My years of corporate education in the fitness industry have proven over and over again, to me, that people are afraid of the word “SALES.” Many people wanting to become trainers have called foul on this ominous word and have cried: 1) “I did not get into this field to do sales, but to train!” or 2) “I want to help people, not sell people!”

But I would argue there is an inherent flaw in both of these comments (that I have heard all too often). The first claim is flawed because you must sell in order to train, or train for free, which really means that you are just providing favours, not making a living. The second statement assumes that “helping” and “selling” are mutually exclusive. This is not true. It is through your help that you make the sale. It is not a trick. You are not tricking people into buying something unhelpful. You are helping people and allowing them to make the choice based on the value of your offering, often called “risk versus reward.”

The “RISKS” that our potential clients encounter are these:

  • Price of the training service.
  • Time commitment to reach their goals.
  • Concern that the price and time commitment will not yield desired results.

The “REWARDS” that our potential clients may receive are these:

  • Scientific approach to training.
  • Periodised programme that ensures continued progress.
  • Integration of techniques that best reaches clients’ goals.
  • Patterns and programmes that have produced results for thousands before.
  • Progression of training protocols to safely and effectively reach goals.
  • Appointed times to meet.
  • Motivation
  • Programmes designed specifically for your client (individualisation).
  • Results driven programming.
  • Empathetic to client’s goals, needs, and wants.
  • Clients are not just buying sessions, but are becoming educated, etc.

The larger the list of “REWARDS,” the more nominal the risks and objections are to a client’s investment in personal training. The lists above are not exhaustive, but you must see that the REWARDS must outweigh the RISKS prior to the exchange of money for service. In order for this exchange to take place, you – the personal trainer – must use your professional expertise to guide the potential client into purchasing a service with the greatest possible rewards and the least possible risk involved.

This is selling, and simply put, it is finding so many ways to provide help that it is hard for the client to refuse you and your service. The greater the value in your service, the greater the client base you will have. Then, all you have to do is retain your client base!

By Rick Richey, MS, LMT, NASM-CPT, CES, PES

Click for Part 1 of How to Meet, Sell, and Retain Clients


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