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.
It’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.
There’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!
But 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.
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