How to Effectively Generate More Training Revenue

A popular health club chain could sometimes bill $100 to $130,000 a month in personal training from one location. Not bad numbers for an ancillary program. However, even with those numbers, it’s amazing the lack of customer service training a personal trainer receives before they hit the gym floor.

Imagine if each personal trainer’s clients had the potential to refer at least one person? It would then double the EFT. Why not invest some time and energy into perfecting the quality of service and generate more revenue? How can this be done?

First, let’s look at how one of the best franchises does it. According to NBC news, the Cheesecake Factory is one of the most successful restaurant chains in America. With 153 locations, you can count on consistency in both the menu and the service.

How do they do it? What kind of training does a server receive before they start their first shift?

  • Two weeks of paid schooling. They learn the menu, software, mission statement, company policies and how to work at the restaurant.
  • The third week they train with another server.
  • The fourth week they work a half-station.

By the time they hit the floor, they’re a seasoned pro. As a manager or owner, it also gives you more time to discover what kind of person will be personally representing your organization to your members.

How do you prepare your personal training staff to represent your gym to the highest paying members in the gym? How do your ensure the quality of service to the members that are the most committed to your facility? In what way do you entice those members to refer other high paying members?

Training people is a lot different than presenting a menu. A menu is the same for everyone, but exercise programs are infinitely different. The first issue is to get your entire staff on the same page. What or who oversees the quality and consistency of the training? How can you monitor this?

There is also a variety of certifications and degrees in the fitness field. It’s important to create a consistent theme of how your club organizes a workout. For example, should there be a warm-up, resistance training, flexibility, cardiovascular training and a cool-down in an exercise program? How will you present this, track it, reward the member and progress the program? Do you use social media? What if each trainer used an iPad for the workouts, which were then stored in the cloud for the member to access? Does each trainer track and measure the workouts in the same manner? What if you created social media pages specifically for your personal training clients so they could follow and encourage each other? Look at and see how cyclists and runners do it. How do you incentivize the personal training client to bring in referrals?

Just because a person had a degree or certification doesn’t mean they have ethics, professionalism or the ability to get referrals or close a deal. It’s up to you to ensure a consistency in your staff. Personal trainers are usually the only revenue producing asset in your facility besides membership. Spend some time with these people before and during their employment.

Incentivize them when they attend workshops and obtain additional credentials as well as when they hit their monetary goals. Think of ways of creating a community from your personal training clients. They are your “platinum card” members. Some trainers have retained the same client for 20 years. They ended up training their spouse, sons and daughters.

An asset that can retain that kind of EFT should be replicated in your personal training program. Personal trainers get personal with your members — make sure you get personal with your personal training staff.


John Platero MA has a dual master’s degree in sports medicine and health and fitness with an emphasis on personal training. He is the CEO for the National Council for Certified Personal Trainers, an organization that has certified thousands of personal trainers all over the world. You may contact him at or at

1 Comment

  1. Santiago Feliciano

    November 5, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    Good post. We follow this model almost perfectly. I think the idea of a motivational facebook page is a great idea for pt clients. Not currently doing that. One question I would like feedback on related to this topic is… What is your suggestion when one of those long term trainers leaves? All those personal relationships can potentially be a liability. We have developed a process to retain as much as possible but I wanted to hear any thoughts on that. Creating a community is a challenge for sure but when an issue occurs and staff leave. Do you have a process to prevent spillage as trainers leave? Other than contracts and holding people to it. Thanks for any feedback!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *