Many personal trainers are self employed, a status which requires you to have all the skills necessary for building and running a business. Finding prospective clients, selling your services to them and discussing the financial aspects of the relationship may be a far cry from advising on their fitness, health and wellbeing but, like it or not, you will have to deal with these issues and do it well.
So, you have a prospective client, what should you do? First of all it is vital that you respond quickly, strike while the iron’s hot. Even if you have been contacted by email you should pick up the phone with a view to establishing whether this person is a good quality lead. Devise a list of questions that will help you to decide whether they are going to be a suitable client for you. For example, where is this person based geographically? What are their goals? Have they hired a personal trainer before? When are they available for training? If they pass all your qualifying questions then you must arrange a mutually convenient meeting as soon as possible.
Your performance at this meeting is the key to them deciding to hire you. It really is comes down to personalities. Your prospect has already made the first move towards hiring a personal trainer, now they want to appoint someone they really like and, believe it or not, it is less about what you say than how you say it.
There are lots of techniques you can employ to make people feel comfortable in your presence. You must listen really well, letting them tell you why they want to hire a personal trainer will reveal all the information you need. Asking questions shows that you are genuinely interested in their individual needs and will help them to reinforce their reasons for wanting to hire you. Asking the right questions will guide them to where you want them to be, that is, fully satisfied that you are the person who can help them to achieve their fitness goals.
One of the most powerful tools you can use to demonstrate your worth, is the use of client testimonials. These are written quotations from satisfied customers. The sooner you start collecting these the better as you will quickly create a valuable bank of case studies. Don’t be afraid to ask people to do this for you, if they have experienced success they will want to share it and will want you to help others. In some cases you may have to take a brief from the client and then put it into words yourself for them to approve.
Always try to think of a specific angle rather than just repeating the same thing. For example, perhaps you focused on a certain body issue with one client, or another was particularly pleased with the nutritional advice you gave, maybe another could talk about how you inspired them to succeed or maybe you went out of your way to develop a flexible approach to meet the needs of a particular client. Keep all your testimonials together in a file, they are a valuable commodity. Some clients may go a step further and be willing to give you a reference should a prospective client want to contact them by phone.
As with any business, when you are starting out you have to chase every opportunity that comes your way, building up vital experience and establishing your reputation. However, if all goes well, you’ll soon find that your time is at a premium. Then you must act quickly to prioritise your work and ensure that you don’t jeopodise the clients you value most highly…what a nice problem to have!