The market for personal training has been ever growing since the mid 90’s. Back then, it was a new and innovative idea to introduce people to the gym in a one-on-one setting, usually for about 60 minutes at a time. Since then however, personal training has turned into a whole new species. In twenty some years, group training and boot camps have now been introduced to the mix, and we have discovered that it isn’t necessary to drag clients around the gym for an hour wasting time, but can get them in and out of the gym in a quick 40 minutes. As anyone can see, a lot has changed. So why then, do trainers still market their business in the same way? Since the 90’s, as little as 5% of personal trainers have changed their marketing strategy. That means that 95% of personal trainers are still doing business ‘the old fashioned way.’ It is amazing to me that so many trainers aren’t even aware that they still do things the old fashioned way. Are you one of them? Here are some easy-to-implement strategies in selling personal training that will take you from 90’s to 200’s in three simple steps.
Firstly, stop being a bill collector. Way back when, tax collectors were some of the most hated people around for a reason! People love their money, and therefore it makes sense that they’re not fond of the person who takes it from them. That being said, instead of collecting cheques from your clients on a monthly basis, set up an EFT account (electronic funds transfer) and get the payments taken out of your client’s accounts automatically. This way you can focus on what you’re good at – getting your clients in the best shape possible. I mean, if you were interested in handling the money issues, you would’ve pursued something more along the lines of accounting. When you don’t have to discuss money issues with your clients, it sends the message that you’re more concerned with their wellbeing rather than just getting paid. Trust me, you’ll thank me for suggesting this when you get to eliminate the awkward and forever-dreaded conversation that starts a little something like: “excuse me Betty-Jane, but you’re still owing for your last three sessions…”
Rule number two: stop selling single or small packages sessions. Sell your results. Every time your client has to resign with you, you have an opportunity to lose the sale, so try doing this as little as possible. However, don’t try to sell bigger packages, as the financial side of this can seem daunting. Instead, try to sell bigger RESULTS. It takes no brain surgeon to know that you’ll see more results in 6-12 months than you will in 3 sessions, so focus on this aspect. For example, let’s say you’re newest client, Rob, is available for one-on-one personal training three times a week and has little experience in a gym setting. If you know as a professional that in order for Rob to see the results he wants to, he’s going to have to train with you for a minimum of 6 months, then sell him what he NEEDS. After all, you’re the professional, right? And because the gym is your forte, Rob is probably open to your suggestions.
Lastly, might I suggest the idea of group training. I am a huge advocate of group training sessions because they are more time effective for you as you can train multiple clients as a time, and they are more cost effective for your clients as they are cheaper than one-on -one sessions. Win – win, right? If you’re still hell bent on one-on-one training however, might I at least suggest switching from 60 minute sessions to 30 minute sessions, and encourage your clients to work harder for half the time. It is highly unlikely that someone is going to work exceptionally hard for an hour, so why waste your clients precious time, or yours for that matter? Switching to 30 minute training sessions is also a win-win situation because it enables you to fit more clients into your daily schedule, and it makes it easier for your clients to come to the gym because it takes up less of their time.
As you can see, improving your techniques in personal training sales is a combination of making both your life, as well as your clients lives easier. That being said, if you’d like to improve your business and take it from 90’s to 200’s, I suggest you try the three techniques mentioned above.