How To Keep Your Clients
Retaining your Pilates clients is imperative and not something you should ever assume will just happen. You are great at what you do, but clients may hit a rough patch, be transferred to a location further from your studio, or their life just gets hectic and crazy. It’s important for your business that their Pilates session with you is never on the chopping block. Aside from their personal well-being, it’s much easier to run your business when you aren’t worried about losing a client.
How can you keep your clients interested and coming back several times a week, week after week, and month after month, and most importantly year after year? That’s what this week’s blog is about!
Companies spend lots of money every year to retain clients. Why? Because they know that keeping their existing clients, happy is money in the bank. Literally. Client retention can increase income because those loyal clients buy their newest product releases. Also, as I mentioned in a blog post a few weeks ago, your existing clients can help you gain new clients. So, how do we keep those existing clients engaged?
Tips for Retaining Your Pilates Clients
Recently I was teaching one of my Pilates Day Retreats, and an instructor asked me how I keep clients interested when they’ve been coming 2-3 times a week, and they’re now familiar with so many exercises. What’s next? What’s left? As instructors, it is easy to think we need to give our clients more and more exercises to change it up or keep it interesting. But that’s not the case! Here are some tips that I gave the instructor from my day retreat:
- If you are bored, your client is bored. Seriously! Check-in with yourself. When was the last time your Pilates soul has been fed? Giving yourself a workout and taking a Pilates session from your teacher are two incredibly different experiences. Pay attention to how your teacher instructs you. Hearing new ways of saying the same thing can be just what is needed to help your clients better connect with their bodies.
- Make your clients do it better. There is not a single person on this planet, including Joe (when he was alive) that was perfect at Pilates. Why? Because Pilates is a practice. You are always striving to do it better. Also, perfection is fleeting. Even if your client rocked it today, tomorrow is a different body.
- Ask yourself what your client needs to strengthen, stretch, or understand better. Skip the mat and reformer for a day, and give them a session with all the other amazing tools Joseph Pilates created.
- Give them less and do more. A common mistake teachers make giving the client more exercises, thinking that every session needs to bring something new to keep their interest. Showing them every exercise you know is not the same as showing them how great a teacher you are. Give them only what they need. As they get stronger, give them more. Overteaching will overwhelm them. They won’t get the benefits of Pilates because they’ll never get to practice what they learned. (Do you even remember what you ate yesterday? Chances are probably not. So chances are they will not remember what you taught them last time.) Plus, if you are inspired as a teacher and are actually “teaching” and not just “leading them,” they won’t feel like they are stuck on repeat because you can’t repeat inspiration!
- Trust and value are integral for client retention. Have you have taken my course on “What’s their Why?” Then you know why they came to you to take Pilates. If you were honest with them in achieving these goals through Pilates and you, hold them accountable to their why you build trust and show your value.
- Get creative: I know in #4 I said to do less, and you may think I am now contradicting myself, but, stay with me here. A beginner client needs to understand more and do less. They are building a foundation. However, your intermediate and advanced clients have already laid that foundation and can now be challenged by your creativity. Instead of using the reformer, maybe they do those same exercises on the mat. Take a prop and have them experience an exercise they normally rock, but now with the added challenge. You can play with a rhythm, themes, or even mindsets. For example, my mentor recently challenged me to run my mat exercises “like Joe would do them.” Joe was not a 5’ 9” female (last I checked). It totally changed how I performed my mat work. I was sore for days!
- Create loyalty. Studios and teachers can reward clients for sticking to their practice, and also for referring clients. You could have a client appreciation class or open house once a year. After all, clients allow you to do what you love most: Teach.
Finally, and above all, be yourself. Clients are drawn to those who are authentic, confident, and inspired. Take Pilates from someone who challenges you. Give your clients exactly what they need. Hold them accountable to their goals and their practice. The benefits of working with the “inspired you” will reveal themselves, and they will continue to come to you for their Pilates practice, no matter how shaky their life may get.