Grow Your Business: Overcome Objections to Personal Training
If you’re like most personal trainers you got into this business because you have a passion for fitness, wellness, and working with people to help them hit their goals.
You didn’t get into this business to be a salesperson. But to be a successful personal trainer, to reach more people and actually make a living doing this, you have to sell.
Most people aren’t good at selling right away. It’s a learned skill. With practice you will get better at it and your business will grow. Get someone to help you and run through the sales process, pitches, and scenarios. Write an actual sales script for each practice session and get comfortable running through it.
One thing you need to learn to do is recognize the main objections people have, the excuses and reasons for not signing up for personal training. Only then can you figure out how to blast through those sales objections and earn more paying clients. Here we’ll give you some of those top objections and insights into how to overcome them.
Objection #1 – I Don’t Have Enough Time
This is a big one. Expect to hear it a lot as you get into selling sessions. Time is an issue for just about everyone, but you can find a way around it. Asking a lot of questions is especially important with this objection because it will help you find the time in a potential client’s schedule.
Sit down together and pin down exactly how much time per week your prospective clients can commit to training of any kind. Don’t push your services at this point; just focus on the practicalities. Once you’ve determined the time they have, show them what you can offer. Outline the specifics of what you can do together with that time in terms of working out and hitting their goals, even if it’s only one hour per week.
You may even want to consider offering a guarantee here to close the sale. A person is more likely to feel comfortable making the time commitment they know they can look forward to a concrete, guaranteed result. Just make sure it’s a reasonable one or that it’s time-based, such as guaranteeing they can cancel in the first three weeks and get their money back.
Objection #2 – I Don’t Have Enough Money
This may be the second most common objection you’ll hear when you get a no on training sessions. It’s not necessarily true; what someone may really mean when they say this is that they don’t see the value in the service. Some think they can do just as well with only a gym membership and without forking over more money for personal training.
When answering objections over money, and in any sales pitch really, be specific both about what you’re offering and what it will cost. Be prepared with specific prices for your sessions as well as different levels of training packages with one or two lower-cost options.
Also be ready to outline your value and tell potential clients why you’re worth the price. Ask yourself these questions before trying to sell anyone:
- What is my experience helping other clients achieve goals?
- What are my credentials and education?
- What do I offer that other trainers don’t?
- What guarantees can I afford to offer clients?
- Do I have examples of satisfied previous clients, with testimonials?
Outline what working with a trainer can provide over simply working out at the gym, like accountability, motivation, progress monitoring, and a better chance of hitting goals more quickly.
Objection #3 – I Need to Talk to … First
Many people will say they need to talk to their wife, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, or partner before signing up for training. If they truly do need to run it by a partner first, there is only so much you can do to get a new client right then and there. Push the limits a little, but respectfully. Here are some questions you can ask:
- What do you think he/she will say about signing up for sessions?
- Does your spouse/partner support your wellness and fitness goals?
- What if I offer a money-back guarantee for the first two weeks?
- Can we meet with him/her to discuss your options?
- Would it help if I met with your spouse/partner to go over what I can offer and what the costs will be?
Most people will think it’s a pretty good idea to have their partner in on the meetings, but you’ll need to push for a specific time. Set an appointment for as soon as possible. It may even help to offer a free session to both at the same time.
Objection #4 – I Want to Check Out Other Gyms/Trainers First
People who say they want to shop around are either unlikely to ever commit or are ready but just want to be sure they are getting the best value. You can work with the latter. A lot of what you need to do here goes back to the money objection: be specific about costs and what you offer.
Emphasize what it is you offer that makes you different and better from other fitness professionals. Maybe you offer nutrition counseling as part of the paid sessions. Or you have an elite or master certification or specialize in training for athletic performance.
This is also a good time to bring out your client testimonials. Have before and after pictures of clients of yours who have met their goals working with you as well as written or recorded testimonials describing how satisfied these previous clients were with their sessions.
Objection #5 – I’m Not Ready to Commit
Change is hard. Someone who isn’t ready to commit is afraid to make a lifestyle change. This is where you get into the psychology of motivation and change. By talking to you about seriously getting started, this individual is well into the process of change and just needs a little more push to take the plunge.
Tap into emotions with these prospects. A little bit of fear can be a good thing. Remind a prospective client who is hesitant what the consequences of not changing will be: staying the same, remaining unfit, not improving, or not losing weight.
If potential clients come to you because they are unhappy about their health, fitness, or size, and you just need to remind them that without a commitment they’ll remain unhappy. Be gentle and respectful here, but also firm. You’re being truthful.
Overcoming Objections to Personal Training is Your Business
Too many personal trainers make the mistake of thinking that their only role is to create fitness plans and complete training programs with clients. The truth is that selling is a big part of your business. As a trainer you are also a business owner.
Become a successful trainer by embracing the idea that you are also a business professional. Only when you do this will you get the clients and hit your goals.
Start identifying the objections you hear most often and use these tips to plan your own strategies for breaking through them. Don’t be afraid to be a salesperson; it’s part of who you are now, and that means you can’t be afraid to be pushy. Yes, you may put a few people off, but overall you will win more than you’ll lose.
To learn more about becoming a better trainer, including learning more business skills, check out the ISSA’s Elite and Master Trainer Certificate Programs.
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