How to increase your client base as a personal trainer?

Everyone knows that WORD of MOUTH is the best form of advertising. A genuinely satisfied client will tell their friends. BUT, have you ever been told about a specific business only to forget it's name. You still remember that a friend had a recommendation, just not specifically what it was. That is often the case with word of mouth. It holds weight because it is from a trusted friend, but it lacks staying power because it is usually verbal. While the samples and examples provided are specific to the salon/spa industry, the basic principles can be used in many business types and models. In today's economy this is a crucial way to grow your business and your businesses profits.

Referral Cards are WRITTEN word of mouth. It give the potential new client a tangible reminder of the exact business that was recommended. Now, even weeks or months later they will be able to remember YOUR business. Your business goes with them after the initial recommendation.

The other key factor that a referral card program offers is the INCENTIVE. It offers an incentive for the new client to come into your business AND an incentive for your existing client to "tell a friend". For most businesses a $20 discount offers the most bang for your buck. It is a high enough dollar amount to increase the rate of return and yet not so high as to lose money. I have had clients go as high as a 50% discount, but that is a decision that you need to determine based on your individual business. Most of the programs I set up and cards I design, utilize the $20 value.

HOW does it work?

The best referral card systems are easy and cost effective. They rely on business card sized cards that are printed on both sides for optimal return. (see samples below)

Side One : The name of your business (preferably your Custom Logo) and the OFFFER. The offer should read something like this "Save $20 OFF Your First Visit". The "$20" should be bold and stand out. On the bottom of the card it should say "see back of card for details"

Side Two : This side should also include name and offer (offer somewhat smaller), address, phone number, one line that states stylist with a blank line, one line with Referred by and a blank line and at the bottom of card "cannot be combined with any other offer. Under the offer it should state "bring this card in to receive discount"

HOW do I use them?

Before your existing client leaves uses this script (tried and true) "I'm going to show you how you can save 20% off your next visit. Hand these out to friends, family, co-workers. When ever I get a new client from these cards you will get $20 off your next visit. Be sure to put your name on the Referred by line, so I make sure you get credit" You will notice that you have explained the program to your client from the "what's in it for him/her" perspective, as this generates the most interest.

Be sure to put your name in the Stylist line to ensure that the new clients that are being referred are going to ask for you. Hand 5 to EVERY client (also tried and true). Do NOT pre-judge who you think will or will not hand them out. You will always be surprised at the outcome. Also, keep some cards with you at all times so you can hand them out in line at the grocery store, when you get your morning coffee or to add one to your tip when you go out for lunch or dinner. They can also be added to gift baskets or other promotional pieces that are given out at community events. Every opportunity should be utilized to grow your business.

HOW does giving $20 OFF make me more money?

Example without Referral Cards : Sue comes in every 4 weeks and spends $40 per visit on services. This equates to approximately 13 visits per year. This means $520 in services per year from Sue.

Example WITH Referral Cards : Sue sends in Jill who saves $20 OFF her FIRST visit and then Sue receives $20 OFF her NEXT visit. Sue then spends $500 for the year ($20 less than without the program) and Jill (assuming the same 4 week cycle and $40 per visit) spends $500 for the year (all new money). This put the year for the two clients at $1000 versus the $520 for only the one client. Now multiply this by every new client gained from this easy to use program. This does not even factor in the increased sales in retail to your new clients.

The key factors to remember are to hand 5 to every customer every time. It is a numbers game. Remember to use the script above to clearly convey how the program works and "what's in it for them". Keep enough cards filled out with your name at all times.

When having your referral cards designed remember to include your logo and make it a two-sided FULL COLOR card. This will ensure that your card is seen and remembered. I have always designed these cards with as much "WOW" factor as possible, while making sure they are easy to read and understand. Utilizing a local graphic designer to help with the design and printing can help insure a good, clean eye-catching design. This can also help avoid the "generic" look offered by many online printing companies. You can still use an online printer for cost factors, but the original and unique design is worth a few extra dollars. Branding your business is important and will be discussed in a future article.

Happy Business Building!

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What are the six competing concepts of marketing management?

What is Marketing?

"Marketing consists of all the activities of individuals and organizations designed to identify, anticipate, and mutually satisfy the needs of all parties involved in the exchange."

Marketing cannot take place unless some sort of exchange occurs. One party must exchange a product or service with another party for some form of payment. This is the exchange process and is the central focus for all marketing activities.

Marketing Utilities

Four marketing utilities, which are the capacities of the product offering to satisfy the needs of a customer, are enhanced when exchange occurs.

These include:

Form Utility - The product is produced, or modified for the customer. An example of this might be a car manufacturer designing their car so that a driver will be able to plug in his I-pod or other devices.
Time Utility - The consumers ability to buy the product when he or she wants to buy the product. A grocer may store certain amounts of certain foods until the prime season they are bought. It is ensuring customers will have access to the food when they most desire them.

Place Utility - This describes when a consumer is able to buy the product at a location that is convenient to him or her. The best example of this is online sales. Home is the most convenient location for a consumer.
Possession Utility - Ownership of the product is transferred from the marketer to the buyer. An example is a getting a loan and then buying a car. This is concerned with the ease of transferability for the consumer.
The Marketing Management Concepts

There are four marketing management concepts that companies will utilize in their marketing objectives. All of these aim to achieve profits and objectives, but the focus and means by which they do so will differ. They will typically follow one of these four major concepts:

Product Concept - This management orientation says that if you build a quality product and set a reasonable price, very little marketing effort is needed to sell it. The product generates the demand "build it, and they will come"

Selling Concept - This management orientation says that consumers will not normally buy enough of a product unless it is aggressively promoted to them.

Marketing Concept - This management orientation says the major purpose of an organization is to identify consumer needs and then adapt the organization in a way that will satisfy the customers needs more effectively and efficiently than competition. (i.e. Chain restaurants may alter their menu in different countries)

Societal Concept - This management orientation focuses on satisfying consumers needs and demonstrating long run concern for societal welfare in order to achieve company objectives and attend to its responsibilities for society. The idea is to find a balance between social welfare, consumer needs, and company profits.

Traditional vs. Integrated Marketing

To understand the fundamentals of marketing, it is important to understand two different approaches used when a company chooses to introduce a new product. Here we see traditional and integrated marketing.

There are typically 5 different departments directly involved with the product during creation and launch: Development, Engineering, Production, Marketing, and Distribution.

If a company opts to use a traditional approach, all of these departments work as separate entities. For example, development will draw up a product and then pass it along to engineering to create it. Engineering will then pass it along to production mass produce it. They will afterwards pass it to marketing, who will eventually move the product to distribution for a product launch.

If a firm opts to utilize an integrated marketing approach, all of the departments work together as a single unit. Engineering will not begin a product without ensuring that production has the capabilities to produce it. Development will check with marketing to ensure the product is line with the company image and approach. Basically, every department will at some point integrate their work with all other departments in the process.

Clearly, integrated marketing is the better approach. While it may take longer to launch a product, the likelihood of success is greater. The traditional approach leaves much room for interdepartmental conflicting interest and is therefore regarded as an outdated approach in marketing. It all too often ignores the consumers needs. The integrated marketing approach helps a business work collectively as one unit.

Perceived Value and Satisfaction

A customers perceived value is equal to the benefits derived divided by the costs.

Value = Benefits/Costs

Further, benefits can include functional and emotional benefits. Costs may include monetary costs, time costs, energy costs, and psychic costs.

So, Value = Functional benefits + emotional benefits / monetary cost + time cost + energy cost + psychic costs

Satisfaction is a person's feelings of pleasure or disappointment resulting from comparing a products performance in relation to the person's expectations of performance.

Most expectations are derived from past buying experiences, friends, the marketer, peers, competitors, and promises of performance.

It is also important to keep in mind that a person is twice as likely to tell others about a negative product or experience than they are about a good product or positive experience. Dissatisfied customers can also have a negative impact on employee morale.

The Marketing Mix - The Four P's

There are four marketing mix variables that are associated with a product. These must be taken into consideration when making any decisions regarding marketing activities. These are often known as the "Four P's" in marketing. Note that these should only be identified after a target market is selected. All marketing mix variables are controllable, internal factors. These include:

Product - This variable described all factors relating to the actual product visible to the consumer. These may include things such as quality, features, options, style, packaging, brand, sizes, labels, variety, and warranties.
Price - The price variable includes not only the list price, but all other pricing factors associated with a product. These may include discounts, allowances, payment options and periods, and credit terms. All of these are related to the final, whole price of the product.

Place - Place deals with all distribution and location aspects of a product. How and what are the products available to consumers? These may include assortments, channels, coverage areas, locations, and inventories.

Promotion - Promotion is any and all efforts by a company to make publicize a product and make the consumer aware of it. Efforts might include advertising, personal selling, sales, public relations, or internet activities.

The marketing mix should only be determined after a target market is determined.

Target market = The group or groups of customers for which the marketer will direct attention. This group is determined after thorough segmentation and analysis of the market. (more on segmentation in part 2)

External Factors

While the marketing mix consists of factors that are controllable by a company, there are numerous external factors that must be taken into consideration when scanning the environment the product or service is marketed in. The company can do nothing about these in the long run, but can react to them in the short run. They will certainly impact what the marketer can do.

External Factors (Uncontrollable)

Demographic environment - The features of a country that can be statistically described
Economic environment - The financial and economic conditions in a country will determine demand for any and all products.

Competitive environment - The intensity of competition in the market the business is in cannot be controlled.
Physical environment - Availability, use, and disposal of natural resources Technological environment - Determines how the marketing should be done. What medium should be used?
Political and legal environment - Laws and restrictions may be set by various government agencies in regard to competition, consumer protection, or societal welfare.

Social/Cultural environment - What is acceptable in what culture may not be acceptable in another.
Company related environment - Goals and objectives of top Gethsemane and company as a whole.

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