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4 Tips For “Selling” Personal Training

by Meaghan posted February 7, 2014

Ask 100 personal trainers who work (or have worked) in the commercial gym setting what they like least about the job (or why they left) and they’ll probably all tell you the same thing: Too much focus on sales and not enough value placed on good training. And to a certain extent, personal trainers do have to be able to convince potential clients to train with them. But that doesn’t have to mean sounding like a used car salesman.

Here are four ways to get around the pressures of “selling” when you’re a trainer:

1. Get good at assessing. Be it posture, movement or standard fitness assessments, the better you are at identifying areas that can be improved with a specific exercise program, the more value you add to that program. Assessments are the first step in selling a personal training package, so if you don’t conduct specific assessments, you’re pretty much guaranteed to lose the sale.

2. Get good at explaining a plan. Clients don’t invest in you for workouts; they invest in you for results. But results take hard work and time to achieve, and people need to understand how everything they’ll be doing will ultimately contribute to their desired end. After you improve your assessment skills, be sure you know how to use the information that you gather to lay out a plan for your potential clients. How do they get from point A to point B? Do they need a month of mobility or stability work before they can start working on that PR in their squat? How are they going to maintain their strength in the meantime? Clients are far more likely to open their wallets if you can explain the journey in a way that speaks to them and their goals.

3. Offer options. If the ideal plan entails working out 4-5 days per week and the person in front of you has a family and two jobs, your chances of making a sale are slim to none and, unless you’ve got an alternate option, you’ve pretty much shot yourself in the foot.

If the potential client’s initial response is, “I can’t afford it,” having alternate options for time and money – like offering training at a lesser frequency with “homework” days or supplementing personal training with group fitness classes as part of the plan – can make the difference between obtaining another client and letting money walk out the door.

4. Be friendly and helpful. Most gyms expect you to talk to their members on the floor in attempt to obtain them as clients. But that doesn’t mean you should just walk up and ask them to train with you right then and there. The key to “prospecting” is to genuinely try to help members train safely and more effectively. A tip or casual conversation can lead to connection and a client down the line.

Filed under: tips for trainers

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