How To Sell Tons Of Personal Training

Posted on 30. Sep, 2009 by in Marketing Fitness

Once you know you're in "The Matrix", you can start to control it.News flash: from the time you wake up to the time you fall asleep, you’re being sold to.  If you live in America or anywhere else, almost every waking decision you make is a commercial one.

Sad huh?  But here’s one way to kind of get yourself out of “The Matrix” if you will – start doing the selling yourself.  Once you start to understood why people buy, you learn a lot about yourself in the process.

Want to know what’s even funnier?  Personal Training isn’t a hard product – it’s completely intangible.  That’s where things start getting freaky – because you’re learning to find out the emotional reasons that motivate people to buy something that doesn’t even exist.

Before we start over-thinking things, there’s one way can cut to the front of the line and understand selling, without having to read a ton of books or even have much practice at it:

Realizing selling Personal Training is all about THE RELATIONSHIP.

With a service like Personal Training, where the customer KNOWS they will be spending more time with their trainer than almost anyone else in their entire lives, especially if they’re single, most of the decision about the sale is made based on the relationship.

certified nutritional consultantIt’s based on emotional criteria: Do I like this person?  Do I trust her/him?  Do I feel comfortable around them?  How do they make me feel about myself?  Sorry to burst your bubble folks, but none of those are logical choices, based on the certifications you have on your wall, or the letters after you have on your name.  That’s why the trainers that try to sell ONLY on their credentials end up so bitter and frustrated.  Your credentials are valuable only if you can use them in a way to generate more EMOTION.

Now that you realize this it’s all going to come down to how many people you can BOND and CONNECT, there are almost an infinite number of channels to do it.

– If you work in a healthclub, try to find any excuse to talk to as many people as possible, whether it’s through a free body-fat analysis day, free group classes a couple of times a week – whatever it takes.

– And once you’re out of the healthclub, try to get as many people to your website as possible, and let your website sell the hell out of you.

Web 2.0 is the best thing that ever happened to personal training – your client can decide whether they want to train with you before they even contact you.  They can watch videos of you training other people.  They can read your blog and find out what’s going on in your life.  They can find out what you REALLY know about health and fitness.   They can read about WHY your qualifications are important.  They can start to look at you as a celebrity before they even meet you.

And it goes even deeper – they can find out about your hobbies, your friends, what you know and who you know.

bad websiteThere’s more good news. No other trainer is providing this information these days – most trainers do not have a picture of themselves on their websites, and they share no personal info.  They just have their certifications and prices – that’s it.

Against that kind of competition, you won’t get some of the clients – you won’t get most of them – you’ll get every single freaking one!  You often here me brag about how I used to get loads of high-level clients from Craigslist (after weeding out the tire-kickers) , while everyone else moans about why the web doesn’t work.  Why?  It’s because I was getting EVERY SINGLE client out there.  It was because I’m the only one that you can actually meet and decide you want to train with before you call.

That makes the phone call a formality and selling UNNECESSARY.

And guess what?  When you move up to business owner in your business, you are strictly going to be the relationship gal or guy, so get used to it.

Personal Training can be the easiest way to make money in the world – no sales judo involved, and the most basic marketing knowledge will get you by at the start.  Just get a couple of high paying clients.  If you’re competent and approachable, and keep looking for more clients even when you’ve already got them, you should be fully booked with 10-15 high paying clients in less than three months.

Yes, by all means grow your level of knowledge and skills.  Learning  to grow and run a business is one of the best hobbies you can ever have – and unlike other hobbies, it PAYS REALLY WELL!

coronas on the beachBut get your client base first.  Because another overlooked part of growth that’s probably even more important is the time you’re not working at all – going on vacations, staying in great shape, spending time with people you like, and spending a lot of time on the beach.  My life started to turn around when I was able to spend long days reading and thinking at the beach and not have to worry about money any more (although my skin probably aged about 10 years because of it).

Oh, and getting back on subject, I forgot to mention what happens once that client contacts you – simple – ASK THEM QUESTIONS.  Find out what’s wrong, and try to help.  Start cleaning up the blatant issues in their diet.  Give them a ramp-up program to get them going.  Let this all happen even before price is discussed or the first session date is scheduled – start the training RELATIONSHIP.

And when it’s time to go for the close, make it a soft-CLOSE at first if you need to.  It can be a  three sessions intro pack where you wow them and over-deliver.  They will then ask YOU what your long-term training options are.  You’ll never have to bring it up.

So if you hate to sell, you don’t have to.   Take a genuine interst in helping people.  Find out what’s wrong.  And become a transparent, open book yourself.  That’s one of the great things about selling anything.   You can’t hide anymore.  You have to put yourself out there, and in most cases need to become a better person.

Sure that’s a little scary, and at times it can be hard work, but becoming the person you want to be is one of the greatest things you can do with your life, because it’s something no one can take away from you.

Want more articles on selling personal training?  Check these out:

And don’t forget to leave your comments below:

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Greg Crawford

30. Sep, 2009

Good one Kaiser!!

I like the part about asking questions and giving advise before even the consultation.
People that are interested in personal training are more interested in enjoying the workout with the trainer rather than the knowledge of the trainer I think, just as long as they are seeing some results.


30. Sep, 2009

You hit it Greg – maybe it’s not right, but it’s so very true – knowledge is definitely important, but is useless unless you can transmit and demonstrate it in an effective way – that still comes down to the intangibles, not logic.

Dave Parise CPT FPTA

30. Sep, 2009

Give clients what they need- not what they want. They have a need for support- they want an excuse. The principles of emotional support leans towards the technique of being exactly what the doctor ordered. Focus on integrity, become a problem solver- identify the issues on a deeper level- find the solution and provide the plan-of-action. Never judge, just listen…the bond of trust respect and the ability to listen will determine the outcome of your success. “My trainer listened to me ( my husband does not) he identified my strengths- what needs work- he helped me by moving me away from my comfort zone- that unaccustomed state that I always move towards when I become scared or want to give up. E-motion is a word that can be played upon in many ways- choose the right path to lead your clients on a journey to better self efficacy. Hold there hands like a little child, look then in the eye, let them know they have a professional who cares about them and will go above and beyond to help in any way-

Just an idea…it may work-

ps- sorry got on a tangent- my bag

peace out!

Greg Justice

30. Sep, 2009

I know a lot of very smart, well educated trainers that are broke, because of exactly what you say in your post. Clients have to like you, trust you and believe that you can help them.

It goes beyond helping them reach goals, into the realm of realizing dreams. What I mean by that is they may tell you their goal is to lose 30 lbs., but their dream is to look good in their swim suit. Once you’ve gained their trust, they begin to tell you their dreams, and that’s so much more powerful than simple goals.

Dave Parise FPTA CPT

30. Sep, 2009


Never let regrets replace their dreams- we are the facilitator of the relationship- facilitate wisely.



02. Oct, 2009

That statement you made kind of sums up what an uncommon thinker you are Dave: “give the client what they NEED, not what they WANT.” You realize this goes against one of the first rules of marketing don’t you? That’s one of the reasons I joke around here frequently and call marketers scumbags. But the rest of your comment proves an important point – that if you have the relationship firmly established, your client will do anything you ask. If you build that level of trust, you can do anything with them. And that goes for commanding whatever rates you want as well. Marketing Personal Training is un-common at times. What I tried to show in this post was that going “old-school”, ie trust and integrity, can be your best form of marketing.

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