Will You Rise To The Top, or Fall Between the Cracks?
If you earn your living by helping others improve their health and fitness, you’ll find this to be some of the most valuable reading you’ll do this year. Personal Trainer, Fitness Entrepreneur, or Health Club Owner, you’ll find something here that helps you attract more money than you’re generating now… and it’s not only about money. It’s about finding reward in bettering the lives of others.
I’ve broken this into sections. If you’re not up for committing to an hour’s worth of reading right now, I’ll suggest you take it a section at a time. It’s not as important to finish reading the material in one sitting as it is to allow the information to have impact. It’s that impact that can take your career, your income, and your enjoyment of life to the next level. With that said . . . here we go . . .
The Future Has Arrived!
I remember being a kid reading George Orwell, and 1984 was such a futuristic concept. Then, Prince told us we were gonna party like it’s 1999 . . . which was reeeeallllly futuristic. I even remember the old movie, 2001, A Space Odyssey, which led me to believe that “the future” was very far away. Now, the “far and distant future” is here (or already past!) . . . and although we all have cell phones, Palm Pilots, and access to the internet from anywhere on the planet, the future isn’t what I thought it would be. I thought by now we’d be living like the Jetsons, flying around in little pods, taking vacations on Mars, commanding our robot maids, and ordering complete meals by pushing buttons in our kitchens.
While I don’t yet have a robot maid, and my car still needs contact with the ground in order to get me anywhere, there is one thing that has evolved pretty dramatically. Health clubs no longer just have televisions, they have Cardio Theaters! Many clubs have direct links to the web as you pedal, climb, and glide. You can now sweat on some very high tech equipment while flipping between 167 channels . . . and you’ll still find “there’s nothing on.” As much as we’d like to believe our industry has taken the lead in innovation and development, I think a futuristic dose of reality is important. If you are a fitness professional . . . if you earn your living by providing fitness services directly to others . . . you have a rare opportunity to succeed . . . and there’s no better time than right now, but don’t believe it has anything to do with technological advances.
While hordes of people flock to offerings for 2-day juice diets, fat burners, fat melters, muscle builders, and supersonic metabolic energizers . . . it’s time for you to step away from the clamor of scientific wheels and get some clarity. It’s that clarity that will instantly pave the way to your Greatest Success!
Here’s a secret. What worked in 1941 to rid fat from the body of a human being works today! While aerobic exercise machines have evolved, human beings are pretty much the same, genetically, as they were 60 years ago. Why is that a secret? I’ll tell you why. Because billions (that’s a lot more than millions) of dollars are being generated each year by slick and sophisticated product marketers capitalizing on the nonsensical claim that science has brought us yet another futuristic miracle. We are besieged with new discoveries that come complete with great promises, yet most fall flat when put to the test. For example, “miracle” cellulite massagers claim to ultrasonically break apart fatty pockets and deliver great looking thighs. Scientific nutritional discoveries claim to turn unwanted fat into sleek sexy muscle. And as a glowing example of how a product can corner a segment of the marketplace without any hope of satisfying people, there’s the electrical stimulation unit that found success selling “great abs in minutes” in the airline magazines. Great if your goal is to shoot lightning from your fingertips, but pretty darn close to worthless if you have physique development in mind.
I’ve spent much of the last decade traveling the continent, exposing fitness fraud, and sharing the fitness truth, and I can honestly say, there has been no greater reward! Empowering people to finally get the fitness results they seek, to finally enjoy their reflections, empowering them to finally have confidence shedding some clothing (when appropriate of course) is an extremely gratifying endeavor. It isn’t easy. If you know me, you know I’ve been through my battles. It’s not hard to figure out why the $50 billion a year diet industry doesn’t want a guy out there sharing the realities of diets with the general public. It’s tough to swallow, yet easy to understand the reasoning behind the move, when magazine publishers edit out any truths that might jeopardize sales of their advertisers’ products. Still, despite the resistance, I’ve found the emotional payoff extremely gratifying.
Quick Easy Magic vs. The Fitness Trainer – Who Wins?
While we, the dedicated fitness professionals commit to delivering a valuable message of truth, the marketing for products often blows the aspiring trainer out of the ballpark! The ads are so over the top, I believe it borders on criminal. You can’t flip the channels on a weekend morning without hearing the pitches come flying out of your television.
“You don’t need exercise! Now there’s Exercise in a Bottle! And here’s more . . Eat all the fat you want and lose weight. Just take Fat Trapper and all the fat magically gets sucked out of you.”
Of course if you peruse bodybuilding mags, you’re more advanced. You know Exercise in a Bottle doesn’t work. You’ve learned words such as “thermogenic” and “cross flow ion exchange microfiltration processed whey protein.” Big words. Big sellers. Maybe you’ve even learned about the newest methoxyflavones and their anticatabolic properties. The challenge for us, as Fitness Professionals, lies in the fact that if our market believes there’s magic in the protein powder, or a new body waiting inside the new thermogenic formula, the actual fitness results our potential clients seek will rarely manifest. That’s the reality, but marketing has skewed public perception, and if people believe the choice is between buying a miracle pill, drinking a magic muscle builder . . . or sweating and working out on a regular basis with a Personal Trainer, the trainer obviously appears to be the least attractive option. It’s time to take a stand. To unite.
First, a short story…
Meet A Real Live Victim of Misinformation.
Lena is nuts. Really nuts. She’s, in clinical terms (my wife is a psychologist, so I know some clinical terms) . . . a wackadoo! Off the wall. Certifiable. I met her in L.A. She heard me on the radio, visited my website daily, and when she heard I was going to be in Los Angeles, she made it a point to meet me. We met on Saturday morning. At first I thought she was sane. She appeared relatively normal. It’s when she started telling me of her exercise and diet history that I realized there were more than a few screws loose. I believe those screws were probably secure at one time, but the misinformation that infiltrated poor Lena’s brain drove her to the brink of sanity and beyond. I’ll relay some of her story, and I promise, this is a much edited version.
Lena was on Phen-fen. She first heard about it at her gym. Several women were taking this new drug and losing weight like crazy. Lena went to the doctor who was dispensing prescriptions to her friends and began a drug regimen. She lost 46 pounds. When Phen-Fen was pulled from the market, she quickly started regaining the weight, so . . . she traveled to Mexico to buy some drug that she can’t pronounce that was supposed to “do what Phen-Fen did.” She wound up addicted to amphetamines. She found that GHB, which a friend of hers told her about, was “the only thing” that could help her sleep during her amphetamine journey, so she ordered 3 cases of it from some underground lab on the internet. Her weight loss leveled off after a few months on the drugs, so she decided to take up spinning. She’d crank up, she’d spin, and she’d take GHB to sleep. She wound up in the hospital with a number of intestinal issues and kept pulling out the intravenous needle for fear that it would put the weight back on her. From the hospital she went directly into an inpatient rehab program where she overcame her addiction. When she returned home, she had gained back every pound and then some. She immediately signed up for liposuction but for some reason that she wouldn’t reveal, the doctor refused. He told her she was not a good candidate for it. She abandoned the idea of eating, and popped Metabolife pills and Xenadrine to “keep her going.” The familiar “need” for speed returned. Still, the scale was not her friend. She fast developed a tolerance for the “thermogenics” and decided she needed more. She returned to spinning and found that although she lost a few pounds again, she seemed to be getting flabbier. A Prozac prescription was the next stop. Then Meridia. After allowing these drugs to radically alter her serotonin production, she found herself in such a deep depression she considered suicide. Then, she heard me on the radio and found hope. I told her and everyone else who was listening at the time that it’s OK to eat, in fact it’s important if you want to shed fat. I explained why you don’t have to kill yourself exercising to lose weight and Lena was not only listening, she was excited. She called my office. She devoured the info on my website. And finally, I met her. I didn’t know her story until we met. How do I know she’s a wackadoo? Because regardless of all that she’d been through, despite the fact that she was miserable, aside from the fact that she was interested in my message because I told her eating is important in the quest of weight loss . . . she asked me a question that floored me. Her #1 pressing goal in meeting me was to “find what worked.” Phen-Fen. For some reason, this insane woman believed that I was going to get her the drug that started her roller coaster ride, and her altered perceptions led her to believe that “it worked.”
9 Lesson for Business Success
Lesson #1: The SYNERGY behind the Fitness Truth
Why did I share Lena’s story? Because it illustrates the damage that misinformation can do. For near twenty years I’ve been sharing what I’ve termed, “the Fitness Truth,” in order to help people finally get the results they seek. If you’ve been to my website, philkaplan.com, you know there’s an entire section devoted to “The Fitness Truth.” I learned long ago that when somebody fails to get a fitness or weight loss result, they fail only because they have some bad information in their head. They’ve been misinformed. Misled.
Here’s my question. Did Lena ever, in her exercise and diet history, find what she wanted? She says she did. Weight loss. She lost 46 pounds. I believe wholeheartedly that weight loss was not her underlying goal. She saw it as a vehicle to achieving what she really wanted.
Misinformation did Lena in. I did not maintain contact with her. I don’t know where she’ll end up. It’s hard not to get caught up in the frustrations of “missing one,” but I learned to focus on the wonderful feeling that comes with breakthrough, with truly facilitating change. The most powerful tool I have in helping people trade in their bodies for new ones is . . . the Truth! If someone’s mind is too clouded to open up to the truth, I have to sometimes move on. Lena was such a someone.
While I’ve written entire books on The Fitness Truth, I’ll summarize the underlying filter that can best help people sort through information to decide if it’s valid or not. I teach people that in order to achieve any positive and long lasting fitness or weight loss result, there must be a concern for three synergistic components. The Right Nutrition, Moderate Aerobic Exercise, and a Concern For Muscle. If any one of those elements is missing, you are looking at a flawed program with no hope of delivering what you want. Which leads us to the next lesson . . .
Lesson #2: Know What People Really Want
In my seminars, I help trainers, owners, and sales people understand what people really want. Not only Lena, but every person who considers joining your club or signing up for your fitness service. They don’t want weight loss. They don’t want muscle. They don’t want affordability. They don’t even want a workout facility. What people want . . . what they really want . . . always boils down to one of four things:
- They want to feel good
- They want to make a positive change
- They want to be empowered
- They want to know achievement and potential
Nowhere in the fitness manuals will you find this information. Rarely will you find health clubs truly committed to delivering what people really want. Our industry has gone astray.
If you want to lead, if you are ready to stand out in the field, than it’s time to start doing, not what convention has laid out for you, but doing that which will truly give people what they want. I can assure you, from my own experience, there is no better feeling than being rewarded for making people feel good. You have that power. It just takes a resetting of your mindset to access it.
If you meet someone who wants your assistance with their weight loss program, it’s important to immediately recognize that weight loss is not the end-all be-all goal. They see weight loss as a vehicle. What they ultimately want is one or more of the four things I’ve listed. If someone loses weight in the short term, feels miserable in the process, and winds up regaining all the weight shortly thereafter, then none of the four “wants” were realized. Conversely, if someone begins a path of gradual and consistent weight loss, one that brings them greater energy, a better sense of well being, enhanced self confidence, a sense of empowerment, and the recognition that they’re no longer stuck in a body they were dissatisfied with, we’re looking at a completely different picture. We’re looking at someone who has crossed the boundaries of satisfaction into the realm of being Thrilled! As Professionals we should settle for no less!
Lesson #3: People Don’t Want Memberships
Our sales people focus on selling “memberships.” Nobody wants a membership! People want to feel good. If they believe that a membership might be a step toward feeling good, a step toward positive change, they are often willing to part with some money, but they’re not actually satisfied until they can lay claim to meeting one of the four “wants” outlined previously.
So if sales people shouldn’t sell memberships, what should they sell? Relationships.
“Hold on, Phil. What are you talking about? Matchmaking services sell relationships. We sell memberships, plain and simple.”
I honestly believe the biggest mistake a health club can make moving into this new century is focusing on selling memberships. It’s time for a paradigm shift. It’s time for the industry, or at least an elite segment of it, to recognize where we’ve fallen short, and to remedy the problem. It’s time for us to learn how to profit, and profit massively, not by selling memberships, but by giving people what they want! By “selling” them entry into a relationship that will make them feel good, will deliver positive change, will empower them, and will bring them to the point of continuous achievement and an ongoing elevation in potential. I don’t suggest we stop selling memberships, but rather that we see the membership process as a beginning, not an end. When someone commits to membership, it should become our obligation to deliver far more value than they expect.
How do we do that? A-ha! There’s the key question. Before I explain “how” we do that, let’s understand precisely why people are failing. Let’s take a closer look at a nation where there are more so-called fitness solutions than ever, yet obesity is at an all time high!
Lesson #4: Why People Fail
Wake up on a weekend morning and turn on the television. It won’t be long before you see Suzanne Sommers on her knees rolling the “amazing new ab device” out in front of her. Flip the channels a bit and you’re sure to see “the Ab-doer” or the next new piece of abdominal technology. Obviously the trend today is abs. It was once gliders. It was at one time steps. You’ll always find promises for quick easy weight loss or “solutions” to reduce the belly, butt, and thighs. What do these offerings all have in common? They are selling ineffective technologies! They are leading people to believe that something other than supportive eating and exercise is going to be the long awaited solution to what ails them.
The craziest part of this escalating and ever-growing circus is people blame themselves for their failure to achieve results! That positions the industry to continually rip people off and get away blame free!
In health clubs, people fail for different but similar reasons. After being involved with the health club industry for over 20 years, and conducting focus groups with thousands of members, both happy and unhappy, I’ve isolated very consistent reasons for member disappointment.
- There wasn’t any support or direction after the sale
- There wasn’t any connection with a qualified professional
- Results failed to manifest
All three of those are preventable, 100% of the time. In fact, whether or not a member renews his or her membership or shows up regularly is in great part determined at the point of sale. By continuing to act as order takers, membership sellers, our front line people program new members for failure.
I believe the worst crime our industry commits is downplaying, and in many cases completely erasing the value of the most important link to long-term member satisfaction. The Personal Fitness Trainer!
Lesson #5: Cultivating the Salesperson/Trainer Relationship
I’ll provide, in this issue, some powerful tips for cultivating the Sales-Service relationship, interaction between the front line salespeople and the vitally important Personal Fitness Trainers in the hope that a larger segment of our industry will join the ground army. I’m also going to invite you to share in a few of the resources and programs I offer. Whether you use the information herein, or you go the next step and attend my powerful PEAK Training seminar, if you shift your mindset from selling to thrilling, if you learn to profit by delivering that which people most want, I’ve done my job. If together, we reach vast numbers of people and empower them to experience positive change, to feel good about themselves, we’ve ALL done our jobs!
Let’s start by taking a look at the attributes of the salesperson. Interestingly, while club owners often think of the salespeople as the revenue heroes, outside of the club, in the real world, club owners feel as everyone else. They cringe at the thought of being on the receiving end of a sales presentation. Take your thinking out of the club and transfer it into the desire to buy a time share, a car, or insurance. What impression comes to mind when you think of the individual who will be sitting across the table from you? If you’re like most people, you envision a nasty, slick, selfish, greedy person who is going to do everything within his or her power to get your money. You enter the conversation guarded, careful not to slip up, making certain to never show any sign of weakness. You perceive dealing with a salesperson as a necessary evil.
Why, when we enter a store, and the salesperson approaches with the programmed question, “Can I Help You?,” do we automatically respond with, “No, I’m just looking?” Why don’t we say, “Yes, I want to buy something?” Because we don’t trust salespeople.
Despite our mistrust, we stick people on the front lines who operate under the same mentality as those salespeople we dislike. It’s time to shift the responsibilities of the salesperson to include not only making a sale, but, as I mentioned earlier, creating a relationship that continues to benefit the club and the member for many years to come. In order to re-position the salesperson, it’s important to first recognize those attributes that we find attractive. After all, we hired them!
Salespeople are aggressive. That’s good! Salespeople can handle rejection without taking it personally. That’s also good! Salespeople have the ability to turn “No” into “Yes,” and that’s extraordinary! We need to cultivate those gifts, but cultivate them in an environment where others use their talents to complement the front line sellers.
Personal Trainers are a different animal completely. Trainers hate confrontation. They can’t stand rejection. They chose their career paths driven by at least one of two things. They’re extremely passionate about fitness and want to share their knowledge and/or they are committed to helping people. Those are very different mechanisms than those which drive salespeople. Too often, because the focus is on “selling,” trainers are relegated to throw-ins.
“If you enroll today we’ll throw in three free personal training sessions!”
What does that do to the value of the individual most committed to helping people? It drops the perceived value of the trainer to a big fat ZERO!
Once the trainer is knocked down to a valueless throw in, the club owner expects the trainer to “sell Personal Training.” Some of them do OK, but many flounder. Why? Because selling is not the trainer’s gift. It is the gift of the salesperson. What our industry does is take the individual least positioned to make a sale, take away any perception of value, and then expect that they’ll generate some business for us. Isn’t that absurd?
What are the attributes of the trainer? Trainers are masters at developing rapport. If you doubt me, just watch the physical interaction between a trainer and his or her client. They get right into the client’s personal space. They connect at a level salespeople can’t. Trainers have the ability to get inside people’s heads. Clients open up to trainers. I mean REALLLY open up! I assure you most trainers with at least six months of experience under their weight belts could pretty easily enter the blackmail business because they learn so many intimate secrets about their clients. Most of all, trainers are the members of your team most equipped, not only to satisfy people, not only to deliver on the promises made in the selling process, but to thrill people!
In strengthening the connection, I advise you to include trainers in sales meetings and vice versa. Let them understand the MO of the allies that sometimes appear to be the opposition. I’d also suggest you build in “team” incentives. If membership increases by x, and personal training revenue increases by y, every member of the team gets a predetermined bonus. The word “and” is the key word in that sentence. One without the other will NOT constitute any reward. This positions each “force” to have a vested interest in the success of the other.
Most importantly, early on in the membership presentation, the salesperson must attach value to the trainers. Not by listing “features.” A typical presentation sounds something like this. “And we also have personal trainers. They’re all certified and can help you with your workouts.” “Certified” is a feature. When people make buying decisions, they don’t make rational decisions based upon “features,” but they do make emotional decisions based upon the perceived “benefits.” The trainers, therefore, must be presented as a “Benefit!” Rather than pointing out the trainers, the salesperson can best establish value by pointing out results and then isolating the trainers as the spark that initiated those results. An invaluable tool is a testimonial wall, where results can be presented visually, conversationally, and believably.
“Here’s a woman who started just like you. She enrolled in our Personal Training program and, as you can see by the photo, dropped over 50 pounds. Not only does she look great, but she wound up getting married after the change, and invited the training staff to her wedding! The trainers normally receive $75 per session (value clearly established), but when you enroll, I’ll show you today how you can get started with a trainer for only $20." In lesson #9, I’ll show you how you can live up to that promise without ever compromising trainer value.
Most of all, the salesperson must learn to present the training staff as an irresistible option, one that makes the difference between results and disappointment. The trainers have a responsibility to the salespeople as well. Remember, trainers are the satisfiers. Salespeople are the influencers. Trainers regularly bring about what I’ve termed as ‘Moments of Ecstasy’ in my Personal Training Profits. What do I mean? I mean those moments where results become apparent, moments where clients express gratitude and admit that they have made a positive change and they feel great about it. Those are moments that MUST be captured and documented. This documentation becomes a very powerful sales tool for membership.
Moments of Ecstasy also offer opportunities to generate new business. When someone is thrilled, the likelihood of that person wanting to spread the word is greatly enhanced. When Moments are shared, the trainer should make it a point to re-connect the thrilled member with the salesperson who enrolled them. It’s an ideal time to tactfully solicit referral business.
Lesson #6: A Paradigm Shift For the Club Owner
Here’s the hard part for the club owner. The owner is often locked into the belief that while thrilling people sounds great, and while it would be nice if we satisfied all of our members, we NEED to focus on membership sales to generate money!
That’s the old paradigm. That’s the way things used to work. I asked for a shift in focus. We need to reposition our clubs so we make money by satisfying, and that’s where the trainers become the most pivotal instruments of profitability.
Of course we can see the potential for increasing revenue by simply increasing the number of Personal Training sessions, but in any business that deals with people (and what business doesn’t?), there are three basic ways to increase profitability.
- More customers
- More actions per customer
- Greater spending per customer action
Sure, salespeople can handle #1, but their power ends there. If we look at the Personal Training Profit Center as a revenue generator all its own, we’ll recognize that it has the power to consistently improve upon all three! More members signing up for training of course means more money, but it doesn’t end there. Trainers seeing clients more often also bolsters profits, but the third may be the most powerful and the most ignored.
We’ll come back to trainer influence upon member spending in a moment. First let’s look at our marketing. When we begin a marketing plan of attack, one of the first things we have to do is identify our target. Who are we marketing to? The answer to that question will give us our “Marketing Universe.”
Lesson # 7: Our Marketing Universe
We have several options as to who we want to market to
- The Entire Universe
- The “Touched at One Time” Universe
- The “Captured at One Time” Universe
- The Enrolled Universe
- The “Active Member” Universe
- The Newly Enrolled Universe
Looking at those six marketing targets, which one is most targeted by health clubs? It’s #1. The “Entire” Universe. Conventionally health clubs run ads or promotions in an attempt to gain widespread exposure with a special offer. The greater the number of people that see, hear, or experience the promotion, the greater the potential success. The ads, therefore, go out in newspapers, magazines, on television, and on radio. Mass media.
Think about it. While this is the most marketed to “Universe” on the list, it is also the weakest. The one over which we have the least control. We have to hope that the right person reads the right publication on the right day in the right frame of mind. We are literally rolling the dice, hoping the right numbers come up.
Of the six marketing targets, which one contains your proven buyers? #4.
#5, and #6 are actually segments of #4, so the “Enrolled Universe” contains all of your proven buyers. In this arena you’ll find exclusively people who parted with money in order to become members. By virtue of that fact alone, you know they see value in your offerings. Since this is the market most prone to buy, why is it the one least targeted by clubs? Simple. Because the club operational paradigm is upside down. Club owners do what club owners have always done. With blinders on they go after new membership. The few who initiate actions that can hold onto their Enrolled Universe and re-inject revenue from proven buyers will be the next leaders in our industry. A select handful have a head start.
Lesson #8: Selling To Your Members
In establishing the ability to profit through member satisfaction, we have to implement services and sell products that will help to further member satisfaction. While I’m not a big advocate of supplements, I actually own a supplement store. I found the value in being a resource for people who are confused by all of the product offerings. The value lies in becoming a resource for truth, and then providing ONLY products that coincide with that truth. I’ve taken the confusion out of the health food store. If I sell it, you know it has value.
If you unite your personal training staff in their product endorsements, and sell ONLY those products that your staff in good conscience endorses, those consumable products lead to repeat purchases. The trainers are the instrument that will connect the members with the products. If a salesperson tries to sell products, they will no doubt come face to face with the “just looking” monster. Remember, trainers establish rapport. They’re trusted. So let’s get back to how the trainer can initiate greater spending per customer action.
If a trainer endorses a specific meal replacement, and his or her client has trouble getting to as many meals as would be optimal, the client is going to buy the product wherever it’s most accessible. Since this client is coming to the club regularly, there isn’t any place with easier access. If a trainer has only 10 clients, and each of those 10 clients buys only one meal replacement package per month, and each such purchase nets only $15 (note that these are all very conservative estimates), each trainer increases the monthly value of each member by $15, amounting to $150 additional each month. It may not seem like all that much, but remember, the numbers are conservative and $150 x 12 months - $1800 additional per trainer per year . . . for only that single monthly purchase! Remember, that’s in addition to personal training revenue! And who says there should only be one purchase a month anyway? Many of your members are “donating” $200 and more each month to the neighborhood GNC, without any discernible result! Redirect that money from GNC to your cash register, by learning to market to your “Enrolled Universe.”
Let’s take it a step further. Let’s assume you sell some sort of post workout ready-to-drink nutritional supplement and the trainers agree to the value of this product. As the trainers educate the members as to that value, your revenue grows and grows. If you net $1 per bottle of this stuff, and 100 members start buying it at the conclusion of every workout, revenue just increased an additional $1200 per month. Initiated by the trainer. Payroll free! And suppose you sell workout gloves, lifting straps, weight belts, and t-shirts, and each active member makes only one purchase a year, netting only $10 in profit per purchase, with 1000 members revenue increased $10,000! Without any additional cost. Keep in mind, inactive members don’t buy anything. Dissatisfied members never even show up. The trainer offers the connection that keeps a member happy, active, and purchasing.
When we put this all together, the revenue increases can be substantial. Let’s look at how the trainer can impact revenue generated by just one member. If that member signs up for one Personal Training session per month (another extremely conservative number), and that session nets $25 for the club, the annual value of that member just went up $300! And if that same member does purchase a specific supplement package each month, netting just $15 per purchase, the value of that member escalates another $180.
With three workouts a week and a moderate investment in a bottled water to sip during the workout and a post workout drink after each session, that member’s value to the club is pumped up another $312. With the regular attention of a trainer, with nutritional support, this member is going to find satisfaction, and hopefully go beyond satisfaction into the realm of being thrilled. That results in renewal, generation of guest fees, and referral memberships. All told, it’s quite possible, by connecting the Enrolled Universe with the value of Personal Fitness Training to increase the annual value of every member by over $2,000! That’s in addition to the membership money the salesperson collects. If you have 1,000 members, a per member increase of $2,000 in revenue amounts to an additional $2,000,000! Yes, your trainers are worth millions! It’s up to you, however, to see and cultivate their value.
Lesson #9: Selling The Training Sessions
I already pointed out how having trainers positioned to “sell” training services is a flawed strategy. Trainers are the rapport builders. Trainers are the satisfiers. Trainers, quite frankly, suck at selling! So why are we asking them to do what our other in-house experts excel at? The salespeople should sell the training services!
As I mentioned earlier, I suggest you set up a “for-fee connection” that links every newly enrolled member to a trainer. I’ve been calling this connection an “Orientation.” It’s not a first workout. It’s something more important. It’s information. Good information. It’s the type of information that’s needed to facilitate results. Each new member is invited to invest $20 in order to participate in a Group Orientation that prepares them to get results. The Orientation is conducted by the great rapport builder, the trainer. In essence, this gives the trainer an opportunity to prove his or her worth. It’s analogous to a paid audition.
In each Orientation, the trainer, who I suggest receives $10 per person per group, explores the reasons those in attendance have enrolled, and then goes through an explanation of how we boost metabolism, how we shape and develop muscle, and how we combine supportive nutrition and exercise to facilitate fat burning. At the conclusion of the Orientation, the options for Personal Training are offered. The value of the trainer is not compromised at all. If, in fact, the “sale” of the Orientation was handled professionally, it is much enhanced.
With 4 people in an Orientation, the trainer gets $40 and presents the Personal Training options to a qualified audience. People who obviously saw value in obtaining information. If you position your trainers as freebies, they are consistently presenting to people who never expressed any financial interest in assistance.
Best of all, the Orientation allows the trainer to “sell” without putting him or her in the position of a salesperson. Listen, we all need to sell to survive in any business. It’s just that some selling is more subtle than others. I’d encourage every trainer to consider attending my PEAK Training seminar, or at the very least, to obtain my Personal Training Profits book and my NAVAQA system of Influence in order to master persuasion without ever being viewed as a nasty, evil, slimy, greedy, salesperson.
There you have it. Nine short but powerful lessons. With this information, some of you will immediately make changes, changes that prove themselves to be far more valuable than you expect even now. Others will ignore the information. That’s how life is. Some are leaders, others seem to find comfort in following. The industry is about to go through a massive change. Any time a global change takes place, it’s initiated by a select few who were willing to break the mold. I know many of you are a part of that elite group and I look forward to playing some small role in your future success. I’ve also enclosed some options, some resources, that I have available to help you rise to the top quickly and painlessly. This includes timely information on my last PEAK Training seminar of the year, and my On-Line Consulting Membership.
For those of you about to lead, I welcome you. For those about to follow, it’s only a matter of time until the rules and paradigms are altered. For all of you, I wish you nothing but great success. I’ve always concluded my Health & Wealth Newsletters with the same five words, and I’m not about to stop now. STAY FIT AND KEEP GROWING!