A sales rep met with me the other day about what looks like an awesome product she’s selling. The barrier for me is that the product is very new. It’s hard to invest in something new. There’s no history of people having great experiences with it, that everything is working smoothly and that glitches are being dealt with well etc.
The company has exciting plans for the future but heck we’ve all been burn’t by companies who had great plans for the future and never made it. Simply put it’s hard to sell people on what you’re going to do, especially if they don’t know you, the owner, but I want to give the businesses a chance because so many gave me chances and…. so many didn’t.
So I need to look beyond the product and ask about the owners. What are their passions and history with this product? What’s their record in business? Show me the people – share with me their story and entice me to me invest in them because they are awesome.
But the sales rep, as lovely as she is, doesn’t know their surnames let alone what they did before setting up this business.
And it reminds me of three things.
For new PTs this is the challenge they will face – selling to people on what they are going to do is a lot harder than selling to people on the basis of what you’ve done…which is why collecting testimonials is crucial and why until you have enough history, YOU personally are your brand and YOU are what will sell your business, which explains why friends and family (hopefully) are your first round of clients i.e. they know and love you and have faith you’ll do an awesome job, because you’ve done an awesome job with other stuff before.
We can build our brand by osmosis a little too. If this business was already been trialed by a big chain, or had some sort of experts mentioned in terms of helping develop the product or had been a finalist for an Award, or even had the profiles of the owners on the website, I’d be less concerned. Their is definitely a positive affect of attaching yourself to big brands/names/experts, something that already has a great reputation whether it’s a Fitness Club, a celebrity, an event, a physio or having industry recognised stamp like REPs or tick like Heart Foundation. I recall asking people to choose from over 50 PTs on my website and people would often choose those that said they worked at a recognized fitness club. When I asked them why they said that ‘they must be good if a club would employ them’…nice but not necessarily true.
Share your history.
Until this meeting with the sales rep and another recent one with a trainer who didn’t know the history of me or the 20 Week Challenge, I had forgotten how much our personal story enables people to connect with us, understand our direction and have faith in us being able to take them on a safe and awesome journey.
So with that in mind I share a wee bit about the life of me before now for anyone who is thinking who the heck is Catch Fitness?
I was a gym instructor for about 5 years at what I thought was the best club in the world and worked part-time at Elite Fitness where I learnt tons about fitness equipment. I went on to be a group fitness instructor for at least 15 years. I started off as the worst instructor to ever set foot on an aerobics stage, I was as good as tonal deaf for at least two years and had two left feet, but I was given loads of chances and tons of support and so made it to a point where I loved it. I will always have a place in my heart, time and patience for anyone who ever wants to take activity sessions for groups.
I was a PT for the best part of my industry career as well and ended up working with athletes, circus performers, seniors, children and people with special needs. Ran programmes for workplace wellness, schools, drug re-hab centres and for people in home detention. I’d regularly do 400 or 500 km circuit to train farmers, vineyard owners and other wonderful, dedicated people in small country towns. I also ended up becoming a lecturer on the PT courses at CPIT and AUT, teaching group fitness at NZIS and a bunch of other fun stuff.
A huge part of my PT business/philosophy involved introducing clients to new activities on and I spent a good chunk of my time taking clients on adventures.
I love to support people on ‘firsts’, whether it be their first bike ride, kayak, climb, overnight camping trip, swim, caving trip, dancing lesson, yoga class, mountain climb, wind surfing effort or jump on a trampoline. Whatever they hadn’t done and I could convince them to have a shot at, we’d have a shot at. My whole philosophy is and was that if we could help people find activities they enjoyed they would keep being active and that regardless, even they had already found something they loved, that the variety of activity would help prevent burnout, would give them strength and function in new movement patterns and reassure them that it can be as joyful to try new activities as it is to excel at old ones.
I love learning curves and probably get more excited by them than by mastering anything. I don’t mind not doing stuff right or well but I certainly get that others do mind which is why I find it immensely rewarding to help people overcome their fears of giving new stuff a go.
I’ve never been into weight loss goals, at least not as a primary goal for people, which is why it has never been a category in the 20 Week Challenge I run. Being the ‘right’ weight, to the extent that it’s possible, is a by-product of living a full, happy and energized life. I’ll certainly still measure and celebrate fat loss changes but it’s just one of the markers in a realm of many.
I’m also not big on any one diet other than suggesting people eat and drink yummy, unprocessed, quality foods when they’re hungry or need fuel. I want people to enjoy eating socially and to never beat themselves up about ‘bad’ days. I refer people to dieticians, nutritionists and therapists for any help beyond my generic ‘eat well and be happy’ advice.
None of these views are necessarily ‘right’ – they are just my story and as such they help me to sculpt how I run my business.
Ultimately I just want to see people happy and energized and I think a key piece in that is by helping people to be active which is why I am the biggest fan ever of PTs and group fitness instructors but also dancers and coaches and pretty much anyone that’s helping people to get out there and do stuff. And pretty much therein, lays the reason why I’ve run the hundreds of workshops I have and why the 20 Week Challenge exists 🙂
When you post your story to your Website or Facebook page please share it with me.