You have adverts everywhere in the gym, posters in the changing rooms, and your business cards on all the treadmills. Gym members even know they are entitled to a free session with you. Yet noone has asked you for personal training – why not??
As a general rule, very few people will voluntarily call or speak to you in the gym with regard to having training sessions, particularly when you first start out. You would think the offer of a ‘complimentary consultation’ or ‘free taster session’ would have people queuing up, yet in the majority of cases it is the trainer who must make the first move. This is down to two main factors – incorrect assumptions about personal training (‘it costs too much’, it’s only for fit people’, etc), and perhaps more commonly, a lack of understanding about what personal training actually is.
Think of all the cola adverts you see – do they make you want to go and buy a can right there and then?? Probably not. Whilst passive advertising (flyers, posters, etc) is great for awareness of your personal training services, it does not often sell them to people, in the sense of motivating someone enough to contact you. You are your best advert so what better way to market yourself than by personally introducing yourself to potential clients? Active advertising involves direct contact with your target market, which allows you to sell your products and services to an individual, i.e. convince them that it will benefit them enough to book in with you.
The two ways to get direct interaction with potential clients are by telephone and face-to-face conversation. However, if you simply approach or call people and ask if they want personal training, they will almost always say no for two reasons; one is the same reason that they have not approached you – they have an incorrect or uninformed understanding of PT – and the other is the fact that people will not buy anything from someone they have not built trust in.
The key to successful active marketing therefore, is to establish credibility and rapport. As eye contact and body language are so important for developing rapport, by far the most effective active marketing technique is ‘working (or walking) the floor’. This is the term used to describe meeting potential clients face-to-face in the gym.
Next time we will look at an effective strategy for working the floor.