The Voice for Fitness Professionals Podcast

Future of the Fitness Industry | Past, Present, Future What Matters

The future of the fitness industry is changed, that’s no secret. In this episode I take a look at the past, present, and make a few predictions and express our wishes about the future with someone who has plenty of experience.

My guest

Rico Caveglia Chronological Age 78 Fitness Age 35 is America’s Healthy Aging Trainer and creator of The Ageless Living Lifestyle, The Vitality For Life Training System the Be Bold Never Be Old Wellness Club and the Fearless Aging Podcast.

He is a speaker, author of 29 books/DVD programs and a personal trainer and health coach, for 38 years. He is a multi- Gold and Silver Medalist in the California State Senior Olympics.

His mind/body/spiritual interactive training programs educate, inspire and empower participants to enjoy a high level of total wellness for life.

Debra Atkinson, your host

My own background with one foot in academics teaching at a university for 15 years, supervising our interns from the advisor side of the table, while also running a personal training department during half of that and training interns who worked for us. I’ve spent time working on private and public sector of fitness, working with agencies and associations, and for small privately owned businesses.

The episode why

We thought it would be fun and worthwhile to look back at the start of our experiences in the fitness industry, Rico’s 38 years and my 36 and take a decade by decade look at then, now, and the future if we could predict it and at the very least our hopes. By looking back we look at the future of the fitness industry too.

How did you start… so let’s be honest, health coaching wasn’t even a thing. Personal training was just – where you were – rooting at that point.

Share a bit about your start and where that was.

From the perspective of getting clients, hourly wages, revenue. What was that like for you?

So move forward into the 90s. We’ve had the good sense to have a little smaller hair, stop wearing our underwear on the outside of our tights, and slide, and step were in full swing about then.

Questions in this episode:

  • What changed for you in the 90’s?
  • Late 90s, early 2000, do you recall that?
  • Where were you when 911 was happening?
  • Then after 911, the recession, how did that effect your business or what you were doing at the time?
  • From 2010 to 2020 it was a pretty optimistic, lazy environment would you agree if I said that?
  • What scares you most about right now?
  • What is the silver lining right now?
  • What do you see for the future? Who will survive?
  • The take-aways from this episode are most important to me. If you were advising a trainer whether early into their career or middle of their career, what three things would you suggest they do right now to be one of those who thrive in the future of the fitness industry?

Connect with Rico:

ricoc@AgelessLivingLifestyle.com    

www.AgelessLivingLifestyle.com     

www.BeBoldNeverBeOld.com 

www.VitalityStick.com

Show notes:

https://www.Fitnessmarketingmastery.com/future

SUBSCRIBE in iTunes

Are You Spending Your Time Right? Hierarchy of Needs

Spending your time wisely right now is more important than ever. I’m a big believer that you have to guard your personal workout time. Also that if you’re still doing the fitness plan that you had in February of 2020, and you’re experiencing any additional stress from the pandemic that you’re doing yourself a disservice and depleting your immune system.

Enough on that. Let’s talk about the way you are spending your time right now.

Review

Come back with me right now to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. You learned it in psychology 101, again in your health class potentially.

At the bottom of the pyramid is Safety and Security. If you don’t get that right you can’t rise above.

In January of 2020 you may have been focused on the top of the pyramid, in influence and legacy.

Yet, potentially now you’ve dropped back as many of us have to needing to secure finances, and reduce expenses.

What activities you spending your time on now?

Be sure that the way you spend your time reflects where you are right now. You’ve got to drop activities like influencer posts in social media, and detailed SEO work, or trying to reach indirect lead generation sources.

You do want to be spending time figuring out how to make a sale today. You’ve got to take direct responsibility for asking for business today.

  • Book consultations and ask for the sale
  • Make phone calls to follow up on interested prospects
  • Send reminders for failed payments
  • Craft and send a high-converting email
  • Increase your direct lead.
  • Enhance your customer experience and increase the value of that customer

At the end of the day, a friend’s husband said he knew how his business was doing based on this one simple thing, “If I have more money at the end of the day than I had at the beginning.”

Other episodes you may like: 

12 Fitness Marketing Idea Generators

4 Ways to Grow Your Email List with Fitness Videos

Think COVID Put Your Fitness Career Down the Drain

Get Fitness Customers and Make Marketing Fun | Tell Stories

I was sitting at my dining room table it was dark and I was still in my pajamas. From the night before. I hadn’t washed my face although I had taken the dog out – in my pajamas.

Get fitness customers by learning to tell stories. Everyone loves a story. Yet, few people use storytelling for a positive impact in their marketing.

Instead we broadcast information as if we’re World Health Organization or National Institute of Health. Most fitness pros go on and on about the benefits of exercise and the features of our services, or worse, the certifications and qualifications of your staff.

As if… no one else can say the same thing.

But of course, they can.

You don’t have the edge on Pilates, or strength training, or functional training, or whatever your favorite mode of exercise is. You didn’t invent it.

But no one can tell your story.

There’s one thing to remember about a good story though.

Make it about them.

When you start telling stories you can connect with people and get fitness customers. In a way you can’t unless you tell stories.

Stories become the why you.

But it’s not comfortable. It’s vulnerable, its transparent and you may resist it or have in the past. I spent a weekend with a business once, interviewing key managers. We told their stories about why they were doing what they were doing and not… teachers or plumbers. We told why it meant something to them personally. We told about how their personal life or family members become a part of every conversation with a customer. We put together these video clips to get fitness customers easier, more authentically, and to humanize a business.

But the General Manager never implemented them. It wasn’t comfortable. It was new. Right now? It is exactly stories like that which will take you from being a business or personal trainer, to being the friend and the guide who will help too.

So how do you tell stories that get fitness customers? Follow a few key tips below to start telling your own story. I’d suggest writing it out or speaking your story and transcribing it with Otter.ia (I’ve mentioned it in prior episodes). Once you have your story, you want to pick the point.

What’s the point that story illustrates. Whether it’s funny, sad… matters.

For instance, a sad story will get attention more than a happy one. Think about Sarah McLachlin’s sad dog commercials. They get donations. But, you can’t use them all the time.

When you’ve got your full story down. Leave out the parts people already know- from Stephen Spielberg.

Drop into the middle of a story. Grab them.

I could barely see the interstate through my tears. The reason I was leaving was calling me on the phone telling me he wished I wasn’t leaving. Let me go. Let me go or hold on tighter. The front and back seats were full of computers, blenders, client files, and my bike was on my carrier. So, that’s what it had come down to when I needed to pack. I’d left a house full of non-essentials sitting in the middle of each room in my 4200 square foot house to live with these essentials for however long it took to sell my house.

My TEDx talk for instance was a string of stories that let you (and me as I was telling it) be in the moment. You want your listener to see themselves in the story. So, imagine under the pressure of relaying a very important big idea in under 15 minutes, if you’re going to tell at least 5 stories? Whether you are doing a 3 minute video, you’re writing a 800 word blog, or you’re talking on the radio, you want to tell a story.

You’ve got stories. No one else has them. It’s a simple and easy way to get fitness customers who you will love working with and will love you back.

If you need help…. Today through Friday I’m offering the Fast Flip business coaching to help you nail your message. It’s 12 weeks of accountability calls. But Saturday it’s over. If you need to get into action, your message or the actions you are taking are not working, take advantage of this special offer.

Link in the show notes will be removed when I’m full or it’s over.

How to Create a Relationship with Anyone Anytime

Can you create a quality relationship with your fitness customers? Or do you have to rely on selling to the already interested or people you know?

How old are your kids? What are they doing this summer?

How are things for you during this pandemic? What’s your work like?

These might be logical questions and yet, if you are talking to a parent you’ve not created a bond with them. You’ve just distracted them. If someone’s thoughts go to their livelihood, and concerns about future earning, you may have talked them out of something before you even begin.

(1) Create a Relationship: Don’t Make Small Talk That Distracts Them

Some of the most common questions asked in sales are about family. Are you married? Do you have kids? How old are they?

So, if someone has marital problems, or wonders where their kids are right now and what they’re doing right now – like most mother’s minds will go – you’ve essentially lost them. You think you’ve bonded, but you’ve given them a reason not to pay attention.

(2) Meet Them Where They are

If a prospective client comes to you (by phone, Facetime, Skype) and is thinking about their job status, whether they’ll be working from home, in the office again soon, or they might have hours cut and she’s scared, she is going to have a hard time looking at training three times a week for a year to avoid osteoporosis.

If you’re talking to someone who is soaking wet and you start talking about the benefits of exercise, they clearly aren’t going to listen in that distracted state.

Right Place Right Time

Having the right conversation at the wrong time is going to alienate you from that prospect. It’s nice, it may be true that they’ll reduce their chance of heart disease but it’s not what is going to make someone train with you.

If you show them a bicep curl in the middle of a pandemic, is that going to help with their immune system, their stress level, their cravings for junk food feet away in the pantry?

(3) Give them a Quick Win

To do that you have to really know what they want. What is urgent about it now? Why aren’t they already there? What do they believe about it?

Give them one thing. When you meet you might go deep into core exercise, a stretch for the lower back issues, but one thing. Go deep and solve that and suggest the easy maintenance. Don’t solve all their problems, solve the one that’s bleeding.

If you think if you give them that free session you’ll give them so much they won’t need you, it’s probably the way you’re setting up that session, creating expectations about that session, and conducting that session.

Someone with lower back pain doesn’t need a week’s worth of workouts, and a dozen exercises. They need an understanding of 5 things contributing to their back pain (so you open up needs to get more support from you), they need to understand the difference between immediate relief and long-term solutions.

Trainers are the Best Sales People

You can dig deep into that one thing. And leave them needing and wanting all that you have.

No one woke up in the morning wanting a better bicep curl. So be selective in the things you share in social media. Does your content peak curiosity in the clients you most want to work with? Maybe the answer to that is yes. Maybe you want and love working with women whose greatest urgency during this pandemic is their arms.

Know Who

Choose the person you want to work with, show something they care deeply about, so deeply that during a pandemic they are willing to spend time, money, and energy getting.

A facility is not a sales strategy. Relationships are. Days are coming I believe when the membership sales team is a thing of the past. Whether someone wants to join or they really want and need to train and have a place to do it, a trainer can sell transformation far better than a sales person.

You’re in a Moment of Opportunity if You Can Create a Relationship

You can workout at home and get as good or better results as you do in a gym. It’s just a playground. The emergence of studios and boutiques in recent years has proven that less equipment and higher quality movement is the answer.

You’re a trainer with the world open to you right now.

There are home gym equipment dealers right now overwhelmed with the amount of business they’ve been flooded with. Those people buying equipment, however, don’t know what to do with it.

There’s also a prediction for those people that can hang on through this that there will be a surge in fitness centers. There’s a chance that some are just waiting for the second stimulus check they think may be coming, and then they’ll cash in their chips. That will create opportunity for trainers who have a business mindset and understand profitability and scale.

The question is, what are you doing right now to learn it if you don’t know it?

Other Episodes You Might Enjoy:

7 Tips to Be the Trainer Everyone Wants to Work With

Medical Fitness in the Middle of a Pandemic

When You Feel Like Quitting

Resource:

Health & Fitness Professional’s Guide to Social Media

30 Minutes to Map Out Your 90 Day Fitness Marketing Plan | Personal Fitness Pro

Your 90 Day fitness marketing plan is 30 minutes away.

You’re going to have to do the work. But what it is will be clear.

But knowing exactly what you need to do and who on your team or when you are going to do it is half the reason you’re not closer to your goals now. That and the pandemic. But look, we all know it changed things. But it changed things for all.

So, it’s a level playing field. Do you think clients and customers who aren’t meeting you in person and utilizing you otherwise aren’t exercising? They are doing something, or will be. I could say, it may as well be you, but really I want to say heck, yeah it should be with you. It doesn’t make sense that it wouldn’t be you.

Create Your 90 Day Fitness Marketing Plan

But you’ve got to sit yourself down, take 30 minutes to map out your 90-day plan. Otherwise, my guess is all you’re going to do Monday is compare how bad this Monday is to how great one you had in January before this all started was.

You cannot compare now to then.

The next thing you’re going to do is keep yourself busy. But busy is not productive. If you don’t have a list of the things you need to be doing, you’re going to do something else. We can always find things ourselves or worse, someone else is going to hijack your time.

So once you’re settled in I want you to do the following things.

30 Minutes to map out your 90 day fitness marketing plan

Write down your big picture goals for 90 days. Ordinarily I’d ask you to include your year, but let’s face it, right now we’re trying to regroup, pivot, listen and respond and that annual goal may be something you have no idea about right now.

But 90 days? We can see that far.

  • What will it take to cover your bills?
  • What will it take to give you a little padding?

You should be making a profit.

Run what you do (even if you work for someone else) through the revenue and expense filter.

Side Note on “Business Expenses”

Seriously, buying Lululemons if you don’t need them can’t be a justified expense. But right now my suggestion would be even if it’s a personal want… that you don’t blur the boundaries here. Let’s be serious and cut expenses so you can get to profit again faster. If your jog bras are shredded and you really need one.. you could get it at Target.

Buying this end-of-season sale stuff at Athleta when you weren’t shopping is not a necessity, right? During good times you can do that. You can stock up. But now? It’s still money you have to spend you may not have or can’t predict you won’t truly need elsewhere.

Don’t be that person with a Suburban, gel nails, bleached hair, and new Lulus at the bank needing to talk about your options for bankruptcy or loans.

OK – end of rant.

Now what are the revenue drivers that you have or need to put in place right now to earn that number every month?

What kind of expense will you have in creating those products or services?

Be smart here. You need next to nothing in terms of expense to package and bundle a service that someone can buy on Venmo or PayPal from you today.

You can create documents online, you can use a free graphics editor like Canva. What is free but the most time consuming is getting copy writing down. You have to know how to create an offer. How to present an offer, and then get started.

Who needs to do the work?

Is that just creative time, research into big sellers for you in the past, looking at (purchasing or opting in for your competition’s services)?

When is it due?

Notice I didn’t ask how long it will take. Any task will expand to the time it is given. So decide.

How much revenue will it bring in?

For this you’re going to have to dig deep right? You’re projecting already how much you’re going to charge, how many you’re going to sell, and you’re going to have to have a game plan for selling that many.

If for instance, for every 10 people you talk to you sell 5, then you’ve got a 50% conversion rate. That means if you need to sell 10 of them a week you need to talk to 20 people – who are of course your ideal customer that you wrote the copy and script to persuade.

Your List

That also means… you have to start a list, reach out for those people so you can book the consults. Whether you call and say, “hey, I’ve been thinking about you and I’ve got an idea that will help you stay on track, would you like to hear about it?”

Or you email or text them something similar, you’ve got to have the plan for:

And you have to decide you’re going to hit that goal or higher by the deadine you set. If you don’t sell as well you have to talk to more people.

Did you notice what I just did? The words I used were “that goal or higher” and that’s what you want to be focused on. Be open to more.

There you have it. Let’s recap those steps and break them down into exactly what you can start working on today.

Key Point Summary:

  1. Set your goals – the revenue.
  2. Decide what product or services will get you there.
  3. Identify if these are new, or revised products and services and what has to be done to have them ready to sell.
  4. Determine how many you have to sell to reach your revenue goal.
  5. Determine how many people you need to talk to in order to sell that many people based on your conversion rate.
  6. Go into action with tasks added to your calendar or to your support staff’s calendar.

Notice social media wasn’t even mentioned. It’s probably got to be a part of the 90 day fitness marketing plan. But it is not the first thing. If you don’t have a plan, you don’t know what you should be posting on social media. If you’ve got that backwards, you’re wasting time money and energy and leaving money on the table.

Working with women in menopause? The first and only training designed for trainers who work with women in menopause based on the Flipping 50 program that’s helped 150,000+. The Flipping 50 Fitness Specialist.

Subscribe in iTunes and catch the entire 30-Day streak in July on how to market, sale, survive and thrive during the pandemic.

7 Tips to be a Personal Trainer Every Midlife Woman Wants to Work With

You can be a personal trainer every client wants to work with. Though I’d argue you only want to focus on being the one your ideal clients want to work with.

Now is the time to learn the skills and spend the time taking the right steps. In this episode I share 7 tips you can use right now.

If you really want to be a personal trainer every woman in menopause wants you want to look at the Flipping 50 Fitness Specialist.

  1. You can be a personal trainer right now easier than ever if you’re surrounded by trainers who can only offer the same service they were offering in February. This is the perfect time to make a move, grow your business, and create a deep niche.
  2. Wanting to make more money personal training and not calling customers daily is like brushing your teeth while you eat Oreos.
  3. Using social media and not doing live video is like taking a shower without using soap.
  4. Giving a woman in menopause a HIIT workout late in the day is like lighting a match in the Australian bush.
  5. Suggesting your client workout as soon as she wakes up is like insurance for physical therapists & chiropractors.
  6. Telling your menopause client to do Tabata is like telling her she is an elite male cyclist.
  7. Few clients come looking for “Pilates” with urgency. 90% of clients come looking for solutions to problems. If Pilates is your platform, speak in solutions, introduce Pilates later.

That’s all 7 Tips to be a Personal Trainer

There you have it. Seven tips to be a personal trainer every midlife woman wants. (and tells her friends about)

If you want to be a personal trainer anyone wants you first want to let them see you in a way that they can see a glimpse of themselves in you. That doesn’t mean that as a female in her 30s or 40s you can’t work with men in their 60s or 70s. It doesn’t mean as a male you can’t work with young female athletes. It does mean you have to be willing to show something in you that will resonate with the clients you want. Is that thing vulnerability, drive, a chronic illness, is it a desire? Figuring out what that is, is your job.

Other podcasts you might like:

Like, Know, and Trust Myth

#1 Fitness Marketing Mistake

Master marketing for your fitness business

14 questions that can change your fitness business & life

Want to change your fitness business? Would that change your life? I’ve got 14 questions you want to answer.

As much as you’ll hear them and think this is silly, maybe even – this is something I’ve heard before, if you haven’t got answers to them that are clear for you, or it’s been a while since you’ve revisited… you need to answer them.

Write your answers down!

  1. What do you want?
  2. What kind of lifestyle do you want?
  3. What are you willing to do to have it?
  4. What are your values?
  5. What are your unique skills?
  6. What are your boundaries?
  7. Who do you think is in charge of you getting what you want?
  8. If you don’t get what you want what will the reason be?
  9. Who do you serve?
  10. What transformation do you provide?
  11. How do you do that?
  12. Why you?
  13. Why your business?
  14. What would make someone say I don’t want anyone but you? 

Tuck your answers away and review them from time to time. Most importantly though, be sure you’ve answered them all, especially the last 6 questions. It’s those last six questions that will give you the clarity you need to start having a message your customer understands.

Of Course

Asking you right now if you want to change your fitness business is like asking if you want hot water for your shower. Of course you do, everyone’s business has changed. You may be thriving and yet you’d be an anomaly. Everyone is pivoting, figuring it out week by week and month by month.

But suggesting that you and I look closer at what part we play in the success of our businesses is a must. If you’re used to doing an annual plan you probably need to change that right now to a monthly plan. We can see that far ahead.

Uncertainty

Even that may be tricky given universities don’t yet know for sure if there will be football games or who will attend live. Schools don’t know for sure if they’ll be in session or virtual.

Once fall activity is set though it will give us a little projection for a few months though.

We’re in a unique moment in time. One thing that does happen is that it’s different and hard for everyone. It levels the playing field. The skilled, talented, and consistent will survive. You can thrive.

The Things You Should Say No to Right Now | Personal Fitness Business

Say no right now should be on the top of your list if you want to not just survive but thrive in the coming months and years.

Yesterday I went over what you need to say yes to. If you missed it I highly recommend you go return and you’ll have the complete loop.

Another thing you should take a serious look at is the last 4 spots for the Flipping 50 Fitness Specialist open right now.

Say no to these if you want to focus:

  • Late nights
  • Short sleeps
  • Alcohol
  • Junk food
  • Binges of Netflix
  • Long runs or workouts of any kind
  • Subscriptions you don’t absolutely need or have to have for business
  • Memberships you don’t need or have to have for business
  • Fees on itunes, icloud storage, any recurring fees you haven’t looked closely at
  • Activities in your business that aren’t directly related to earning revenue
  • Anything that does have to get done but someone else can do for a lower hourly rate
  • Breakfast lunch and dinner with people who want to pick your brain
  • Anything any time with people who suck the energy out of you
  • Social media time
  • Social media posts that aren’t video and messages that increase your leads or sales directly
  • Getting your nails done or buying things you don’t need because they’re on sale

Say no

Saying no to some of these things is hard. You will struggle with it. No one wants to lower their lifestyle. But as you earned more and times were good and you were enjoying the lazy attitude you’d always rely on someone to do things for you, you increased your lifestyle to a point where you have little wiggle room. Am I right?

The house, the car, the things you had to have the kids in? The nails, the hair, the facials, the massages. Some of those things aren’t happening right now and can’t. That alone is saving you money.

Find Money

There is money in other places if you look. Make this a game. How much money can you find this month?

The last thing you should be saying no to is thoughts that sabotage you. Don’t be a victim. Do be creative. You can’t be creative when you’re stressed. S take time, go hike, nap, sing, listen to music, podcasts, color, draw, journal. Do what you need to do so you can get creative and think what if…

Resources:

Flipping 50 Fitness Specialist

Say Yes to These Things Right Now

The Things You Should Say Yes to Right Now

Say yes to :

  • Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube lives
  • Opportunities to be a podcast or summit guest
  • Chances to present at conferences
  • Opportunities to interact with businesses for exercise breaks and lunch talks
  • Creating challenges for at home exercise
  • Collaboration with other businesses
  • Creative ways to generate revenue

Time for a makeover

You absolutely should say yes to these things and more.
Look for things that get you outside of the box you’ve been thinking in for so long. If you were doing it for years, it wasn’t working all that well anymore anyway.

You were bored and you’d gotten complacent. You were operating on a schedule, thinking about your 4 o’clock instead of your client by name.

You’ve got a reason to get re-engaged again. Look through your files. You’ve got old ideas, old packages, bundles, and programs that you could revise, refresh and offer at a new price.

Say Yes to Growing Your business

Say yes to learning skills you need to know to grow a business. You can’t help more clients with the 5% of your deepest level skill without getting clients in the first place. Buff up your website. Commit to understanding what qualities make a website easy to navigate and keep a customer on longer. Learn what good copy that converts is and the difference between that and copy your literature instructor would be proud of.

By changing your emails and learning how to tell a story that puts your customer in the scene, that makes them see themselves in the story or say, hey- that could be me, you can improve your connection and your sales.

In order to say yes to these, any of these that you’re not doing you have to say no to other things. There’s no way around that fact.

A Few More Questions

What do you need to delegate? What do you need to dump?

What might you be doing right now that seems important but isn’t?

And what do you need to do that seems a waste of time and isn’t?

Doing Medical Fitness Business in the Middle of a Pandemic

Look, people who very recently were in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs at legacy and influence suddenly find themselves seeking safety and security in the bottom of that pyramid. They can’t be both. Communicate to the person based on the situation they’re in.

We are still in the middle of a pandemic. You still may be reaching out to people in your target market, who have medical issues they need and want to address. Those problems haven’t gone away.

Yet, you can’t ignore the moment and the way it lands for individuals.

You need to merge your message with the moment, the middle of a pandemic moment, that we’re in cannot be ignored. If you either work with businesses, or you’re working with other trainers, medical exercise specialists, or allied health care professionals as you reach out, potentially you have to be conscious.

Duped “tone deaf,” failing to reach out and be of service before you reach out to make gains will accelerate your decline.

If you, for example, reach out in need of an affiliate partnership relationship where you have

a message about a program that is a benefit for a specific problem, you have to be inclusive of the times and the moment that we’re in right now.

New Normal: Not, But Different

Everybody has problems today they did not have in January or February of 2020. If you ignore what’s going on for the person on the other end of that receiving message you will alienate and lose potential relationships that could have been forged in this special time.

You will have more opportunity and deeper relationships when you observe a few common communication guidelines.

Do you have, serve, or are an agency, business, or association? How have you served before asking? How have you responded to their needs? How have you given, generously, asking what they need and how you can support?

Expect that everything has changed, and nothing is the same. In some cases, you may be pleasantly surprised. There are opportunities. You should also assume that it’s false that “everyone is not spending money right now.” Because some are spending the same and others are spending more.

Silver Lining

Health has risen to the top. Some businesses and their owners have been operating on a more limited basis, freeing up time to focus on their health. They’ve also got the message that a strong immune system is crucial now and later in a way they’ve never had that message before.

Be Helpful First

All of us are dealing with something different. This will continue indefinitely, right now we don’t know for how long. For a lot of people this is a time of survival mode. And if they believe it’s true, especially, then you’re reaching out as standard operating procedure for your organization, your agency, or your business, you’ll sabotage relationships.

Instead of first reaching out with what you need, ask, how can I help you?

Anything less stands a good chance of resulting in a breakup. There are some businesses and associations going over and above. There are many whom you’ve not heard from.

Imagine if you were dating, and there was conflict in your relationship. Whether you caused it or not, whether you intentionally did something or not, doesn’t matter. If it’s there, you can’t ignore it, or pretend that it doesn’t exist if you want to continue that relationship.

You’ve got to address it.

Deepen Relationships By Offering Support

So, for those trainers, medical exercise specialist fitness professionals, and health coaches that want to create a bigger business through the opportunity we have in this crisis and pandemic right now, you have to be thoughtful. You have to be of service. You have to change your usual standard operating procedures.

Whatever they were in January or February of 2020, they are forever changed. If you’re still on the same timeline, you’re still promoting the same programs, you’re ignoring the real problem, you’ll lose.

You will not only sabotage relationships you’ve had up to this point, and you’ll lose the opportunity to create deeper relationships with brand new individuals. Everyone is figuring out how to pivot and how to change. So, if your business is operating on old standards in this new moment, you will lose.

Operating with pre-pandemic strategies in the middle of a pandemic is like using a 1970 research study to design your 2020 exercise prescription.

Win Win in the Middle of a Pandemic?

How can you take what you need and turn it in to an asset and an advantage for someone else that you need something from? How can you turn it around?

There are three steps for conflict resolution. Think about how they might be applicable now, even before there is a conflict.

Apply a potential conflict or barrier reduction before there ever is a barrier. What kind of a relationship, could you create then?

Step one is validate.

Validate the person who’s going to receive your message or the person who’s sending you a message.

Step two is make them happy.  

If you can’t give them exactly what they need, you can still start with, here’s the good news. This is what I/we can do.

What is that minimum viable acceptable space you can give? Start asking what it is you want, and where they are and what they want at this moment. 

Step Three you go into action.

You don’t put it onto them. But you go into action, making it easier, better and simpler, so that they want to forge forward with you, feeling as if they’ve landed on a soft spot with you as an ally in this moment we’re in.

Anybody who’s operating by the same standards that they were in January or February, ignoring the needs of the people that they serve and the people that they serve both internally and externally will fail. You will alienate people to the point that they’re already under set stress.

Look, internally, you know you’ve potentially cut hours, cut pay, laid off, or you’re trying to navigate PPP loans and what that will look like. Terms are anybody’s guess. You may be wearing not one but all hats in your business right now. There is nothing harder than losing internal customers who’ve come to be like family and close friends. Take care of them if you’ve still got them. Leaders lead. You don’t have to have the answers.

Communication begins with asking then listening.

Respect This Middle of a Pandemic Space

Everyone you come in contact with right now is potentially in survival mode and wants to be in thrive mode. But in order to do that, they’ve got to pivot, and they potentially have 90% more things on their plate than they had pre-pandemic.

Start with presence. Show up. You don’t have to have answers. Find out what the questions are anyway. Ask if you don’t know and provide solutions when you have them. Offer an ear when you don’t. Offer opportunities so it’s easier for them to participate with you, easier than ever.

Look, people who very recently were in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs at legacy and influence suddenly find themselves seeking safety and security in the bottom of that pyramid. They can’t be both. Communicate to the person based on the situation they’re in.

And they’ll be grateful, and loyal forever.

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