Q: I’m a personal trainer, and I’m looking to increase my revenue. Do you have any simple suggestions, such as giving discounts?
A: One of the best ways to increase your revenue is simply to get results. A lot of personal trainers don’t do well because if you look at their clients in January and then look again three or six months or even a year later, they often appear exactly the same. Those trainers may make the excuse that their clients aren’t compliant. Well, you know what? It’s the trainers’ fault. If you’re not getting results with your clients, you are responsible because you’re not imparting the right motivation techniques to your clients.
One way to motivate your clients is to monitor their progress. Coming up with a random workout every day that makes an individual sweat, pant and sore may seem like a good use of time, but it may not be the best type of workout for them. If, for example, a client has structural imbalances in the shoulder and you prescribe a bench-press-specialization program, you could place them at a high risk of injury. If you have too much variety in your program, especially for a beginner, you’ll have a difficult time setting and achieving appropriate goals for the client.
Do you know any successful CEOs who don’t look at their bank records at least once a day? They want to know where the money is coming in and where it’s going out; information is one reason for their success. Likewise, if you’re a personal trainer or a strength coach, you need to know what type of progress your clients are making. If they aren’t making significant, measurable progress, you have to change something. Using software is one way to help set goals and motivate your clients. Do you have software that measures how well your clients are doing in regard to body mass and bodyfat? Do you have software that measures how much weight they should lift, the average weight lifted per session, the average number of reps performed? If you don’t measure your clients’ progress, you have no clue as to how well you’re doing with them.
Another method of improving your revenue is to surround yourself with a great team. What I mean is that you should know someone who knows soft-tissue work very well, such as an experienced massage therapist or an Active Release Technique—a.k.a. ART©—practitioner. You should also find yourself a good functional-medicine doctor, because for optimum results you need to be able to refer your clients to an enlightened doctor who can assist you with the necessary blood work or functional-medicine tests. For example, an underactive thyroid, which can cause weight gain, may be caused by mercury and cadmium, and a functional-medicine doctor can arrange for heavy-metal testing to determine whether that’s the problem. If the results are positive, the doctor can prescribe the appropriate detoxification protocol. A great doctor who works with you and your clients will help them make more progress, and they’ll be happier—and a happier client will lead to increased referrals. Further, a good doctor may refer patients to you for personal training.
Editor’s note: Charles Poliquin is recognized as one of the world’s most suc-cessful strength coaches, having coached Olympic med-alists in 12 different sports, including the U.S. women’s track-and-field team for the 2000 Olympics. He’s spent years researching European journals (he’s fluent in English, French and German) and speaking with other coaches and scientists in his quest to optimize training methods. For more on his books, seminars and methods, visit www.CharlesPoliquin.net. IM