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Seven Reasons People Buy Personal Training Sessions

Seven Reasons People Buy Personal Training Sessions

David McGarry earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida in exercise science and an MBA from the University of Texas at Dallas. Along with his degrees, McGarry is certified through the NSCA as a certified strength and conditioning specialist and is the owner of, a fitness consulting company. Previously, he served as the assistant general manager for the Cooper Fitness Center at Craig Ranch. His experience consists of more than 13 years as a personal trainer and fitness manager. McGarry is actively involved with the community as a public speaker and presenter to corporations for health and wellness. His most recent accomplishment is a self-published book for fitness professionals and personal trainers called “Anatomy of Sales.” Check it out at

People hate to be sold but love to buy, and their reasons for purchasing might seem odd to you. After almost two decades as a trainer and fitness manager, I’ve determined there are seven influencers when it comes to buying personal training: emotion, focus on the client, value, vanity, rapport, passion and the trainer.

1. Emotion. People buy based on feelings, needs and emotions, not based on a logical thought process. Your trainers must find their clients’ emotional hot button or their emotional pain. To do so, they must first build trust so clients will open up to them. Once they establish that trust and discover their clients’ emotional pain and their ultimate desire, they can show prospects how personal training will solve their problems.

2. Focus on the client. One of the biggest mistakes trainers make is that they forget who they are serving. Many trainers push their programs on new clients without asking themselves if those programs fulfill the client’s wants and needs. Your trainers must think of members first, not their own programs.

3. Value. Value is different from person to person. Value is relative to the service you offer, what the client has paid in the past, how bad the client wants it, and how the client perceives the price between you and your competitors. You must set up your personal training programs so they demonstrate a value that seems equal to or greater than the price your clients pay.

4. Vanity. Yes, people like to look good. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a client tell me they want to look like so and so. Our world thrives on looking young and beautiful. So even though many clients desire to be healthy and to increase their longevity, the underlying truth is that everyone also wants to look good.

Because many people are visually stimulated, your trainers should help clients paint a “before and after” picture in their minds. They could suggest that clients bring in a photo of themselves at the size they were happy at. You could invest in software that shows clients what they would look like 10 pounds lighter. Once your trainers help clients paint the picture in their mind, they can proceed by laying out the plan for getting there.

5. Rapport. Do your members trust and like your trainers? No one will open up to or believe people they don’t trust, and trust often starts with rapport. Your trainers must ensure members know that they are there for more than just the sale. And trainers must reveal their human side so they are more approachable. As Jeffery Gitomer says, “People want to do business with their friends.” It’s the relationships your trainers build, not the price of your services, that makes clients renew their personal training.

6. Passion. Buying is an emotional experience. Trainers with enthusiasm and passion transmit that energy to their clients—and infectious passion and enthusiasm helps increase your personal training base and helps your club excel.

7. The trainer who can solve their problems. Clients invest in your products or services because they have problems or needs that you can help them fix. Your trainers must become experts at understanding members’ specific situations and at uncovering their pressing needs. Your trainers must show members how training can change their lives and solve their emotional pain, but most importantly, they must have the skills to follow through with their promises of help.

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