Increase Personal Training Revenue

Q. We would like to increase revenues from our personal training department. Any ideas? – Ryan Rothschild, the owner of Shoreline Fitness, Clinton and Old Saybrook, Conn.

A. Of all the revenue generating opportunities at a health club, personal training is still the champion. Many clubs are generating more revenue from personal training than they are from membership dues. There are a number of things you can do to improve this important service at your club.

Here are a few that I feel are the most critical:

Create a Culture of Personal Training

Of all the things you can do to improve your PT department, creating a culture of personal training at your club is the most important. You cannot look at personal training as just a profit center. Rather, you should look at it as a necessity for someone to get the most out of their membership.
Every new member needs to be introduced to personal training. No longer is it, “Would you be interested in a personal trainer?” Now it’s, “All of our members get to experience working with a personal trainer. The club is paying for your first three sessions. Is Tuesday or Wednesday better for you?”

Stop Promoting Packages
The most savvy of personal trainers and studio owners figured this out long ago, but the health club industry has been slower to adopting the idea. Just like membership dues, you should offer personal training as a monthly service, payable by EFT. When you focus on PT packages, or prepaying for X number of sessions, you will never be able to maximize the potential of your personal training department.

Do More in Less Time

If you’re still only offering one-hour sessions, you should add half-hour sessions as well. Not everyone has time to commit for a full hour. Your trainers need to stop counting reps on machines, and start making personal training fun and fast for the client. These days it’s all about multi-functional exercises, supersets, stability training and fast-paced fun. Start focusing on giving the client the best workout of their life and an exciting experience they’ll want to share with their friends.

Encourage Referrals
We understand the importance of membership referrals, but we often don’t give the same attention to generating PT referrals. The members participating in personal training are typically the ones getting the best results. You need to focus on referrals from this group as much as, if not more, than referrals from general members.

Implement a Sales System

It can be difficult to find a great personal trainer who is also a great salesperson — and that’s okay! Stop trying to force your trainers to be better salespeople. Instead, implement a system for them to follow. Teach them what to say and when to say it, and make sure they are following your instructions 100 percent of the time. They may not like being scripted, but they will like the increase in their closing percentage.

Implement a Training System

Some trainers might like to design their own workouts and freestyle their way through a workout with a client, but in my experience this may be a recipe for disaster. The best strategy is to create a system that allows any client to get the same high quality workout regardless of which personal trainer they work with. If someone’s trainer is out sick one day, no problem! Another trainer can train them according your system.

Pay More
Make sure your best personal trainers are incentivized. If someone generates more revenue for you, make sure they’re rewarded. Pay more for those trainers who have been with you longest, those who sell the most training, those who are loyal, those who generate many of their own clients and those who are willing to follow your systems. When you get trainers like this, creating a culture of personal training is much easier.-CS

Curtis Mock is the host of www.fitnessbusinesstelevision.com, the TV show for fitness entrepreneurs and is the executive director of GymSuccess.com. Curtis can be reached via e-mail at Curtis@ClubSolutionsMagazine.com.

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