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Personal Trainers Can Use These Sales Formulas To Build a Winning Business

Personal Trainers Can Use These Sales Formulas To Build a Winning Business

Two industry insiders share their approach to helping personal trainers cut through the noise and build successful, sustainable businesses

In an industry that thrives on personalized attention and dynamic interaction, personal trainers are increasingly turning to systems to elevate their business practices, streamline operations and enhance client relationships. 

A personal trainer isn’t just a motivator, but also an entrepreneur, marketer and strategist. Automation has become the silent partner to existing sales cycles in the journey toward a sustainable and scalable business model. 

Use Automation To Reclaim Time

Sales and marketing automation software handles routine tasks without the need for human action. Common workflows include email marketing, behavioral targeting, lead prioritization and personalized advertising. There are many viable options to choose from, and many of them are fitness industry specific. 

This is a good thing, because personal trainers who are new to the industry are often taken by surprise when they discover how much time it takes to schedule and follow up with clients. 

These typically aren’t billable hours. 

By automating scheduling and client follow-ups, personal trainers free up time previously spent on administrative tasks. This newfound time can be reinvested into what trainers do best — designing personalized workouts, engaging with clients and crafting motivational strategies to keep their clients on track.

Jonny Watson, director of Propane Fitness in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, says he has successfully coached more than 5,000 clients since 2010 and scaled his business from nothing to $12,000 a month in a little over a year, eventually surpassing $30,000 per month. 

“We did this without relying on traditional social media posts, sales calls, or direct messaging on social platforms,” Watson says.

A key aspect that makes this work, according to Watson, is a personalized, one-on-one experience as opposed to offering generic courses and group calls. Watson shared a glimpse into his proprietary “formula.”

The first part is an automated sales sequence where he packages his expertise. Once set up, it operates without his direct involvement. 

“Someone sees your ad on social media, receives your information, has their questions answered, overcomes objections and then seamlessly gets your program,” he says, adding that he consistently converts 3% of leads into customers each week.

Next, he uses highly targeted Instagram ads. The goal of this approach is to stop the never-ending cycle of time-consuming social media posting so that Watson can reclaim his time while optimizing marketing efforts.

Watson adds that this program is consistent and repeatable, eliminating the need for endless one-on-one calls and daily check-ins. “Clients access your expertise, not just your time,” he says.

Forget the Sales Funnel

Automation is one tool to free up a trainer’s time. A complementary approach, from Shannon Fable, senior director of education and sport programming at Exos, is to minimize the friction a client faces when making a purchasing decision.

Rather than relying on a traditional sales funnel, Fable suggests that personal trainers construct a sales cycle process.

A funnel typically emphasizes casting a wide net to gather as many leads as possible at the top, where you make your offer, and they either engage or don’t. It often involves repetitive attempts. 

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Conversely, a sales cycle process involves creating multiple offerings that cater to different stages of trust and credibility. People purchase proportionate to the amount of trust they have in you and your products or services, Fable says. if you want to increase the likelihood of someone saying “yes,”  Fable recommends that you offer opportunities that will meet them where they currently are and build trust and credibility over time.

“This approach increases the likelihood of engaging and nurturing various types of leads, ultimately leading to deeper interactions within your sales cycle,” Fable says. “It also allows engaged individuals to move fluidly between stages based on their circumstances or needs, promoting retention and generating ongoing income.”

At the very minimum, Fable suggests a system comprising the following five stages:

  1. Activation: Free with no risk.
  2. Events: Free with small risk.
  3. Trials: Free with moderate risk.
  4. Digital offerings: Moderate investment with low risk.
  5. In-person offerings: Moderate-to-high investment with moderate-to-high risk.

These five stages progressively involve a higher barrier to entry, including financial and time investment, from the least to the highest. Each offer requires increased trust and credibility.

“It’s essential that each stage offers substantial value and directly addresses the needs of your target audience,” Fable says. “Technology plays a crucial role at each stage, building upon itself as clients progress along the continuum.”

Better Systems, Better Outcome

Personal training is still a one-on-one venture, with group training also being profitable and popular. The in-person experience retains its value. However, with the rise of remote coaching and online fitness programs, automation is the bridge between personal trainers and clients who may never meet face-to-face.

Automation facilitates the management of remote clients, ensuring the delivery of high-quality, personalized fitness services across the digital divide. When paired with a fluid, repeatable sales process, trainers can build a robust, responsive and resilient business.

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