What is the single most important skill in gaining new clients?
Without a doubt it’s the initial consultation process. I struggled as a Personal Trainer for the first six months because I had no idea of the importance or requirements to an outstanding initial consultation. Originally, I thought it was more about a pre-exercise screening and just gaining information about any previous and/or current injuries or medical considerations – and while it is about those things, it’s about so much more. Most Personal Trainers and Coaches are great practically however, often lack communication skills and avoid an in-depth consultation as they lack confidence, and the process seems awkward or uncomfortable.
This was very much the case, so I avoided it and tried to get my clients into the gym as quickly as possible. This didn’t allow me the opportunity to extract all the information that I needed to do two things:
- Extract all the information I needed to create the perfect style session that my potential clients were looking for
- Understand exactly what kind of results they were looking for and create the ideal experience alongside a long-term program that’s achievable, considering both time and finances that were available to each individual client
As mentioned, I really struggled to develop a solid client base and didn’t start to create a consistent income or business until I finally took ownership and realised the importance of this. That it can be brushed over, but not if you have an aim of a really high conversion rate. I was lucky to convert 20% of my leads into any kind of ongoing training. Once I understood what the outcomes were in regard to the consultation, I was then able to provide a much better experience and present my clients options to help them achieve their goals. I stopped looking at how other Trainers and Coaches were doing their consultations & price presentations and being influenced by them.
When Trainers first start out, we often think it’s about benching, squatting and deadlifting. It is, but someone’s got to be training with you before you can focus on those things. Once you start understanding what people are looking for, you can develop sessions and programs that suit. Until then you’re just shooting in the dark, presenting what you hope they will go for. Even these days we hear of Trainers not having a clue about time availability and a client’s budget and just presenting a Silver and Gold package.
If you want to know the keys to a great consultation keep a look out for next week’s blog.
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