Functional Training Zones

Gift Ideas During the Holidays to Produce Raving Clients

By Todd Durkin

It's that time of the year. In just a matter of weeks, we will be celebrating Christmas, Hanukah, and New Year's. While clients and staff are typically in a festive mood, it is also a stressful time for our clients. The hectic pace, the shopping, the holiday parties, the travel, and all that goes with this time of the year, makes it a rather interesting time. In the fitness field, we really need to focus on trying to keep our clients on track in the month of December and pumping them up with a lot of positivity. Setting behavior contracts, holiday contests, goal setting, providing educational handouts, and connecting with your clients outside of sessions (emails, texts, phone calls, letters, etc.) are all important to help with extra adherence and motivation.

It is also that time of the year where we fitness trainers need to be sure to thank our clients for the past year's business. Whether they were with you the entire year, part of the year, or they are just new with you, this is a great time to thank your clients and capitalize on some excellent marketing opportunities to set you up for a successful year to come. There are many ways to show gratitude, get in your client's heads at all times, and provide them thoughtful "gifts" that could go a long way in running an excellent business. The following ideas are for you to consider what might work best for you and your business.

Top Clients

This may be your top 5-10 clients that spend the most amount of money with you per month or year; these are your 3+ time per week clients, your clients that have been with you consistently 2 x per week for years, or clients that are just super marketeers for your business.

• Massage gift certificate inserted in hand-written holiday card.
• Motivational Book (212, The Power of Attitude, Eat that Frog, etc.). For more information, check out
• Inspirational/Motivational plaques.
• A phone call simply thanking them that is sometime the week of Christmas or between Christmas and New Year's.
• "Recovery Kit" - Massage Stick, Foam roller, and/or stretch out strap.
Heart Rate Monitor.
• Gift certificate for I-tunes, Barnes & Noble, favorite restaurant.
• Magazine subscription to a health, wellness, or lifestyle magazine. Ladies often love magazines such as "O", Cooking Light, Shape, Self, and Prevention and men often like magazines such as Men's Health, Men's Journal, and The Robb Report.
• Fitness apparel. Of course, I recommend Under Armour apparel, as new great fitness wear is always appreciated.
• Products with your logo on it (water bottles, sports bags, hats, etc.)
• Bottle of favorite wine.

In addition to these gifts, I did something last year that worked really well with my top clients. Take your top 5 clients or so, give them a gift certificate for 3 personal training or massage sessions (if you offer that) and have them give those gift certificates out as gifts to their top friends, clients, or colleagues that will most likely utilize your services. Last year, I gave mine to an attorney that is in a firm with 10 other attorneys and he gave them to a few of his attorney colleagues as well as a few of his top clients. I also gave a gift certificate package to an orthodontist who collaborates with many local dentists. He gave them away to a few of his dentist friends and several of them converted into regular clients. I also distributed this gift to a few other local business owners who are great marketeers of our business. Again, this was a "marketing" thing for us and this supplemented a gift to them. It was tremendously successful and it was a win/win/win for everyone. I will definitely be doing that again this year.

All Clients

• Holiday Card (Hand-written; maybe include a positive quote card inside of it) that is sent to client's physical address.
• E-newsletter that goes to just clients that thanks them, educates them (i.e. How to succeed at holiday parties; or "How to succeed during the holiday season") and maybe even offers them a complimentary Session for a service, class, or program you are trying to promote.
• 1 Free Week in your "special " program that you are going to create (you obviously would need to plan a 21 Day program, 4 week program, boot camp, or an on-going monthly continuity program).
• Provide a free "15 Minute Flexibility/Hands-on session". This could be scheduled as additional time after a personal training session or it could be a stand-alone session. Think about possibly even creating 30 Minute Flexibility Sessions and this would be a great "advertisement" to that. Sometimes you have to allow your clients to experience your "touch" in order to them to understand the value of manual stretching. You could create whatever you want here but most all clients love the manual stretching aspect of a session.

We are all in different situations and need to do what works for us. The bottom line is that you do something that will show gratitude to your clients. Even clients that are not currently training with you now but may have been training you at certain times this year, could get a letter. This is always a great way to remind them that you are still there and you are jogging their mindsets about their health & fitness.

The holidays are a great time to be thankful for our clients. Whether you write your clients a letter, give them a card, or provide them with a gift that you deem appropriate, also be sure to verbally thank your clients. Enjoy the holidays, celebrate success, and have fun while living with an "attitude of gratitude."