Is Personal Training A Sales Job? What You Need To Know

I know what you’re thinking, “I want to be a personal trainer, but I’m not a salesperson”. The sales aspect of personal training puts off starting the career, as most people want to concentrate on educating and improving peoples lives through fitness.

In this article, I will be explaining whether or not personal training is a sales job to put you at ease a little.

There are some aspects of selling that you will need to get down, but I have added some great tips so that most of the selling is done during the session, and without you ever needing to feel like you’re begging for business.

Sound good?

Let’s go…..

Personal training is not classified as a sales job, however, you will need to ask your clients to sign up for your training programmes, which means there is an element of selling involved if you want to be successful. It’s not difficult, and it’s not scary, so anyone can make easy sales as a PT.

Is personal training a sales job

What are you really asking?

Before we get into the meat of this article, I want to explain that I think the main reason that you have asked this question, is because you are probably either a little self-conscious about your ability to sell or you lack the confidence in doing it because you have never needed to do it in a previous job you’ve had.

It’s cool, I’ve got you. I was terrified of selling when I first started and I really hated it, but over the years I developed the confidence and tools I will outline below that’ll make you never need to worry again.

Good news!

So, the great news for you is that the absolute majority of your time as a personal trainer will be based around training your clients, organising workout programmes and discussing fitness and nutrition. Because of this, I would not classify personal training as a sales job at all, it just happens to involve a little bit of it now and then.

Clients (unfortunately) don’t just spring out of the ground and start paying you. You will at some point need to give a slight sales pitch, however by using the techniques I will outline below, it will be the easiest sales pitch that barely requires you to do anything and isn’t remotely awkward, so please don’t let the idea of having to sell put you off working as a trainer.

How to make selling personal training super easy

  • Realise that everyone can benefit from hiring a personal trainer
  • Talk to at least 50 people per day (in the beginning)
  • Never assume ANYTHING!
  • Never fear rejection
  • Aim to get at least 3 complimentary sessions booked in each day
  • Ask your clients about their goals well ahead of the session
  • Give your prospects your personal training booklet
  • Give a great workout
  • Discuss the workout with your prospect and recommend a session plan

1. Realise that everyone can benefit from hiring a personal trainer

everyone needs a personal trainer

In order for you to be able to sell anything to anyone, you need to have confidence. Without believing that you are good enough to train people, you will struggle to close the deal when selling your training programmes.

For newer trainers, one of the most common worries they have is that they don’t know enough to train people, especially the gym members that look like they have been training for a good amount of time.

The great news is that everyone can benefit from having a trainer, even if you are both you and the client have the same knowledge level (unlikely), they will still benefit from having a trainer that can help push them and recommend exercise and training regimes.

2. Talk to at least 50 people per day (in the beginning)

I know, I know, talking to fifty people each day seems awfully like salesperson behaviour, but instead, think of it this way, if you can talk to fifty people each day, you have the opportunity to help fifty people drastically improve their lives.

Instead of thinking of each conversation as being something that you need to do in order to get a sale, consider each conversation a gateway between two people that lets you speak openly and give advice where it would usually be ignored.

The harsh reality is, a lot of people don’t understand the benefits of hiring a personal trainer, and some people almost seem to flat out refuse to understand how they could benefit. That’s why you will need to talk to a lot of people each day to find the few that do understand that by hiring a trainer they will improve the quality and effectiveness of their workouts.

3. Never assume ANYTHING!

never assume anything as a personal trainer
If you assume, you make an “Ass” of u and me.

You are not a mind reader (and even if you are) never assume anything when it comes to picking up training clients.

Never assume that clients will come up to you if they want training, they won’t!

Never think that because you have more qualifications you will do better than other trainers, it won’t make a difference!

Never assume that someone will buy training from you just because they have a high paying job, they won’t always!

Never assume that a potential client won’t buy because they have a lower-paid job, they need training just as much as anyone else!

The main takeaway from this is that you should never jump to conclusions when looking out for new clients. Before you have spent several hours with a person, you know absolutely nothing about them. So, when you are looking for people to talk to in the gym, never exclude someone because you “think” they might not be interested in training.

There are plenty of my own clients that if you had asked me, I would have bet you money would never train with me. Some of these clients ended up training with me for a great deal of time and spent thousands of pounds on their training.

4. Never fear rejection

dont fear rejection as a personal trainer

You are going to get rejected, again and again, and again during your time as a trainer, and this is something that you need to get used to and learn to never fear.

Fear of rejection is one of the most common fears and it goes back to our tribal days, if you were rejected from the group you were in, your chances of survival were pretty slim.

Things aren’t quite as bad as that anymore, but if you were wondering why being asked to talk to fifty strangers each day would make you feel nervous, this is the reason.

The great news is, like any fear, the more you confront it the less power it has over you. In a very short period of time, if you stick to your plan of talking to fifty people each day (without fail), you will very quickly start to see that there is nothing at all to be afraid of.

Nothing bad is going to happen to you if someone says they are not interested, and even if you get a very negative response, never take it personally. If you assume that the person didn’t want your help because you’re new and don’t know what you are doing, you are not taking the points made in number three of this list into consideration.

There are a million and twelve reasons (roughly) that a person would say no to your training, so don’t try and guess why, just move on to the next person. You will almost certainly get a better response, and you know what? If you don’t, you move on to the next person.

5. Aim to get at least 3 complimentary sessions booked in each day

I want to make it clear before I start this point that getting three complimentary sessions booked each day is quite a tall order. However, if you want to fill up your diary quickly and start getting that sweet sweet cash money in your bank, you will need to put in the effort, and aiming for at least three comp session bookings a day is how we are going to do that.

There’s a great real estate investor and entrepreneur called Grant Cardone, and his mantra is that you should 10X everything you do in order to succeed, meaning that you should put in ten times the effort that you originally thought you should.

Aiming for 10 complimentary sessions a day is something you can do, but I would recommend starting with three per day because even that’s not easy, but that’s exactly why you need to speak to at least fifty people per day, it greatly improves your chances of being able to reach this number.

6. Ask your clients about their goals well ahead of the session

Ask about your clients goals as a personal trainer

Not many things will lose you a potential client faster than you making up a workout on the spot.

Waiting until your client turns up for their complimentary session to ask them what their goals are and then looking around the gym to see what you can do is so unprofessional it’s laughable.

Before booking anyone into a complimentary session, you should discuss in detail what their goals and ambitions are. By doing this, you are giving yourself plenty of time to write up a world-class “WOW” session that blows their socks off and leave them begging for more sessions.

Importantly, you will have plenty of time to decide what you are going to say during the sessions to demonstrate that you are the perfect solution to your clients’ fitness problems. For example, if you know your prospect is training to lose weight, you can think of how you can explain how each exercise is going to help them achieve that goal. Doing this also shows that you were paying close attention to what they told you and that’s a pretty important skill for a trainer.

7. Give your prospects your personal training booklet

Here it is, the big one!

Using this tip alone is what helped me build my client base to 30 sessions a week in only two months.

Ok, so what you need to do is write up a booklet that explains your training style, has testimonials in it (use family and friends if you haven’t had any clients yet), why your method of training is effective and your price packages and the most important part of all, a list of all the common objections to training and your answers to them.

Give this booklet to your prospects before your complimentary session so that they have time to read it before the day they are training on, this will give them an idea of your prices and should answer a lot of their questions before they even think of them.

It’s important to understand that this booklet serves two functions. It answers a lot of your prospects questions so that you don’t have to, and takes away any shock factor of your prices, whilst also giving social proof by showing that other people have trained with you and enjoyed it in the past.

The second function and you could even argue that this is more important, is that it weeds out the time-wasters. If you give out this booklet and the prospect never turns up to your session, you know that they were never willing to pay for sessions and probably just wanted a session for free.

This gives you more time to get back out there on the gym floor and find more people to book complimentary sessions. The great news is that because this booklet looks so professional, it has a very high conversation rate. All you need to do is ask them which training package out of the choices they would like to go for, easy at that!

8. Give a great workout

give your personal training clients a great workout

This point is so important, and I know most trainers would think “well yeah, obviously I’ll give a great workout”, but a lot of the trainers do it wrong in my opinion.

In the past, the “best” way to give a complimentary session was to try to blow your client away so they could see how hard they work with a trainer when compared to training on their own.

Many trainers seem to have interpreted this as “completely destroy your prospect for an hour”. Giving people a session like this usually does more harm than good and tends to scare people off training with you.

Instead of doing your best to make people throw up or cry, show them how detailed and meticulous you are with your training style. Show them how much care and attention you pay to them and how much insight you can give by using your experience and knowledge.

Remember that the reason a lot of people need a trainer is because they don’t know what they are doing in a gym, which is why they aren’t reaching their goals. If people think that they will have to be in this much pain every session is more likely to make them want to give up before they even start properly.

This is only a brief insight into giving complimentary sessions that have a high conversion rate, if you would like more detailed knowledge on how to massively increase your conversion rates, please read the step-by-step article I recently wrote by clicking below.

Personal Training Consultation Sessions That Get Clients!

9. Discuss the workout with your prospect and recommend a session plan

Here it is, the sales pitch!

The great news is that if you have followed all the steps I have listed above, this will be one of the easiest sales pitches you will ever do.

The very fact that your prospect turned up after understanding your prices and the packages you offer shows that they are interested in buying from you. If you have given them a great workout, there is really no reason for them to say no.

Remember that some people will always say no and are just there for a free session, but you will have weeded out a lot of these people by using the booklet technique.

Now all you need to do is take them away from the gym floor, sit them down somewhere (very important that they are sitting) and ask them how they feel the session went. They will usually say it was good, or even great. Ask them a few simple questions that will give you a “yes” response at least three times. This helps prepare people to say yes as it gets them in a positive mood.

Ask them if they went through your booklet and saw the packages you offer, when they say yes, tell that that you have taken their goals into consideration and would recommend a certain package to them.

The next part is important, so pay attention.

Do not say anything after you have made your recommendation. The first person to speak here loses. They may still come back with a few objections. For further reading on this, I give some great tips on how to overcome these objections and ways to sell personal training on the gym floor in this article below.

Selling Personal Training: What You Need To Know


Personal training is not a sales job, but if selling is something that is concerning you, I really hope that the tips and processes that I have outlined for you in this article will give you everything you need to make the process as easy as possible and totally avoid having your prospect having that dreaded “shocked” face when you give your price presentation.

You should now have no worries about the selling aspects of becoming a personal trainer, you might even start to enjoy it, especially when tons of people start signing up with you!

Go get ’em!

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Chris Walker

Chris Walker worked in the City of London as a fully qualified REP's level three personal trainer for just under ten years. He built and maintained a client base of 40 individuals and worked with several high profile clients, including actors, actresses, comedians and politicians.

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