Personal Training sales aren't as uncomfortable and greedy as some coaches think, especially when you do it ethically. Unfortunately, because of that it is one of the most underdeveloped skills for coaches and personal trainers spanning our profession.
Like any skill, the ability to sell takes practice - especially with Personal Training.
There isn't a get-rich-quick scheme involved in training (contrary to what you may see in some social media ads).
I mean, there probably is. But if you want to make a lasting impression as a personal trainer or coach and work with clients for the long haul, there are much better ways to go about it.
So in this article, I will summarize the six essential steps to Personal Training Sales.
Why Sales Matter
Many aspiring coaches get into Personal Training because they want to help people. I love to hear that, and it reminds me of why I also got into doing this.
If we want to look at the scope of simply helping people, we would like to help as many people as possible with the available skills, yes?
To create a strong impact in your community as a personal trainer, you will need skills to convert leads from potentially being interested in hiring a coach to be committed.
That is sales.
Furthermore, the coaching conversations we have should be impactful and meaningful. When you want to drive home a point with someone to make sure the progress is continuing to happen in sessions, the fact is, you need to SELL them on the advice you are pitching.
Whether you want a job, a client, or an opportunity, you are selling someone on something; you didn't know it.
How to Be Effective at Sales (Ethically)
It is essential to do things the right way if you expect to earn the opportunity to coach someone. The quickest way to tarnish a relationship is to promise the world in hopes of closing the sale.
Remember, the goal isn't to sell more. The goal is to get the right clients in front of you to coach more. If you are selling more and not keeping clients, you aren't coaching more.
The best path to results is a direct one, where these six essential steps come into play.
Step 1 - Know Your Audience
It's challenging to create an impact when speaking to the masses and hoping your voice gets carried to the right people. This is a harsh realization for most fitness professionals now looking to social media for their client acquisition answers. When you need to find the right clients, focusing your attention on the right people can not only save you a lot of time but make your message more impactful.
Whether it's athletes, physique competitors, or general population clientele, understanding where to find your client is the most critical step. There are plenty of coaches with all the criteria necessary to be successful, but they simply aren't speaking to the right people.
Define who you want to work with and find out where you can best communicate with that person.
Step 2 - Create a Strong First Impression
Breaking the ice with someone new can be scary if you aren't well-versed in the skill. The critical thing to remember is first impressions last. This doesn't mean you need a magic line to grab someone's attention.
The best way to create a solid first impression is by keeping it short and sweet.
Introducing yourself and what your status is in the profession is the first part. Second, acknowledge yourself as a resource willing to help them when needed. Last, communicate the best way to contact you if they need you.
Establishing yourself as a resource (and a trustworthy one) will make the rest of the process so much smoother.
Step 3 - Showcase Your Skills
Certifications and education certainly matter but not as much as you think it does to the consumer. Most clients want to know their personal trainer or coach has a well-established education. From that point, they want to be sure the trainer or coach can use that education to help them in their circumstance.
If you were to ask ten random people on the street if they knew what the letters after your name meant - most would be clueless.
Showcasing your skills begins with communication. Can you clearly communicate your background and how it applies to the person in front of you?
If I had a water leak in my bathroom, it would be amazing to have the most educated person in the world in my house. But if they aren't a plumber, then their education doesn't necessarily help me in my situation.
Step 4 - Proper Intake and Data Collection
A common mistake I see with personal trainers and coaches alike is not taking in enough data or pertinent information during the initial intake. In my opinion, the initial intake is one of the most important hours you spend with your client for the duration of their training life. This is one of the key tenants we go over in the Career Trainer Mentorship.
Imagine a spaceship preparing to launch for the Moon. The Launchpad in the coordinates is your data collected during intake. Without the proper coordinates, you may end up on a trajectory that sets you way off from where the client was looking to go.
Knowing the correct information to take in will also make a huge difference. In most assessments, I see coaches forfeiting lifestyle questions for exercise history when in reality, it should be the opposite.
Find out what information is most important to the person asking for help.
Step 5 - Tell, Don't Sell
Personal training sales Gets most coaches uncomfortable when you discuss it. I believe that because most coaches and personal trainers haven't been taught how to sell personal training properly. I'm an advocate of the mentality to tell, don't sell.
For a video description of this, check out my video on the topic here
This means being honest and transparent with a person about what they want to achieve.
If someone were to ask me for directions on how to get from one city to another oh, I could provide them a list of mileage, duration, and some potential detours. When recommending personal training to someone, it is just a directed answer.
If you are recommending training to someone based on what you believe they will purchase or what they can afford, then you are not doing your job THEN; you are selling the person.
Instead, provide a framework around their expectations, and a realistic path will look like.
Step 6 - Deliver on Your Word
If you say you're going to do something, do it.
Again, like any relationship, your clients need to trust you. This means it's on you to follow through when you say you can do something or you will provide something.
It is okay if you don't know the answer immediately. What clients want is a resource, not an encyclopedia. That means not necessarily regurgitating complex physiology back to them but being able to have the necessary references to find out the correct information.
From start to finish, personal training sales are based on trust. They need to trust you have their best interest in mind, the knowledge to navigate their journey, and the integrity to be honest with them when you need to be.
Making a long-lasting impression is a game-changer for your business and your career. Whether personal training is a side hustle or your life-long career, the skill of selling should be a significant focus of your development.
Just because most personal training certifications don't teach it doesn't mean it's not complicated. This lack of information in the health and fitness industry may be why turnover for personal trainers is so high.