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Do You Need To Improve At Selling Personal Training?

A Post on Selling Personal Training by Pat Rigsby

Every couple of weeks Ryan Ketchum and I send out a memo to members of our Franchises, Mastermind Groups, Accelerator Program, Virtual Fitness Mastermind and 52 Week Mentorship. It’s about what we’re seeing right now in the industry and how this group that we work closely with can stay ahead of the pack.

Normally we keep this memo exclusive to that group, but recently we’ve been seeing a trend in the industry that we both wanted to address:

A weakened approach to selling personal training.

Because of that we decided to share part of the most recent memo with you.  Enjoy (and act on it.)

Selling Personal Training

selling personal training

When Nick and I owned our training business there were a handful of things that we tracked on a dry erase board in the office:

Appointments Set  – These were our Goal Setting Sessions where we did a mini-assessment, covered goals, demonstrated a few exercises and then presented our training program options. Our objective was to set at least 6 per day.

Appointment Shows – These were the number of scheduled appointments who actually showed up. We shot for a 65% show rate.

Sales Closed – It’s basically what it sounds like.  We didn’t really use front end offers and moved straight to selling people primarily 12 month programs.  Our goal was to close 50% of the people who showed for their appointments. This was the heart of selling personal training.

Total Contract Value: We tracked this as a monthly running total.  If a program was worth $100 per month and it was a 12 month agreement, then $1200 was added to the board. While our goal varied from month to month, the average goal for the month usually hovered between $30,000 and $35,000 for new contract value.

Net Increase in EFT: This is where we tracked the balance between attrition and new business.  If we added 25 new clients with an average EFT of $120, then we had a $3000 gross EFT increase, but if we lost 5 clients each paying $200 per month, then the net increase was only $2000 in EFT.  Our monthly goal usually averaged around $2500 in Net EFT increase.

That’s what we tracked daily.  And it worked.  Nothing fancy, but effective.

And why did it work?

Because the emphasis was on selling personal training each and every day.


Selling Personal Training…What 95% of Fitness Pros Miss

It is amazing to me, but it’s true.

Fitness pros, as a group, seem to be missing out on the fact that without selling personal training nothing else happens.

For the past month or so Ryan and I have asked segments of our network of fitness pros what they sold during the previous week and the answers are stunning…

“…I sold 1 new program for $1088.”

“…I upgraded one person for $574.”

“…I sold 4 – $39 One Month Programs.”

And that’s for a week. Ouch.

Personally, in our training businesses none of those would have been an acceptable day.  Even the $1088 is a little short for 1 day in my opinion.

So what’s the problem?

That’s a good question, and while I can’t be 100% sure on the answer, here are my educated guesses:

Trainers still hate to ask for money. It’s crazy…but it’s true.  Fitness professionals who are good at what they do can have more positive impact on someone’s life than just about anyone else selling ANYTHING on the planet…but as a group they’re afraid to ask for money.

Maybe it’s the fear of rejection. 

Maybe it’s not recognizing that losing 30 lbs can transform someone’s self-image, their health, their relationships and in many cases even their career (there is plenty of research to back all of those up…it’s not just my opinion.)

Maybe it’s not appreciating how valuable a one on one selling opportunity is versus every other approach.

Maybe it’s the false belief that they don’t have time to sell (as if there are 3 things more important in running a training business.)

Maybe they’ve fallen into the trap of believing that using a Front End Offer replaces actually SELLING rather than augmenting traditional selling.

Here’s How You Can Fix This…TODAY

First…you need to accept that unless you sell someone, you can’t help them.

Second…you have to understand that the prospects that you likely encounter NEED you to lead them.  If they have an out in 14 days, all too often they’ll take it.  That’s how they got out of shape to begin with.

Think about it for a moment…it’s not uncommon for someone not exercising at all to come in and inquire about training or even begin a front end offer.  But what most of us forget is that while they did decide to take some action today…there have been plenty…often hundreds or even thousands of days that they didn’t take action.

What they NEED is for you to lead them and help them commit to making a change because they WILL want to drop out again…it can almost be guaranteed.  But with a real commitment from them to make a change and a commitment from you to coach them, motivate them and hold them accountable…they won’t have to rely on will power alone.

Third…So if you do accept what I’m telling you (because it’s true), then you MUST sit down with each new prospect One on One (we’ll call it a Success Session) and do the following:

Step One: Build Rapport
Step Two: Ask Questions to Discover their:

  • Goals
  • Previous Experiences
  • Perceived Obstacles
  • Big “Why”

Step Three: Help them understand how what you do is the PERFECT FIT for their wants, needs and unique situation.
Step Four: Prescribe the program for them and ask them to commit today.

Sure, there is more.  Much more.  But if you at least make sure you cover all 3 of those steps you’ll be far, far ahead of where most fitness pros are now.

I went on a site visit to Corpus Christi, TX to visit Fitness Revolution Franchisee Adam Farrell and he’d fallen into this trap of letting prospects control the sales cycle.

After working through the process with Adam he dialed into a new approach that was primarily based on those 4 steps I just shared.

Within the first 72 hours of using this new approach he sold over $6600 in training.

So here’s my Action Step for you today…

Start Selling Personal Training…Daily.

If you go more than 2 consecutive days without selling a new training program, then I’d suggest that you put how you are spending your time under the microscope as you’re probably not focusing on the things you need to be to grow your business.


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