Did you ever wonder how to maintain your Pilates clients? It is something that for many Pilates teachers can seem a bit of a struggle. It honestly wasn’t something I thought of much when I first started teaching but, now after well over 25 years, I have 7 tips that will make sure any potential client that comes into your Pilates schedule will stay with you for as long as you are teaching!
It is hard for me to believe but, it is true that the very first client I ever got is still coming every week for her Pilates with me. It blows me away that A) She stayed with me when I was a new and very green Teacher and B) She has continued to stay with me as my Pilates journey has taken different paths and evolved.
When I started teaching I was so worried the client would get bored, or they would think I had no idea what I was doing. The thought of keeping them for years and years wasn’t even in my toolbox at that point. As time went on the confidence grew in my skills and teaching but, that fear of “did they enjoy the session?” “ did they get what they wanted today?” can still be there. This is a key thought process in maintaining your client. These 2 questions you need to always be mindful of every day while teaching each client.
Many clients may come for a while and then drift off your schedule. They will have an excuse of work, too busy with kids, money or they just disappear and you never get a reason. I go over all these situations a lot with students in my Teacher Training program and I give them these 7 tips as they begin their Pilates career. These tips stand out for my clients and make them feel appreciated, heard, understood and keeps them making progress. If clients get these things in each session then they will make sure that nothing stops them from their Pilates with you.
Here are my 7 tips on things you can do to keep and maintain ALL your clients
1. No time for Coffee talk- It is easy to fall into the trap of chatting with a client as they work. It may seem that if you share and become friends that will keep them coming as your client. It may for a while but, if they are just coming to chat and visit then at some point paying for it will be something they find easy to drop. Keep that boundary between teacher and client.
2. Be YOU- Find your teaching style and what makes you unique in your teaching and communication skills to the client. They will see how authentic and real you are as a teacher and that will keep them coming to you.
3. What are the goals your client is looking for?- Always remember why they are coming. Every year with the first session in January go over what goals they had last year and what you both accomplished together. Talk about the new year and what do they want to work on, or aim for? What is important for them when it comes to their Pilates session for the year? Make sure as the year continues that you let them know as you work on things that it is working on those goals.
4 Text for a check-in- Every morning before you head off text your clients that you see the next day. A simple short text of “Good morning! How are you feeling for Pilates tomorrow?” This shows them you are thinking of them, connecting and also you can plan ahead if something happened before they walk in with a sprained toe or some surprise! It is also an excellent chance to let them know if they are due to pay that session.
5. Show the client where they are going and where they have been- Remind them when they do something that may be a year ago or months ago they couldn’t do that or look how engaged legs or arms are now? Wow! Show them as you are working on something that eventually we will be using this to work on something they are wanting to do.
6. Have a focus during the session- Give them something to focus on during their session that can continue through the entire session. It can be just pushing legs away, reaching arms, breathe. Anything you feel that maybe they can work on and give them that one thing to really work on that day in every exercise. They will see and feel a difference at the end of their hour
7. Be reliable and consistent- Always be there before your client at least 15 minutes before. Ready and waiting, calm and focused. Never cancel or reschedule their session (unless a true emergency). They will appreciate and show you respect in the same way. They will trust you and stay with you knowing you have them!