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Teach Your Personal Trainers How to Get Back to Basic Prospecting

Teach Your Personal Trainers How to Get Back to Basic Prospecting

Prospecting is an important part of your personal trainers’ jobs, but knowing how to prospect subtly is an art that you may need to teach them. Your club’s revenue can soar if your fitness managers help your trainers by role playing and demonstrating how a simple conversation on the workout floor with members can increase personal trainers’ opportunities to gain new clients or retain existing clients.

The following are some conversations that your trainers can have with clients and potential clients that could lead to more personal training clients for them and for your club:

When assessing members, never speak about fat percentage. Instead, your trainers should talk about the pounds of lean mass ready to burn calories for the members. Your trainers should make the members aware that they can write a progressive workout to stimulate their muscles and address their needs. In fact, it might be helpful for your trainers to share three examples of popular programming ideas and ask if they may personalize one of the examples for them.

Use a monthly calendar of assignments/challenges. For existing clients, your trainers should create a monthly calendar with daily assignments or challenges listed on it. By doing so, the trainer has a visual aid that will help clients achieve their goals and hold them accountable daily rather than just during the workout. Showing potential clients a sample calendar full of assignments/challenges will demonstrate to potential clients how trainers help clients achieve their goals and hold them accountable.

Manage expectations with a worksheet. Fitness managers should help their trainers create a worksheet to use when speaking to clients and potential clients about how long it will take to reach a goal and when to expect to see change. For example, the first thing a member typically notices after following a personalized program is an increase in overall energy. That should be noted in the worksheet. The trainer also needs to note when the member will see physical physique enhancement, when the clothing size will change and when the health stats will move in a new direction.

Offer a personal invitation. Your trainers must personally invite members to a seminar, a class, a demonstration or a consultation. Of course, to do so, you must have seminars and classes for members to attend. If your trainers do not do this already, have them create a series of weekly events in which the trainers can showcase their skill sets and personalities.

Create a health status report card. Plan a mini health fair on the workout floor or in an assessment office and have the training staff create a health status report card for all members to take away from the session. Make sure the report card includes a date that the trainer will follow up with the member and a list of expected results or improvements for members who use the trainers’ services.

Offer a test drive. Offer a “test drive the trainer” day where members can try a mini session with no obligation to purchase a package. The event allows trainers to gather pre-qualified leads for follow-up.

Assist in group fitness classes. Your trainers should offer to assist your group fitness instructors during a popular class time by helping with stretching or spotting the back row. The trainers should introduce themselves to the class members before the class starts, and they should be available for anyone who may need assistance or would like to schedule a consultation. Your trainers and instructors can even team up and plan a holiday challenge or weight-loss contest for increased exposure.

Train the trainer. When trainers see a member doing an exercise with which they are not familiar, make sure they stop the member to see how to do the exercise. You can even have an official program where you reverse the role and ask members to challenge the trainers. Doing this creates workout floor excitement as well as a list of leads with which to follow up.

Offer coupons. Members love to get coupons. Put up a coupon exchange board and have all trainers leave coupons for a free body part demonstration. If possible, use a carbon coupon or pass to assure the member’s contact information is documented. Examples include hot legs circuit, world’s greatest abs exercise and five-minute stretch. New members can receive a sheet of free coupons when they join.

Ask members how to follow up. Many trainers forget to ask a few simple questions that will extend the relationship they have built while on the workout floor. Teach your trainers to ask the following questions to assure that the members with whom they interact will be ready to pick up the phone when they call them or open the follow-up email. The questions are: What is the best way to reach you? What is the best time? Will you be able to have a conversation when I call? Do you read emails daily or weekly? Would you like to receive my weekly fit tip?

Ann Gilbert, director of fitness for Shapes Fitness for Women, leads a team of more than 350 fitness professionals. She is a presenter at industry trade shows and has received the IHRSA/ACE Trainer of the Year award. For the past 10 years, Gilbert has served as a faculty board member for the Shapes Academy, an internal educational resource for continuing education. She can be reached at

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