Month: April 2016

Why Grandparents Are Your IDEAL Client and How To Attract Them


Marketing to the 50+ population is all about making connections and building relationships. It is important that you try to find ways to get a positive emotional response up front so that you can then deliver the factual information more effectively (this approach is what I call Whole Brain Marketing). One of the most powerful and positive emotional connections that most Boomers and Seniors have is with their grandchildren. It is a connection that you want to leverage in some of your marketing strategies – email, blog, newsletter, direct mail, personal conversations, etc.

Consider these facts and points (source: The Grandparent Economy by Lori K. Bitter)
• The median age is 50 for first time grandmothers and 54 for first time grandfathers (psst, that’s not very old)
• Today’s grandparents are highly educated and working (75%)
• Boomers will benefit financially from the greatest transfer of wealth (from their parents and grandparents) than any other generation in history (yes the wealthy Boomers are going to become even wealthier)
• Boomers want to leave a legacy by transferring their values on to the next generations but they don’t want to wait until they die to leave their legacy. They want to create their legacy by creating memories with their grandchildren right now.
• The biggest motivation for Boomers to use social media and texting is to stay connected with their grandchildren
• Today’s grandparents have a strong desire to provide experiences for and with their grandchildren rather than just stuff (although they still buy a lot of stuff for them too)
• Nearly 70% of grandparents live within 50 miles of their grandchildren
• Grand parenting stands out as the most positive life stage in later life.
• “They take better care of themselves so they can be in their grandchildren’s lives for a long time. Their own health and wellness becomes important.”

How does these facts impact your marketing and sales strategies?

For one, realize that while older adults still want to look better they are not going to be nearly as motivated by aesthetic changes as they are ability changes. A big motivator is to live long enough to fully invest in the lives of their grandchildren AND to be physically capable of creating all sorts of fun memories with them. From the big moments like riding rides all day at Disney World to the small moments like taken them to the park and swinging or sliding down the slides with them. We use the Trajectory Sales SystemTM in our business and teach it to our coaching clients as a way to communicate the incredible improvement and extension of functional abilities with our training program.

Grandma at Disney World

Secondly, figure out how to communicate the benefits of your fitness program or training for their grand parenting. Instead of simply telling them that they will get stronger, describe to them how they will be able to swing their grandbabies around or go biking with them without getting tired. This is the emotional connection that you want to utilize. It is very likely that they have already started to hear that little voice in their head when they lay down at night telling them that they might not be around to see their grandkids graduate school or get married. The worry that their grandkids will think they are boring and uninteresting because they can’t physically play with them will keep them up at night. These are real pain points. Pains that you have a solution for. Solutions that they are interested in.

Thirdly, in all of this, remember the NLW Marketing. What do they NEED to do? What do they LIKE to do? What do they WANT to do? Once you understand what these three answers are for your ideal Boomer clients then you can start proactively addressing these in your marketing messages and sales approaches. Spending active time with their grandchildren falls squarely into the LIKE and WANT categories for sure but in their mind it is also viewed as a NEED just like the most basic activities of life. They have a strong NEED to spend time with their grandchildren because that is how they are going to create a legacy. That, in their minds, is not optional.

I encourage you to consider how you can connect with potential clients through the strong emotional connection they have with their grandchildren. Mastering this aspect will lead to more effective marketing that drives a higher number of qualified leads and more effective sales processes that closes 9/10 (or more) consults.

Join us at the 2017 Functional Aging Summit.



How Fitness Professionals Can Engage Boomers Online

Boomers on FacebookBy far the most cost effective and efficient way to attract Boomer clients is through your online presence – website, blog, newsletter/email and Facebook page.  Not only are they the largest and wealthiest age group they are also the Web’s largest constituency making up over 30% of internet users in the U.S.  Not surprisingly the 50+ population is the Internet’s fastest-growing group.

Boomers are using the Internet to research both online and offline purchases and are spending money online at an incredible rate.  They spend more money online than any other age group.  Over 75% of Boomers regularly buy online and are making it their “go to” resource for all types of purchases – including fitness memberships, group fitness programs and personal training.  In fact, it has become an essential part of their life with about 40% of Boomers using a search engine daily from their computers, tablets and smartphones.

However, just knowing that they are online and even knowing where they are online isn’t enough.  In order to be successful you have to be able to meaningfully engage with them in the online environment.  According to the authors of Dot Boom you have to know WHY they are online.  It is important to remember that Boomers are online to fulfill a need.  Identifying that need is paramount.  Then the real work of figuring out how to engage with them effectively so that you become the solution in their mind begins.

You can learn how to optimize ads, build a website, create Low Barrier Offers (LBO’s), generate leads and set up a great looking Facebook profile…but if you don’t know how to engage with Boomers through all of these different methods then your Return On Investment (ROI) will be minimal.  In fact, you may end up wasting a lot of time and money only to one day sit back in disgust, throw your hands up and say “This stuff doesn’t work!”  The method is only a means to an end and that end is to give you the opportunity to engage with a potential customer.

Here are some key insights from Dot Boom by Weigelt and Boehman that can make your online marketing much more successful with this key demographic.  Keep in mind that many of these points are not specific to Boomers per se.  Rather they are specific to all of us as we get older (50+) because they are based on human development.  It just so happens that there is this big population (e.g. the Boomers) that are growing through this lifestage but it will be just as applicable to the following generations.

Lead with the Right; Follow with the Left


Whole Brain

Mature consumers (especially women) have brains that are a little different than their younger counterparts.  They tend to see the big picture better and have a better grasp of how many different factors work together.  They also tend to see the world from what I call a “whole brain” perspective.  The right side of the brain is very emotional.  The left side of the brain is very factual.  To engage with Boomers you will need to appeal to both sides of their brain.  Use an emotional appeal (image, headline, story, etc.) to grab their attention and create a connection with them.  This will satisfy their Right Brain.  Then follow through by delivering all (or at least just enough) of the necessary factual information that goes along with it.  This will satisfy their Left Brain.  “Research has shown that if you make an emotional connection with an older consumer first, they will not only absorb the logistical information later, but they will generally consume more information than their younger counterparts.”

The Fastest Way to a Boomer’s Wallet is Through their Values

All human behavior is motivated by the need to fulfill five core values:  Identity; Relationship; Purpose; Adaptation; and Energy.  These values become increasingly important as we get older.  Your challenge is to figure out how your fitness program or product can help fulfill one or more of these core values.  In fact, I often have coaching clients write down and then tell the group how their program does just that in each of these five areas.  What you will realize is that your particular program is more focused on some rather than others.  In order to attract more clients, however, you need to be able to communicate effectively how your program meets each of these values.  Why?  Because…“These values are present in all people at all times but in varying shades of priority.”

Identity values involve self-preservation, self-awareness, and self-image

Relationship values involve connections to others, institutions and beliefs

Purpose values involve meaning and validation of one’s life and actions

Adaptation values involve the skills and knowledge necessary to negotiate life

Energy values involve health, well-being and functionality

The Trust Factor

You may have heard the popular phrase used in marketing circles stating that your job is to get potential clients to “Know, Like and Trust” you.  This is true tenfold for the older consumer.  When we combine the trust factor with their respect for persons of authority then we start to think about becoming a “Trusted Authority”.  But older consumers also have the preference/need to be involved in decision-making processes (i.e. not just told what to do) which shifts our positioning to the role of “Trusted Advisor”.  This is a powerful position to be in AND CAN HAPPEN WITHOUT PERSONALLY MEETING OR KNOWING THE OTHER PERSON.

How can this be?  Think about it.  Why are actors used in commercials?  Because we know, like and trust them through their movie roles and TV personas.  We don’t actually know them and have probably never met them.  Yet we still accept their advice as valid (most of the time).  Through your online presence you can easily become the Trusted Advisor in the minds of Boomers in your community and everywhere.  Weigelt and Boehman offer these specific tips to help build the trust factor with older consumers:

  1. Make a commitment to be transparent
  2. Do not assume you can control the information your audience can access
  3. Recognize that social media users feel a sense of ownership
  4. If you say you want feedback, mean it, and respond to it

Being everywhere online is one thing.  Knowing how to meaningfully engage with older consumers online is quite another.  By taking the time to learn more about how to develop meaningful online engagement your presence in cyber space will be much more effective leading to more clients to help and more revenue for your business.

Want to really take your business to the next level?  CLICK HERE


Get More Boomer Clients with These Keys

Man fixing bike

“How Leading Edge Boomers and Seniors think – that’s the real key to successfully marketing to them” says Dan Kennedy (No B.S. Marketing to Leading Edge Boomers and Seniors, 2013) and he couldn’t be more right.  The biggest mistake I see trainers, and especially younger trainers, make when trying to attract older clients into their programs is not fully understanding how these potential clients think about fitness.  It is a HUGE barrier but not necessarily their fault.

You see I know that the fitness industry has basically tried to brainwash trainers into thinking about fitness through the eyes of the 20-30 year old who wants to get fit.

I also know that society has continued to perpetuate ageist stereotypes and myths that have skewed our perspective of old age.

Well put the two together and you’ve got yourself a recipe for disaster.

Internationally renowned marketing genius and author, Dan Kennedy, sheds some light on how these Leading Edge Boomers (age 62-70) and Seniors (age 70-80) think.  Not just about fitness but about products, programs and services that they want and/or need.  I’ve selected just a few of his insights that I want to expand upon with some of my own thoughts that will help you in your marketing and sales efforts to LEB/S:

  • Slow Down!  “Sleeping on it”, “thinking about it” and “praying over it” are not flimsy excuses.  They are, in actuality, a part of their purchase decision-making process.  Instead of fighting it, create a process that capitalizes on it.  Here’s the rub.  If you pressure them into making a quick decision on the first meeting they will more than likely resent it in some way.  However, if you give them the information and resources they need to come to a decision in their own time they will likely end up being even more committed because they now feel in their heart that it was the right decision.
  • Women and Men are STILL different!  Too often we think about older adults as one homogenous group.  This couldn’t further from the truth.  They vary widely on many factors making it very difficult to pigeon-hole them or create a one-size-fits-all marketing and sales approach.  A huge difference exists between sexes.  While men and women both go through similar age-related and lifestyle changes as they grow older their perspective on these experiences and their condition is vastly different.  Their motivations, responses to relationships, responses to appearance and even their worries about finances tend to differ greatly.  However, it is becoming increasingly clear that the LEB/S women are the ones in control of the money AND the majority of the household purchase decisions.  The take-away is that your BEST marketing approach will be to appeal to women more than men.
  • When I Was Your Age…!  Contrary to popular belief LEB/S do NOT wish they still lived in the 40’s or 50’s when “life was simpler”.  While they may have fond memories (as we all do of the past) they are perfectly happy living in today’s world.  They might not be picking up on technology and social media as quickly as the teenagers but they are adopting these new aspects of life eagerly.  Grandparents are learning to text and Skype just to stay in touch with their grandchildren.  Older women are the fastest growing demographic on Facebook (relationships remember).  It isn’t necessary to create an “old school” environment complete with pictures of Marilyn Monroe on the wall and Elvis Presley on the speakers.  In fact, the chances are good that this modern wave of mature adults will think you are out of touch and ageist if you do.
  • Give Me Something Different!  LEB/S are not looking for the same old same old.  When comparing similar products or services they are looking for differences that matter to them.  Each potential mature client is subconsciously thinking “What’s In It For Me” (WIIFM)?  This isn’t because they are selfish but because they were the first generation to grow up with the luxury of even asking that question; they were catered to their whole lives; and now that they have a wealth of experience behind them they know much more about what they want and what they don’t want (And why waste time on what I don’t want when time is wasting?).  You must clearly differentiate yourself in the market and communicate very clearly how this benefits them.  Become a category of one.  An effective way to do this is to write a book.  We have very successfully used a strategy to get our certified Functional Aging Specialists published quickly and use their author-status as a great way to get, close and keep tons of clients.

Kennedy’s book is filled with lots of great facts, insights and strategies that you can use to attract more Leading Edge Boomers and Seniors.  It is an easy read and is a resource we recommend for all trainers.  It is so good we give it to all of our FAI Mastermind Coaching clients.

If you are really serious about growing your fitness business with some of the 80 million aging Boomers CLICK HERE.


Cody Sipe, PhD


Become a Member

Join FAI to take advantage of exclusive benefits and discounts.

Scroll to Top