When signing up bespoke coaching clients there's a period between someone buying into your programme and them receiving their personalised plans and getting starting on their fitness journey with you. Your new client just parted with a large sum of money and doesn't yet have anything to show for it while you're creating their programme and "onboarding" them into your coaching business.
If you'd like to eliminate buyer's remorse and reduce the number of refunds you need to give within the first 1-2 weeks, ensuring your client is kept busy thinking about their tasks and showing them how working with you will affect their lifestyle is a good idea. Here's 3 steps to a super smooth client onboarding process.
#1. Create a Standard Onboarding ProcessOnboarding is the process of welcoming a new client into your business, setting out the expectations of the relationship, and integrating them into your coaching ethos. Since all clients will have to go through it, you can standardise the onboarding to be as optimised as possible so that everyone goes through the same steps and you're efficient at bringing them on board.
First, note every step that needs to happen once your client has paid their fee to work with you. This is the sort of information you probably give to the client over the phone, but rather than just explaining it to the individual, make a "master list" of the tasks.
You can use this master list as a checklist to make sure you're performing the same tasks the same way for every client and being efficient at getting the jobs done.
Consider what happens from the point they put the phone down.
- What information do they need to give you?
- How do you want them to send it to you?
- How would you like them to ask questions and communicate with you?
- How do you run your check-ins and how frequently?
- How do you deliver their training programme?
- What should the client expect from you?
- Do you have them sign a contract?
- Will you ask for a referral or testimonial after a set amount of time?
There may be subtle differences between trainers, but most of these aspects will likely be similar.
#2. Wow Them While Their Programme Is Being DesignedWhen a new client starts with you, especially if they join your online training programme, they know very little about you as a person. You may consider giving them a few things so they can get to know you a little bit more too. You can also explain the next steps.
You can thank them for choosing you and congratulating them on committing to their health. This costs nothing to make. You could record a generic video on your phone and add it to a welcome group inside PT Distinction ready to send to your new client the moment they join.
Welcome Card and Gift
Small items delivered by mail are incredibly welcome and can be a business asset that impresses your clients. A handwritten card, some stickers or a custom fridge magnet (which can be bought online) or even a book that you think they'd like based on what you talked about on the phone can all be sent through the post and with your client within 48 hours of them signing up.
Sending an email with a list of preparation tasks will buy you some time to write their training programme. It may include some bits that they need to buy (such as tape measures or weighing scales) or things they need to download onto their phone to make the coaching process run more smoothly (such as apps you recommend).
You could even include a couple of basic workouts that they can do straight away, with no equipment, if they're very eager. This could be a "baseline test" that you return to monthly to measure their improvement, such as how long it takes them to run a mile, or how many push-ups and squats they can complete in one minute. Once again you can set this up in your PT Distinction welcome group to go to your client the moment they sign up.
Delivering a personalised client welcome pack which includes a frequently asked questions section can cut down on the amount of back and forth involved in welcoming a new client into your business. It can be a digital or physical product, and investing a small amount of money into getting this designed by a skilled graphic designer can help your coaching service stand out to your client and help them feel that they've invested in a valuable and professional service. It saves you time and effort, and to the client, it feels like you've given them something extraordinary. This can be delivered inside your welcome group or you could send a physical copy by post.
#3. AutomationSo far, we've seen some of the ways you could standardise and streamline your onboarding process. There are many aspects of the onboarding process that you might want to automate. For example, suppose you always send new clients the same 10 introductory emails explaining some of the fundamental principles of nutrition or strength training. In that case, you could draft these into an automated email sequence and have them set to send at a frequency you decide automatically. You can set this up in the message center of your welcome group.
Even better would be to hire a copywriter to write these for you, as these first impression emails can bring in a lot of referrals from your clients' friends if done right. These are assets that you can save and keep reusing in your business for years to come.
If you're using PT Distinction you can create an onboarding workflow that launches every new client with the same steps and automate it so you don't miss a thing. This can include emails, PAR-Qs, nutrition and lifestyle questionnaires, assessment, welcome video, documents and more.
ConclusionHaving a clear, step by step onboarding process can relieve a lot of stress for online coaches and personal trainers because it removes the mental energy it takes to remember everything. It can also help you make sure you've done every step, and not missed anything out.
By having systems and processes in place, you can focus on the more valuable task of delivering an exceptional and highly personalised coaching experience to your new clients.