Many personal trainers scoff at the word sales. Yet, without a modicum of skill in selling, those same personal trainers risk career failure. The most successful professionals often agree that you don’t have to employ smarmy sales tactics to gain clients. IDEA presenter Wendy Williamson, PhD, finds that a focus on relationship building can expand your bottom line. “It is all about relationships, individualism, customer service and simply providing value to the client so she can truly understand and experience what a skilled personal trainer can provide.” Williamson offers several suggestions for closing the deal without feeling like a used-car salesman.
Keep It Personal. Personal training is personal. It is all about the relationship and not the sale. Aim to connect with the potential client by establishing a relationship during the initial meeting.
Emphasize Value. What you focus on during an assessment or a complimentary session will be key. Emphasize the value of the service, and avoid talking sales. The client needs to see the value of training before ever discussing the cost.
Emphasize Customer Service. Complete the forms for your client, and walk him through all the procedures. Don’t send him off to do this on his own.
Become Invaluable. Make it clear that you are indispensable. Once you have presented the value of your service, and you have initiated and perhaps established a relationship with the prospect, you will more than likely hear, “How can I do this without you?”
Buddy Up. If a client has financial objections, encourage her to train with a buddy who has similar goals and interests. This will mean more money for you and less out-of-pocket expense for the client.
Pay Attention. Remember to listen to the client and try to meet his individual goals and needs, along with implementing what you believe is necessary.
See the following articles for more tips on enhancing sales skills:
“Closing the Deal—Conducting Successful Consultations” by Mary Bratcher, MA, February 2010 IDEA Trainer Success.
“Taking the Emotion out of Sales Pitches” by Darren Jacobson, July–August 2008 IDEA Fitness Manager.