When you run a personal training business, you take on many roles beyond fitness coach. You also must be your own marketer, accountant, business manager, and—often the least favorite role—salesperson. As unpleasant as it might be, if you don’t know how to sell personal training services and packages, your business will never survive.
A loyal client base from your past personal training jobs may be enough to get you started with your own training business, but it won’t be enough to sustain you. Selling to new clients is the key to growth. In this article, we’ll teach you how to sell your personal training services so that you can close the deal every time.
6 Steps to Sell Personal Training Services
Convincing a potential client to buy your personal training services is a delicate process. If you’re overly pushy about it, you’ll make them feel like all you care about is getting their money and turn them off. But if you’re too timid about selling, you won’t seal the deal as often as you should.
Follow these six steps to strike the right balance in your selling strategy and sell your personal training services to more clients:
1. Get to know your prospective clients.
A significant part of the sales process is psychological. If you want your customer to buy, you must know their needs, wants, complaints, and motivations. You can get to know your personal training prospects on both a large and small scale.
When we refer to getting to know potential clients on a large scale, we mean identifying your target audience and gathering information about its members. This involves pinpointing your ideal customer profiles and buyer personas. As you map out these profiles and personas, you’ll determine the demographics of your ideal clients, their pain points, and how you can offer solutions. This information will help you create a selling strategy before you even meet a prospect.
Getting to know prospects on a small scale means gathering information about specific potential clients, including their needs, wants, and concerns. We’ll get further into that in the next step.
2. Schedule a personal training consultation.
Identifying your ideal customer profiles and buyer personas will help you outline a strategy for selling personal training services, but learning about potential clients on an individual level will allow you to refine and personalize that strategy for every sale. The best way to do this is with a new-client questionnaire, followed by a one-on-one consultation.
In your questionnaire and during your consultation, you’ll discuss a potential client’s fitness goals and ask open-ended questions. Their answers will guide you in tailoring your pitch and identifying emotional attachments you can use to persuade them. Asking personal questions will also make prospects feel like you care about them and their goals, not just their money.
Here are a few questions to ask:
- Why are you considering working with a personal trainer?
- What are your current fitness goals?
- Why do you want to achieve these goals?
- Have you worked with a personal trainer before?
- What does your current exercise regimen look like?
You may also consider including a free trial/intro training session with your consultation. An initial session will motivate clients to get started sooner rather than later and let them experience firsthand how effective your services are before they commit.
3. Focus on results.
Talking about your personal training packages and services with a potential client during their consultation isn’t going to resonate with them. Instead of focusing on what they can buy from you, focus on what you can do for them. By taking a customer-oriented rather than a product-oriented one, you can tap into their emotions and make them feel like they want and need your services.
When you talk about how your training will benefit a prospect, use their goals to frame your pitch. Do they want to lose weight? Offer a sample timeline for pounds lost until their goal. Are they looking to build muscle? Write down an example workout you would include in a program designed to get them there.
Another good way to highlight the potential results a client could see with you is to talk about what you’ve helped past and current clients achieve. Research shows that 72% of consumers say that positive reviews and testimonials make them trust a business more. If you have video or written client testimonials or before and after photos or results, share them with your prospects.
4. Discuss prospect concerns.
By the time you reach the end of your consultation, many clients will still have one or more concerns about fully committing to your services. Your job is to anticipate, discuss, and overcome these objections for them.
The best way to address prospect objections is to ask them directly if they have any remaining concerns and what they are. You’ll likely run into the same few concerns as you build your personal training business—and with your customer profiles and buyer personas, you should be able to predict them too. Planning your answers to these common objections will help you sound more confident when discussing them with potential clients.
Here are a few common objections your prospects may have to committing to personal training:
- Not enough time in their schedule
- Too expensive
- Poor past experience with a trainer
5. Close the sale.
Even though you’re running a business, we know that most independent personal trainers are trainers first and salespeople second. Because of that, being direct about selling personal training services can be intimidating, but at the end of the day, it’s the best way to get the sale.
After discussing your prospect’s goals and addressing any objections, ask them directly if they’re ready to commit to a program. But when you do, remember to keep the focus on them and their goals. For example, instead of saying, “are you ready to buy a session pack?” say, “are you ready to start working toward your goal?”
One personal training selling strategy you can use to help close the sale is to ask them to schedule their next session or several sessions. Scheduling specific times and dates for next steps will make them more likely to buy now and not drag their feet. Another tactic you can try is creating a sense of urgency by offering a limited-time discount or deal.
6. Follow up.
You’re not always going to finalize the sale during your consultation—and that’s okay! That doesn’t mean you can give up, though. Always follow up with prospective clients who don’t book right away via email or phone call. On average, 60% of customers will say no four times before saying yes, so there is still plenty of potential after an initial “no” or “maybe.”
A good rule of thumb is to send a follow-up email 24, 48, and 72 hours after a consultation with a prospect. After that, you can follow up every week and slowly reach out less and less if you keep getting no response.
Tips for Selling Personal Training Online
New technologies coupled with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic have led to a boom in online fitness. In fact, the virtual fitness market is expected to grow to $16.15B in 2022 and 79.87B by 2026. For personal trainers, that means more and more clients will be seeking online personal training services.
If you’re running an online-only personal training business, selling your services will follow much of the same process we outlined above. There are, however, some additional considerations to keep in mind when you’re in the virtual market.
Here are a few extra tips for selling online personal training:
- Highlight advantages specific to online training, such as saved time, lower pricing, and more flexibility.
- Keep a steady stream of content flowing on your website, social media platforms, and directly to clients to provide information about how online personal training works. The idea of virtual training may be confusing for potential clients, so the more insight you can give them via blog posts, emails, downloadable guides, videos, and other content, the more interest they’ll have in your services.
- Offer a complimentary first session or recorded demo to help prospects better understand how online personal training works and how your services will benefit them.
- Make sure your website is easy for prospects to navigate and make purchases from.
RELATED RESOURCES: The Ultimate Guide to Starting a Personal Training Business
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