Why a Marketer Should Act Like a Personal Trainer

I have been fortunate to be a Marathon Running Coach and a Certified Personal Trainer.  One of the fundamental principles emphasized in the certification course was that of asking prospective clients about their goals.  The thinking is:  If a trainer doesn't know where a client has been and where they want to go, how can the trainer design a workout or training program specifically for the client?  Or, more importantly – a program that gets results?

One of my biggest achievements, ever, was helping a high school student drop 100 pounds in a year.  At the start of our first meeting, she wouldn’t tell me her true weight, just “over 300.”  I asked the requisite introductory questions about her goals and walked her through her first visit – primarily used for baseline assessment.  At the end of our session, when I took her to the treadmill, her alarmed voice asked, “You aren’t going to make me RUN, are you?”  I reassured her that no, it was just a cool-down at walking pace.  That first hour, I learned her openness to suggestion, her goals, her concerns, and a starting point for designing future workouts.
I never dreamed that a year later, she would have told me she wanted to join the army -- where she would have to run -- and would also start running 5K races.  Not only did this young lady shed more than 100 pounds, she went on to initiate a bike-sharing program that enabled others to stay fit.  Read about Amor & the bike-sharing program.

Three key elements of my partnership with Amor can also apply to your marketing.

  1. The people responsible for your marketing must dive deeply to understand past marketing initiatives, where you are presently, and where you desire to be in the future.  Then, they must also connect any subsequent strategies to your over-arching mission.  (Any marketing decisions made outside of your personal or company mission/vision risk an incongruency that can steal money and time from the future.)  Using your mission/vision as your touchstone brings efficiency and confidence to decision-making.
  2. You have to show up.  Sure, at the beginning of our partnership, I taught Amor a great deal:  new techniques, new tools, proper posture for the best results, and the reasons why she should perform certain exercises or make particular nutritional choices.  The more I listened, the more I could share with her.  Then, the more she listened, the more she learned and grew, which strengthened her confidence and emboldened her to try new things (basketball, for example).  As she began to stretch her horizons, more of the weight came off and her self-assurance fed and broadened her awareness of possibilities.
  3. RESULTS.  Your exercise regimen will produce greater results when you work with a Personal Trainer because they will push you further than you will on your own, and they will set and extend guardrails and benchmarks to keep you on a growth (i.e. Results) pathway.  You should demand the same encouragement and empowerment from your marketing adviser - or find one who will spur you toward your full potential for success.
In order to have Clarity of Thought, we need Time for Thinking. .
— Leonardo Inghilleri, @LeoInghilleri, at a recent Legal Marketing Assoc. CMO seminar

Moral of this tale?  I helped her get the ball rolling, and Amor did the rest herself.  And, you can, too!

  • Make sure your marketing initiatives (and business development efforts) relate to your overall mission.
  • If you haven’t made time to outline your personal or business mission...if you have not written down with specifics your vision for the near-term (i.e. 2016) and the long-term (3-, 5-, and even 30-years ahead), you will be plagued with lower confidence and greater indecision - and higher costs.
  • So, make time in your week and your month to think quietly about your business, your life, your vision, your future.  Write it down, make a habit of reviewing your vision upon waking and retiring each day, and a habit of reviewing your status weekly and monthly.
  • Assess whether your marketing staff is asking the deep questions - questions that get to long-term vision...and long-term results.  If not, make a change.

Whether you look at opportunity as the layers of an artichoke or onion, or as the expanse of “The Final Frontier,” you will have greater advantage when you navigate first from your foundational mission.

Want to learn more about elevating your client relationships to a place that strengthens loyalty?  Consider our upcoming training series starting Friday, May 6th.