“Life is either a daring adventure or it is nothing”
– Helen Keller
Once upon a time…
…on a hot summers morning as I was preparing for my next client, I overheard this prospect talking with one of the sales consultants. I heard her blurt out a statement which stuck with me..
“I want to be trained by a trainer who’s been fat and has now lost the weight – and kept it off… otherwise I’m looking for another gym”
Connection: The human element that makes us…well… ‘human.’ The secret to Selling Personal Training.
Overcoming barriers and triumphing over all odds… the hero’s journey. We’ve all experienced shortcomings throughout our lives. Some we’ve conquered… and some we’re still battling.
As you reach new heights, new challengers arise. New battles to learn from. And the more successful you become in one area… More challengers you face in other areas.
It’s what keeps us alive. Active. What brings uncertainty into our lives which makes it exciting… worth living.
How many times you’re at a gathering and you come across some guy who starts talking about ‘how much of a hard life he had’ or ‘how all the stuff in his life isn’t going all that well…’
…and you’re thinking to yourself… “just shut up!”
By someone talking about their ‘hard’ life – they’re proud of it. Or… they’re using it to form a connection. Either way – they’re using it to their advantage.
Some people respond. Others are turned off.
Likes attract like.
You’re at a club. You see one of three things: All the dancers are in their groups dancing. Those afraid to dance are in their corner hiding behind their drinks – staring at everyone. Then you have those who only dance (wiggling their arms and legs around) when their blood alcohol level is set to ‘stupid.’
The people inside their groups are comfortable with each other. They fit in. They’re like-minded.
The lady wanting a trainer who’s been overweight in the past purely wants someone who has experienced the same hurt. Feelings. Set-backs. Understandings.
She just wanted someone to relate to. And no other trainer can be of any influence or persuade her to do the things necessary to reach her goals than a PT who’s been in her shoes…and have overcome her same battles.
And I bet there are MANY prospects who feel the same way. Some have the confidence to speak up… and others – well… just put up with it.
And it’s those clients ‘just putting up with it’ who hardly change or get the results they expected. They perhaps feel a sense of disconnection from a trainer who was ‘always skinny’ and therefore ‘just doesn’t understand me or what I’m going through’
And that can be especially hard to be a trainer of influence when you don’t have a track record (testimonials or reputation) to back yourself up.
The lesson: Find your shortcomings. What battles have you conquered in your past that your clients and prospects are currently experiencing and are in need of desperate help with? There’s ALWAYS something. It doesn’t have to be physical. It can be emotional too. Search and you’ll find it. And once you have them – write ‘em down… because that could be your biggest sales angle you could ever posses – and have more influence than all the ‘players’ of the industry.
Because the next time you’re interviewing your prospect or giving a consultation and you discover something about them in which you can relate – and watch your selling Personal Training power skyrocket.
And if you can demonstrate how you can get them to where they want to be because of your previous shortcomings – then you’ve definitely got the sale.
Skinny man who now has big muscles (muscle gain)
Overweight woman who’s now slim and gorgeous (weight loss)
Female trainer who’s had kids and is still in top shape and knows all about pre-natal and post-natal feelings, experiences and expectations (that’s a big one)
Trainer who’s overcome their own injuries (rehab)
You get the idea…
And if you can perhaps tie in an emotional experience (shortcoming) you’re prospects are also experiencing – then your selling Personal Training control is nowe even more influential.
For example… The skinny man had feelings of intimidation, depression, anxiety and worthlessness – and didn’t know what to do or where to begin.
And if you can perhaps relate to one of those feelings (shortcomings) which you’ve also had in the past – and have now conquered them – then you’re their trainer of choice.
The connection is too strong for your prospect to give you up.
“Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”
-Joshua J. Marine
When Selling Personal Training – Remember The Opposite Is Also True…
But don’t get sucked into the swirling portal of negativity. Remember: Likes attract like. Meaning those who are depressed hang around with equally miserable depressants.
Positive and optimistic people search for confident and cheerful folks.
As a Personal Trainer – know this and beware. If prospects sense that you’ve experienced their sorrows and set-backs, they might get a little too comfortable with you.
It’s your job to keep spinning them – showing the positive side and not allowing them to keep talking and burying themselves (and you) in it.
As a trainer, you get that a lot. Finally your client has someone to talk to – and they pour their garbage onto you.
The other lesson: You are not an emotional dumpster.
No one has the right to do that to you.
And if you allow them to do so – they’ll sense the lack of confidence in your leadership and dump you anyway. There’s absolutely no positive outcome from it.
Your duty is to spin their negativity and whirl it towards their cheerful side. Their goals. The task at hand. How they can better themselves.
Just like how people look for others to connect with to feel comfortable. You should do the same with your clients (and those around you). No amount of money is worth attracting those making your life miserable. Their negativity can last forever. And sometimes can ruin your day, your week and sometimes your career (not to mention your selling Personal Training influence).
Turn your radar on. Surround yourself with cheerful and optimistic clients. Fire the ones giving you grief. Remember… You are one person. Protect yourself. The more people trying to suck out the happiness from you – the less you have for yourself.
The bottom line: selling Personal Training has got nothing to do with your knowledge or skill. What counts is your ability to transfer that knowledge so people can create changes in their lives. And the best way for that to happen is through your influence. And that’s based on how well you connect with your clients. If your shortcomings serve a purpose (the positive lessons you’ve gained from overcoming your obstacles) then – reveal them. Create the trust your clients are looking for.
That’s the secret to creating a herd of clients who’ll stay with you longer. Who love being around you. And it makes the selling process much more easier.
Dedicated To Accelerating Your Personal Training Career Every Step Of The Way
P.S. Revealing your past errors and how you’ve overcome them brings out your ‘human’ element. And people would rather deal with ‘humans’ than the opposite…
P.P.S. Your comments are always welcome 🙂