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Building Your Client Base

Written By

Hannah Tyldesley


Personal Training

Posted On

18 August 2015

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There is nothing quite like success! The feeling you get when you receive your very own qualification documents takes some beating. It is only the beginning, but the sense of achievement is second to none. Not only are you ready to embark on a new career, you also have one foot on the ladder that leads to the top of a very healthy fitness industry!

Oh, but wait! That first massive step forward is made with an excitement that can be very quickly overtaken by a little fear and trepidation. All of a sudden you are out on your own. No longer is there an all-knowing FIE tutor on hand to answer every question and assist with any action. It’s just you and the cache of knowledge you’ve built up during your ‘training’ time.

Building a business from scratch is a challenge, particularly when your team is just you! Fear not – we’ve been doing this for a while, and our panel of experts have pulled together a few top tips to help you on your way.

Let’s start with the basics. Starting out in a gym is often a good launching pad. It will put you in a position to target those with a genuine desire to get fit and better their bodies. You are setting out preaching to the converted. These are people that have already shown the motivation and willpower to put on their kit and get into the playground. The hardest bit has been done for you, and your job is to take the floor and take charge of their destinies.


Our top tips for taking clients from the floor to the bar …

  • Be on hand to help every step of the way. Potential clients need to get to know you and learn to trust and like you before they will even begin to consider paying for your time. Be nice to people!
  • Don’t go in with a ‘Hello, I am a new PT and I am offering free taster sessions!’ This translates to ‘I have no clients and so I am giving away sessions for free in desperation.’ You’re better than that!
  • Make your clients feel like you have chosen them and not vice versa. You need them to feel like they have been hand-picked for their willpower, not their wallets! Creating a sense of something special is vital. You are offering them an opportunity, offering your time and assistance to better themselves. You don’t have to do this!
  • Be helpful but not overly friendly. People don’t like to feel smothered or patronised. Be interested, not intrusive
  • Offer genuine advice. For example, say ‘Let me show you what may be a more effective way to work that muscle’ … don’t say, ‘You’re doing that all wrong. Don’t do that; do this!’
  • Practise what you preach. If you are training in the same gym that you are teaching in, make sure you set the right standards. Tease them with a bit of your own workout

Another great thing about being a ‘newbie’ is you’ve got a clean slate. You can make the perfect first impression. And we don’t just mean on potential clients; we mean on everyone, including staff!


Our top tips for working the network …

  • Get up close and personal with the sales team. They are the driving force behind building your client base. They meet everyone that sets foot in the gym
  • Reception staff can also be a good referral tool. Every day you walk through their door, look pleased to see them. Learn their names and ask them how they are. Charm ’em
  • Each PT will work differently/better with different clients. That’s just the way it is, so be nice to your fellow employees. There may come a time when they score a client not suited to their particular personality/training styles, and so they will have to pass them on. That pass could be coming your way!
  • Outside of the health club, networking is as important as it is on the gym floor. Get to know the local businesses and see how you can help each other

And that’s just the start. Don’t panic; we have plenty more for you. Keep your eyes peeled for more of our ‘starting out’ tips …

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