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Personal Training: Building Rapport for Sales

trainer helps client

Every trainer wants more clients, but most are afraid or not willing to do the necessary work in order to get those clients. Go into a gym during peak times and watch the training staff. Oftentimes they are hanging out at the personal training desk conversing or doing busy work. They fail to increase their clients because they occupy their time with items that offer very little ROI.

Becoming the “Top Dog” trainer at your gym happens because the “Top Dog” does what others won’t: Build rapport with the members. Building rapport with others is the fastest way for them to see value in what you do and pay you for your service. Building trust with members is something that takes time and cannot be achieved overnight. Here are a few quick ideas you can start implementing to your staff to build rapport and ultimately help increase your training revenue.

  1. Each trainer has to help four new people each shift or each day they are in the gym. The easiest way to do this is walk the floor putting weights away, smiling and introducing yourself to members. Not hard, but over time this builds and you become the friendly trainer that everybody knows. They aren’t trying to set appointments or attain any new business, they are merely helping and meeting people. Once the trainer gets comfortable doing this, we can progress to them setting daily appointments.
  2. Spend more time with clients on the workout floor versus in the private training space. Trainers love hiding in private trainer spaces. I get it, the equipment is all there and you don’t have to be bothered if someone wants to get a set in on a lat pulldown or something. The problem is, you have to approach the workout floor like your stage and you’re putting on a performance. If you’re hiding in the training area, potential clients might not be able to observe your skillset and you miss an opportunity to make an easy connection.
  3. Talk loud enough to be heard by everyone around you. This is key, because you might be explaining a small nuance of an exercise that can really make it more challenging. Others around you might find this interesting, then they try it and love it. You’ve now won them over without even knowing it. If those same people are considering hiring a trainer at some point, they will most likely seek you out.
  4. Be strict on form. This sounds crazy to think I have to tell trainers to be sticklers for form, but I wouldn’t write it unless I’ve witnessed it. Nowadays people know just as much as trainers do regarding correct exercise form. Members will watch and silently criticize you for just about every exercise you let the client do wrong. Then you become the trainer that doesn’t care.

As the manager, you’ll really need to observe your staff for these four items and help them stay on track. Keep this trend going and you’ll start to see your training revenue improve.


Don Suarez is the manager of The HitFit Gym. Email him at dons@thehitfitgym.com.

Don Suarez

Don Suarez is the manager of The HitFit Gym. For more information he can be reached at DonS@thehitfitgym.com.

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