By Tim Anderson, Special AFS Contributor

Whether or not a client decides to become or continue to be your client depends on a few things.

1. You. Your personality, teaching style, knowledge and passion will always be the most influential component as to whether or not a client will remain a client. You are your brand and your brand is a powerful sales influencer. It draws people to you, it keeps people with you.

2. Your location. If you are difficult to get to, more than 15 minutes away, or in a bad neighborhood, it may be a challenge to keep what would be long term clients. You will only take your retention rate so far.

3. Your equipment. Your resources will play a major role in whether or not your clients will decide to stay with you. Having both what they want AND what they need can greatly influence the satisfaction of your clientele. 

Let’s face it. You are an amazing person. You love helping people. That’s why you are in the fitness industry. That’s why you chose to invest all your time and energy in owning your own facility – so you could be a life changer.  Who wouldn’t want to train with you?

Equipment can be a “weird animal.” Thanks to popular fitness fads, magazines, and informercials, your potential clients may have a perceived notion of what they need to train with. You may know better, but you have to have a conversation with your potential client to be able to educate them on what they need. Having the right equipment, visibly displayed, can often give you a chance for a conversation and open the door for a potential new client. 

If you are going to invest in equipment with your precious resources, you want equipment that will not only get the attention of a potential customer, you want equipment that will actually help keep your current clients as well.  You want equipment your clients NEED. You want to fill your precious real estate with equipment that adds value to your clients’ experience and makes their lives better.

I also need my equipment to fit well with my training philosophy and my brand. It has to be fun; I want my clients to want to use it. And, it has to help my clients achieve their health and strength goals.

For example, one of my favorite pieces of equipment (my clients’ favorite too) is a series of elevated beams and platforms. The beams and platforms are modular and they allow me to create several different obstacle courses and challenges for my clients. These obstacles and challenges get people moving again in fun and creative ways. The rails are long and beveled; great for relearning balance and coordination. The can be crawled or walked on, under, or jumped over. They can be set up at angles, or set level at different heights; creating unlimited opportunities for play and movement discovery as clients solve situations based on how the rails and platforms are configured.

Perhaps equally important, when my clients are trying not to fall into the lava, or trying to squeeze through the electric fences, or jumping from lily pad to lily pad, they are having fun. Fun is a much needed component in training for strength and health. While my clients are “playing” they are learning to move.

When my clients leave my facility, they are smiling. They are smiling because of the experience they just had, the total experience; their experience with Original Strength, their experience with my staff and myself, and their experience with the environment we have created through our passion, knowledge and tools at our disposal.

This is important for your business: when clients leave your facility smiling, they will look forward to coming back! When they look forward to coming to your facility, you both win.

Can equipment really bring in more clients? If they come in the door, it can help catch their attention and maybe even their time. Can equipment really help keep the clients you have? Absolutely. But remember, you are your brand and your equipment will also reflect your brand. Your equipment can help set you apart from other “competition” in your area.  Your equipment should add value not only to your clients’ experience but also to you and your business.

What does your equipment say? What does it help you say?

Tim Anderson has been an ACE certified personal trainer since 1998, ACE certified Health Coach since 2006, NASM Performance Enhancement Specialist since 2014, Battling Ropes Certified Coach 1 and 2, CK-FMS and FMS-2009, Z-Health R, I, S, T-2008, RKC 1 and 2-2006, SFG -2012  

Tim is co-creator of the Original Strength System, a physical restoration system and partner in Original Strength Systems, LLC. Tim has also authored several books including Pressing Reset: Original Strength Reloaded, Habitual Strength, and Original Strength Restoration. He has traveled all over the world teaching the Original Strength System to medical and fitness professionals.  

A 1997 graduate from North Carolina State University with a BS degree in Statistics, Tim also served as a professional firefighter for 12 years in the state of North Carolina where he worked in his department's health and fitness work-team conducting movement screens and advising on training and rehabilitation regimens.  Tim is passionate about helping others learn how to move and obtain their physical restoration. The mission of his company, Original Strength, is "To change the world through movement."

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