As any business owner would, most gyms put an emphasis on gaining new customers through various sales techniques. This is a great way to continuously grow your clientele, but it should never come before servicing pre-existing clients. After all, it is easier and less expensive to keep an old client than to gain a new one. In this post, we’ll be discussing what we think are the three most effective strategies that personal trainers or gym owners can use to keep their clients happy and long-lasting.

  1. Create a Social Experience

We all go through days, weeks or even months where getting to the gym seems nearly impossible. This is where gym owners have the opportunity to give their clients some extra motivation to come through the door. This shouldn’t necessarily have anything to do with the workout itself, seeing as clients already associate exercise with any gym. Creating a community within your gym gives clients a sense of inclusion and makes them feel like they are a part of your “family”. One great way to build rapport and involve your clients would be to host a monthly client appreciation day; you can do this by providing healthy snacks or having a BBQ, giving out awards, having small games going on throughout your gym, etc. Other techniques, such as having a “Local Athlete of the Month” award, is another great way to give clients incentive to work extra hard and come as frequently as possible.

  1. Keep Setting Goals

It can be easy to fall off the wagon when it comes to having a consistent exercise routine, which is why setting new goals is important for anyone. This especially trickles down to personal trainers who are trying to motivate their clients.  When a trainer gains a new client, it’s almost guaranteed that they will set strength, weight loss, sports-related and/or other goals on the initial consultation. Their program will be based off of whatever that specific goal may be, but what happens when the client reaches it? It’s important to start implementing the next steps to success before this goal has been achieved to prevent customers from losing motivation once they’ve completed it. For example, if someone’s goal is to lose 15lbs over the course of 3 months, you would create a 12-week weight loss program for them. It may be beneficial to begin discussing the next steps 8-10 weeks into that program, and telling the client how they could benefit from improving strength and building lean muscle now that they’ve reached their goal weight.

  1. Motivational Follow-Up

Most gyms spend countless hours each day following up with leads in hopes of gaining a new client. This is an amazing and effective technique; but what about that pre-existing customer that just hasn’t been feeling it for the past month? Once a member spends a week or two out of the gym, it’s the beginning of a vicious cycle. To prevent this from turning into a membership cancellation, there are a few simple things that gym owners can do (or delegate to their service staff to do). It’s important to remember that all member saves are a wonderful opportunity to generate extra sales from pre-existing clients. It can be as simple as a phone call or email telling the client that you’ve missed them, and asking why they haven’t been able to make it in lately. The next step would be to invite them in for a free consultation with one of your personal trainers as a courtesy to get them back on track. If all goes well and they accept, this is a great way for your trainers to discuss their goals and potentially gain a new client out of it. If the customer isn’t interested in a consult, invite them in to a group fitness class and inform them of the services that your gym offers.


Whether it’s with BBQs, awards, free consultations or setting new goals; always pay attention to those that have been there with you the longest. Even a friendly smile or training front desk staff to ask a simple question like “How are your workouts going?” can be the difference between a happy client and a former client.

Photo Credit: (Source: http://www.clubindustry.com)

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