Swimsuit season is fast approaching and youʼve got the perfect program to get your clients beach- ready in no time, right? But is that their goal or yours? While your plan may be perfect, and your motives may be pure, you may be providing more of what you want and less of what your client needs. With a little extra attention to detail and understanding your clientsʼ needs and wants you can not only add more value to their program and fitness goals, you can also add more dollars to your bottom line.
Are You Listening?
Your clients are looking to you as their resident expert when it comes to their personal wellness. If a client says that their goal is to shape up, do you know what that means? Have you asked enough questions to get to their true motivation? Are you afraid to find that out for fear that you may not have a solution for them? Most fitness professionals shy away from areas beyond their expertise and while that is understandable, you may miss an opportunity to provide additional and welcome services and products. It all begins by actively engaging in a conversation.
Here are some simple reminders to hone your active listening skills:
1. Pay attention – Ignore distractions and stop multi-tasking. Show your client that you are sincerely interested in them and only them.
2. Show your engagement – body language is key. Nod, make eye contact, lean into the conversation and keep your posture open. Small verbal acknowledgements are also helpful as long as you can do so without interrupting them.
3. Offer feedback – reflect back to them what you just heard by restating their comments or concerns…”so what I hear you saying is…”. Ask engaging questions to dig a little deeper so you can get to the core of their issues rather than to jump in and assume you know what theyʼre trying to communicate.
4. Keep the trust – the fact that people want to confide in you, shows that they trust your judgement and recommendations. Build on that trust by providing them solid solutions backed by your reputation. Make sure you thoroughly vet any product or service you suggest – itʼs your reputation on the line and your clientʼs faith in you at stake.
Affiliate and Prosper
Building on the trust you have developed with your client by offering them something of extra value will not only help them achieve their fitness goals but will also help you achieve an additional income stream. A common practice among businesses today is affiliation where you recommend a product or service and the manufacturer or service- provider rewards your recommendation with some form of compensation. The key is to find affiliations that are in line with your values, ethics and beliefs.
For example, I recently established a barter relationship with a very successful chiropractor – one of only 300 medical professionals who performs the Torque Release Technique (TRT). In order to refer others to him, I have become his client so that I may gain first-hand knowledge of his technique. He, in turn, is doing the same with my performance nutrition. Both of our businesses are thriving through high quality referrals to each other and we, in turn, get free services from one another. It is win-win all around.
My business coach also offers an affiliate program. Whenever I learn of a business professional seeking to expand or advance their business, I refer them. If they become his client, I get a percentage of the sale directly deposited into my checking account. He has also sent me high quality business referrals. In doing so, we all benefit by utilizing services and products that are highly recommended by people we trust.
Here are some keys to safe and reliable affiliations:
- Reputation – make sure the company is reliable, ethical and has a track record of success. Your reputation is at stake so do your homework. Avoid bottle-rocket companies (usually 3-5 yrs old) who offer trendy products but little or no scientific proof to back up claims.
- Consumer friendly – many companies require customers to purchase on a monthly basis. Avoid affiliating with companies who require montly minimum purchases. Neither you nor your customer should be stuck with a garage full of shakes, bottles or bars.
- Guaranteed – is the product or service guaranteed to perform as promised? A reputable company should offer at least a 30-day, hassle-free return policy.
- Minimal or no cost to you – by law, some companies do require a registration fee if you are going to be compensated. Make sure the fee does not obligate you to purchase anything. Other companies may not require a fee but do ask you to fill out a W-9 for tax reporting purposes.
- Unique and Innovative – offering a product or service that is hard to find makes it even easier for your clients to have a one-stop shopping approach when it comes to their health. A great example is to look for products that are unique and canʼt be easily purchased through other sources. Something that is truly leading edge will also make them feel great about their choice to work with you by your demonstration that you have their best interest at heart…which you do!
Bottom line: Leveraging your time and talent with the expertise of others will help you provide valuable and welcome services for your clientele. In doing so, you can also create additional income. Multiple streams of income, done properly and ethically, can enhance your ability to provide the highest quality service to your clients and create a healthy ﬁnancial cushion for you in the process!
Copyright © 2014 by Christine A.Toriello, all rights reserved.
Latest posts by Christine Toriello
- How to Add Value and Profit - June 12, 2014