Now that we’ve got the click bait title out of the way I wanted to explore an area that seems to be a hot topic across social media and within gym businesses. Selling.
There are countless seminars, online courses and workshops, and several big name gym chains that I know well who are all offering sales training for personal trainers.
Firstly I would be somewhat skeptical of accepting advice about building a building a personal training business from anyone for whom a personal training business has not been their primary focus, consistently, over time, throughout different market conditions, and with the same demographic that you are looking to work with. Would you take driving lessons from someone who had only just passed their driving test? (or to take that metaphor further, from someone who had never even taken it in some well known cases!)
Secondly – health and fitness is not an industry one should get into if their motivation is money. If you want to cold call and send out mail shots then in all honesty you can make far more money as an estate agent or selling life insurance.
I firmly believe that gym chains and employers should be doing a lot better in this regard, and remember what their primary focus should be – promoting healthy and active lifestyles to their members. Not hard selling them services that they may not want or need.
Having been in this industry for 20 + years – I can hand on heart say may focus has not ever been on selling nor on generating money, but I have never had a problem staying busy. My focus has always been entirely on developing my own skill set, doing the best possible job for my clients, and finding ways of passing those skills on to other trainers – in fact that focus has not changed now. The results of this are that every single client I have taken on has been a recommendation from an existing client, or a referral from a professional colleague – whether that be a clinician or another trainer.
It is my firm opinion that the best form of marketing is to have a really awesome product. The advice that I give to the young trainers and coaches that I mentor is put their energy and focus into doing the best possible job that they can, and doing it with consistency and integrity.
Having a business built on values rather than sales will give you satisfaction and fulfilment that money simply cannot buy. And the really cool thing? When you do something with integrity, authenticity and consistency you get really good at it, and when you get really good at something, clients will come and find you.
Stop trying to sell to clients, and start showing them what you can do to help them.