How clubs are educating personal trainers and increasing personal training sales.
Personal training (PT) continues to be a strong trend in the fitness industry. Ranking No. 6 on the 2022 ACSM Health & Fitness Journal survey — and never dropping below No. 10 since 2006 — it’s clear members want individualized workouts and plans catered to their specific needs and goals.
This is even more clear when national fitness chains — like Workout Anytime — are having record PT sales.
According to Greg Maurer, the vice president of fitness and education for Workout Anytime, the key to successful PT sales starts with hiring staff who truly care about people and are in alignment with your mission, vision and core values.
“Our mission is to provide a friendly, convenient and life-changing journey with passion,” said Maurer. “Our vision is to reshape the fitness community where everybody aspires to be the best they can be. When you hire people who believe in your vision, mission and values everything gets easier. Staff care about helping people and are trained and understand most members need guidance to reach their goals. Our staff is trained to connect and understand each person’s unique goals and needs, and plug them into a solution that fits them and their budget.”
Jon Baraglia, the regional director of club operations and fitness at Fitness Formula Clubs (FFC), agreed hiring caring staff and ensuring their education is key to the success of selling PT.
At FFC, they run a week-long onboarding course that’s ACE accredited for all new trainers. To make sure their trainers feel prepared and confident in building a client base, Baraglia said they role-play their sales process many times throughout the onboarding course and practice over the next several weeks.
“My advice for trainers selling packages is, ‘You are the expert, and they are looking for your advice and prescription,’” said Baraglia. “Give them a recommendation based on their goals. For example, ‘To help you reach your goal weight by X date, I recommend working with me two times per week for the next two months.’ Never be afraid to ask to be their trainer. You make 0% of the sales you don’t ask for.”
With many clubs getting an influx of first-time trainers due to staffing shortages, it’s important to teach them how to build genuine connections with members.
“Trainers need to focus on connecting and understanding the client through the process of coaching, which means becoming an expert at asking the right questions; repeating back to the client their answers in the trainer’s own words to ensure they understand; and being honest and transparent about what it will take to get the client to their goals,” said Maurer.
Maurer elaborated trainers must also focus on understanding the key skillsets they need to succeed, which revolve around coaching and the key performance metrics that will determine their success.
More than ever, members are looking for an escape, motivation and a great workout. Preparing your trainers to build connections, further their education and help your members feel safe will ensure your PT sales thrive in the new normal.
“Create an environment where your customers feel safe,” said Baraglia. “This has helped increase our appointment show percentage. Next, connect with your customers and build a relationship. It sounds basic, but we work hard to find out our members’ goals and their ‘why,’ which we use to create a personalized experience. Our goal is always to give our members the best hour of their day.”
Complementing PT with Technology
According to Greg Maurer, through Workout Anytime’s partnership with Virtuagym their app is the centerpiece of digital fitness solutions, allowing members access to:
- Over 4,000 animated exercise videos and over 1,000 on-demand classes from Pilates to martial arts.
- Hundreds of preset workouts can be searched based on goals, equipment, difficulty level, etc.
- A nutrition app component within the app allows members to create a customized nutrition program based on their goals, height, weight, sex and food preferences.
- A meditation component within the app.
- Digital PT programs where a member is assigned workouts and nutrition, and coached remotely.
- Hybrid in-club and digital PT offerings.