Your Clients Buy TRAINERS, not TRAINING

Too many good personal trainers out there are losing loads of potential clients because they don’t recognize this one simple truth.

In fact, you could almost say that this truth applies to all industries…but I think it is ESPECIALLY true for personal trainers, since the nature of our work is so personal.Buy cubics

People do not buy training, they buy trainers.

Today I want to break down why this is true and show you how you can take advantage of this fact.



The why gets into some pretty deep human psychology…features of the human brain that pretty much all of us have.

For one, our brains are so ridiculously hard-wired to see and respond to human faces that they will see human faces even when there aren’t any around.

Have you ever looked at a piece of toast or a side of a building and thought it looked like face? Obviously, neither of those things have anything in common with a face, but your brain turns them into faces anyway. That’s how powerful our face recognition instincts are.

Want an even crazier example?

Check this out: car companies have learned that they can INCREASE SALES by designing the front of their cars to have the right personality for the demographics who buy them…

Take a big, beastly pickup truck and give it an angry looking face—more sales.

Take a soccer mom van and give it a gentle, friendly face—more sales.

Take an eco-friendly, special butterfly, hybrid car and give it a snarky, better-than-you face—more sales.

So what does this all mean for you, the personal trainer who wants more clients?


Get professional photos done and put them all over your website. Include pictures of yourself on social media.

On an instinctual, lizard brain level, people are going to trust your words more when they can connect them to a face. Plus, they’re more likely to remember your words, because our brains are also hard-wired to REMEMBER faces.

Look, on this web page alone you can probably find my own face 6-7 times. I promise you, that’s not because I think I’m the most handsome man in the world. That’s because I want you to trust me and remember my words, because I’ve got tons of important info to give you!

And don’t you have something important to give your clients and prospects?

The REAL Emotional Needs


I’ve talked before on this blog about how people do not decide whether to buy by using reason. They make the decision with emotion.

Usually this means the emotions they feel about the result they want from training, and their feelings about the training itself.


However, there’s another, equally important component you have to consider here too…

The emotions your prospects feel about you, the trainer, can make or break the sale every time.

Because again, training is a fairly personal process…people need to know that the person training them won’t waste their time, will get them the results they need, will keep them safe, and will support them along the way.

One of the quickest, easiest ways to create those feelings in your prospects is to look like a professional.

“Professional” is a loaded word, so let me cut through the noise and make this really simple for you:

A professional is someone who takes pride in their work, shows up prepared, and is committed to quality results.

So what does this look like for us fitness professionals?

Simple: a crisp, clean, collared shirt and a clean pair of athletic shorts. Depending on the situation, you can even swap out the shorts for a pair of pressed khakis.

Now yes, technically it is possible for you to do your work just as well in your smelly, sweat-stained dri-fit clothes…but if you do that you’re setting yourself up for an uphill battle.

Because when people see someone who LOOKS professional, they subconsciously assume that person knows what they’re doing, gets the results, and will behave in a respectable manner.

When they see Mr. Sweaty Smelly…they think “meathead.” And unless you plan on exclusively training other meatheads, that isn’t going to work for you. It takes a meathead to love a meathead.

Above and Beyond


Now, if you want to REALLY bring in the clients, if you want your business to blow your competition out of the water, you need to establish yourself as the best trainer in town.

Obviously, that means you need to deliver and display the best results in town…but in truth that’s only half the battle.

The other half is for your clients to think of you as the person who cares more about their clients and forms a stronger personal connection than anyone else.

In other words, your clients need to know that you are the BEST at creating a feeling of inclusion and connection.

So how do you do that?

Two ways: outside the gym and inside the gym.

Outside the gym, you participate in local charities and help contribute to local businesses. Start doing the things a “local celebrity” would do, even if you aren’t a local celebrity yet.

photodune-7291827-colorful-mind-xsThe best way to do this is to pay attention to what your target clients care about and pay attention to, and then participate in those causes and businesses.

The goal here is to create Front of Mind Awareness…so that the instant someone starts thinking about fitness in their community, your name immediately comes up.

You can create Front of Mind Awareness through sheer repetition. Show up wherever your clients go and always include your 8-word business statement in your appearance. Our brains are hard-wired to rank things as important when we hear them over and over, so use this to your advantage!

Inside the gym, you do it by offering your prospects a small gift on the way in (like a water bottle or a t-shirt) and by using education-based selling to empower them with knowledge even before they sign up for training.

THEN, once you’ve got them as your clients, you throw special events for them, like group hangouts or healthy shopping trips to the grocery store.

The best part is, if you really spread the love in your gym, you can very easily ask your clients for referrals, which means more easy clients for you!

Committed to your success,