in its traditional sense, is a weird subject for personal trainers.
you're familiar with my articles in PFP, you know that most of my advice is
designed to help you sell yourself. If you get good at creating a positive
success image and delivering a consistently "wow" product (in this case, your training
sessions), you'll eventually find it unnecessary to ever have to
"sell"; those qualities alone will create for you a base of permanent
clients, along with a steady stream of new clients coming in via referrals and
You have a thriving training practice!
spite of this, you still need to understand some of the dynamics of selling to
keep this process working fluidly. Especially when you're starting up a new
practice and acquiring clients, or looking to fill up some empty spots in your
schedule, having a sound mastery of selling and especially the sales
conversation will give you outstanding results and allow you to get booked
solid very quickly.
sales is a dynamic process, it does have its own rules and patterns. Some of
the biggest companies in the world have spent millions of dollars testing what
works and what doesn't. They've determined that there's a certain way that you
need to develop a sale, and there are other things that you can do to kill it.
I've applied much of this information to personal training, and what I'll show
you now is the opening to a sales process that's been field-tested by me to
death and has resulted in a near-perfect sales conversion record over the
The First Meeting
is your first interaction with your prospect; this interaction could occur over
the phone, or even through email. If it does happen to be through email, it's
best to try to get your prospect on the phone as fast as possible.
interaction can take on many forms, but it usually begins with a question or
statement on the part of the client. Here are a few possibilities of what they
might ask you:
want a personal trainer."
are your prices?"
do I get started?"
looking to [fill in a particular result], can you help me with that?"
rule in sales is whoever's asking the questions has control. When your
conversation with the client begins, it usually starts with them asking all the
questions. So they have control. What you need to do is regain control right
than answer any of their questions, you need to respond with a question of your
own -- and there's one foolproof question you can ask to immediately get things
back on track:
What are you looking to accomplish?
it is; that's it. That's the $100,000 question, meaning it's your key to a
six-figure training practice. Kind of innocuous, huh? Although subtle and
natural, this question immediately shifts directions and sets the tone for the
rest of the interaction.
gets them talking about their favorite subject: themselves. It gets them
focused on their results, which they're looking to hire you to achieve in the
first place. And it makes them paint the picture of what they're dissatisfied
with right now, helping to create the gap of where they are now to where they
want to be.
this question has been answered thoroughly by the prospect, you're well on your
way to making the sale. Allow them to speak for a few seconds; as we've talked
about, this in itself moves them closer to the sale. It actually gets them to
also gets the training process under way. Once they've expressed this goal to
you, and you've begun addressing it, in the client's mind, the training
relationship has already begun. Sure, there are a few things to work out, like
time, place, and money, but they are now much less likely to begin training
with or continue seeking another personal trainer.
we've just covered is only the beginning, and of course, there's more to it
than just that. Besides a strong opening, every sales conversation also needs a
strong closing. In the case of a cars or electronics, the close is to make the
full purchase. But for personal training, a commodity for which you are
charging top dollar and seeking a long-term training arrangement, it's
important for you to move as slowly as possible without losing momentum. This
is what's known as "relationship selling,"Â� and it is how all top professionals
are other pitfalls along the way that can take place that will potentially kill
the sale, and I hope to get to those either in another article in the future.
But for a lot of you that find you're getting inquiries and then find the sale
losing momentum, it's because you haven't identified and addressed the needs
and goals of the client early enough. If everything you say is based on them,
you'll find yourself never losing a sale again!
Kaiser Serajuddin is the writer of the popular personal
training blog, Super-Trainer.com. He guides personal trainers through the
challenging period of starting their personal training businesses and helps
them on the road to six figures. For more information, you can download his
special report, The Six-Figure Formula, at www.super-trainer.com.