Gaining Rapport for Fitness Professionals


Published on

This is a Special Report I did for Bally Total Fitness trainers almost six years ago. Yet it is still applicable. Social skills never change.

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Gaining Rapport for Fitness Professionals

  1. 1. GAINING RAPPORT Perry Nickelston, Dc, FMS, SFMAHave you ever met a person and felt an incredible instant connection? Its almost asif youve known this person forever. Your gut tells you this person is someone youcan trust and would enjoy getting to know better. Although you cant consciouslymake up your mind why youve sensed this connection, your subconscious mindhas made the decision for you.People hire professionals they like and trust — in other words, people they feel abond with and connect with on an emotional level. And since this type of bondingtakes place at the subconscious level, you better learn how to access it if they aretrying to sell their services too.Amazingly enough, the words that actually come out of a persons mouth whentalking to people dont have much to do with establishing a bond. While Im notsuggesting that you should say whatever the heck you feel like to prospectiveclients, you must understand its not nearly as important as you might think. Inreality, what is important is how you say things to people and your body language.They both work on the subconscious level and that is what establishes the bondbetween you and your prospect.SPEAKING BODY LANGUAGESo how do you use body language to your advantage when trying to sell services?The best thing to do is to “mirror” the prospect. Never mock your prospect; merelyassume the same body language he or she is presenting. If the prospect is the typeof person that “talks with his or her hands,” then you should do the same — even ifyou dont normally speak with your hands. If the prospect is standing and you aresitting stand up and greet the prospect. You need to have the same body languageas the prospect.If you do not use this technique already youll be amazed by the results. Theconnection you will feel with the prospect will be uncanny. More than likely, youllbe able to find the emotional reason the prospect wants to achieve his or herdesired fitness goals. And, since people hire fitness professionals for emotionalreasons and not logical ones, theyll be halfway to closing the sale after about 30seconds of conversation and bonding with the prospect.How you say things isnt as important as body language, but its still essential tobonding and closing a sale. You need to be a bit of an actor. Mirroring theprospects tonality, sounding like they sound, makes them feel comfortable withwho their trainer is. If they talk fast, then you need to talk fast. If they arespeaking slowly then you should speak slowly. While this does take a little while toget used to, its astoundingly powerful.You can strengthen the bond between the prospect by using the same words theyuse. As an example, if you prefer the term “strength training” and the prospectrefers to it as “resistance training,” be sure to begin saying “resistance training”during your conversation. This might seem insignificant, but the prospectssubconscious, where bonding takes place, will take notice. And whatever you dodont use complicated terms your prospect has never heard of. If you ramble on
  2. 2. about periodization and fast and slow twitch muscle fibers theres a good chancethe fitness novice across from them is going to feel silly. When that happens, guesswhat? Youve destroyed the bond between them and more than likely blown thesale. Theres no need to try and impress them. The prospect thinks you are anexpert, otherwise he or she wouldnt be talking to you in the first place.These bonding techniques arent meant to trick people to pay for something theydont need. They are powerful methods to help prospective fitness clients discoverthey need the services of a qualified professional. Yes, the goal is to close the sale.But more important, you have gained a new client. And that means another personhas begun the journey that is fitness. EMOTIONAL PROSPECTINGMany personal trainers despise having anything to do with “sales.” They dont wantto have to worry about selling anything. All they want to do is train people. Whilethere is nothing wrong with wanting to help people, there is also nothing wrongwith selling people. Not when the result of the money the client spent is a newbody, outlook and lease on life. How do you put a dollar value on that?Personally, I dont think you can. And I highly recommend regardless of your title,you instill a belief in yourself that no matter what personal training costs at yourfacility, clients simply can never pay enough for the end result. That belief must beconcrete if you hope to change your attitude toward selling services.Now dont get me wrong. I dont mean to tell you that you should start to chargeobscene amounts of money for personal training. And you must have trainers whodeliver results. The point Im trying to get across is its not easy to sell somethingyou dont believe is valuable. And since fitness comes so easily to so many personaltrainers, many have a hard time asking for money (selling) due to the fact theycannot understand why others would pay for such a service. Trainers need to take astep back and really look at the value of the service they provide.THE EMOTIONAL SELLOften when that step back is taken the benefits to their clients become not onlymore obvious, but a selling point. Heres the tricky part. Promoting benefits makesfor great marketing, but not great selling. Do you really believe in this day and agepeople dont know being more physically fit would benefit their health? Please.Instead of trying to sell the benefits of fitness, your trainers should be trying to findthe “pain” of prospective clients.What I mean by “pain” is a persons emotional reason for buying. Peoplealmost always buy for emotional reasons, not logical ones. Dont believe me? Whydo people spend $100,000 on a car when they could purchase one that performsthe same basic functions at a fraction of the cost? Have you ever spent twice asmuch for clothing you would have spent elsewhere just so you could have a certainname brand? Are these examples of logical decisions? No. They are both emotionalchoices. People make them all the time. Maybe not for a six-figure car, butemotional buying occurs often because in reality people buy things they want muchmore than things they need.
  3. 3. When you realize this phenomenon selling becomes even easier. If a prospectdoesnt want to hire a personal trainer then dont bother trying to sell them trainingservices. Its practically impossible to convince someone to buy something he orshe doesnt want. Even if they desperately need it. This makes for no-pressureselling. Something your trainers will probably love you for. You see, professionalselling is about closing every sale you should. Its not about pressuring people intoforking over their money.Prospects must convince themselves they need to hire a fitness professional. Thetrainer doesnt really need to do much more than listen and assure the person thatthey are capable of relieving their “pain.” And who knows what their “pain” is? Itcould be anything. People buy for the strangest reasons, but they always buy fortheir reasons and not yours or your trainers. Thats why selling is about listeningand not talking. The prospect should be talking approximately 70 percent of thetime.You need to be listening for “pain” cues from prospects such as: distraught,confusion, frustration, upset, concern — these are the types of things prospectivetraining clients say about their lack of results. Exactly the type of people who wantresults. They dont need results, they want results.Remember, everyone needs to live a more fit lifestyle. But unless they want to theywill continue to sit on their couch and stuff their face. Its only when we find theprospects who want results do we have a realistic opportunity to sell them personaltraining services. And even then it probably wont be until theyve exhausted lessexpensive options TIPS TO MAKE PROSPECTING EASYREMEMBER: “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care!” (READ THAT AGAIN)Meaning: Your knowledge will not convert a prospect to a payingclient. Your relationship and true intentions of helping them will!There are four critical relationship situations that increase the likelihood of someone buyingsomething from you? (1) They got to know you (2) They got to like you (3) They got to feel comfortable with you and (4) They got to TRUST you!
  4. 4. In the process of accomplishing the above four tasks, it’s important to identify the problem thatthe new member wants resolved, and then demonstrate clearly how you can solve thatproblem. The best way to do this is via a consultation, not just an assessment. An assessmentcan tell the member where they are, where as the consultation/assessment can be used toshow them an exercise plan that will assist them in getting from Point A to Point B.The reality is three workouts are useless if the prospect doesn’t have a clear, vivid game planfor reaching their fitness goals from the start. The steps need to be laid-out in detail and onpaper as if it were a map. According to neuro-lingusitic research, the majority of peoplecommunicate visually. Do not ignore this communication pathway. The prospect will then havea clear view of the plan in relationship to their goals.For example, if someone wanted to lose twenty pounds before their wedding, and the goal andplan are properly defined and designed, he/she should be able to visualize and feel how theywill look, how their clothes will fit, and know exactly how long (weeks) it will take to get those20 pounds off and what they will have to do during those weeks (protocol) to make thatvisualization a reality. Why should you be impressed rather than try to impress?How would you like to have everyone you meet be super impressed with you? Howwould you like to have your clients tell everyone they know that you are the smartestperson they have ever dealt with?Go and tell your spouse, partner, coworker, neighbor, or the next person you see, thatyou are impressed with something they are doing.If there is nothing obvious to be impressed about look for something. Be sincere aboutit. Watch their reaction. They will think you are the smartest person they know. Why?Because you are smart enough to be impressed with something they are doing.You sell to a human, emotional, somewhat irrational person who makes the decisionbased on issues of ego, personality and irrationality.With this in mind you have to use the same basic principle you use to win anyone overto your way of thinking. The person you are selling to has to like you. They mustbelieve that you know what you are talking about before they will listen to anything youhave to say.The best way to impress your customer is to let them know, in a sincere way, that youthink he or she is really something. Tell them what great work they do or what aninteresting business they have.Find something you have in common. People like people who are like them. Andpeople believe and trust people they like.Try to discover attitudes, likes, dislikes, family backgrounds, experiences, personalityvirtues or quirks, careers, goals, or values that you have in common with yourcustomers; then emphasize them.People reason that if you’re like them in some ways, you’re probably like them in otherways. Therefore, they begin to transfer trust as friend to friend.And they will buy from you.
  5. 5. MORE TIPS … 1. Compliment someone on the gym floor about his or her physique. 2. Offer to show them an exercise variation that has worked really well for you. 3. What are most people looking for in the gym? Abs, fat loss, muscle! Learn to play off that want. 4. Offer FREE Tip Sheet or Report on getting a better body and offer a FREE workout! HOW YOU CAN USE YOUR KNOWLEDGE AND MY SPORTS MECICINE CENTER TO ATTRACT CLIENTS! I always give a weekly workshop on Health and Fitness in my Sports Medicine Center. You can joint venture market with me to attract clients and offer FREE Sessions. How? While prospecting offer the FREE Tip sheet provided and an INVITATION to the „Special Workshop” that you will do with me. Make a FREE session with you something of VALUE. If they get the FREE session with you then they are able to attend the workshop. Sample workshop titles include:  SECRETS TO AWESOME AB  CONFESSIONS OF A PERSONAL TRAINER: 6 STEPS TO A BETTER BODY  5 STEPS TO FITTING IN YOUR PANTS AGAIN! The choices are endless! Prospecting and attracting clients is a building process. It takes several contacts to establish a trust with another person. Here is one little known secret to help you reach that goal. REMEMBER NAMES AND USE THEM OFTEN! What is the sweetest sound to another person‟s ears? Their name. Plus, it shows that you care enough about them to remember. Do you know how often that happens? Rarely. KEYS TO REMEMBERING NAMESTIP: If the name is unusual or you do not know how to spell it. Take the time to ask them howto spell it and then repeat it back to them immediately, Compliment them on its uniqueness.
  6. 6. Repeat after me:Repetition, repetition, repetition. When you are first introduced to someone, use his or her names severaltimes when you talk to them. "Hi, Jim, nice to meet you. So, what do you do for a living Jim? Do you haveany kids, Jim? Jim, it was great to meet you!" If you dont catch their name when it was originally told toyou, ask for it again. Saying it immediately will help you remember it when they walk away.Guilty by association. You can remember someone by who they were with. For example, if you know Sam and he introducesyou to Kathleen, you can use the letters from their two names to make S&K. Here, there is a store calledS&K Mens Mart, so I would remember that by linking those two together. You can use other similarmemory clues to remember someone. Warning: If you see Kathleen alone without Sam, you may notremember her name since it was linked to someone else.Shes got the look! Another memory method is to link their name to feature or characteristic. If they resemble something andtheir name sounds similar to that, or begins with the first letter, you can use that as a memory clue. Forexample: if you know someone named Ryan who has big blonde hair, you might think of him as "LionRyan" because of his "golden mane". Or, you know a girl named Tiffany who is Tall, she becomes TallTiffany. Sometimes your memory clues get way out there, the farther out; oftentimes the easier it is toremember their name. A word of caution, if it is something that might offend, dont tell them what theirmemory clue is!Famous names.Even if their name isnt exactly the same as a famous person, if it sounds close, it can work. I have anassociate whose name is close to James Bond, so I think of him as a spy in order to remember his name.Ask again.If you run into someone whose name you have forgotten, ask again. It isnt bad to ask someone for theirname again, but try some of the memory clues to see if you can remember it for the next time you run intothem!TIPS TO GETTING OVER PROSPECTING FEARS  To have more confidence, stop analyzing yourself and focus on how you can contribute to others.  Think about what you have to offer and how a person‟s life will NOT change for the better if you don‟t act.  Believe in yourself, you are the only one who will suffer if you don‟t follow your dreams and get over your fears.  Get over yourself! Everyone else has. Remember, people are more concerned with themselves. Not you.  Ask yourself, “What would happen to all of these people if you allow your uncertainty, or insecurity to stop you from following through?”