Selling Personal Training with a Sales Dialogue:
a 4-Step Guide
Client: Sell me this pen.
Trainer: It has a great grip for your fingers and a smooth rolling ball point for writing.
Now, you’re probably thinking, ‘What does this dialogue have to do with how I close personal training clients?’ The answer is: everything.
You see, if you substitute the pen with the clients wants and needs, and your answer with what you do to sell specifically to their wants and needs, you’ll close more deals.
The scene in The Wolf of Wall Street with Leonardo DiCaprio is a perfect example of this, the dialogue goes something like this:
Leo: Sell me this pen (hands salesmen the pen).
Salesman: Do me a favor, write your name down on that napkin.
Leo: I don’t have a pen.
Rudimentary? Yes. Applicable? Yes.
How does the selling the pen trick dialogue help you as a personal trainer sell more deals? It capitalizes on some major sales skills that you’ll need to develop to create effective dialogues with your clients that help you to close more deals.
Today, we will learn how to sell personal training services better using a proven personal trainer sales dialogue that I have used again and again to close more deals and gain more clients.
In this lesson taken straight from the Fitness Mentors Business and Sales: The Guide to Success as a Personal Trainer CEU course, you’ll understand how to:
- Gather information about your prospect
- Respond to the information you gather
- Deliver information effectively
- How to close/ask for the sale
Below we will take a look at an actual dialogue that I’ve had with a prospective client and how I incorporated the above four techniques to sell her personal training. Hint: I sold her what she wanted, not some predefined package that I defined.
Gather information about your prospect to sell them personal training packages
The information-gathering aspect of the dialogue builds the sale up. The goal here is get an idea of what your potential client wants and needs, therefore creating an easy environment to build the sale.
Trainer: So, what is your biggest fitness goal right now?
Client: Well, I am really focused on losing about 30lbs.
The information here is straightforward yet highly revealing. If weight loss of 30 pounds is her focus, you know that she probably has low self-confidence and perhaps a negative self-image. You already know this is likely what you will be selling – not personal training per se, but the self-confidence that comes from losing weight.
At this point you’ll want to continue to gather more information.
Trainer: When did you last feel as if you were in great shape?
Client: About four years ago.
Trainer: What has changed in the last four years that has led to where you are now?
Client: I was working out more often, I was a stay at home mom for my two kids.
Here I took the opportunity to learn more about her personal life as I know that obviously, her kids are important to her. I learn about their ages, the schools they go to, and their names.
If her kids are the most important thing in her life, I want to know as this aids my sales process. I also want to get some more insight as to why she is not a stay at home mom.
Trainer: Are you working now? (Notes: this is an easy way of asking why she is no longer a stay at home mom.)
Client: Yes. When my husband and I got divorced I had to restart my consulting business, which takes up most of my time. (Notes: I engage in a bunch of small talk about her consulting business. This might help me determine her financial status and potential schedule for our future sessions.)
Responding to the information you gather to guide your prospect down a sales path
At this point you’ve learned quite a bit about your prospect. You know what their fitness goals are, a little about their personal life, and some of the restrictions or challenges in their life that have held them back from a more dedicated fitness lifestyle.
Now, you are ready to respond to this feedback with additional questions that will lead your prospect to the realization that you are the solution to their problems.
Trainer: So your work and schedule has made it tough to find time for exercise?
Client: Yes, that’s why I have added the weight for sure. It’s been a tough transition, but I recently saw a picture of myself that made me realize I need to make my health a priority.
You know now that time is a problem and potential barrier to exercise. Her divorce was troubling but she is feeling better now. It appears she is serious about getting back into shape and wants to make health a priority (HUGE SELLING POINT!).
This will be the focus of my customized pitch. If she is truly ready to make her health a priority we can start tomorrow. Also, her old self looked good, so I must find an emotional attachment to how she felt when she looked good.
Trainer: Would you say that you were in the best shape of your life at that point?
Client: Yes. I wasn’t very active growing up, but at that time I was doing Pilates and Yoga four times a week so I loved the way I looked.
Here I made xenical vs alli some small talk about Pilates and Yoga and try to find out why she enjoyed it. I also try to learn more about why she loved the way she looked, asking specific questions to get specific answers.
I then respond with a small selling pitch to how I utilize those methods of training to build core strength, which is selling directly to something she attributes to looking great (selling to the customers wants/needs).
She loved the way she looked at that point in her life and I am speaking directly to that because I know what she used to do when she liked the way she looked. Keep in mind I am not talking about weight training or some other exercise when I have established she really liked Yoga and Pilates.
Now, I want to deliver more information but I want to do it in a way that is effective to my, and her, end goal.
Delivering information effectively to communicate that you are the solution to her goals
I will continue to ask questions that I already (somewhat) know the answers to. The goal with this information delivery is to allow her to connect with an emotion of how she felt when she looked good with how she will feel when she trains with me.
Trainer: So if we got you back to that look in 4-6 months how would you feel?
Client: I would be so happy to have that body back. It feels so far away though.
Here I am showcasing information that I know the timeline it will likely take to reach her goals (4-6 months). From the client’s response “It feels so far away though,” I see that there is a lack of confidence with her ability to reach that goal. At this point I still need to sell self-confidence. I will do this efficiently and then try to close the sale.
How to close the sale with your personal training prospects
At this point you’ve done a lot of legwork. You’ve gathered information about your prospects fitness goals, why they have not been able to meet them, learned about their personal life and schedule, and guided your prospect down a path that lets them know how you can help them.
Now, it’s time to close the sale and try to get them to sign on the dotted line.
Trainer: I actually just finished with a client looking to drop 30 pounds of baby weight. With a little bit of sacrifice we were able to get her there in five months. I know it may be tough to imagine now, but when you’re back in that body in a similar timeline, I know you’d feel amazing. Would that be something you’d be willing to work for?
This series of statements and questions leads up to the sale inquiry. Let’s break it down piece-by-piece so you know exactly how to use this for your clients.
First, I’m addressing the concern my prospect mentioned above, “It feels so far away though.” I use a story of my past experience of a similar client, in a similar timeframe, to build credibility and empathize with her.
Then, I use a confidence building statement to encourage the emotional attachment, “when you’re back in that body in a similar timeline, I know you’d feel amazing.”
At this point I’ve done pretty much all I can and am ready for my soft ask, “Would that be something you’d be willing to work for?” I am simply asking her to take action on the emotion she expressed. If the prospect is truly ready to make her health a priority like she said, she will allow me to schedule her first session.
Selling your personal training “pen”
You may be familiar with the sales technique that says “Sell Benefits, Not Features.” Another way of remembering this is “features tell, but benefits sell.”
If you take away one thing from this article, take away that. In my example, you see nothing about me selling my pre-existing packages or some cut-and-paste plan that I created. I don’t sell any specific personal training product, I sell self-confidence because that is what my services provide.
You need not create some desire, just sell around existing desires. The way to do this is using the four-step process outlined above:
- Gather information about your prospect (What is your biggest fitness goal right now?)
- Respond to the information you gather (Your work and schedule has made it tough to find time for exercise?)
- Deliver information effectively (I can get you back to your good looking self in 4-6 months using the techniques you used before that you enjoyed)
- How to close/ask for the sale (I just did the same thing with a similar client; are you willing to put in the work to get the same results?)
I want you to try this selling technique on your next prospect and then come back here and write a comment about exactly how it worked for you. I promise you that you’ll generate more sales this way and learn how simple-to-use this technique really is.
For more awesome business and sales advice, check out the Business and Sales CEU course today.