• Article List
  • /
  • ‘The Sales Relationship Building Behind Personal Training’
By Stephen Bradbury – Business Development Manager
on Thursday, 10 December 2015
  • Personal Trainers
  • Fitness Industry

The definition of a Personal Trainer is a “fitness professional involved in exercise prescription and instruction. They motivate clients by helping them to set goals and provide feedback and accountability to clients. Trainers also measure their client’s strengths and weaknesses with fitness assessment.”

The ability to prescribe exercises and to be able to hold your clients accountable to their goals is a must to being a successful trainer, however, there is a lot more to being a personal trainer then just the fitness aspect. Sales and relationship building plays a pivotal role in the results you will achieve as a Personal Trainer, not only in your ability to attract new clients but in retaining your clients for as long as possible. It is your personality and relationship skills that will keep the client long after their goals have been achieved, not just the fact that you were able to help them in the short term.

As much as Personal Trainers would like to argue that they are not sales people, they cannot deny the fact that sales play a huge part in their job. Most sales are easy, a person knows what product they wish to buy.  They find the shop where they can purchase the product and attempt to find the best price to match.  This task is relatively easy as the customer can see the brand and it is a tangible product that is right in front of them. The hard part of sales for a Personal Trainer is that they don’t have a tangible product to sell; they are in fact selling a vision of how they will be the ones to help the prospective client achieve results.

Selling an intangible product is tough and this is where Personal Trainers must put the ‘sales hat’ on to first and foremost identify what motivated the client to seek your experience either at a gym or another fitness environment.

Humans are abnormal creatures and work in strange and mysterious ways. What I mean by this is, that it sometimes takes only a small thing like a joke or a comment that a friend or family member might say that resinates with them to make a change in their life and this, in order to build up your relationship with the client, must be identified if the Personal Trainer is wanting to not only to commence training with the client but to also retain them once their goals are reached. This internal motivation that a client has is the “holy grail” of personal training and is the key to helping your client to achieve not only their goals but also to keep them on track when real life challenges come their way. This motivation however, is not usually obtained easily and this is where the use of certain lines of open probed questioning are a must in getting the answers you require.

First of all, you must start with the ‘What’, what are the goals or objectives you are looking to achieve? What are you wanting to accomplish with your training? The ‘open probed questioning’ methodology behind this is to find out on a surface level what your client is wanting to achieve and it also opens the conversation between trainer and client to identify answers to the more important questions that follow.

Next comes the ‘When’. When are you wanting to achieve these goals? When are you wanting to start? The ‘when’ is one of the most important questions in the process because a person’s goal does not become real until it is given a time period in which they commit to work towards it.  When requires a call to action!

The next step is the ‘Nice to know’ questions. These are questions that will help start to form a ‘whole picture’ about the client’s fitness history for example whether they have been to a gym before or another form of fitness including boot camps or outdoor fitness. You need to identify how their experience was and the reasons why they stopped or decided to change to something else.

The most important question in the step by step process is, ‘WHY’. This question will assist you in identifying the client’s motivation. Why is achieving these goals so important to you? Why now? This is where we essentially begin the sales relationship building process. By finding the ‘Why’ we now have the knowledge as to what has led this person to make a lifestyle change. The reasons will be varied, for example - trying on a piece of clothing from a couple of years ago and it no longer fits, the client’s partner making a comment about the extra weight they have put on since the wedding. No matter the reason, you as their Personal Trainer, will now have the foundation needed to work alongside the client and also give you the basics to build a long lasting relationship with them.

If we now link this process back to the definition of what a Personal Trainer is; “they motivate clients by helping them to set goals and provide feedback and accountability”.

By using the above sales relationship building processes you as a Personal Trainer are now able to identify the key motivation that has brought this client to you. It will enable you to extract the most out of your client and to get them through the tough times when the client needs the most support. By following this simple process, you will find it provides you with a solid client base, which is the key to your success as a Personal Trainer.

Contact one of our career consultants now on 1300 152 884 or visit our website today at www.ptnational.edu.au to learn more about the sales and marketing units within the NEW SIS40215 Certificate IV in Fitness and the NEW SIS50215 Diploma of Fitness and become one of Australia’s Fitness Amabassadors®