Back before I had my own personal training center I worked in a big box gym, probably a lot like you have.
One day while having a bite to eat in between personal training sessions a man walked into the trainer office and asked if I was a personal trainer.
I said yes, and he proceeded to asked about personal training – how it works, how many times a week he should come and what it costs.
I was stoked! This guy literally walks into the trainer office and was practically asking me to sell him personal training!
Inside my head I was high-fiving myself becuase not only was I about to get a new client…. I was about to make a a big commission. For some reason I could tell he was going to buy a big training package.
I was right.
Once I laid out the prices, he took a few minutes to think about it and then pointed to the 12 month, three time a week program and said “I’ll do this one”.
Stoked again! I just closed a $5,040 deal.
Here’s what happened next…
After training with me for a couple weeks, my client showed up to his training session one day and handed me a cassette tape and said “you should listen to this”.
(Here’s a picture of a cassette tape in case you don’t remember what they look like 😉 )
The cassette tape he gave me was from Tom Hopkins – one of the first guys in the sales industry who taught sales and closing techniques to sales forces of big corporations.
During that same conversation my client went on to tell me how a I never actually sold him any personal training…. that he walked in ready to buy and all I did was “take his order”.
He did NOT SPARE MY FEELINGS.
Of course in my head I was convinced that I sold him the massive $5K training program… but after thinking about it I realized I was wrong.
He was right, I only took the order.
See, back then I just assumed folks would buy training from me becuase they’d realize the value of it after training with me for a free session or two.
I assumed that people understood the benefits of exercising, eating right, motivation and accountability and so all I had to do was give them a complimentary training session, tell them about my experience and education as a trainer and show them the program prices.
And if they didn’t buy – it was becuase they weren’t qualified.
Or they weren’t serious about getting into shape.
Or they really needed to go home to think about it.
Or they really couldn’t afford it… even though they were blinged out and driving a benz. At least that’s how I justified it to myself for losing the sale.
But after listening to that Tom Hopkins tape I realized that I was indeed an order taker. I realized that for the most part, the majority of my clients were there to buy training from me and I just simply took the order.
A few them I actually closed – accidentally – with the grace of God. But I knew then that I needed to overcome my biggest obstacle; ASKING FOR THE SALE
That Tom Hopkins tape led to Brian Tracy, Brian Tracy led to Zig Ziglar, Zig Ziglar led to Jay Abraham, Jay Abraham led to Dan Kennedy – and all of these sales and marketing legends echoed one message: “learn to sell, or perish”
See, in our community the biggest obstacle that most fitness trainers face is not lead generation, prospecting, or marketing… it’s selling fitness… it’s converting that lead into a paying client.
The need for more marketing is a symptom of poor selling.
When I realized this in my business, I saw a huge shift in my income, and for the first time ever in my personal training career I experienced security becuase I found a reliable way to convert leads into clients.
Just like you, I didn’t get into the personal training business to sell. But the reality is, no matter what you do for a living you have to sell to some degree.
You would think that a doctor wouldn’t have to sell his patient on losing weight or eating better just after diagnosing him with high cholesterol, heart disease, or diabetes. But the cold hard truth is (and I know you’ve seen this with your own eyes) doctors can tell their patients to lose weight and eat right till they’re blue in the face, but far too often it falls on def ears.
Asking for the sale is the #1 obstacle that stalls most businesses and keeps them stuck in financial mediocrity.
The best way to overcome your #1 obstacle is to first re-frame “selling” to yourself and understand it as a “transference of feelings” and nothing more. Here’s what worked for me, In my head I looked at myself as the assistant buyer and not a sales person.
When you look at yourself as the assistant buyer and you realize that the person across from you will buy your services if you can get them to feel like you do about your training programs then you’ve effectively sold.
Recently, a private coaching client I work with had anxiety about selling. I mean he really hated the idea of having to sell or close someone on his services when both he and the prospect knew that investing in a trainer was clearly the right choice.
So we went through a little mental exercise over the phone.
I asked my client if he knew for sure that prospects he sat across from believed that working with him would be the right decision to make?
He said “no”
He said; well they’d have to know that I can deliver results. They’d have to trust and like me. And they’d have to see that this is the best solution to their problem.
I think this was the first time he had put any thought into the question of: “what does the prospect need to know and feel in order to buy your service?”
With any obstacle you face in life, two things can help you overcome any fear and anxiety that you may have.
The two things are preparation and action.
It doesn’t matter if you’re selling, running a marathon, or doing public speaking, preparation and action will overcome any anxiety, fear or doubt that’s stopping you from getting what you want out of life or from your business.