Applying Self-Determination Theory to Business by Chris Burgess

Would you like a primer on what self-determination theory is? Listen in to this episode of the LTB Podcast.

Over the last couple of years, we have been hugely influenced by the work that Habitry have done to bring self-determination theory into the world of coaching. By listening to Gregg you’ll know that SDT has a massive role to play in the way you train clients, and Stuart will say the same regarding the impact of SDT on client reviews and customer service.  

But does it have a role to play in growing a business? I don’t just believe that it does, I actually believe it is essential for the way you market and the way you sell what you do. 

Understanding Objections

When you look at the barriers people put up in terms of not going to a gym or taking up exercise, many of them relate to having a lack of competence, that they will feel silly starting because they don’t know what to do.

“I’m too unfit to join a gym” 

“They all know what they are doing” 

“I don’t know what or how much I should be eating” 

Or a lack of belonging. 

“I’ll be the oldest / most overweight there” 

“Everyone will be looking at me”  

By taking time to truly understand and tackle these objections you will undoubtedly have a stronger business and find it much easier to have a message that not only resonates with people but also makes it much easier to convert.   

Presenting Your Service

When most of our clients start with us, a common reason for joining is that they feel out of control with their health and things have progressively got worse over time.  Their choice to seize control over this can start even with something as seemingly simple as filling in an application form or making an enquiry to work with you.  By understanding the power of choice in order to empower a client to gain control, you can position seemingly convenient packages their way.

Do you need tight parameters and structure? We can do this.

You can only train once a week with me? Here’s what else you need to do.

Do you need a more habit based, qualitative approach? Here’s how we do it.

Ultimately autonomy in business is about showing you have so much control of your skill, that it allows them to truly customise how they want or need to be coached and sell people an option that they feel hugely confident will support their needs. 

Retain Your Clients and get Referrals

“People join for the result and stay for the service” 
“People join for the result and stay for the community” 

While these statements are somewhat clichéd, what is true in a business sense is that if you make someone feel like they are important and that their needs are a priority, it will be much easier to retain them. 

Whether your clients are all 1-1, all group or something in between, what is true is that the more people feel like they belong inside your service, the more proudly they will promote you to others.

In the words of Stevo “We are motivated to figure shit out”. If you look at the astonishing rise of Crossfit and Tough Mudder you’ll see the commonality is that people are united in overcoming challenges together. Especially if those challenges still work towards a personal goal.

Having standards boards, free group training sessions or by entering or creating your own events, the notion that having more clients creates more clients becomes truer when they are united in common purpose. 

(Additionally, it is also much easier to convert people from PT to semi-private clients if they know each other too!)  

Self-determination theory impacts everything we do. By understanding how this impacts individuals buying decisions you can create programmes, services and related adverts that appeal and not only make it more likely people will choose your offerings but also that they will stay longer and bring in more of their friends.  Improving your revenue as well as enriching their lives, how’s that for a win: win situation!

Learn More About LTB

If you want to develop your skills further then check out the courses available as a member of LTB. One of our courses is on the topic of self-determination theory, which can be accessed by signing up for our 2-week free trial.

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