We’ve all been there. You sit down with a prospective client (or you give away a free personal training session), show them your prices, and they respond with "It's too expensive" or "I've got to talk to my spouse".
Nothing is more frustrating; you may have wasted 30–60 minutes of your time with someone who could not afford to hire you… regardless of how much they liked you or not!
They walk out the door… often never to return, feeling embarrassed as they can’t afford your services, or they might need to check with their spouse before a buying decision is made (especially when you’re recommending a high transaction size purchase).
In either scenario, everyone loses. The prospective client isn’t any closer to improving their health and fitness, and you’ve just missed out signing up a new client (and perhaps much needed income).
If you look at other professionals such as Doctors, Physios, Osteopaths or Chiropractors, none will give away their time to someone who can’t afford their services, or to someone that can't make a buying decision. So why do we as Personal Trainers do this?
Well it's natural to want to try and help people, but it’s tough to help people who simply can't afford what you have to offer.
You are not a charity. You are running a business, that has it’s own bills to pay, and therefore must make a profit.
You’ve heard the saying – "If you try to help EVERYBODY, you end up helping NOBODY”.
As an industry we need to have a mindset shift! And it starts with this article.
- Understand that not everyone is a good fit to be your next client.
- Accept that in order to be successful, it’s critical you value your time as a fitness professional. You can’t afford to give it away presenting your services to those that can’t a) afford working with you – even if they want to or b) can’t make the final decision to commit to your program.
- By removing the 3 most common objections to investing in a fitness program before you meet face-to-face with a prospect, it’s amazing how your close rate will go through the roof. Strive for 80% of prospective clients you meet with converting into paying clients.
Below you’ll find a personal training pre-qualification phone script that can be used on the gym floor (or on the phone) and with type of services you choose to offer (one-to-one, semi private, large group). Tweak where appropriate; I recommend you personalize with a brief description on the types of programs you offer and their length.
Sample Fitness Consultation Pre-qualification script
Hi ___________, this is [your name] from [your company] returning your call regarding our fitness programs.
Have I reached you at a good time? Great.
OR if taking inbound calls… “I’m calling about your fitness program"
Great. Thanks for your call. I’d be happy to help….
Tell me a little bit about yourself and your fitness goals…
Are you exercising or following any type of fitness program right now?
Allow me give you some information about how we work with our clients…
Currently we offer complete programs that cover everything you need in order to get the best results possible.
We spend a lot of time working with our clients on both the nutrition as well as the exercise components that are required for getting excellent results. We have clients that come for just program design and then follow through with the programs on their own (whether at home or in their gym) and we also have clients that meet with us anywhere from 3-4 times a week depending on their goals, motivation, and budget.
But all the programs require a minimum 12-week initial commitment and continue from there, and the investment runs anywhere from 400 to 800 per month depending on the options you choose that are best for you.
Is that in your budget?
If they say “Yes”, continue to pre-qualify.
“Great! The next step is to schedule your consultation. Consultations generally take 45 minutes. My next available appointments are _____________ or ______________. Which works best for you?”
“Great. During our consultation, I’ll ask you some more questions, we’ll review your goals in more detail, and then if we have a good fit I’ll present our different program options to you. Providing you like what we have to offer and we’re a good fit I’ll ask you to make a decision about committing to your goals and one of our programs. You can answer yes or no, and either answer is ok, but I will ask you to make a decision. Is that alright with you?”
“Great! Before we go, I want to share with you that many of our current clients preferred to review the information with their spouse or a family member before committing to a program. And frankly, <prospect name>, we encourage it because having a good support system at home is important to making a lifetime commitment to your health and fitness goals. So, may I ask if there is anyone else involved in the decision of you joining our program?”
“Yes? Great! Then what we’d really like to do is have ________ join us for your consultation so we can give you both a good overview of the program. That way you can both have all the information you need to make the best decision for you and ensure success with your program from the start. And, in fact, if ________ is unable to attend your consultation, then please give us a call to reschedule for a time when you can both be present. OK?”
“No? Great! Then I look forward to speaking with you on _____________.”
Confirm date, time and tell them you look forward to meeting with them!
You can see how using this script is so powerful, and how it will prevent you from wasting your time with people that can't afford your services.
Not only that, it will set you apart from all of your competitors by positioning your business as professional.
The BEST way to avoid silly objections like “That’s too expensive” or “I need to talk with my spouse/partner” is to make sure they never come up in the first place.
Do this by installing a strong pre-qualification process and using it with EVERY SINGLE PERSON before you meet with them and have a consultation.
Your close rate will go through the roof, you’ll only spend time talking to buyers, and you’ll start bringing in a whole lot more revenue because the rest of your time can be spent on marketing to find more of the RIGHT people to work with!
Part III of this article will reveal the 7.5 step sales process for doubling your fitness business income; keep an eye out for this in the weeks to come.