I know how you feel. You want more clients — but the build it and they will come ship sailed long ago.
Subsequently, learning how to sell your services effectively is a fundamental skill that all personal trainers need to grasp to become successful in this industry.
The thing is, selling gets a bad rap. People tend to have an image of salespeople as slick and slimy people who will say and promise anything in order to persuade you to buy whatever they are selling—only to leave you in their rear-view mirror immediately after you hand over your money.
Because of this, many personal trainers believe (or hope) that their session quality alone will be enough to persuade prospective clients to come knocking on their door. While I admire their optimism—and sometimes this does happen—more often than not, the only way to acquire new clients is to actively locate new prospects and subsequently persuade them to purchase training from you.
To build your client roster, you’re going to have to learn how to sell.
As fitness professionals, we are in the fortunate position of providing a service that has virtually no downsides. We work closely alongside people to give them personalised guidance on how to lose weight, build muscle and get out of pain. We provide our clients with unique insights that save them time and effort, and, ultimately, we play a role in helping them feel better both physically and psychologically.
So when you think about it, don’t we have almost a moral obligation to expose as many people as possible to the opportunity of experiencing the enormous benefits that personal training has to offer?
With the fitness industry growing at such a rapid rate, there are more personal trainers than ever before. But you are not only competing with them. Prospective clients are also comparing you to ‘Insta trainers’ on their feed, cookie-cutter fitness programs and every other personal trainer you alongside.
Your ability to demonstrate how your service is the best solution for your prospective client has never been more necessary or valuable.
Personal trainers with a proficient knowledge of how to sell demonstrate fantastic communication skills. They make judgements about whether a prospective client desires—and is in a position to purchase—and elegantly offer their services in a way that positions them as the best possible solution for their prospective client’s fitness needs.
The need for education in this area is sorely needed, as these skills are not taught during your studies to become a personal trainer. Without them, you end up being limited in your ability to bring new clients on board, hampering your ability to succeed in this ever-growing industry.
Most of the resources and articles that I’ve read aimed at teaching personal trainers how to sell have it backwards. They teach tactics and hacks over timeless and enduring principles. This is the equivalent of building a house without a foundation.
Thankfully, learning how to sell effectively is a learnable skill. It is a case of understanding and implementing timeless principles, not tactical skills, which, as you apply them, will generate an immediate return on investment.
Learning how to sell—by being able to demonstrate value—is the one of the highest yielding business skills you can possess.
Selling—in its most distilled sense—is really about being a good problem solver. It is about being able to effectively demonstrate that what we can offer our client is going to solve their needs and desires—and that they should take action right now.
Tried and trusted principles and techniques, when practised and applied, will yield an immediate return. They will not only help you to capture new leads and convert more clients; they will also solidify the existing relationships you have with your current clients.
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