How to attract wealthy clients

personal-trainer-girlMost people discontinue personal training because of the cost. Wealthy clients on the other hand never care about cost. Most of my career as a personal trainer was catering to wealthy clients. Early in my career, I was the personal trainer for VIP guests in hotels that would come from out of town. The large part of the clients at Free Form Fitness the company I founded are wealthy.

When you make a few million dollars a year what’s $50?

Wealthy clients just want the optimal solution for them. But wealthy clients are harder to reach. They’re skeptical of advertising and often set up their life to avoid all distractions. One of the only ways I’ve found to attract wealthy clients is through referrals.

The psychology behind referrals has been heavily researched and the conclusion is this: People refer others to protect their friends from making bad purchase decisions elsewhere. That’s it! No referral contests, no referral gifts will work for them.

That means if you make people feel uncomfortable by using sneaky sales tactics, deceiving marketing or pressure anyone through your process, be sure that you will never attract the wealthy.

To gain referrals from the wealthy you need 2 things:

1. Do something worth talking about
2. Make it easy to talk about

That’s it.

Why trainers fail

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I’ve had hundreds of personal trainers work for me. Some great one’s left to travel the world, some I had to fire and some fantastic one’s are still working for me. The fantastic one’s have great work ethic. Are open minded. Are always learning and know how to build trust with their clients.

I’ve narrowed down 3 reasons personal trainers fail, here they are:

1. They don’t fully commit.

Sometimes you just get a trainer who is never fully committed. They have one foot in and keep one foot out. These people don’t fully believe in what they are doing. They see their job as a stepping stone to something else, and as a result, they float around wondering if the grass is greener on the other side. Instead, they should focus on being so busy they don’t have time to worry about the other side. A lack of commitment will definitely show in a lack of results for the client as well.

2. They’re unorganized.

Impact = creativity x organization. I’ve seen creative personal trainers that do brilliant work when it comes to long-term planning for clients. The problem is they are so unorganized they forget just about everything else relating to their own success. Not being organized and a lack of consistency is unprofessional. If you’re always showing up late for your appointments, you’re going to annoy the client. They are trusting you to help them better themselves. Trainers need to be early and prepared for their clients. So trainers never become successful because of this and end up failing.

3. They can’t sell themselves.

On the other extreme I often found personal trainers that are organized yet forget about empathy and social skills. This makes it hard to sell anything. As a personal trainer, you must have a a good sense of self and a good enough self esteem to inspire others. If you don’t believe in yourself, it will be tough to instil confidence for your client.

The biggest mistakes people make when deciding to become a personal trainer

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They don’t shop around for the right certification.

Humans like to categorize things because it helps us learn better. The problem with this is that categorizing things dilutes the ability to see the big picture. For example, a client is overweight. He goes to see his eye doctor and the eye doctor says that the client’s vision is going because it’s genetic. The dentist tells the client that tooth decay is happening because he’s not flossing enough. The family doctor fixes the rash on his skin with antibiotics. The chiropractor says he has poor posture because of how he sits. Meanwhile, the real reason all of these things are an issue, is because he’s overweight and has gotten here from a lack of exercise, poor nutritional choices and the wrong mindset.

When shopping around for a certification, most certifications give you specialties only to end up with trainers categorized and scared to move beyond their expertise. Our society is filled with specialists who fail to see the big picture. This in turn fails to create real change. As a personal trainer, I feel it is our job to stop looking at life through a straw and to start assessing the big picture.

They don’t shop around for the right club.

Some clubs don’t care whether or not you are good at what you do. All they care about is that you can sell. Nothing is more disappointing than someone with all the passion in the world being misguided to think that personal training is about sales. These passionate people often quit the career of personal training with a bad taste in their mouth. But not all clubs are like this. Shop around for a club that matches your values. Often the smaller ones are better.

They think learning is over after a course.

I always tell my trainers, “You hear, you forget. You see, you remember. You do, you understand.”

To understand nutrition, you have to study it from every angle. It’s a very controversial subject with a lot of financial interests involved. That’s why taking the opinion of one course is not enough. You need to constantly be studying wide to avoid being stuck in an information bubble. The information bubble is where you find vegetarians only reading from vegetarian authors never having the interest to dive into the paleo world. In order to get a true sense of what is right, you must read everything far and wide even if it sounds ridiculous. You need to take notice of patterns and experiment with yourself. Once you are certified the learning doesn’t end. It starts.

How to sell personal training sessions without it feeling like sales

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The word “sales” tends to get a negative feel. Maybe it was the time the used car salesman tried to pull a fast one on you, but I don’t see sales like this at all.

The early definition of the word sales meant to ‘hand something over voluntarily in response to a request.’ Voluntarily being the key word here. If your idea of selling is to try to make the most amount of money from the other person, you are thinking very short term. In order to be a great sales person, (and I know some of the best,) you have to believe in what you’re doing for people. I’m reminded of a story by Zig Zigglar.

One of the younger sales people in a high end pan company had invited Zig and a bunch of other people over to his house. After dinner, the man approached Zig and asked, “how can I reach the top of the company like you did Zig?

He replied “You won’t.”The man was stunned by his answer. Zig went on and told him that while he was making dinner, he noticed that he wasn’t using the pans that he was selling. The man replied that they were too expensive.

Zig said, “And that’s why you won’t. If you believe in what you are selling, it will never be sales. It’s simply a voluntary exchange.”

6 reasons leaving the 9-5 grind is worth it

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The 9-5 grind sounds like a nightmare to me. I’m not kidding. I’ve done it and I think it’s boring and limiting. Here are 6 reasons I believe leaving the 9-5 grind in place of a self employed life as a personal trainer will benefit you:

1. It’s fulfilling and healthy.
Being a personal trainer isn’t for everybody. It takes a special kind of person to be great at it. First you have to be a nurturer. Someone who naturally feels fulfilled by servicing others. Secondly, you have to care about people’s wellbeing. If you have those 2 things, you will be doing something that matters to you. And doing something that matters will give you a sense of accomplishment. Work that doesn’t matter to you causes you to be less than who you really are.

2. A positive motivating atmosphere.
Getting in the best shape of your life has never been easier than when you’re a trainer. It’s hard not to be motivated when your co-workers and clients are all striving to be a better version of themselves. The atmosphere is contagious and that energy trickles down to every other part of your life.

3. You have no limit on what you can make.
In a 9-5 job, you are paid a salary with a consistent pay check. Many people like this and feel as though it brings them security. That’s not my view on it. I believe in getting what you put in. I don’t like my potential to be capped. I also think that way because I have extreme confidence in myself, and it’s understandable not to think like that at first. I think being in a place that allows you the options to strive for whatever income level you want to reach, is the best thing you could ever do for yourself.

5. You work around the important things.
I’ve never missed a special day with my daughter. I’ve travelled and done whatever I want, because as much as I love my work, my family always comes first to me. Being able to set your schedule around what is important to you is a gift you can’t put a price on.

6. It’s exciting.
I see too many people bored out of their minds doing repetitive work that serves no purpose to them. You never get bored as a personal trainer. Things are always changing. Every obstacle a client faces becomes your own obstacle to find a solution. And every solution you find can be added to your tool belt.

You may be attracted to the security and stability of the 9-5 job but it’s a trap. It’s an illusion for those that don’t fully believe in their own abilities. I know you can do it, but do you?