Pat Rigsby is the co-owner of several businesses in the fitness industry, including the Fitness Consulting Group. He also serves as an industry consultant focusing on the development of profitable personal training departments. To learn how you can improve your club’s retention, referrals and profitability, sign up for Rigsby’s free newsletter and get his three free business building reports at www.fitnessmarketingmachine.com. Rigsby can be reached at pat@fitnessconsultingroup.com.

Health club owners have finally started to recognize the tremendous potential that lies in developing and running their own personal training department. But while most club owners do recognize that their personal training department can serve as a consistent and sizable revenue producer, they typically don’t have any idea how to turn members into training clients other than selling them during the point of sale or during their initial consultation. So, instead of relying solely on telling your trainers to work the floor and hope they stumble across new business, here are three ways that you can generate more personal training business from your existing member base.

Wish Them a Happy Birthday. Each month, run a report showing you all the members’ birthdays in that month. Then have your trainers, front desk staff or whoever else has solid phone skills call these members on or around their birthdays. The caller should tell the members that they are calling on behalf of the club to wish them a happy birthday and to offer them a gift of one or two complimentary personal training sessions. Although not all members will take you up on the gift, a percentage will, and all will appreciate the call. Not only will this process generate business for the personal training department but it will also strengthen your relationship with your members.

Send a Voice Broadcast. Every time you run a promotion or offer a new program or want to create a surge of business, send a voice broadcast via your phone calling system to your member database. At any point in time, only a fraction of your members uses the club. A phone calling system allows you to reach far more people with your message and in turn generate a much higher response. As an added bonus, this will light a fire under some inactive members and get them motivated to come back in the club.

Hold Seminars. Host themed seminars for your members and offer a special at the end of each event. You could easily put together seasonal seminars such as:

Fall – Your Last Excuse Just Got on the School Bus

Winter – Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

Winter – Making Your Resolutions a Reality

Spring – Have the Body You Want by Summer

Summer – Last-Minute Tips to Be Bathing Suit Ready for Vacation

Other topics for seminars include anything that’s hot in the media and perpetually popular topics, such as getting a flat stomach or losing weight after pregnancy. The key is getting members to come to the event, therefore indicating their interest in learning ways to accelerate their progress. Your seminar then pre-sells them and closes the deal by offering a special on an appropriate program at the end.