Personal Training: How To Onboard a New Personal Trainer
Congratulations, you have just hired the next up and coming star to your fitness team. They have the knowledge, expertise and charisma needed to make it in the fitness industry. But do they have the tools they need to succeed in your club? We all know that desk time, floor time and member phone calls are great ways to introduce a new personal training staff member to the club, but here are two additional areas that often get overlooked in preparing your new team members for success.
Know The Brand.
Our success is their success. From athletic clubs to spas, medically-based to boutique, in order for any club to succeed, each and every team member must act as a brand representative — they must know the brand and embody what makes the brand unique within the market. Aside from handing out a manual and perusing fitness schedules or pricing matrixes, it’s imperative to educate new team members on exactly what your club has to offer and match up a new trainer’s specialties with your specific club demographic and programming.
Fitness Programming: do you specialize in personal training, small group training, group fitness, aquatics, active adult, youth sports, etc.? Help each new trainer identify their niche.
Educational Programming: how often and with whom do you offer risk factor assessments, diabetes counseling, smoking cessation or nutrition seminars? Get them involved. Encourage new trainers to participate in, instruct or offer health assessments and seminars.
Ancillary Services: do you have access to on-site physical therapy, cardiac rehabilitation or massage therapy services? If so, it is important to introduce new training staff members to the professionals in these areas.
Most new personal trainers will come to you already knowing the basic aspects of your brand. After all, they sought employment with your club for a reason. But in order for a new personal trainer to truly succeed, you must show them what’s under the surface of the fancy logos and catchy slogans. What makes your daily operations flow? Why do you do what you do?
Know The Team.
The business of personal training is competitive. For this reason, it is essential for the rest of the fitness team to fully understand where this new trainer is coming from (i.e. level of experience, certifications, etc.) so they can appreciate and promote everything they have to offer. Every new trainer is a learning opportunity for the existing trainers on staff and vice versa. Being the front line of sales, it’s also extremely valuable from a revenue standpoint to have the trainer work with the membership sales team. This enables the sales team members to experience each trainer’s unique training style so that they are better able to promote and sell the trainer.
This leads us to staff buy-in. It is also important to understand that while personal trainers work for the club and need to meet organizational standards, they also work for themselves and can only be as successful as they want to be. Encourage new trainers to market themselves not only to the members, but to the executive staff — general manager, personal training director, sales director and any other manager in your club. Positive word of mouth is crucial.
In addition, putting together a press release and formal announcement in a company and/or member newsletter that highlights the trainer’s accolades, educational background and personal interests can go a long way in influencing a new trainer’s success.
Paul Brones is the regional training director of Tilton Fitness & Wellness.