them. If you’ve been trying to do that with little if any results – try a different approach. You’ll be more successful and that success will keep you motivated to complete the next project and the next…

Talk to you later.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

10 Deadly Sins Fitness Professionals Make

1. Not Stressing Uniqueness. The most successful trainers are built around a USP, or “Unique Selling Proposition.” Think about what it is that sets you apart from your competitors, and then make that “USP” the engine that drives all of your marketing and advertising efforts.

2. Failing to Test. If you don’t test systems, sales presentations, prices and advertising copy you won’t know what the market wants, or what it will pay. You’re just guessing – which can be disastrous. You might find a new approach that out performs an old one by 25% - 50% without changing much at all.

3. Not Having Back-End Sales. The back end is vital to any successful training business. If you can induce new clients to buy a complimentary product or service from you within the first 6 weeks, you double the value of the client.

4. Failing to Address Clients Needs. By communicating with your clients, find out what it is that they need/want most – and then make sure you satisfy that need. If you don’t genuinely fill the needs you purport to fill, your clients will soon abandon you.

5. Failing to Educate. Your clients and prospects won’t understand or appreciate how unique what you do is or what benefit you provide unless you point it out to them.

6. Making Clients Work Too Hard. How easy is it to do business with you? How helpful is your staff when a client or prospect calls.

7. Failing to Explain Why. Whenever you make an offer, ask for a sale, run a marketing campaign or offer your service at a specific price, always explain why. The more believable and plausible your reasons, the more compelled prospects will be to do business with you.

8. Failing To Market At All. We’ve found that most fitness professionals don’t market at all or only market when their business is slow. You should be marketing 52 weeks a year.

9. Forgetting Who Your Client Is. Always market to the people who are your primary prospects. If you want to reach women 35-60, for example, your ads and materials should specifically address them.

10. Having a Niche - You can't be everything to everyone, so pick a target market and be THE RESOURCE for them.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Understanding The 3 Ways To Grow Your Business

As I've mentioned - I've been pretty tied up with the 12 Days of Fitness project. In fact, the link you can direct your clients / list to goes live today. With all that will be given away it will be a great way for you to build rapport with your clients / list. Check it out at:

Should be live at 3p.m. EST or so.

On to the 3 Ways To Grow Your Business...

Basically there are 3 ways that you can grow your business:

  • Increase the Number of Clients
  • Increase their number of Purchases per Year
  • Increase the Average Size of Purchase
Most trainers focus only on the first area, increasing their client base. What they fail to understand is that by making even small increases in all three will increase the results in multiples. Here are some ideas for you to work with:

1. GROW your client base by:

Increasing your lead or inquiry generation by:

Referral systems

Acquiring clients at break-even up front and make a profit on the back end

Guaranteeing purchases to reverse the risk for the buyer

Host-beneficiary relationships

Running special events or information nights

Acquiring qualified lists

Developing a unique selling proposition

Increasing the perceived value of your services through better client 'education'

Using public relations

Increase your client retention by:

Delivering higher than expected levels of service

Communicating frequently with your clients to 'nurture' them

Requiring longer term commitments

Increasing your conversion from inquiry to sale by:

Increasing sales skill levels

Qualifying prospects up front

Making irresistible offers

Reversing the risk


Developing a 'back end' of services and products that you can go back to your clients with at predetermined times

Communicating personally with them by telephone, mail and e-mail to maintain a positive relationship

Endorsing other people's services to your client list

Running special events

Using EFT Billing and longer duration agreements


Improving your selling techniques to up sell and cross sell

Using point of sale promotions

Packaging complementary services and product together

Increasing your pricing

Working with profitable niche markets

Realizing Your Business’s Full Potential

The average fitness pro concentrates purely on lead generating … to get new clients.
What most trainers fail to do is maximize the use of those prospects and then fully utilize their existing and newly acquired client base.

The acquisition cost of a new client can be prohibitively high and if you concentrate only on generating new leads, you are marketing inefficiently and will most likely fail.

The greatest “leverage” for a fitness pro can be in other areas such as the conversion or retention of clients, or increasing the transaction frequency or average transaction size.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Following Up...

Sorry for the delay on telling you what Nick, Allen and I will be giving away. Here is an ever growing list:

  • A Free Audio Interview - Bedros Keuilian interviewing Allen Hill on how to have an effective fitness website.
  • A Free Audio Interview - Jim Labadie interviewing Allen Hill building traffic.
  • A how to get your e-mail delivered kit.
  • E-Book cover creator software.
  • A fully cusotmizable Welcome Packet to give your new clients.
  • A RSS Feed Mini E-Book.
  • Free Set up and 3 months free service of Fitness Website RSS Feeds.
  • Free Webhosting for 1st quarter of '07.
  • Free Customizable Reports on Back Pain and Diabetes.
  • Magnetic Marketing For Fitness Bootcamps - Special Report.
  • 99 Tips for Effective Fitness Copywriting - Special Report.
  • Time Management For Fitness Pros - Special Report.
  • The Five Biggest Marketing Mistakes Fitness Professionals Make - Special Report.
  • The Perfect Back-End Revenue Builder - Special Report.
  • EFT Billing For The Fitness Professional - Special Report.
  • Rapid Fat Loss - Dispelling The Myths - Special Report.

And this doesn't include the stuff we're offering at BIG discounts and the dozens of other contributions from fellow fitness pros. As you can imagine - I'm pretty busy typing and wrapping this project up, so I probably won't be making alot of posts this week...but trust me - you'll be thrilled with the result!

You can register to gain access to the 12 Days Of Fitness program at:

The gifts start coming on Monday!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The 12 Days of Fitness

Over the next couple of weeks I'll be pretty busy with what looks to be a pretty exciting event for fitness professionals.

A couple of weeks ago Nick, Allen Hill and I were looking for a way to share the Christmas spirit with fellow fitness pros and give back as a means of expressing or gratitude for helping us to our best year to date. Dax Moy suggested that we do a promotion tied to the 12 Days of Christmas that he ran a version of last year.

So here's what Nick, Allen and I have come up with:

The 12 Days of Fitness

Each day, for 12 straight days (kinda like the song) we, along with a number of fellow fitness professionals, will be giving avay free reports, downloads and e-books. We, as well as several contributors, also have decided to offer several of our best selling products at a BIG discount.

I think between just Nick, Allen and I we have over a dozen free gifts.

Here's just some of the other people that will be contributing:

Craig Ballantyne
Jim Labadie
Bill Hartman
Chris Mohr
Dax Moy
Jayson Hunter
Lee Taft
Jeremy Boone

I'll keep you posted as to when you can register...I think the home page will actually go up today at:

I'll post later on with a list of some of the things that Nick, Allen and I will be giving away as or gifts to you.


Friday, December 01, 2006

An Interview With Jayson Hunter

Today I'll share an interview I did with Weight Management expert Jayson Hunter.


1. Why should a Fitness Professional integrate Weight Management into their program offerings?

Well it’s simple. To most effectively lose weight a person needs to integrate exercise and proper nutrition into their program. We have all had those miracle clients that when they pick up a weight or do some type of cardio program that the fat melts off of them. We have also had the client that changes one thing in their diet and they shed the pounds. The reality is that 99% of most training clients need to do both or they never lose a pound.

Also, from a reputation standpoint if you could double the number of successful clients who have lost weight using your services then the faster and more powerful the message is spread that you are the expert when it comes to getting someone into shape.

2. What is the format for an effective Weight Management program?

An effective Weight Management program needs to have a structure that consists of covering the needed objectives. It is best to teach someone over many sessions because good nutrition habits are definitely not learned overnight. They take time to develop and if you pile all these suggested changes on at once then it is just too overwhelming and they will quit before they even get started. I usually break out a weight management program like this.

Program Overview

Session One

Topic: Establishing a Starting Point –

• Teach Goal Setting (SMART)
• Measurements & Before Picture
• Determine Calorie needs
• Profile Packet

Session Two

Topic: Record Keeping and portion size

· Teach menu plan
· Receive Individualized Menu
· Discuss Record Keeping and Portion Sizes
· Enroll in auto ship program
· Set Weekly Behavioral Modification Goals

Session Three

Topic: Adding Variety

• Exchanging Foods
• Create Sample Menus
• Master Food Planner
• Set Weekly Behavioral Modification Goals

Session Four

Topic: Sensible Supplementation

· Review journal/education
· Make necessary adjustments
· Teach why certain supplements are needed
• Set Weekly Behavioral Modification Goals

Session Five

Topic: Reassessment

• Have client rate themselves on compliance
• List long term goals
• Discuss obstacles that are standing in the way. Solutions?
• Circumference measurements
• Set Weekly Behavioral Modification Goals

Session Six

Topic: Timing, balancing and planning meals

· Review journal/education topic
· Work on new menu together (optional)
· Make necessary adjustments
· Have client rate themselves on compliance
• Set Weekly Behavioral Modification Goals

Session Seven

Topic: Food labels 101

· Review journal/education
· Make necessary adjustments
· Food Labels Exercise
· Grocery Store Tour (optional)
• Set Weekly Behavioral Modification Goals

Session Eight

Topic: Healthy fast foods?

· Review journal/education
· Weight and body fat%
· Make necessary adjustments
· Have client rate themselves on compliance
• Set Weekly Behavioral Modification Goals

Session Nine

Topic: Are You Able to Conquer a Plateau Alone?

· Review journal/education
· Discuss obstacles and solutions.
· Menu(optional)
· Make necessary adjustments
· Have client rate themselves on compliance
• Set Weekly Behavioral Modification Goals

Session Ten

Topic: Follow up – Long Term Strategies/ Reassessment and Re-evaluation

· Review journal/education
· Take all ending measurements
· Make necessary adjustments
· Have client rate themselves on compliance
· Enroll member into:
Personal training
Continuous goal setting

Using a format like this allows them to learn in sections and gives them the opportunity to practice and master the objectives as the weeks go along.

3. There are a lot of misconceptions about what Fitness Professionals can and cannot do regarding nutritional guidance. How can a Fitness Professional sort through that and deliver an effective program without doing anything that would be considered “professionally questionable?”

What I always suggest is to obtain a weight management certification from one of the reputable certification companies that are around. Even if you think you know nutrition there are always things to learn and with weight management programs it is not always what you know, but how you deliver it because nutrition and eating are tied very closely to emotion. It is not uncommon to have an emotional link which is why someone is eating the way they are. Then it becomes not so much telling them what to eat or what not to eat, but rather how to break away from that emotion.

Like you and Alwyn Cosgrove always say “you need to always invest in your business”. This is a perfect example of investing in your business. These certifications now cover much more than just nutrition information and they will help you be better prepared for all the twists and turns you will encounter when trying to change someone’s eating habits.

To avoid violating or crossing the “professionally questionable” line I usually tell trainers to be very observant and if you think someone needs personalized one on one attention or maybe they have a health history that warrants a medical professional or Dietitian then don’t be afraid to refer out. It only helps your credibility and respect amongst the other health professionals. An example would be a diabetic client where you would have to “prescribe” specific instructions or guidelines. You see the word “prescribe”. That is the word that is the no-no and can get you in trouble. You don’t want to “prescribe” someone a specific task to do unless you are professionally qualified to do so. I always think of the trainer in California that not only told their client to take a fat burning supplement, but also went with them to the store to pick the right one out. The client died a few days later because they had hypertension and the trainer either didn’t know that or failed to justify the importance of it. Just recognize your professional limitations and have a referral network that you can use to refer to the appropriate professional. Be certified in a weight management program will help you recognize your professional limitations.

4. What would be the appropriate starting point for a Fitness Professional that is interested in integrating a Weight Management program into their business?

I would first start with obtaining a weight management certification and then start building your objectives of what you want to teach your clients. Then lay it out in a multiple class format. I have designed a free report that gives you all the necessary tips and guidelines to starting your own Weight Management program at . This will give you the necessary tools needed to not only start your Weight Management Program, but also to ensure success. If you have any questions about information that is on the report feel free to e-mail me at