How to Use Business Cards to Get More Fitness Clients
Your client base is the very foundation of your personal training business and fitness career. Without clients who will listen to you and follow your leadership, you can’t help anyone.
99% of personal trainer business cards get thrown out immediately or put in a pile, never to be seen again.
Below are some tips you can use to be sure your business cards does not end up at the bottom of some pile.
Anatomy of a Great Business Card
Here are the biggest tricks to avoiding this fate and using business cards to generate more business:
1. Always Ask for the Prospects Information First– if you don’t feel comfortable enough to ask, you have not built enough rapport which means the person will not call you back anyway. Don’t waste your cards on them.
2. Give Your Card to Hot Prospects– If the prospect does give you their info, giving them a business card anyway is a great idea, so they will remember you, expect your call, and can learn more about you by checking out your website. But always leave the ball in your court, and tell them you will call them. Otherwise, you will be hanging around waiting for the phone to ring. (Asking when to call is a good idea too.)
3. Have Your Website on Your Card– No duh, right? Maybe you can send them directly to your testimonials page. What about putting client pics and testimonials on the back of the card? This one I haven’t tried, but I bet it would work great. Many people have important fitness goals, but are very skeptical of the quality of personal trainers out there. Start to disarm their biggest objection off the bat and you will increase your chances of a sale tremendously.
4. Have a Strong Call to Action– on your business card, a directive statement like telling them what to do, like “Call us now and prepare to get in the best shape of your life” works much better than a non-directive statement like “We are here to help you.” Your call to action can be a special offer, a discounted rate, or just ask them to try one of your exercise programs.
5. Create a Sense of Urgency– on your card, put an expiration date next to the call to action. Creating a sense of urgency will help them take action immediately, instead of filing it away in their “I’ll do it later” category, and never getting around to it. Also, having a deadline (the expiration date) will force you to hand your cards out before they expire. One other variation is to write “Deadline:_________” and then write in the deadline date in the blank right before you plan on handing them out.
6. Put Your Face on the Card– in many industries, this would be unprofessional, but we are in a service business; it is your face they will be looking at all session long, get them used to it and help them remember you. Use a professional photo, not your myspace profile PIC camera phone self-portrait! You can use craigslist or your personal network to find a photographer who will barter with you if you don’t already have one in your roster (which you should).
7. Put a Strong Statement of Your Company’s Goals– if you have a specific niche you target, be sure to mention them. Do you target athletes, the elderly, actors, business owners? Having a niche you are passionate about and talking directly to them in all of your marketing, including business cards, is a great way to eliminate the competition and expand your client base fast. You can promote a specific program on your business card too.
8. Make Them Feel Special- put “VIP CODE:______” on the front or back of the card, and write in a code that offers them a special discount. This can be in relation to the special offer/call to action. If you are partnering with a business, you can put the businesses name as the code. (I use this technique with brochures I leave in physical therapists offices. It will say “VIP CODE: Dr. Karmen” for instance.)
9. The Sniper Technique– because you will be using an expiration date and targeting specific niches, you may want to design 2 slightly different cards (one specific to each major program or niche) and only order 50 cards. While this will cost more upfront, you will get way more leads than using a shotgun technique. (See below.) Target specific niches or business with a specialized business card that talks directly to them.
This business was card made using www.vistaprint.com.
The Biggest Personal Trainer Business Card Mistake
Personal trainer business cards should be one of your LOWEST PRIORITY methods for engaging new clients, but often it is the first one we run to. “If I only had the right business card, then people would know I am a serious business”. This is completely false!
Business cards can be a good tool, as long as they are used the right way. Many trainers are uncomfortable with self-promotion, and use business cards as a crutch to avoid confronting their fears.
It’s human nature.
We want to help people, but don’t like trying to convince them they need our help.
“Oh, I’ll just give them my business card and hope they call”.
We have all been there. And, as we know, it just doesn’t work. You will have to hand out at least a 1,000 cards to get one solid client. This is what we call the “Shotgun” technique, and it takes a lot of time and work for very little results.
But more importantly, the simple fact of the matter is that we are in sales. Every conversation is a sale; you are either buying or selling at any moment:
- •We sell our fitness clients on why a certain exercise or program is important.
- • We sell to them when we advise them what to eat.
- •We sell them on why they need to work out on their own.
- •We sell our clients training sessions.
- •And they try and sell us all kinds of crap; why they couldn’t workout last Saturday, why they were late for the session or didn’t show up, why they will never reach their goals, etc.
We are in the persuasion business. And practicing self-promotion, instead of hiding behind a business card, will help you be more confident and persuasive when it comes to managing and leading your clients. If you are desperate to make a sale they will sense your desperation. Most likely they will not buy, and if they do, they will have more leverage than they should in the relationship. You are the leader; being persuasive is a critical leadership skill!
So if we must get good at sales and persuasion, we have to get comfortable with self-promotion.
First, develop the confidence in your skills by developing your exercise knowledge, and then use that knowledge to help people. When you are confident in the value you provide, then go out there and self promote in person. If you rely on business cards only, you will have a very hard time making a name for yourself in this business.
•How do you use your personal training business cards to get more clients?
•Did I forget anything?
•What do you think of my card?
Until next time, keep your business fit.