How To Sell Personal Training

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The entire sales process for personal training is something I have discussed already quite a bit in previous articles and also in the Create Freedom podcast.

Naturally, there are a lot of moving parts here.

But, it is my goal within today’s article entry to give you some simple to follow steps for selling a client after you have run them through a free session.

Free sessions are very popular in this industry, the problem is that no one really has any system in place to lock that client down once the session is complete.

Most trainers just kind of hope that the client enjoyed it enough to stay, and if they don’t, well, then it was another hour of unpaid work lost.

Let’s turn that around and incorporate some tactics that you can use to increase the percentage chance of success rate that you have towards closing a client after their complimentary free session.

Don’t Shy Away From The Free Session

Some trainers swear by never offering free training sessions because it devalues your brand, but I completely disagree.

It’s a great way to get your name out there and it’s a great way for you to show off what you’re capable of.

It’s pretty commonplace in the service-based industry for people to offer a free consultation, in our industry that just means a free workout.

It offers your prospect a no-risk way in which to find out if you two get along well, and just as importantly, they are likely “feeling out” your knowledge-base at the same time as well.

Since I know you’re a rockstar, your knowledge-base is A-OK, so I want you to ROCK this session with your prospect with high, positive energy from start to finish. Then, at the end, you will have different options for them to sign up with you for a paid package.


They get a session, and you get to sell a prospect the moment they are at the greatest possible chance of saying yes.

The Consultation

When they arrive you should have a bottle of water already there waiting for them.

When you start the process off immediately with a gift you are getting your prospect to like you even more, but you are also creating a relationship of reciprocity before the process even begins.

Meaning, that person in a very small way feels they “owe you” something for being so nice. Of course a water bottle doesn’t lead to an instant sale, but it definitely helps. It also helps this person remember you more fondly if someone else in their network in looking for training.

So, give them a water bottle even if your gym doesn’t supply them. It’s well worth the 50 cents you paid for it (seriously, if you cheap out on this you probably don’t even deserve the new client).

After this initial greeting you will spend the next 10 minutes or so going through their questionnaire and medical records that would have been filled out before this session (and if you don’t have your people fill this out beforehand, you need to do that now because it’s a major time waster during your one chance to impress them).

During this time, listen to what they have to say.

Too many trainers don’t listen, instead, they just wait to speak.

Don’t be one of these trainers.

You need to listen to your client and truly dig out the emotional “why” behind why they are joining the gym and what they really want out of this professional relationship with you.

Why does he/she want to improve their fitness?

I can tell you it’s not just because they want to see a number on a scale drop, there is a deeper seated reason in there somewhere and you need to know it in order to truly communicate with your prospect in a way that they will feel “heard”.

The Workout

You don’t have to overcomplicate the workout.

If you try to over-impress them with your difficult to understand terminology and sequencing then you’re in for a rude awakening.

People don’t care.

Put yourself in your clients shoes.

He/she wants to get a good workout in and feel comfortable with you, not get a brutal workout in and feel stupid around you.

Keep it light, keep it doable, and keep it simple.

This is a sample session, not a death session.

Simple tell them that you’re going to run through a workout with them for the next 30 minutes and ask them how they are feeling on a scale of 1-10 (avoid the RPE scale of 6-22 for god sakes).

Based on their answers you can adapt the workout as needed to match their current fitness level.


I’m not going to provide a sample workout here because the workout itself will vary tremendously based upon who your prospect is, but I am going to make the recommendation of always trying to keep them moving.

Even the muscle/strength-based clients, have them do some pre-hab work in between sets to keep them moving and engaged, and also to remove any potential “dead air” awkward silence between you two.

If you keep them moving, there is no dead air.

More importantly, during this workout, when you explain the exercises (and even the whole workout itself) to your client you have to find a way to relate it back to their emotional-drive for being there.

“This will help you more easily get up and down from the ground to play with your grandkid…”

“This exercise is great to remove lower back pain…”

“This is the #1 best arm builder so you’ll really get noticed by the ladies this year…”

Whatever it is, relate it back to why they are there, and don’t relate it to exercise science.

The Sale

Once the session is done, bring him/her into an office and ask them to sit down. Your job now is to get them to say 2-3 “yes’s” to your questions.

“Did you enjoy the workout?”

“Could you see how those exercises could help with (insert their goal)?”

Questions like that are a great way to get them to feel positive about the whole experience, but also logically understand that it feeds their goal as well.

Once they give you 2-3 “yes” answers, it’s time to pivot to the sales proposition. This doesn’t have to be flashy, especially with all of the groundwork you have already done this session, something as simple as:

I would love to help you with your goals of (insert their goal). I’ve worked with many people like you in the past, so I’ve been down this road before. It is my professional opinion that these two packages are the best options for you in order for me to get you to where you want to be.

*Pull out your sales sheet with package details*

Which one works best for you right now?

That above process works like a charm and it’s something any personal trainer can start doing today in order to close more clients after the free session.

If your client says yes, fill the paperwork out right then and there while they are still sold and book your first 3 training sessions (so, their first week of training) as well to get the whole process rolling with momentum.

Final Thoughts

“Selling” is something a lot of personal trainers admit they hate doing.

They always feel “awkward” or “pushy” when trying to close a client, the above template is a way in which you can sell without selling.

No big pitch needed, just some important points to take notice of and a hefty dose of actually listening to your client.

I also recommend you check out an article I wrote a little while back on The Art of Selling, and if you’re REALLY ready to take your business to the next level, join the Create Freedom Academy today.  

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