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Personal Training: It’s Not Closing Arguments, It’s Sales


As program directors we should be comfortable making the sale — after all, that’s part of the reason we hold our role. However, very few on our training team realizes (at least initially!) the importance and benefit of being a personal training salesman. Below are a few simple tips to take your team of trainers to the next level.

1. Listen to your prospect’s goals and respond with realistic timelines.

Nine times out of 10 the sale is given to you… if you listen. Recognize that you are a fitness professional, and people are coming to you for the help they already know they need. What they want is a plan they are comfortable with and can believe in. Be honest.

We can all agree that losing one to two pounds per week is a healthy and sustainable rate of weight loss. What do you do if a prospective client has a weight loss goal of 30 pounds in two months? Carefully explain to them why that may be a little extreme and give them another option. For example, while 30 pounds isn’t realistic, 20 pounds may be. Tell them that consistent effort and nutrition five days a week for two months may garner a 20 pound weight loss. If they cannot commit to that type of schedule they may need to push out their goal a bit. You’re not being mean, harsh or tough — you’re being honest. At the end of the day transparency will earn their respect and hopefully retain them as a client.

2. Know your company’s personal training contracts.

Contracts shouldn’t create confusion and tension. Take time to ensure every single one of your team members understands your organization’s contracts and its details. They should be able to clearly explain the contracts to prospects. Get that extra level of comfort by role-playing buying scenarios with your team. Help them understand that the contract is a tool used to make training work financially for clients. I like to say, “We have a number of different options for training. The reason we have these options is to find a solution that will work for you and allow you to get the support you need.”

3. Know your value.

Every client is different. Some need hand holding while others have a solid fitness background. Knowing which one you are speaking with will help you sell the program and your services. For the client who is new to fitness, spend more time teaching and providing positive reinforcement. For the client who has a solid fitness background, provide some independent work and more regular testing. Clients want to see results. How you speak to both will greatly impact their decision to work with you. In each case you will have to adjust to the client’s needs.

Remind your trainers why they got started: to help people. Hold them to that and encourage them to apply it in their day-to-day responsibilities.


Matt Busacca

Matt is a personal training director for Meridian Fitness & Wellness.

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