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How a good story can increase your sales

What does an emotional story have to do with the rational word of business? Answer: behaviour.

To sell our products and services we need to impact behaviour, right? But most of our so-called rational decisions (behaviour) are actually driven by our emotions.  By telling a story we communicate with our customers in a way that captures people’s imagination, connects with them at a deeply emotional level and is persuasive.

The vast majority of marketing is mundane, forgettable and totally unpersuasive. However, when an advert catches our imagination and seems to speak to us personally we are intrigued and want to get closer and learn more.

Mostly it is not the product that interests us but the message or story. For example Nike isn’t just selling sportswear it is selling a story of hard work, sweat and doing our best, no matter who we are – Just Do It!

Features and descriptions don’t sell a product or service, benefits do. Describe those benefits in the form of a story and your customers will be persuaded by the deeper, emotional benefits of your products and services.

Take my Pilates classes for example. I can tell people that Pilates will make them more flexible. Yes, this is a benefit but most people won’t engage with this on an emotional level, it won’t mean much to them. So I prefer to tell the story of one of my more elderly clients, Peter, who came rushing up to me one morning so excited because he had managed to reach down and tie his own shoelaces, something his wife had been having to do for him for the last 5 years. It is easy to get a feeling of what this meant to Peter on an emotional level.

That’s why testimonials are so persuasive, because they tell stories.

More and more research is being done today on the brain and emotions. People can’t make decisions without emotions being involved and stories ignite emotions in all of us. If we can use those stories to connect on a personal level with our customers they are more likely to be persuaded to engage, support, listen and buy from us.

Kate Falkner

The Business Genie

www.katefalkner.com

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Win a Level 1 Kick Fitness Accreditation!

Kick Fitness courses open the door to one of the fastest growing trends in the fitness industry, adding not only a new way of training for you and your clients but leading the way to short and long term financial gains.

A Kick Fitness accreditation can really add an additional string to the bow of any personal trainer or health club, facilitating the ability to run group classes as well as bring the explosive nature of kick boxing to a one-to-one personal training session. The accreditation will not only give any PT the tools and knowledge to teach these skills, but will also allow them to hold the only accreditation sanctioned by both the fitness and martial arts industries.

Aimed at both personal trainers and health clubs, a Kick Fitness accreditation can really add another dimension to businesses, differentiate from competitors and generate another source of revenue.

Enter NOW! And double your chances of winning by sharing your entry on either Facebook orTwitter.

 

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5 a day on a budget

Eating plenty of fruit and vegetables doesn’t have to be expensive. There are lots of affordable ways to get your 5 A DAY. Here’s how to eat more fruit and vegetables while still saving money.

  • Buy fruit and vegetables loose rather than pre-packaged. Loose fruit and veg can be as little as half the price.
  • Look for supermarket deals on fruit and vegetables, such as buy one get one free offers.
  • Fruit and vegetables are usually cheaper if they’re in season. You can find out what is in season at the Love British Food website’s page on seasons.
  • Fruit and vegetables are often cheaper at your local street or farmers’ market. You can find your nearest one in a directory of farmers’ markets.
  • Replace your morning or afternoon snack with a piece of fruit. A banana or an apple costs around 20p at the supermarket, about half the price of most chocolate bars or packets of crisps. The savings add up and so do the health benefits.
  • Don’t throw away vegetables that are about to go out of date. Use them in stews, soups and casseroles, which you can freeze and eat another time.
  • Stock up on canned fruit and vegetables. They count towards your 5 A DAY and won’t go off, so you can buy them in bulk. Buy those canned without added salt or sugar. Supermarket own-brand varieties are usually the cheapest.
  • Look for good deals on frozen and dried fruit and veg, such as frozen peas and dried pulses and beans. They are often cheaper than fresh varieties.
  • Swap ready meals for homemade alternatives. Vegetables in dishes such as stews, bakes, casseroles and curries count towards your 5 A DAY, and cooking these dishes yourself is cheaper than buying them ready-made.
  • Cook in bulk and freeze portions to eat another time. For more meal ideas, go to 5 A DAY recipes.

Visit nhs.co.uk for more information

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Top 5 Fitness myths dispelled

Think you know the facts about getting fit? You may be surprised to learn how many are really fiction.

It’s easy to fall into the trap: a friend you exercise with passes along an exercise tip, then you pass it on to several people you know. One day, you’re at the gym, and naturally enough, you hear the same tip repeated, so you assume it must be true. But experts say that in the world of fitness, myths and half-truths abound and some of them may be keeping you from getting the workout you need.

“Some myths are just harmless half-truths, but many others can actually be harmful”, says professional triathlete and personal coach Eric Harr, author of The Portable Personal Trainer. “They can cause frustration in working out and sometimes even lead to injury”.

One reason myths get started, says Harr, is that we all react to exercise a little differently. So what’s true for one person may not be true for another.

“In this sense you sometimes have to find your own ‘exercise truths’ – the things that are true for you”, says Harr.

That said, experts say there are also some fitness myths that need dispelling, and the sooner the better.

To help put you on the path to a healthier, safer, and more enjoyable workout, We have the facts from several top experts on what’s true and what’s not when it comes to exercise tips.

  1. Running on a treadmill puts less stress on your knees than running on asphalt or pavement. 

    Running is a great workout, but it can impact the knees and as it’s the force of your body weight on your joints that causes the stress, it’s the same whether you’re on a treadmill or on asphalt”, says Todd Schlifstein, a clinical instructor at New York University Medical Center’s Rusk Institute.The best way to reduce knee impact, says Schlifstein, is to vary your workout. “If you mix running with other cardio activities, like an elliptical machine, or you ride a stationary bike, you will reduce impact on your knees so you’ll be able to run for many more years”, says Schlifstein

  2. Doing crunches or working on an “ab machine” will get rid of stomach fat. 

    Harr says that while ab-crunching devices might “help strengthen the muscles around your midsection and improve your posture”, being able to “see” your abdominal muscles has to do with your overall percentage of body fat. If you don’t lose the stomach fat, he says, you won’t see the ab muscles.Can doing ab crunches help you to lose that stomach fat? Experts say no. “You can’t pick and choose areas where you’d like to burn fat”, says Phil Tyne, director of the fitness centre at the Baylor Tom Landry Health & Wellness Center in Dallas in the US. So crunches aren’t going to target weight loss in that area.

    “In order to burn fat, you should create a workout that includes both cardiovascular and strength-training elements. This will decrease your overall body fat content, including the area around your midsection”, he says.

  3. An aerobic workout will boost your metabolism for hours after you stop working out. 

    This statement is actually true – but the calorie burn is probably not nearly as much as you think.Harr says that while your metabolism will continue to burn at a slightly higher rate after you finish an aerobic workout, the amount is not statistically significant. In fact, it allows you to burn only about 20 extra calories for the day. While there’s a little bit more of a metabolic boost after strength training, he says, it’s still marginal.

    “It doesn’t really count towards your caloric burn”, he says.

  4. Swimming is a great weight loss activity 

    While swimming is great for increasing lung capacity, toning muscles, and even helping to burn off excess tension, Harr says the surprising truth is that unless you are swimming for hours a day, it may not help you lose much weight.“Because the buoyancy of the water is supporting your body, you’re not working as hard as it would if, say, you were moving on your own steam like you do when you run”, says Harr.Further, he says, it’s not uncommon to feel ravenous when you come out of the water. “It may actually cause you to eat more than you normally would, so it can make it harder to stay with an eating plan”, he says.

  5. Yoga can help with all sorts of back pain.

    The truth is that yoga can help with back pain, but it’s not equally good for all types. “If your back pain is muscle-related, then yes, the yoga stretches and some of the positions can help. It can also help build a stronger core, which for many people is the answer to lower back pain”, says Schlifstein.

 

 

 

 

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Top ten foods to help you get in shape

Here’s the top ten list of foods you should be looking to include in your diet if you’re looking to boost fat-burning and show off a leaner profile.

1 Walnuts

All nuts do contain some amount of the Omega-3 fat alpha-linolenic acid, but most only contain trace amounts. The real fat hero in most nuts is mono-unsaturated fats. Walnuts are actually a rich source of omega-3s. One ounce provides almost 3g of alpha-linolenic acid.

2 Gluten free oatmeal

This very slow-digesting carb keeps blood sugar and insulin levels low, so fat burning can stay high. In fact, research has shown that athletes who consume slow-digesting carbs in the morning burn more fat throughout the entire day and during workouts than those consuming fast-digesting carbs.

3 Avocado

The mono-unsaturated fats found in avocados are burned readily for fuel during exercise and encourage fat burning. Avocados also contain a very interesting carb called mannoheptulose, a sugar that actually blunts insulin release and enhances calcium absorption, both of which are critical for encouraging fat loss.

4 Salmon

This fish is one of the richest sources of the Omega-3 essential fats EPA and DHA. Unlike flaxseeds, which provide a type of Omega-3 that has to be converted into EPA and DHA, salmon provides your body a direct supply of them with no conversion required. This way you know you’re getting a direct supply of the fats that turn on fat burning and block fat storage.

5 Grapefruit

A study from the Scripps Clinic (San Diego, California) reported that subjects eating half a grapefruit while maintaining their normal diet lost an average of 4 pounds over 12 weeks – and some lost more than 10 pounds without even dieting! Results were likely due to grapefruit’s ability to reduce insulin levels and to a chemical in grapefruit known as naringin, which prevents fat from being stored in the body.

6 Honey

Yes, it’s a sugar, but it’s fairly low on the glycemic index. Keeping insulin levels low and steady is critical for maintaining a fat-burning environment in your body. Honey is also a rich source of nitric oxide (NO) metabolites; ultimately, that means it actually encourages fat release from the body’s fat cells.

7 Peanut Butter

A source of helpful mono-unsaturated fat that can actually aid fat loss. What’s funny is that many food manufacturers make low-fat peanut butters!

Of course, they replace these healthy mono-unsaturated fats with carbs, namely sugar. Avoid these and stick with natural peanut butters that don’t add the type of fat you surely want to avoid – trans fats.

8 Chili Pepper Flakes

Hot peppers contain the active ingredient capsaicin, a chemical that can enhance calorie burning at rest as well as reduce hunger and food intake.The boost in calorie burn is particularly enhanced when capsaicin is used with caffeine.

9 Broccoli

This fibrous vegetable doesn’t provide many net carbs or calories, but it can make you feel full – one reason why it’s a great food for getting lean. Broccoli also contains phytochemicals that can help enhance fat loss.

10 Extra virgin olive oil

Like avocados, olive oil is a great source of mono-unsaturated fats. Not only do they lower levels of the “bad” type of cholesterol and improve cardiovascular health, but they’re also more likely to be burned as fuel, which means they’re less likely to be sticking around your midsection.

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The ace up your sleeve!

Public Relations (PR) is one of the tools in your marketing kit bag that can influence people’s attitudes, opinions and behaviour towards your business. A structured PR campaign will deliver the following fantastic benefits at nil cost; unlike advertising, which is based on buying space in media:

Awareness

The most common function of PR is to make people aware of your products, services and reputation.

Credibility and endorsement

PR has a high degree of credibility in the mind of the receiver when compared with advertising. A good article in a good publication is not only read, it is believed and, the more credible the publication, the more credible the message.

Credibility and endorsement

PR has a high degree of credibility in the mind of the receiver when compared with advertising. A good article in a good publication is not only read, it is believed and, the more credible the publication, the more credible the message.

Education

PR is effective in communicating information in a meaningful and understandable manner to inform and educate. PR messages will differentiate your services from competitors’ and reassure clients that they are right to come to you.

Top tips  on using PR to improve your reputation and boost your client numbers.

Build up your PR portfolio Be prepared to put time and effort into this as it is the public face of your business and you could be judged accordingly. It could include a Personal Profile listing training, subsequent qualifications and awards; a good selection of images and range of services.

Check out large employers in your area Do they have an in-house newsletter, if so you could provide them with some helpful fitness tips to improve the health of their employees, and consequently reduce absenteeism? Don’t forget to include those vital contact details and a reference code so you can evaluate the success of the offer afterwards.

Don’t forget broadcast media

If you find public speaking comes easily then your local radio station may be interested in giving you a regular slot on healthy eating, exercise challenges or fitness crazes for example.

Communication builds rapport

Keep in touch with your client base with regular emails, calls and mail outs. A monthly health and fitness tip, for example, might be welcome in your client’s inbox. Let them know if you are featured in publications, people want to be associated with success.

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Safety24.co.uk FREE! wristband giveaway

Whilst participating in sport can be both enjoyable and rewarding, however something that can often be overlooked is your personal safety whilst outdoors. With a number of enthusiasts trying to fit sporting activities into their busy lifestyles, many are unaware of sport safety and the potential dangers of taking part in sport alone.

If something were to happen to you or a family member, if you were to injure yourself whilst alone or become separated from your group, it would be comforting to know that there is someone who has all your medical details, including any allergies or specific medical requirements, and also the contact details of your specified next of kin.

Via the unique ID number on the safety24.co.uk medical wristband, it can offer the assurance of safety, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Safety24.co.uk are currently giving away free memberships on Twitter! First wristband giveaway after reaching 100 followers

Get Following!

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Five ways to stay healthy this winter

It may be cold outside but winter needn’t be the unhealthiest time of year for you and your family.

Here are five ways to make sure that even when your body is telling you to hibernate you can keep healthy and fit, no matter what the weather’s like:

1. Eliminate your sleep debt

“On average we sleep six-and-a-half hours a night, much less than the seven to nine hours recommended,” says Jessica Alexander, spokesperson at the Sleep Council, which aims to raise awareness of the importance of a good night’s sleep to health and wellbeing. But in winter, we naturally sleep more, due to the longer nights. “It’s perfectly natural to adopt hibernating habits when the weather turns cold,” says Jessica. “Use the time to catch up.”

Read more about how to get a good night’s sleep.

2. Drink more milk

You are 80% more likely to get a cold in winter so making sure your immune system is in tip-top condition is important. Milk and dairy products such as cheese, yoghurt and fromage frais are great sources of protein and vitamins A and B12. They’re also an important source of calcium, which helps keep our bones strong. Try to go for semi-skimmed or skimmed milk, rather than full fat, and low-fat yoghurts.

Read more about healthy eating.

3. Eat more fruit and veg

When it’s cold and dark outside it can be tempting to fill up on unhealthy comfort food, but it’s important to ensure that you still keep your diet healthy and include five portions of fruit and veg a day. If you find yourself craving a sugary treat, try a juicy clementine or satsuma instead, or sweet dried fruits such as dates or raisins.

Winter vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, swede and turnips can be roasted, mashed or made into soup for a comforting winter meal for the whole family. Explore varieties of fruit and veg that you may not normally eat.

Read more about how to get your 5 A DAY.

4. Try new activities for the whole family

Don’t use the cold winter months as an excuse to stay in and lounge around. Instead, get out with the whole family to try out a new activity, maybe ice-skating or taking a bracing winter walk on the beach. Regular exercise helps to control your weight, boost your immune system and is a good way to break the tension that can build if the family is constantly cooped up inside the house.

Read more about different types of exercise for your and your family.

5. Have a hearty breakfast

Winter is the perfect season for porridge. Eating a warm bowlful on a cold morning isn’t just a delicious way to start your day, it also helps you to boost your intake of starchy foods and fibre, which give you energy and help you to feel fuller for longer, stopping the temptation to snack mid-morning. Oats also contain lots of vital vitamins and minerals.

Make your porridge with semi-skimmed or skimmed milk or water, and don’t add sugar or salt. Add a few dried apricots, some raisins, a sliced banana or other fruit for extra flavour and to help you hit the five-a-day target.

Read more about healthy breakfasts.

Source: NHS

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Win One month’s supply of Wheyhey Ice Cream!

Win One month’s supply of Wheyhey Ice Cream The UK’s first ever protein ice cream…

Finally, there’s a sweet treat you don’t have to feel guilty about and run an extra three miles to burn off! Wheyhey’s new protein packed ice cream gives you maximum sweetness and flavour without all of the sugar, fat and calories found in regular ice creams.

Not only will Wheyhey ice cream complement your diet, it will satisfy that sweet craving whilst also aiding your fitness regime. With 22 grams of top notch protein (equivalent to a chicken breast) in each tub, Wheyhey supports lean muscle growth and muscle recovery. So next time you finish a hot workout or have a sweet craving, grab a cool tub of Wheyhey and help your muscles rebuild and repair quickly.

We have hidden a sneaky tub of Wheyhey ice cream on one of the pages on the Professional Fitness website. Read the latest issue of ProFit magazine to find the entry code, have a look through our website, find the tub of ice cream, fill in the competition entry form and Wheyhey! you will be in with a chance of winning one month’s supply of Wheyhey protein ice cream.

Good Luck!

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ProFit Issue 6 is HERE!

Can you believe that the summer is over already! As fair weather training comes to an end and your evenings are getting darker, it’s time to take your fitness regime indoors.

The sixth instalment and 2013 Autumn edition of the ProFit eMagazine is here and this time we are concentrating on recovery & rehabilitation. We have been working harder than ever to ensure that the latest eMagazine is jam packed with topical articles from industry professionals and preloaded full of interesting features and products. We are also able to offer three exciting competitions

WIN one month’s supply of Wheyhey protein ice cream (see page 27) mmm tasty!

WIN one year’s FREE Activity Travel or Equipment Insurance (see page 19)

WIN the complete guide to Pregnancy and Fitness book (see page 32)

Be sure to get your FREE copy now!

We are already looking for fitness professionals to contribute editorial for the New Year edition of ProFit eMagazine, set for release in early January 2014!

Contact Tom at tom.sunderland@r3group.com to register your interest now.

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