There are two days early in my career that I will never forget. The first was the day I found out that I wasn’t really selling personal training. The second was the day someone showed me how to.
That first day, I was working as a personal trainer in a big box gym. In the middle of my lunchtime in the office, a man walked in and asked me about training packages. I was scared and I was excited and I almost passed out when I told him about the top-tier package, which was about $5000, and he asked where to sign.
I can’t tell you how freaked out I was that I had actually sold the guy the most expensive package. I was on top of the world because I thought I was a bad ass since I just “closed” a massive personal training program.
I was wrong… I sold nothing…
I can’t tell you how despondent I was when he came back a short time later and pointed out that I hadn’t actually sold him the package; he had walked in intending to buy.
In fact the words he used where: “kid you’re an order taker, all you did right there was take my order, you are not a closer”.
I felt deflated and defeated until the man stuck a cassette tape in my hand and basically told me that I had the passion and drive I needed; I just needed to learn the art of selling personal training.
That man, was Jim Franco – a personal training client and one of my greatest mentors in business.
That tape he handed me was of Tom Hopkins teaching closing techniques. At that time, he was one of the few people teaching the staffs of big corporations how to close deals. What he had to say on that tape began a process during which I went from him to Tony Robbins to Dan Kennedy and onward, learning something new about selling and closing from every one of them. It changed my life.
Of all of the people who come to my workshops, summits, and seminars, who sign up for my newsletters or sign up for coaching, so few really understand the difference between marketing and selling.
They’re not getting the sales they need and they think they have a marketing problem, when in reality you have a SELLING problem. Their conversion rates are way too low. So they spend dollar after dollar on newer and better marketing strategies, trying to get a huge enough number of leads that their poor conversion rates will still pay the bills.
That’s a stupid way to run your fitness business. Trust me, I know, that’s how I ran mine until Jim Franco came into my life.
If you see yourself in that scenario, I want to ask you two questions.
Are you getting plenty of leads, but just not turning those leads into clients?
If so, then you don’t have a marketing problem; you have a selling problem. Which brings me to the second question: will you know how to sell personal training in 2015 or will you suffer and squander as other trainers take your clients?
2014 is almost over. There is less than six weeks until 2015 will be here.
Are you going to start the next year just like you started this one, over-marketing and underselling?
Listen, obviously I’m all about marketing. One of my biggest income streams comes from teaching personal trainers how to market their businesses. But I have never been willing to make money with one foot on someone’s back. In other words, if you’re getting plenty of leads with the marketing strategies you’re already using, then I don’t want you spending money trying to find more of the best personal training marketing strategies.
What I want is for you to be able to turn all of those leads into income.
You have six weeks before 2015 starts. The next year of your fitness business. Wouldn’t it be great if next year was your best year yet?
To do that, you need to stop looking for new marketing and learn how to maximize the marketing you’re already doing. You need to learn how to sell personal training programs to the prospects that walk through your door.
Selling is all about you becoming the assistant buyer NOT A SALES PERSON.
Then it’s just a matter of understanding and using these five steps of influence and persuasion.
1) build rapport and make sure that the prospect knows, likes, and trusts you.
2) Sell them what they WANT and the BENEFITS of your program, not what they need or the features that they can care less about.
3) Overcome the big three objection (Time, Money, Spouse) before asking for the sale.
4) Understand that for most people it’s not a matter of not having the money to afford you, it’s about their desire to spend the money on your services or not.
5) Ask for the sale and give them an A or B option rather than a Yes or No option. Just that alone will increase your closing percentage.
And learn, understand and become a student of selling. All of the guys I just mentioned on this post could help you and you can find their info products all day long. They’re all good.
I’ve also taken everything I learned from those guys and guys like Zig Ziegler and so many more and compiled everything into programs that fitness pros like you have been using for several years now to earn a six figure income with their fitness businesses.
Programs like Close Clients, which will help you to learn how to close 9 out of 10 of the people that walk through your door. This is the best one for people who are comfortable with the pitch, with talking to clients and with talking up their programs, but they just can’t close the deal.
Programs like The Art of Selling Fitness, which is as close to a turnkey sales and marketing program as you can get. It’s a great one for beginners who really don’t know what to say, how to say it or how to even get to the close.
It doesn’t matter that you’re no good at sales. Neither was I. What matters is that you’re willing to learn how to sell personal training. The great thing is, passion and drive and commitment and belief in your training cannot be taught, but selling can.
If you’re not closing at least 80% of your prospects, stop spending money on marketing, at least for now. Invest just a little bit of money and some committed time into learning how to turn prospects into contracts.
Believe me, 2015 will be a lot more profitable and a lot less stressful if you do.
Committed to Your Success,