Personal training is a key premium for any thriving health club. Considering this, a rude or inexperienced worker can be like a bad virus to your organization. Hire the best personal trainers as a direct reflection of your brand. Look for the following qualities to recruit team members that are best equipped to represent your facility.
Bring in someone who is patient. Members are more apt to maintain a relationship with a trainer who is calm, composed and accommodating. In turn, the member is retained for a long period of time.
On the other hand, the trainer’s patient demeanor cannot be mistaken for being a pushover. This will give the impression that your gym may lack structure or organization. The trainer must keep his or her composure across the board, but also be flexible. It is the trainer’s job to know how far a client needs to be pushed and the proper tactics to use. Clients progress at varying rates. The right trainer should be able to discern when a client may require more coaching or support.
If you find someone who genuinely loves people, it will be demonstrated through patience. The member will know the difference from the first session and begin to share his or her positive experience with friends and loved ones.
Look for a good communicator. An actual face-to-face conversation is valuable. However, there will be times when the client may need something outside of the session. Ideally, the trainer should be able to support the clients over the phone, respond to emails, or teach them how to do specific moves without being in the same room.
Communication goes both ways. Members do not always do the best job at saying when they will be late or canceling in advance. The trainer must be assertive enough to have a forthright conversation with the client about the rules and expectations of their agreement.
Non-verbal cues are equally as important. Choose someone who is confident rather than arrogant. Many attributes are factors of engagement and, unfortunately, it can be something very small that can cause a client never to return again.
Successful personal trainers will know how to maintain the balance between a personal relationship and a professional one. Clients need and desire personable trainers, but the lines of business and inappropriateness can be blurred quickly if not handled with care. You want a “brand evangelist” who is willing to go above and beyond in the name of your business, without compromising its integrity, honor and reputation.
Professionalism may start with attire. The fitness industry can be very aesthetically driven — fair or not, a book is often judged by its cover. The trainer shouldn’t draw too much attention to him or herself by what he or she is wearing (or not wearing). The focus should be on the client — this is not a time for the trainer to advertise his or her personal hard work. The perception of your establishment is influenced by retaining someone who can easily conform to the cultural and ethical standards you value.
Due diligence in hiring any new employee involves checking references. In doing so, we are often looking for character traits that cannot be discerned on a resume. However, at best, we learn more about his or her reputation.
Famous American basketball coach John Wooden once said, “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” A noble reputation is essential, but ultimately, creditable character will better serve your overall purpose. Members choose personal trainers based on factors which are often unable to be quantified. That unspoken connection usually is related to certain characteristics of the trainer that may or may not mix well with the client.
Millions of dollars are spent on the gamble of a clever marketing campaign. The investment of recruiting highly-functional personal trainers who are able to multiply your membership and broadcast your brand is invaluable.
Terrell McTyer is the Marketing Monster of Affiliated Acceptance Corporation. He can be contacted at 573.374.9970, or by e-mail at Terrell.McTyer@Affiliated.org.