“I can’t tonight. I’m washing my hair.” “Oh sorry, I fell asleep.” “Who? What? Er, sorry, wrong number.”
You’ve heard them all right?
No, these aren’t lame excuses girls give to ghost-out on dates. These are the all too familiar sounds of would-be clients who fail to show up to scheduled appointments.
So what’s a personal trainer to do?
As much as clock watching and complaining about AWOL clients seems to be a favourite pastime in our industry, you can help avoid the whole no-show situation by following these three tips.
1) Give them a reason to show up
Of course, the first thing potential clients ask about when they call is price. The problem is that if you tell them the cost on the phone, there is no incentive for them to meet with you. In their minds they have all the information they need, and there’s no need to meet because all you’ll do is sell to them (and what customer wants that?).
The next time you get that call, try saying something like this:
“Sure, I can definitely help you with that. I have a lot of options available so the cost depends on a few factors….”
Then go on to do some mini goal setting (see next point), followed up by asking for the appointment. “What I’d like to do is invite you in to meet with me so I can go over the different options in more detail and so you can ask me any questions you have. I have time available today at 2:00 or tomorrow afternoon at 5:3o. Which one of these works best for you?”
2) Show that there’s value in the appointment
Even if they aren’t paying for the appointment, prospects still need to see the value. Otherwise why would they spend their time with you?
Even if this is a paid session, more people are afraid of wasting their time than wasting their money. People only want to spend their time on something if it’s going to solve a problem.
So show them that you have a solution. This is much more enticing then a “free assessment with a personal trainer that usually costs $99!” What’s valuable to them is their goals, not the number of treadmills you have or your TRX certification. Show the value through mini goal setting. Ask them:
Wrap up the conversation by simply saying, “I can definitely help you with this. When you come in for your appointment we can chat more about your fitness goals, and I can show you some options that can help you meet them.”
3) Let them know what to expect
When people doesn’t know exactly what to expect in a new situation their imaginations run riot.
Prospects come up with all kinds of scary scenarios: you’re going to crush them in a workout, everyone in the club will be judging them, they’ll look dumb, etc.
Combat these ideas by explaining step by step exactly what will happen:
So there you have it. Get ready to free up your schedule for less clock watching and more training.
Claire Garrigan is a Halifax-based fitness sales coach dedicated to helping fitness professionals close more sales, make more money and have happier clients all while keeping integrity front of mind. Contact her at www.thesellingfitnessblueprint.com.