“DEAR HEALTH-CLUB TRAINER …” A Special New Year’s Message From Your Good Buddy Kaiser ….

Posted on 11. Jan, 2009 by in Personal Trainer Marketing, Personal Trainer Sales Systems

Dear Health-Club Trainer,

First off, Happy New Year! Hey I heard you’re still working at the gym. How’s that job going?

I wanted to let you know how much I’ve been feeling for you. I know how much it sucks to put up with all the b.s. that comes with your situation over there. That’s why I felt the need to write to you.

When you think about it, you have one of the hardest jobs in the world. You’ve got to work 10+ hours a day to make ends meet. And let’s be honest, your job is sales, not training. That wouldn’t be bad, but you then have to train every client you sell, which makes both jobs even harder.

And you don’t have to tell me again about your fitness manager and your coworkers – they’ve accepted where they are now. But you’re different and can’t stand getting more than 60% of your hard earned cash swallowed-up by the gym while not giving you any help – in fact, they just make things harder for you!

Yeah baby, I feel your pain – but is it worth it? I didn’t think so. It’s time to take back control.

You’re handing responsibility over your life to other people. Whatever security you think you’ve got over there is far outweighed by the power you’ll have when you can control you’re own situation. And that can only happen if you decide to go solo!

So if you haven’t chosen a New Year’s Resolution yet, here’s one that’ll change your life:


I may have mentioned that on my blog a couple of times, but I could be wrong – HAHA! The point is, you have to decide that you deserve a better life, because it’s the truth.

When I started out in training, I had no idea there was a better way to do this job – but I found out there was. Once I did, I had to let the rest of the world know.

The problem with a lot of Personal Trainers, and I know you must be feeling this, is they think that they don’t deserve to be this lucky or get this kind of respect. They actually fight it and end up making the job unnecessarily hard on themselves by staying in bad situations.

What does it take to go solo? Guess what? There are no barriers! All it comes down to is the decision to just do it.

Which path you end up following as a trainer is only limited by your imagination. Go back in the archives and read some of my previous interviews and you’ll know what I’m talking about. These people all started as normal personal trainers just like you, and they have all now branched into different specialties and paths. With the opportunities that training allows, they then grew tremendously into highly respected professionals and business people.

It all started with one decision – it’s not simplistic, but it’s that simple.

I hope I’ve got through to you on that point – but then now what?

First off you’ve got to get serious about learning, and by that I don’t mean get another certification …

You are now officially enrolled in the School of Hard Knocks. In the college you attended all they taught you was the basics to getting a boring, secure job, work for someone else, and live on other people’s terms. If you chose that route you’d find your body, mind, and social life go to waste like the majority of our population.

I’m real glad you realized that’s not for you …

FoR the info you need to succeed now, you’re going to have to find most of it on your own. You’ll need to learn from other people that have got the results you’re looking for.

In terms of what to focus on to get your solo training practice going, here are the three things it boils down to:

1. Your Website

I know that you don’t like to sit in front of a computer screen all day, but you’re going to have to at least get familiar with it. Because the truth is most people do sit in front of their screens all day. These are the same people we’re trying to help. They do everything online these days, and in most cases they’ll look for their trainer there too. So you’ve got to get yourself a good website that does the job of building the trust for them to contact you. The good news is that it’s never been easier to set up an attractive site. You can probably get it done for a few hundred bucks.

One thing you have going for you is that most other trainers don’t have a clue on how to communicate on the web – they’re still stuck in the stone age when it comes to using the web as a resource to get new clients, so this gives you a huge advantage.

How do you set-up this site? I knew you were going to ask me that. I want to keep this letter short so I won’t get into that right here. But we will get into all of that soon, I promise. All you need to know for now while you’re getting started is that you don’t need to go overboard with this thing. It doesn’t need to look like the promotional site to Ciroc Ultra Premium Vodka. Just make sure it’s direct, attractive, and get a professionally designed logo and some good pictures of yourself on there. Thats all you need to start.

2. Getting Leads

The next part is getting leads. The buck stops here – if you can’t get interested people into your pipeline, the game stops.

This is a large and probably the most uncertain part of the game, but a lot of it is directly under your control. The catch-22 is that you’re marketing budget is probably very small right now. But that’s fine, because you’re only looking for about a dozen high-quality clients. With some smarts and a little effort, this should be easy.

You just need understanding of the arsenal of tools at your dipsosal to make this happen. Among them are the many different forms of web advertising (some paid and some not). And then there’s also a lot of face time you have to put in making deals. The keys to both is follow-up. You’ll need to follow-up with all of the people helping you out in your quest to get leads. The good news is that once you find your soft spot, you’ll be set. I know I’ve already given you a lot of information on this in my past posts. Among the things we’ve already discussed are:

  • Using Craigslist
  • Teaming with Luxury Condos
  • Using Adwords
  • Teaming with a private gym
  • Making deals with people that serve the same market
  • Approaching the media
  • Creating an SEO friendly site
  • Doing targeted advertising with a strong offer

And there’s a bunch more – I think I’ll have to take the time to put them all in once place for you and expand on the details. We’ll be in touch on this.

3. Creating Clients

The last part is flipping these leads into clients. This comes down to a lot of factors. Half of that is your sales system.

Sales isn’t just all common sense. It’s actually a highly researched and well understood area of business. There’s a proven way you can progress a sale to it’s conclusion, and other traps you need to avoid that will kill it every time. We’re going to need to get into this in detail.

And besides that there are a lot of in-session factors that come into play. But like I told you this can all be learned. Once you’ve got it down you’re going to stand out head and shoulders over all of those other trainers out there who are just trying to wing it.

So looks like we’ve got a lot to cover. Yeah, it’s not going to be quite as easy as we thought.

Oh, and on top of all of this, I always want you thinking big picture – always be thinking one step ahead, about what your next step is going to be in the fitness industry once you’ve got this independent training thing mastered.

But for now you have only one job – to get your dozen or so high paying clients and earn a very strong income from training. Once you’ve got that part handled, you’ll have the cash, leverage and piece of mind to make anything happen.

Good luck – you know I’m here for you. Talk to you soon!

Your friend,


ps. – Tell your sister I said hi ;-)


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Dave Parise

11. Jan, 2009

Are You Creating a Blue Ocean?
I want to recomend a great read for all. This book sets the stage for all those rent-a-buddies at the gym and fitness centers. I see many “certified” not “qualified” trainers repeating mindless one size fits all exercises. I witness when there not hydrating with a gallon jug, displaying thier vascular extensor groups of the forearm…they are looking busy at the computer. I do find them to complain about revenue, how business is down, and they are not paid a professional salary. Humm…well are they professional?
The Concept of the Blue Ocean is one that stands on the pinnacle of proactivness. I have some sayings I live by… “Always be uncommon” and if you see this word OPPORTUNITYNOWHERE…and it reads to you as opportunity no where then you have already failed.
The “ocean” refers to the market or industry. “Blue oceans” are untapped and uncontested markets, which provide little or no competition for anyone who would dive in, since the markets are not crowded. A “red ocean,” on the other hand, refers to a saturated market where there is fierce competition, already crowded with people (companies) providing the same type of services or producing the same kind of goods.
The idea is to do something different from everyone else… produce something that no one has yet seen, thereby creating a “blue ocean.” An essential concept is that the innovation (in product, service, or delivery) must raise and create value for the market, while simultaneously reducing or eliminating features or services that are less valued by the current or future market.
How to Create Uncontested Market Space
and Make the Competition Irrelevant

Since the dawn of the industrial age, companies have engaged in head-to-head competition. They have fought for competitive advantage, battled over market share, and struggled for differentiation. Now imagine instead the prospects for growth if companies could operate with no competitors at all. In BLUE OCEAN STRATEGY: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant (Harvard Business School Press; February 3, 2005), W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne challenge everything you thought you knew about the requirements for strategic success, and instead argue that the way to win is to stop competing.
1. Curves, the Texas-based women’s fitness company, entered the oversaturated fitness market to acquire more than two million members in more than six thousand locations with total revenues exceeding the $1 billion mark.

2. In less than twenty years, Cirque du Soleil grew to levels of revenue that took Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey over a hundred years to achieve.

3. The [yellow tail] brand of Australian winery Casella Wines took only two years to skyrocket to #1 in the fiercely competitive U.S. market for imported wine.

Each of these companies created blue oceans that made the competition irrelevant.
The strategies they used can be replicated in any industry and in every company start-ups and established Fortune 100 companies alike—with the tools and principles presented in BLUE OCEAN STRATEGY.

Most companies make the mistake of battling for success in a bloody “red ocean” of rivals fighting over a shrinking profit pool. In the red ocean, industry boundaries are defined and accepted, prices are driven lower, and the competitive rules of the game become known. As the market space gets increasingly crowded, prospects for profits and growth decline. To create blue oceans, Kim and Mauborgne argue that companies need to use an opposite approach. Instead of benchmarking the competition, they set their own rules and create “blue oceans” of uncontested market space ripe for growth.

By changing their strategic thinking and using a systematic approach, the authors show how companies can reach beyond existing demand to find a blue ocean of new market space with the potential for huge profits and growth. In the red ocean, companies limit their own growth by only seeking customers from the current market. Instead, they should look to non-customers outside of the market so they can create a new market space as vast and limitless as a blue ocean. While all blue oceans eventually inspire imitators, the unconventional logic of true blue oceans renders competitors obsolete for decades. BLUE OCEAN STRATEGY offers an inspiring message: that success is not dependent on fierce competition, expensive marketing or R&D budgets, but on smart, strategic moves that can be used systematically by established companies and start-ups alike. The tools they describe level the playing field for success. At a time when global competition is intensifying and supply exceeds demand, this landmark work will chart a bold new path to winning the future.

For all super-trainer friends I personally recommend this book, BLUE OCEAN STRATEGY, as one of the top reads for anyone who wants to make mega $$$$$$. Notice the six $…thats only the start. Remember if we build it, that does not mean they will come! Dave Parise CPT

Dave Parise

11. Jan, 2009

sorry about the way my word document pasted…see we are human!


11. Jan, 2009

Hey Dave – yeah I actually put that book on my Amazon list sometime back but never ordered it – will do now – the idea sounds very intriguing –


11. Jan, 2009

Hi Kaiser

I love the website and the advice you give, I have two questions….

1. You talk so much about sales, do you have a book you recommend or any advice on how to close a lead?

2. Craigs list….does this work? How do you turn a lead into a client? So many people that contact me want to workout but really do not have a ton of money to spend to join and gym and then pay me. If I bring someone to my current gym I have to pay $10 (if they are a member) and if I bring a guest that is another $10…I am trying to figure out how to get these clients but if I have to shell out $20 I won’t make much at all….any thoughts?

Thanks so much for any help you can provide!


11. Jan, 2009

Hey Terra – thanks for the feedback – welcome to the blog – about your questions –

I discussed some of the important points about opening the sale in a previous post you can find here:
After the opening you just want to proceed in a way that doesn’t trigger buyer’s remorse. Once you’ve got them hooked, close them smoothly.

About CL, it’s worked for me because of sheer volume – you’re right, most CL buyers are price shoppers, but in NYC enough will call you that you can get many strong leads – if you don’t have that kind of volume of inquiries then the high quality leads will be more sporadic – in that case, you may want to create a lower priced training option – maybe a bootcamp or semi-private training option – try to work out a separate rate with your club, or just pass the cost on to your client (ie. $20 per class + $10 gym fee) – with my bootcamp I’ve gotten a new signee, not just inquiree, every couple of days – all 30 spots are now full – this made me realize that CL is the perfect vehicle to advertise a lower priced option if you have one.

I know I just glanced over this issues here and in the post, but it takes more depth to really understand them in a way you can apply the info – I’m looking to create a resource for that now and will keep you and everyone else posted on the project –

Doug Groce

11. Jan, 2009

So true about school. I remember my senior seminar class. We walked through and conducted the mechanics of creating a perfect resume, and how to conduct yourself in interviews for weeks. We had to show proof that we talked with graduate schools and applied for internships, etc.. I ended up replacing my exercise science internships credits with a class that actually gave me a certification!

These REALLY REALLY do prepare you to work for someone else – and to do it your whole life. Like there’s no other option.

Thanks for the reminder – haha. I’m plotting my escape from this place!! Good info Dave, P. I’ll have to order that book.

Dave Parise

11. Jan, 2009

Your welcome Doug!
Terra, I have a great answer for you…but I respect Kaiser, so I must wait for his approval.


12. Jan, 2009

Loved the set up of the post Kaiser and thank you Dave for the book recommendation, definitely going to read it.


12. Jan, 2009

Yeah Doug – your brain just becomes conditioned to think like that – not only does it keep you working for others which in some rare cases isn’t bad – the worst part is you never really “wake-up” and realize you can take responsibility for your life – people just go on like miserable zombies –

bill moore

12. Jan, 2009

Solid advise by Kaiser, check with studio owners in your area, great way to get out on your own. Organize your clients, and pitch a owner, we are always looking for good trainers with clientele.
Good book by the way, read a few years ago !!


14. Apr, 2010

Another helpful idea for working independently with fitness clients is to provide them with a journal on their first day. It gives them a tangible tool to help them get (& stay) focused and gives you (the trainer) more accurate feedback on what they are doing between sessions. They have some good ones at GNC and on Amazon.com.

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