25 February, 2015

Thirty Seconds That Can Cost You a Career

Relationships are made over time but they often never make it past the first few minutes. In fact, the first thirty seconds of contact have been proven critical in sales. How you present yourself initially creates an image that is often embedded for a lifetime. This article will present three essential elements for a lasting, successful first impression.

Ask yourself why your potential client is in front of you. Why do they need a personal trainer? The obvious answer is that they are looking for guidance but the more powerful underlying truth is that they are looking for support. Working with someone 1:1 isn’t like other services, it involves emotion and connection. These people can get free workouts anywhere but what they lack is human interaction. This isn’t about becoming their friend, it’s about developing a bond of respect and authority. In short, it’s about trust. How do you establish trust in the first few seconds?

Be professional. The engrained image of the meathead trainer is out dated and counterproductive. Walking around in a tank top and shouting at people is exactly what a new client doesn’t want to see. Think of your position as you would your physician. It’s not that different after all, you both are intimately involved in the health of your customer. Would your doctor plop down on a physio ball, covered in sweat and use terms like ‘dude’ or ‘totally’? If you want respect, act the part. Dress cleanly, make eye contact and speak intelligently.

Be knowledgeable. You absolutely must be up to date on the latest industry information especially as it pertains to clinical exercise. Rarely will you find a client without some malady whether it be a recent injury or lifelong disease. These conditions are often what made them leery about starting a fitness program and also why they have sought you out. Everyone feels like their situation is unique and they are usually right. If you can convey knowledge of their particular issue and present a plan to safely address their needs you will gain tremendous trust. Seek out more advanced clinical certifications and stay current on your anatomy and physiology.

Be personalised. The job title is ‘Personal Trainer’ for a reason. Everyone has a different situation and you should be able to create a plan accordingly. Don’t force people into a box, use your head and find a solution that fits their exact needs. If this person needs one day of strength training weekly and two days of yoga, give it to them. Don’t act as if you can only sell preset packages. They didn’t come in to buy gym and fitness supplies, they came for individualised treatment. Don’t sell them what they don’t need and never settle for less than what they require. This may mean less initial income for you but it reinforces trust that you are truly working for them. Over time these same people will return to you for their future needs.

Think about how you are perceived in the first few seconds of meeting someone. Strive to be the best representative possible of your industry. Doing so will establish your reputation as a professional and consequently guarantee your success throughout your career.

 

This article is written by Aaron Whitten in collaboration with Gym and Fitness. Aaron Whitten is pursuing a medical doctorate with an emphasis on nutrition and exercise as preventative measures against disease. Nothing brings him more pleasure than helping someone achieve newfound health and vigor. He also enjoys the challenges of competitive bodybuilding where nutrition is especially critical. He has competed in the Mr. Universe and won his division at the Mr. USA.

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