Personal Training

By Claire Garrigan

“It’s not my job to sell people, it’s my job to train people.”

“I don’t want to come across as too pushy.”

” I give good workouts and that should sell itself.”

I don’t have time to sell, they either can afford it or they can’t.”

“I hate selling. I hate that feeling I get when I try selling personal training to someone. I feel like a failure every time someone doesn’t buy from me.”

If you’ve ever said any of the above statements, keep reading… you’re in the right place.

As a sales trainer, exclusive for fitness businesses and personal trainers, I hear the above statements time and time again. No matter where the place is or what the facility, no personal trainer is happy to be lumbered with the ‘salesman’ tag.

However, with the rise of more and more people becoming personal trainers, how to sell personal training can be almost as difficult as getting that perfect squat.

So, now the question remains, how do you sell personal training without being a pushy sales person?

  1. Set expectations

One of the biggest sticking points most personal trainers run into during their consultations is how to steer the conversation towards money. This is where things get really awkward.

The easiest way to overcome this is to simply tell your prospective client beforehand what to expect, including the fact that you’ll be presenting some options for them to choose from.

Most personal trainers shy away from this because they’re afraid of loosing the potential client, but this is exactly what you want to be doing – weeding out the tire kickers and seeking out the people who are genuinely interested in training with you.

When you’re setting up the consultation time, give your client a quick summary of what will happen during your meeting.

“OK Sally, I have you down to meet with me at 4:00pm tomorrow. First, I’ll ask you some questions regarding your health and exercise history and take your measurements. I’ll take you through a sample workout, and at the end I’m going to show you some personal training packages available so you know what I have to offer. Then I can answer any questions for you. Sound good? Great, see you tomorrow at 4.00pm.”

  1. Uncover more than just health and exercise history during your consultation

We’ve all heard the expression ‘prevention is better than a cure’, and this is exactly the philosophy you should be taking regarding how to overcome objections.

If you’re waiting to ‘overcome the objection’ at the end with a slick one-liner (or worse, a 12 step process), then you’re too late.

Ask the right questions early on in the process, and without even realizing it you’ll have already overcome most potential objections. Remember, you’re asking these questions way before you do your price presentation. Ask after you’ve already gotten the objection and it’s lost impact;

The Spouse Objection:

“Who’s going to be your biggest support along your fitness journey?”

“How long have you been telling him/her you’ve wanted to (insert goal)?”

“What do you think they’ll say when you tell them you met with me today?”

The “I need to think about it objection”:

“How long have you been thinking about (having a PT/starting to workout/joining a gym) for?”

“How long have you had that goal for?”

“What are you planning on doing to help you reach that goal?”

  1. Talk benefits, not features

It’s important to remember that people don’t buy from logic (i.e. if I exercise and eat right I’ll loose weight). Instead, they buy from emotion. Your reasons for selling are useless if you don’t know the emotional reasons your customers are buying.

Let’s have a look at the differences;

Feature: Train with a PT three times a week  →  Benefit: Develop the discipline to

help make sure you don’t fall off the wagon (again)

Feature: Learn correct form and technique  →  Benefit: Reduce the risk of injury

Feature: Loose weight  →  Benefit: Keep up with the kids

“Sally, this exercise I’m showing you is going to strengthen your core so when you’re

sitting down all day at work your back will have more support. Can you see how

knowing which core exercises to do will reduce the risk of you putting out your back


  1. Price present based on what they told you

The golden rule, when it comes to price presenting your personal training options, is to make sure you’re never presenting more than three options. This creates comparison, which gives consumers value perception.

Make this feel less ‘salesy’ by recommending a package based on what they told you, and using their words (which is why it’s so important to ask questions early on), versus your opinion on what they should buy.

“Sally, based on what you told me earlier I have three packages that would suit your needs-basic, standard and premium. To get you to your goal of loosing 20lbs by your wedding in September I would recommend the standard package. However, the choice is yours. Which one of those options would work best for you?”

To avoid the awkwardness that comes with asking for money, make sure you use the open ended question at the end of your price presentation, like “Which one of those options works better for you?” instead of a close ended question I see trainers use all the time, such as “Does that work for you?” or “Do you want to train with me?” .

  1. Have a guarantee to eliminate fear

The number one reason why people don’t buy is because of fear. Fear that;

  1. a) they’ll get in trouble with someone else
  2. b) they’ll find it cheaper somewhere else
  3. c) it won’t work

You can eliminate ALL of the fears with a guarantee.

After working with hundreds of fitness businesses and personal trainers, their first reaction is “I don’t want to start telling clients about the refund policy because then every single client will get what they can from me, then claim a refund!”.

I promise, for every person that does follow through with your guarantee policy and gets a refund, you’ll have at least five others who signed up with you that otherwise wouldn’t have, simply because of the comfort of knowing there’s a guarantee.

Try this on for size;

“Sally, I completely understand that you’d like to speak with your husband before making a decision. So, I’m glad to let you know about our comfort guarantee. If you go ahead and purchase these sessions today, if for whatever reason you change your mind within the first three sessions, you’ll get 100% of your money back! So, not only do you get a chance to try it out and see if it’s for you, if your husband still isn’t on board I’d be happy to give you a full refund”.

  1. If all else fails, ask, ask, and ask again.

Nobody likes going down the rabbit hole of desperation when a client says ‘no’, but it is important not to give up after the first objection. Why? Because 44% of people give up after the first no, but yet 80% of prospects say no four times before they say yes.

Go back to what you talked about earlier and remind them of what they told you, not what you think is best for them.

“Sally, I know when we spoke earlier you said your husband would be your biggest support in all this and that you’ve already been talking to him about this for a long time. Let’s get you started!”

The number one reason personal trainers tell me they don’t follow up with clients who said no is because they don’t want to be that annoying person who’s “just checking in to see if you’ve changed your mind”.

Instead of letting them just walk out the door with your business card and pray that they call you when they come to their senses (they won’t), come up with a follow up plan together.

“When will you get a chance to talk to your husband about this?”

Then solidify a follow up time.

“You said you’ll be speaking to your husband tonight, so lets meet back up here tomorrow at noon, how does that sound?”

And most importantly, follow up when you say you’re going to follow up!


Claire teaches small to medium sized fitness businesses and personal trainers how sell more fitness memberships and personal training without spending all your money on marketing! More information and freebies at