Create Consistent Income Month after Month

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After you’ve built up your own clientele you’re going to want to build a team around you that can now work with the clients you can’t take on. And of course I teach you how to do that on this S3 site with the hiring and training, but what happens when they take time off? Do you just drop off 30-40 sessions for the month? That can be a big hit to your fitness business income… Here’s I insure that doesn’t happen and create a win-win for everyone involved.

When I first opened my studio we all worked like mad men (and women) in order to build up our client base. We marketed every minute we weren’t training and it paid off

Now my issue wasn’t with doing enough sessions per month, but rather keeping that number consistent. So besides creating systems for keeping clients coming in and resigning, I needed to make sure that when my CPTs took time off that my session numbers didn’t drop by 30-40 sessions for the week.

It’s not tragic if you’re doing 1,000 sessions a month, but back then I only had 2 other CPTs on my team so if one person left for the week that represented 33% of the sessions!

If you think about it, pretty much every month someone’s going to be taking some time off even if you rotate who takes time off. This is why I created a back up plan that insured we never dropped by more than 15 sessions per week when someone took a vacation.

The first thing I had to do was act as the role model for my plan.

If I wasn’t practicing what I preached no one would, right?

So what I did was let all my clients know that I was going to make sure they didn’t miss there sessions for the week I was away by setting them up with one of the other fitness professionals on my team.

Did you see how I phrased that?

It looks like I am doing THEM a favor…

Which I am in making certain they stay on track with their workouts, accountability, etc.

But of course it also ensures I don’t drop off in sessions.

Basically, I frame my conversation with them as though it’s a done deal and I’ve already set them up with another CPT on my team.

And when I’m away if my clients are training with another CPT I’m still making about 40% of that session income… for sitting around and lying on the beach (life is tough).

So like I said you have to do it first so that you show your CPTs this is how we do things around here. After that they will follow your lead as long as you let them know that everyone needs to get coverage for their clients when they are going away in order to make sure their clients stay on track to reaching their goals.

I’ve found that about 80% of your clients will train with someone else as long as it’s only temporary. For the ones that don’t you just give them a program to do on their own. Plus, I explain to all my clients (and your CPTs should do the same) that the fitness pro covering for you is going to take you through the exact program that you wrote up for them – and that you will be reviewing their program with the CPT before you leave.

This usually puts them at ease.

Okay, so now that we have tat part of the equation settled let’s review what you other fitness pros on your team must do in order to get their sessions covered.

Here is the email I send to my CPT at least one week before they are leaving (feel free to copy it):

Email Template to Send to Your CPT

<Begin Email>

Hi XXXXX,

I know you are about to head out on vacation after next week, so I wanted to make sure that on Monday you could write out your schedule and leave it for all the other team members, as well as myself to look at and see who we can cover in our schedules.

It’s also important to do this at least 1 week in advance in case we need to move clients around slightly and so that you can confirm with all of your clients before you leave for vacation.

Here are the 9 items that we will need beginning on Monday:

  • STEP 1: Write out your schedule and leave it in office on file cabinet
  • STEP 2: Email CPTs letting them know your schedule is there and if they can initial the times they can cover
  • STEP 3: Ask CPTs if they have any other time open that a client may be able to fit into
  • STEP 4: Email clients seeing if other times may work (referring to studio team member openings)
  • STEP 5: Send email to client (cc’ing) studio CPT they will be working with confirming times for next week and leaving contact information in email
  • STEP 6: Leave workouts in office for CPTs to go over
  • STEP 7: Review workouts with CPTs
  • STEP 8: Leave your client session record sheet for others to fill in the dates of completed sessions
  • STEP 9: Leave client contact information (email, phone number) in case one of us needs to get in touch with them about times, etc.

Also, we always try to get everyone of our clients in for at least 1 session while we are away… Sometimes that may mean moving clients around in other spots so that one client doesn’t get to train 3x that week while another client doesn’t fit in anywhere.

All of these steps allows for a smooth transition with your clients (it’s also nice to introduce them to other CPT when they’re in studio together) when you’re away on vacation.

Thanks for taking care of this before you leave and let me know if you have any questions!

-Steve

<End Email>

Also, here is an exact email one of my CPTs sent to their clients before they left (copy it and use it as a template):

Email Template to Send to Clients

<begin email>

Hi Matt,

You’re doing an outstanding job with the training –  Keep up the great work!

As you know, I’ll be away next week. John will be training you so that we keep momentum and continue to make strides toward your fitness and health goals.

I have you scheduled to come in at these times:
Monday: 6:30am

Wednesday: 7:15am

If for any reason you need to contact him, his email is john@XXXX.com and his number is 617-XXX-XXXX.

Have a wonderful weekend!  I look forward to continuing our work together when I return.

Your Partner in Health,

CPT XXXX, CPT, LE
Stephen Cabral Studio
774-XXX-2318

<end email>

Great email, right? And what the CPT who is going away does is “cc” the other CPT covering for them with that email so that everyone has each other’s contact information.

It may seem confusing at first, but once you use the system once you’ll master it. Believe me, I like to keep things simple in my business and this is as easy breezy as it gets.

Okay, now here’s how to get all your CPTs to buy into this coverage system, because it’s a great system to use but it only works if you implement it into your fitness business.

The first thing I do is let all my CPTs know right from the beginning that this studio or fitness business is about clients first. It’s not about egos, or feeling that you’re the only fitness pro in the word who can train your clients. Even if that is the case, another CPT can take your clients through the program you wrote for them for a week.

So, step one is letting everyone know this is how your business does business.

Next, let your team know that when you go away it is great for all the others on the team to be able to pick up some additional sessions to make a little extra income and fill any holes in their schedule. And of course when someone else goes away you’ll be able to pick up sessions as well.

What goes around, comes around.

If your team needs to cover 30 sessions and there are only 2 people left to cover those sessions when 1 person is away then that means those 2 CPTs are going to add an extra 15 sessions to their schedule for the week. Of course it may not work evenly like that, but either way that’s some serious additional income for those trainers!

I do it on a first come first serve basis in terms of covering sessions, or I give them to a new CPT if they are trying to ramp up their sessions.

I think that is only fair…

That’s pretty much the sum of how I roll when a fitness pro on my team is going away for more than 2 days. If they’re just going away for a day they typically just reschedule their clients to another day.

However, there are time when a client just wants to get in an extra session and I don’t have room that week so I do refer that session out to another CPT. Remember I’m still making a % of that session!

The other great thing, of course, is that when you have other CPTs covering the sessions for the trainer you have away your total sessions for that week don’t dip and you keep your monthly income consistent because it doesn’t matter who is training the sessions as long as they are getting completed.

This is why I never vary more than 10% a month in my total sessions completed.

I hope you enjoyed this post and if you’re not at the point yet where you have CPTs on your team it may be time to grow your business by just adding one other fitness professional that you can hand new clients to, as well as cover your sessions while you’re on vacation or at seminars so that you can make money while you’re away from your business.

As always let me know if there’s anything else I can help out with!

#####

S3 POST UPDATE:

(Often times I like to go back into these S3 Member Posts and add some private perspective on how I run my fitness business that I think may be helpful to you. Feel free to read my “Epilogue” below about this post:)

As you can see that with all of my Smart Studio Systems I keep things simple, direct, and to the point.

My team appreciates that I don’t make them do anything that I don’t do myself and even if some of the steps seem tedious it keeps everyone on the same page.

I also have to say that most CPTs don’t like anyone else training their clients because they either feel that no one could possibly train them as well as they could, OR that they fear losing them to another trainer.

Those are really the only 2 main reasons.

At our studio there is none of that bologna

I explain to everyone that the CPT covering their session will only be taking them through the exercises you wrote out on their workout sheet.

I also explain that when you go away it gives the other CPTs the ability to pick up more sessions and fills up their schedules to an even greater degree if they have clients out on vacation, etc. Then I point out when another team member is away you’ll also have that same ability to add another few sessions that week to your paycheck…

It’s all about good karma.

Plus, you need to lead by example.

I have not shared this with anyone, but I took off the entire month of March, most of July, and I’m taking off the entire month of November this year for a new degree/study program that I am involved in and I will be outside of the US.

During this time my clients will be training with another CPT (or multiple CPTs on my team).

This CPT will be taking them through programs that I have already previously created and I can keep in touch with my clients through email.

On a side note, when I went away in each these previous months we have had near record high months in terms of sales and sessions completed. Of course, some of this does have to do with my fitness manager now being able to run things on a daily and weekly basis, but for the most part my business is completely run through the systems I am teaching you right here in the Smart Studio Systems.I can honestly say this is true since I hadn’t hired a fitness manager for over 4 years of owning my studio and I’ve always taken off at least 1 week per quarter (typically 6 weeks per year).

Anyway, I thought you may like to hear the inner workings of how by developing the right team and systems you can actually walk away from your business if you choose to. I, however, love training clients and won’t be giving that up, but I do love taking time off and still getting paid.

Who wouldn’t?

Let me know if you have any questions on the client coverage action steps and feel free to implement these 9 steps into your business the next time you or a team member are away!

Comments

Comment on this Content

  • Lonnie Swenson

    Do you have any forms regarding trainer-client eft and contract of service agreement forms? So they can purchase or sign a contract for a 1, 3, 6 or 12 month agreement

    • Hi Lonnie,

      Welcome to Smart Studio Systems and please take your time looking over the 151 (and counting) member posts. The amount of information can be overwhelming at first, but eventually you will be able to assimilate as much as you need of it into your business.

      It’s my goal to give you everything I use and for you to pick and choose what works best for you.

      Also, the form you’re talking about is our client invoice. It is very simple and straight forward and allows you to charge clients for 1, 3, 6 or however many payments you would like. Typically we only do 1 payment (in full) or break our 12 week packages into 3 easy payments – one per month.

      I do NOT recommend contracts – because the goal is not to scare people away when they don’t even know you yet. The invoice has a place for clients to initial and it serves as a contract if there’s ever a credit card dispute. (we’ve only had to use this once in 5 years with a client, but it did hold up with their credit card company).

      Enjoy all the S3 Posts and we’ll talk with you soon!

    • The Invoice is under Business Tool Box:

      http://www.smartstudiosystems.com/fitness-business-tools/s3-invoice-auto-pay-system/

      Feel free to edit the form to make it applicable for your business!

  • I always get asked by my coaching clients and S3 Members how you get others to buy into your systems…

    My answer is that you practice what you preach and create a philosophy that is bigger than anyone one trainer. I tell everyone on my team this studio is about getting clients results and really care about them as human beings. Clients come first above all else.

    If they don’t buy into that philosophy and way of doing business they simply don’t get hired.