Understanding what potential clients want to see and hear during the consultation period will greatly increase the conversion of them to paying clients.
A common mistake a lot of trainers make when conducting a consultation (free session), is they want to impress on the potential client, that they have the necessary skills and abilities to help them achieve their goal.
This mainly transpires into a physically training session. As this is the environment that the majority of trainers are happy in. You think, that if I really work the person hard, they will then want to pay me their hard earned money.
In reality most people get put off by this approach, resulting in only on average 5% of gym members (therefore 1% of the general public), hiring and paying for the services of a personal trainer.
You have more chance of someone paying for your skills and expertise, when you first take the time to understand what the person wants, and not you pushing onto them what you think they need.
After you build a trusting relationship through training them, then you can start applying what you think and know they need.
At the start get them to believe that you can help them with what they want, and you are the best placed person to do that.
The following are the 10 things that potential clients want from you:
1.Bring New A Perspective And Idea To Their Problem
For most potential clients, they would have already tried things themselves, to achieve what they want, and have failed many times over.
If you just recommend what they have tried before, then you are not the solution, and therefore of no value.
By understanding what they have tired before and failed at, you can bring a new fresh approach, and ideas, that is in-tune with their ability to apply it.
2.Be Willing To Collaborate
You don’t want a potential client to start thinking that by hiring you as their trainer, that you will gain more from this relationship then their will (you get their money, they don’t get results).
Remember, when people pay for your services up front, they are doing so in the faith you will deliver what you say you can. If at the start, they believe you will win more than they will, then they won’t buy from you.
You will need to learn to be part of a team, understanding that they have as much to give to this relationship as you do. When a team works well together, then success has a great chance of happening.
3.Have Confidence In Your Ability To Achieve Results
Belief is everything. For both the trainer and client. If you don’t believe you can help the person achieve results, and all you want is their money, and you will worry about getting results later, they will sense this, and not buy from you.
We can all spot someone who is trying to pull the wool over our eyes. Someone who is trying to say anything and do anything to get you to part with your money.
If you really don’t believe you can help the person, then say so. They will finally find out in the end, and tell everyone about their experience. Not a great long-term marketing strategy.
4.Listen, Really Listen
Have you ever felt that the person you are talking to isn’t really listening. It is because they are not.
If as a trainer you enter a conversation with someone with an agenda (I need you to pay me money), then you will never truly listen to what they are saying, because you want to get to the part when you tell them how great you are, and why they should pay you money.
When I first start talking to a potential client, I have no idea of what I am going to say beyond “Hi, how are you”. This is because I haven’t yet found out what the person wants. By listening to them, my questions are formed.
This approach relates powerfully to the person, that you are truly listening to them. They truly belief that this relationship is about them, and not you.
5.Understand All The Customer Needs
We can easily end up impressing on to someone why they need us as their trainer, and lose sight of what they need.
You need to build a connection with the potential client, that you fully understand their needs, so they can then fully understand that buying from you will satisfy their needs
Everyone likes to think that their needs are understand, and are going to be met.
6.Help Them Avoid Potential Pitfalls
A potential client wants to know the risks involved buying from you. The won’t tell you this, but they will think it.What if you don’t end up helping them achieve their goals? What if they end up with the wrong result? In their eyes either way you win, as you have already got their money.
This is the point when you don’t start offering miracles. Explain to them, that when it comes to achieving health and fitness goals, there are no guarantees. All you can do as a trainer is guide and support them through the challenges they will face, tell them that they have a greater chance of achieving what they want with you as their trainer, then not.
7.Craft A Compelling Solution
When it comes to improving ones health and fitness, the majority of people think they can do it themselves.
So, if they think they can do it themselves, why do they need to pay you money?
This is when you need to explain to them why you are the solution to them not achieving so far what they want. If they think all you are going to do is teach and then watch them exercise, they can do that cheaper somewhere else. If they think all you will do is motivate them to exercise and eat well, they will think, I need to learn that myself.
You need to explain to them that solution lays with you coaching them to change habits and behaviours, and increase their compliance to doing what they need to do. Without you, they are going to keep doing the same things, and getting the same results.
8.Communicate Clearly What It Is Going To Cost
People, after it’s all said and done, want to know how much it’s going to cost. So tell them.
At the point of sale, a lot of personal trainers freeze, and start becoming tongue tied. This can be mainly down to a lack of belief that they are not worth what they charge.
If you have communicated effectively before you get to this point, and have built strong rapport, and the start of a trusting relationship, then you won’t need to justify or feel awkward about what you charge.
Tell the potential client, without hesitation, or doubt, what they will have to invest in themselves to achieve what they want.
As a great sales guru once said “All things being equal, most people would rather buy from somebody they like…. and that’s true even when things aren’t equal”
We are more likely to buy from someone we trust then someone we don’t. Our profession is called “personal training”, but I think a lot of trainers forget the personal bit, because their focus is on the sale, and the bills that the sale will pay for.
If your plan is to keep a client long-term (otherwise you have to keep finding new clients every few weeks), then building a trusting personal relationship is paramount.
Over 80% of my current client base have been clients for over 2 years. This has been achieved through developing strong professional personal relationship with each client.
10.Provide Value That’s Superior To Other Options
One of the biggest reasons personal trainers give me for people not buying from them, is cost. People can’t afford it.
So lets look at two comparisons, when is comes to cost:
Option 1: 2-week all inclusive holiday in Barbados, in a 6 Star hotel, with 1st class flights, and all for £400. Now who wouldn’t find the money for that?
Option 2: 10 weeks of support, advice and help to achieve your health & fitness goal, which means by achieving it, you look better, you will have more energy, you will feel better about yourself, feel that you can achieve anything when you put your mind to it, feel more confident in all aspects of your life, become a role model to the people around you, change habits and behaviours that have been negative to your health, to ones that are positive for the weeks, months and years ahead, get 10 hours of one to one tuition on exercise, nutrition, stress management and lifestyle coaching, and you get all of the above for £400.
(by the way, if as a trainer you are not offering everything in option 2, ask yourself why aren’t you)
Which of the two options do you think people will say yes to more than no?
If you said option 1, you would be right. Who would turn that opportunity down. It’s just to good an offer to turn down. The thing is, people can always afford what they think is of value to them.
If they feel what you are offering is not of great enough value to them, then what they will say is “I just can’t afford that right now”, but what they are thinking is “I don’t think what you are offering is worth the money”
As a trainer it is your worth to the potential client that matters, not the cost.