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Personal Training Consultation: Guide, Examples & Scripts (2019)

Personal Training Consultation Banner Image

Many Personal Trainers think they know what is a personal training consultation, but the reality can be very different!

It is not your first session with a client to create their goals…..

Personal Training consultations are more like glorified sales pitches used to get sales. They are your opportunity to demonstrate how you can help a client achieve their goals, build rapport and convert them into a new paying customer. 

But, is there a skill to a personal training consultation? 

Abser fricking lutely! 

All forms of sales requires skill and the best part is that it can learnt!

In this guide you exactly what to do during a personal training consultation from start to finish: 

  • Getting Personal Training Consultations
  • How to plan for a Personal Training Consultation
  • How to build rapport with Personal Training clients
  • Get our Free Personal Training Consultation Template
  • How to use open questions to get conversions
  • How to price present
  • How to prevent and overcome objections

Before we begin, you might want to check out our “How to sell as a personal trainer” article which explains the every aspect of sales for a personal trainer.

Let’s jump in….

GETTING PERSONAL TRAINER CONSULTATIONS ON MASS

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Depending on if you work in a gym or freelance as a personal trainer will determine how you get people booked into a personal training consultation. 

Personal Training consultations are easy and reciprocal methods used by trainers to get prospective clients face to face to try and sell to them. They are a softer approach than directly asking someone “do you want personal training”. It gives the client something for free in exchange for their contact details, this is what is called reciprocal marketing. 

See below how MBPT Fitness uses it to capture people’s data on their website:

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PRO TIP: Websites pages should be treated individually, place a free consultation request form like this one on every page to increase enquiries. 

If you’re a personal trainer that works out of a gym, you want to place drop boxes on every surface around the gym advertising your free personal trainer consultation. Systematically you can go around and pick up the free leads and enquiries each day and get a stream of new personal training consultations in your diary every day.

 

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USE THE TANNOY TO ADVERTISE YOUR PERSONAL TRAINING CONSULTATION

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I bet you have never heard a personal trainer use the public address system (tannoy) in your gym?....You should be all over it! 

I can reach 500 members in the space of 5 seconds…. That sounds good to me! 

Advertise your personal training consultation over the tannoy and use urgency! Something to the effect of: 

“Come down to reception now to book your free Personal Training consultation, only available in the next hour”.

 

GET OTHER STAFF MEMBERS TO BOOK YOUR FITNESS CONSULTATIONS 

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Incentivise other staff members to do the hard work for you!When members enter the gym or sign up to it, who do they speak with? 

Sales or reception, right? 

These team members are key holders to your success!

Give them a financial reward for every PT consultation they book in that converts into a new sale. Not just will this help with the volume of fitness consultations you will book, but also the quality! New members are your target market and the ones you want to be getting in front of.  Additionally, for the odd member that pre-empts that they want personal training they are getting endorsed to book in with you by another team member potentially over another 9 trainers that work there. 

Picture this….

MEMBER: “I am actually interested in Personal Training, who should I book in”

Because you have incentivised the receptionist….

RECPTIONIST: “I would go with Jamie, they are really friendly an helpful” 

MEMBER: “Thanks for the advice, I will bear that in mind”

USE YOUR INDUCTIONS TO BOOK PERSONAL TRAINER CONSULTATIONS

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The volume of trainers that do not harness gym inductions properly is alarming! These are treated like a chore, they should be treated like a gift…..If done right! 

Firstly, you should be booking gym inductions in group format! You want to maximise your time

If you have the option to, create group induction times on the calendar diary, ask your general manager if you need to!

When you deliver a gym induction you should be building rapport and establish who may be interested in Personal Training

If you have a group of eight people, once you have qualified them, ask them if they would also like a free personal training consultation and book them in.

PLANNING YOUR PERSONAL TRAINING CONSULTATION

Every step of the client personal trainer consultation journey needs to be planned and follow a step by step process:

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Each step within this process directly impacts the next and needs to be treated independent to one another and practiced.

Practice makes perfect after all!

BREAKING THE ICE DURING A PERSONAL TRAINING CONSULATION

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When performing a personal training consultation ensure you have selected the right envirnment where it is private and has no distractions. Perfectly fine places for your fitness consulation are:

  • Quite part of Gym Café / Bar
  • Assessment room
  • Lounge area
  • In a gym office setting

Do not do a PT consultation on the gym floor!

Now we have got that out of the way, onto rapport….. 

Rapport is the “key” to getting PT clients to convert!

Gym Members will only buy off personal trainers they like – END OF 

But how can we make a gym member automatically like us?

FOCUS ON NEUTRAL RAPPORT TOPICS FIRST:

Neutral topics are things like: 

  1. The weather
  2. Day of the week
  3. Time of the Year
  4. What they got up to on the weekend
  5. What are they getting up to this weekend
  6. Location (Where the gym is based)
  7. The traffic
  8. The Gym
  9. Work
  10. Holidays

PRO TIP: Do not talk about topics that can be perceived to being controversial such as religion or politics.

 

USE ONLY OPEN QUESTIONS DURING A GYM CONSULTATION

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During your gym consultation use open questions as much as possible to build rapport as fast as possible. Open questions begin with: 

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Open questions prevent “Yes” or ”No” answers and allow the prospective client to open up and really get a conversation going.

Example Personal Training Consultation Questions for Building Rapport:

  1. What do you make of this weather we’re having right now? (Sun / Rain / Snow)
  2. What plans have you got for Easter / Christmas / New year / Summer
  3. What have you been up to this week?
  4. What did you with your weekend?
  5. What do you make of the new gym equipment upstairs?
  6. What holidays do you have planned this year?
  7. Where do you live in relation to the gym?
  8. What do you make of those roadworks at the moment?
  9. How long does it take you to get to the gym?

These are all personal trainer consultation questions that are open ended and neutral that you can spin anyway you like.

For example:

What holidays do you have planned this year?

Maybe it’s the end of holiday season, this can be reversed to: 

“What holidays have you been on this year” 

Pro Tip: When performing a Personal Trainer Consultation try to copy the clients body language, this includes tone of speech, speed and how they sit.

 

NEEDS ANALYSIS: PREVETNING OBJECTIONS BEFORE THEY ARISE

When thinking how to do a personal training consultation, you have to realise what the end objective is, for them to become a new paying client, right? 

Therefore we need to try and prevent objections before they arise….. 

This is again achieved through open questions, but we are going to do it by creating a timeline for the client. We want to know where they once were in the past with their health and fitness, where they are now and where they want to be:

Personal Trainer Consultation Image

With timeline selling we always start at the present, move to the past and then forward to where they want to be!

This is because there are two things that make us purchase: 

  1. Pain – The pain we feel when there is something we should do
  2. Pleasure - How good we will feel when we take a positive action

We want to make them go from pain to pleasure. We want to find out a time in their past when they looked and felt great, where they are right now and how they would feel once they hit their goals. This is visual selling and is a very powerful tool. 

An example of visual selling is when you buy clothes: You imagine or “visualise” what it is like to be wearing that item of clothing, how it is going to make you feel. This works the same when selling Personal training. We are trying to make the client visualise how they felt in the past when they felt great, then how they’re going to feel when they hit their new target. 

Past = When did they feel great

Present = Where are they now

Future = Where do they want to be 

Use these go to personal training consultation questions for each time phrase:

Personal training consultation graphic

 

PRO TIP: When asking how they did they feel, ask them to rate it out of 10.

EXAMPLE:

PAST: How did you feel when you were training 5 times per week and getting your results? - 9 

PRESENT: How do you feel by comparison right now that getting the same results? - 5

FUTURE: How would you feel if you could lose that 2 stone and feel great for your holiday? - 10 

You should take your time with these personal trainer consultation questions and expand on answers given.

PREVENTING OBJECTIONS BEFORE THEY COME UP

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Most objections during a personal trainer consultation can be avoided and we do this by summarising.

If you have asked all the questions properly during the needs analysis, the hard work is done for you.

The most common objections are:

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These can all be overcome by asking the right questions during the needs analysis....

  

Family Objection – How supportive are your friends and family to hitting your goals?

Gym Member: Yes, they are really supportive, my mum even bought me some new trainers to workout in.

Time Objection – How many times per week are you thinking about training? 

Gym Member: Four times per week

 

Think About it Objection - How long have you thought about having a personal trainer? 

Gym Member: Been thinking for a while as I have been struggling to get motivated and find a routine 

Price we will come back to in a moment as there is a technique to overcome that at the price presenting stage. 

All we do when we summarise is tell the client back what they have told us and get them to agree! This is called collecting yes’.

 

Fitness Consultation Example Summary:

You: “Thanks for answering all those questions Tina, just so I am perfectly clear on your ambitions and that I have everything correct, I’m just going to quickly summarise so that I know I have fully understood what you want. Is that Ok with you?” 

Gym Member: Yes, of course 

You: Great! 

YOU: So, you want to lose two stone by July 17th as that’s when you go on holiday. Is that correct?

Gym Member: Yes!

YOU: You used to feel great about 4 years ago, a nine out of ten you said, is that right?

Gym Member: Yes

YOU: You feel about. Five out of ten right now, is that right and if you were to hit that 2 stone weight loss you would feel amazing, ten out of 10, is that about right?

Gym Member: Yes that's right. 

YOU: Great…..Your friends and family are really supportive for you achieving your goals and you can do Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings and Saturday mornings, is that right?

Gym Member: Yes those times work well for me at the moment and yes my family are really supportive

YOU: Fantastic, and you said you have been thinking about this for a while and now is the right time for you to get to where you really want to be, is that fair to say?

Gym Member: Yes that is fair to say

YOU: Brilliant, what I will do now is show you some options and then you can choose which option is best for you.

 

CLOSING THE PERSONAL TRAINING CONSULTATION SALE

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When price presenting, you should always harness the alternate close technique. The alternate close technique is where you present just a couple of options and then ask “which one would suit you best” or which one do you like the sound of”.

This makes the individual pick one as opposed to saying “yes” or “no”.

For more on how to personal trainer price present, click the link. 

When we have price presented, we utilise the silent assassin technique, which is where we simply say nothing until the client gives you answer. As soon as they indicate or lean towards one way over another, that is where you pounce and go for the assumptive close…. 

Gym Member: Urmmm, I kind of like the two sessions per week option. 

You: Fantastic, that’s what I feel is a great choice for you. 

(They haven’t really picked one) 

You: What we do now is get you booked in for your first sessions. 

Really difficult at this stage for the gym member to retract or say no, this is what makes it such a powerful technique. 

 

GET REFERRALS FROM YOUR PT CONSULTATIONS

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Once you have got the sale, we want to capture some friends who also might want a fitness consultation or personal training.

Here is a tried and tested method of getting referrals as a personal trainer: 

You: Great, we have you all booked in for you first session. What I like to do to make you feel at ease is to allow you to bring a friend to one of the sessions that you feel may benefit from it, completely free of charge if that is something you would like?

Gym Member: Yes, that would be great!

You: Awesome, if you can give me their full name and email address and I will get them booked in for you!

It’s that easy! It costs you no extra time, effort or money!

 

HOW TO FOLLOW UP WITH THE PERSONAL TRAINING CONSULTATIONS YOU DIDN'T CLOSE

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You will not close every sale! This article is geared to help you increase your percentage closing rates from personal training consultations from where they are right now to where they could be.

But what about the ones that escape through the net? 

We need to follow-up with them! 

To do this, we must ensure that we have their data. If you don’t already, this is the prime time to ask for their phone number and email, otherwise how are you going to follow up on your fitness consultation?

You should have customer relationship manager software (CRM) to store their data in that allows you to do email follow ups and schedule your marketing tasks.

Free CRM Software such as Awebber, Get Response or Mail Chimp works just great! 

Once we get the clients details, we use the same alternate closing technique to isolate the best time for us, not the client to follow up, here is how:

Personal Training consultation example Follow-up:

You: Many thanks for your time today Tina, it has been much appreciated. I will follow up with you in a couple of days to see how it sits with you.

What day is best for me to do that, Monday or Tuesday? 

Gym Member: Tuesday is good with me

You: Great, would you prefer morning or afternoon?

Gym Member: Afternoon is good, I’m not at work

You: Awesome, what is best 1pm or 3:30pm? 

Gym Member: 3:30pm works for me 

You: perfect, I will give you a call then, thanks for your time today

Alternate closing on arranging follow ups allows you to schedule sales calls into your diary, not the other way around! This allows you to schedule calls within close time frames to when your conducted the personal training consultation so they don’t go cold as a lead. 

If you simply said “when is good for you”, you will get replies like “end of next week” or worse “I’ll get in touch you” - Just for the record, they never do! 

Conclusion 

That is how a personal training consultation should be done and how you can maximise your revenue as a personal trainer. It takes practice, patience and skill, so do persevere. 

Good personal trainers edxpand their education so do ensure to check out our Level 4 personal trainer courses.

 

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Written by Luke Hughes

CEO

Luke is the CEO for OriGym, with a masters degree and 1st class honours degree in sport and exercise science and is a qualified personal trainer. Luke loves playing football and running, but his main passion is for cycling, where he can often be found cycling round the Lake District on a Sunday afternoon!