Personal Training Sales: Complete Step-By-Step Process


Let’s cut to the chase, no matter how amazing your sessions might be and no matter how qualified you are, if you can’t make people buy your sessions, you will fail as a personal trainer.

I know, it sucks to hear this, but it’s the truth. I’ve seen trainers that were so knowledgeable they could be doctors, but they failed because they didn’t know how to sell to people.

That’s a massive shame, and I made this site to help fit pros succeed in the tough world of fitness, so in this article, I’m going to be showing you the step-by-step process you can use so that you never have to hear the words “Let me think about it”, again.

Sound good?

Let’s go….

Here’s a sneak peek of what we’ll be covering in this article

  • How to weed out the time-wasters, and only meet with qualified leads
  • How to have 90% of the sales process complete before you even meet at the gym
  • How to get your prospect to sell personal training to themselves
  • How to easily overcome the most frustrating and common objections

These are just a few of the points we’ll be covering, there’s a ton more to learn about how to make personal training sales easy and effective, and it’s right here in this article, so keep reading!

selling personal training

The five steps to selling personal training

  • Take your prospect off the gym floor and get them seated
  • Find their “why” and their pain points
  • Sell results and benefits
  • Overcome common objections
  • Develop a strong closing strategy

How to sell personal training to everyone and anyone

Weed out the timewasters before you even start

Let’s set the scene, you’ve spent the last two weeks talking to twenty people each day, giving out cards, and teaching classes so you have a ton of complimentary sessions booked in. Great, this means you’re going to be pretty much fully booked after this week, right?

Probably not!

Sorry to break it to you, but you are going to have a whole bunch of people there that have no intention of ever training with you. Either they don’t understand the cost of training with you, or they are just trying to get a freebie.

To make your sales easier, why not let the people you’ve booked into a complimentary session know everything about your training right from the get-go? This way, if it’s too expensive or they don’t have the time commitment, they will either call up and cancel or just not show up at all.

Letting people know your prices etc before you begin is a great way of making sure the people who actually do turn up to your sessions, are at least warm to the idea of training with you. It’ll cut down the number of complimentary sessions you complete, for sure, but it’ll also save you a ton of time.

So what’s the best way of letting people see your prices? Well, step two has this completely covered, and it’s genius (if I do say so myself).

How to have 90% of the sales process complete before you even meet

Lots of trainers get nervous when it comes to sales, teaching people how to exercise and eat right comes naturally to them, but asking for money certainly doesn’t. If this is the case, why not have an information booklet about yourself do all the sales talk and presentation for you before you even meet for the consultation session?

In this booklet, you will have the following:

  • Information about your certifications/qualifications
  • Information about yourself as a trainer, your style of training, types of clients you usually work with, etc
  • Testimonials from previous clients (family members if you are new to being a PT)
  • Your package options
  • Your terms and conditions

By creating this booklet, you have answered 90% of the questions that most prospects will have for you when it comes to the end of the complimentary session. You need to make sure that your booklet covers all of the most common objections to personal training (which we will get to later), so that if they still turn up to the session, you know they are interested in signing up with you.

Take them away from the gym floor and get them seated

I used to see this all the time, a trainer would finish a complimentary session with a prospect, then with both of them standing up, the trainer would say something like “so, what did you think, would you like to continue?”. The prospect (already half-turned away from the trainer) would always say those dreaded words, “I’ll need to think about it”

The trainer would lower their head and simply say, ok, no worries.

Having your prospect standing up during a sales presentation is a massive no-no, they are thinking about everything under the sun except from signing up for sessions with you. They are probably already thinking of making a b-line for the door so they can get changed and go back to work.

Instead, as soon as the last exercise in the complimentary session is complete, get them off the gym floor. Anywhere, is better, maybe you have a reception with a couple of seats? This is now where you “close” your deals.

By taking them off the gym floor, you have removed all distractions, and by sitting them down, you have also removed their ability to simply walk away. They will have to stand up out of a chair and make their excuses. Even though this is still only a small barrier, any barrier to them leaving will help you in your sales presentation.

Talk to them about their goals and find their pain points

Now, you’ve given them your booklet, so you should have covered just about every question they could ask in that, however, it’s always good to ask if they have any further questions, or if there was anything you missed out. You want your prospect to be engaging with you (and you with them) as much as possible.

What you won’t have managed to do yet though, is to really dive into their goals and their “why” for training.

Every person is in a gym for a reason, maybe it’s to lose weight, maybe it’s to get stronger, or leaner, whatever the case, they have a specific reason, even if they aren’t fully aware of it yet.

Your job now is to uncover these truths and get to the core reason that your prospect is training. If (for example) it’s fat loss, you need to keep asking the same simple question:

Why?

Let’s use an example of weight loss. Your prospect says they want to lose weight, to which you ask “why?”

This may throw them a bit, as they probably think it’s obvious why someone would want to lose weight, but make them tell you. If they say, “I want to lose weight because I’m going to a wedding and I want to look good”. Ask them, “how would it make you feel if you lost the weight and could wear the dress you want?”.

By answering this question, you are putting them in the frame of mind that they can achieve this, and you are making them imagine feeling and looking this way. You then need to ask “what would happen if you didn’t reach this goal?”. This then gets them thinking about how important this goal really is to them and how much they want to achieve it.

You can keep going down this route a few more times, but be careful not to overdo it, or your questions could get frustrating, the main goal is to really get down to the reason why they want to achieve their goal and what it would feel like if they both did, and did not achieve it.

Get people in a “yes” mindset

I know what you’re thinking, you obviously want your prospect to say yes because you want them to say yes to signing up for your sessions, so why am I stating the obvious?

Well, we do want them to say yes to signing up to your sessions, but more importantly, we want them to be saying yes as many times as possible before we even get to that point in the presentation.

You see, the more times someone says yes, the more geared up they are to keep saying yes. Let’s take a look at some example questions that will lead to easy “yes” answers.

  • Did you enjoy the session today?
  • Did you feel it in (whichever body part or area was being targeted)?
  • Do you think workouts like that will help you in the future?
  • Is 7am (or whatever time they already told you was their preferred time) your preferred time to train?

And so on.

You don’t want to overdo it or ask really dumb questions, but where you can, find ways of asking questions that will almost certainly result in them saying yes.

The reason to do this is that they are confirming that your sessions are going to help them, so when it comes to decision-making time, their minds are already made up.

For example, if you’ve asked, “did you feel it in the area we were trying to target?”, and they said yes, and “do you think sessions like this will help you in the future?”, and they said “yes”, you can see that in their minds, they are confirming that this is a worthwhile product that is going to help them.

Sell results and benefits instead of packages

If you have ever undergone any kind of sales training, you will no doubt have been told to sell the benefits of the product, and in the case of personal training sales, the results that can be achieved, over prices and package options.

People don’t want to buy personal training because it’s a good price, they aren’t buying a turkey, they want results and will be willing to pay for them.

This is why testimonials with before and after pictures work so well in your presentation booklet, you are clearly demonstrating the results of your training programs. People will instantly imagine themselves in the same situation as one of your past clients that have got great results, and this is far more powerful than just having competitive pricing.

Setting your pricing structure is still important, and to learn everything you need to know about how to create and price personal training packages that sell themselves, take a look at the article I wrote about it by clicking the link below.

How To Create, Price, And Sell Personal Training Packages

How to overcome the most common objections

There are certain objections that every personal trainer will have heard in their career, and probably a hell of a lot of times, too.

In this section, I will outline some of the most common you’ll hear and explain how you can easily overcome them. Remember, your booklet should already cover 90% of these objections, so you shouldn’t expect to hear too many of them, however, it’s always good to be prepared just in case.

  • Let me think about it
  • I can’t afford it
  • I need to speak to my partner first
  • I’ll be ok with just my gym membership

Let me think about it

Probably the most common objection you’ll hear, and perhaps the most frustrating, as it has no specific issue to address.

Ask the person whilst they are sitting in front of you if there is anything they are still unclear about that you can answer now to help them with their decision. Make it clear to them that you understand they may need a little extra time to go through the benefits of training and thank them for letting you know they need extra time.

Nine times out of ten, this will lead them to tell you exactly what it is that’s bothering them, which will almost certainly be common objection number two.

I can’t afford it

We have now got to the crux of most people’s objections when it comes to making a purchase, the price.

It’s important to remember that hiring a personal trainer is expensive, and there are a lot of people out there that would love to hire a PT, but cannot afford it. Or at least, they don’t think they can.

It’s your duty as a personal trainer to make your services available to as many people as possible. So, instead of only having two or three options for training, you should have an array of prices to cover all budgets.

You should have blocks of sessions that cover standard sessions, such as hour-long and 45-minute options, but also offer half-hour sessions and even packages for two or three sessions per month.

The prospect may assume they can’t afford your services if they are aware of the standard prices for personal training in the area, however, if you can show you have other options that are within their budget, they really should have no reason for them to say they can’t afford it.

I need to speak to my partner first

This common sales objection isn’t what it seems at first. Even though you may think the prospect is genuinely going to go home and discuss this purchase with their partner, they probably aren’t. It’s more likely that they are simply saying this as an excuse to be able to walk away from the table when the prospect of money has been brought up.

This objection commonly occurs if the prospect has not built enough confidence in you, or more likely, you have not built enough trust or rapport with them. If the objection were true, the information booklet would have this situation covered, as the prospect would have had time to go through your information and discuss it with their partner before coming to the session.

If you believe the objection to be genuine, ask the prospect what they think their partner would have questions about. You then have the option to cover these questions and answer them fully whilst your prospect is in front of you.

Remember, the majority of the time, it’ll come down to price, so if your prospect says they think their partner will be concerned about the price being too high, you can refer them to the pricing structure you have that gives multiple options to cover all budgets.

If this does not put them at ease, you could offer to speak to their partner directly to answer any questions they may have over a telephone call.

The main thing to remember with this objection is that in most cases, it will be a white lie to get away from the sale, don’t let them go that easily, address everything you can there and then, especially the price, as that’s probably the real issue.

I’ll be ok with just my gym membership

This is a great objection, as you have a ton of leverage to counteract it.

Even if someone has enjoyed your session, they may not see the longer-term benefits and may be scared off by the price. So, what you can do here is actually use that price objection against them.

Typical gym memberships in London are around £60-80 per month, with some being £125 upwards. You could easily state that you have seen people coming into the gym every week for years and making no progress other than maintaining where they are currently at in terms of fitness.

“Now, doesn’t it make sense to spend just a little extra money for six months or so, to learn everything you need to know about training? This way, you’re going to be getting way more for your money from every month’s gym membership you’re paying for the rest of your life.”

The above is what I have personally used to overcome this objection several times during my career, and it really works a charm.

You are disarming the “threat” by stating the prospect may only need a few months of training to learn what they need and then it’s up to them if they want to carry on, and you are also telling them they will be spending both their time and money more effectively by training with you for a short period.

How to close the sale

This is it, you are at the final hurdle, closing the deal and getting that signature on a piece of paper.

The first thing to do is to summarise everything you have covered up until this point, this is also another great opportunity to get a few more “yes” answers in.

Here’s a quick example:

“Ok Robert, so far you have said that you’d like to lose weight specifically in time for your daughter’s wedding in six months’ time”

Wait for “yes” confirmation

“We’ve also said that you would prefer to train for an hour at a time and your preferred times to train are from 1-2pm each day”

Wait for “yes” confirmation

“Ok, well, taking your timeframes and goals into account, I would recommend you take the second package option I have available. This includes two 1-hour personal training sessions per week, workout programs for when you’re not training with me, diet tips, and phone calls whenever you need them.”

And then the most fundamental part of the close

“How does that sound to you Robert, shall we get you started with that?”

After this point, you do not say a single thing, the first person to talk here, loses.

Once your offer is on the table, look at your prospect and wait for their response. If they have any further objections, you can overcome them now, but if you have done your job of overcoming these before this point in the presentation, there should be nothing left to answer, and your chances of closing the deal are now significantly higher.

Love to love rejection

No matter what you do, how finely tuned your sales presentation, or how much practice you’ve had, there will ALWAYS be rejections.

My best piece of advice here for trainers of any experience level is to learn to love these rejections instead of fearing them. After you have had several rejections, you’ll start to see it isn’t something to get frustrated about, it’s simply part of the job.

Not caring about rejections will make you fear them less, which interestingly, will make you more confident, which in turn will make you more likely to sell in the first place. People can sense nervousness, so if you’re scared they will probably reject you.

Bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy!

You’re in the driving seat here, you’re the expert and you know how to fix their problems, all you’ve got to do is show them how much they don’t know and do it with some confidence!

Conclusion

Personal training sales can be tough, but a little preparation can make the whole process much easier.

The biggest weapon at your disposal is your personal training booklet, and I really cannot emphasize what a huge difference this made to my personal training sales. It cuts out nearly all objections and only leaves you with people who are genuinely interested in purchasing from you.

Listening to your prospect is also one of the most important things you can do during sales, do not overwhelm them, speak only when you need to, and let them do most of the talking.

I hope this guide has helped, and I am confident that if you adopt even just a few of these techniques, you will see an immediate uplift in your personal training sales conversions.

Good luck, and have a great day!

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Related articles
How To Create, Price And Sell Personal Training Packages
Is Personal Training A Sales Job? What You Need To Know

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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