What do customers look for in personal trainers?
So…you’ re about to be a personal trainer, and you’re ready to hit the market and show off your skills and knowledge to prospective clients…but what are those clients actually looking for?
Is your bag of tricks the big draw card for them, is it your compassion, your ability to listen, your price, the speed of your results…?
The truth is, you’ll never quite know exactly what every customer is looking for when they come knocking on your door. It will vary, sometimes quite considerably, from person to person.
This obviously presents some challenges for personal trainers, and means you have to be on your “A Game” all the time to keep customers happy. But then again, who said business was meant to be easy?
A quick review of articles available online gives some valuable insights into the most common things people look for before hiring a PT. The importance of each of the elements listed below will of course vary in strength for individual customers, and there is a real skill involved in quickly determining the trigger points of the person standing in front of you and providing them with the information and reassurance they need.
Here’s a list of the nine most common features that customers look for in a personal trainer. We hope you find it beneficial!
1. Qualification and continuing education: A quality personal trainer should have achieved at least a Certificate IV in Fitness, and customers will want to know that your certification has come from a legit certification body.
They will also want to see that you are keeping your certification and education current. This means that you need to continue to attend classes, seminars or successfully complete continuing education courses for credit. Developing your skills and knowledge throughout your career as a fitness professional is critical.
2. Adaptability: Customers want to know that you can create a program based on their needs and goals. They don’ t want a cookie-cutter routine (i.e. one size fits all). Every four to six weeks your should make changes to their program routine to avoid a plateau and to help them continue to make fitness gains.
3. Experience: Customers are always looking for someone with a good body of experience. The more time in the industry, the better. This can make it tough for PT’s who are starting out, which is why it’s critical you get as much experience as quickly as you can.
This may mean working for cheaper rates to quickly build a client base, or even volunteering. But it’s a case of short term pain for long term gain. And as you build up a body of work, make sure you advertise it through testimonials on your website, or through engaging with current clients on social media.
4. Ability and attention: As a trainer, you should be giving your client your undivided attention to make sure they are performing exercises correctly and effectively. This means no chatting to other people in the gym, no texting, no calls, no coffee. Take their workout as seriously as you take your own.
5. Personality: You’ll work harder for someone you like, and the same thing applies to your clients. Being “likeable” is crucial in many businesses, but particularly in personal training. Show clients that you care, do more listening than talking, take notes on their interests, and be genuine.
6. Results: Everyone wants results, and if you’re not getting them for your clients – and fast – it’s sayonara. Clients probably want to see more results for less effort than is possible, so be realistic when setting goals with them. It’s always better to under-promise and over-deliver.
7. Medical history and fitness evaluation: Before you put a client through their first workout, ensure you have taken down their medical history and have performed a fitness evaluation – they will expect this and it will help to reassure them that you have their best interests at heart and understand any physical limitations they may have. It removes their fear and builds confidence in your professionalism.
8. Costs: This is one of the more difficult balancing acts that personal trainers to have make. You don’t want to under sell yourself, but at the same time you can’t afford to out-price the market. Study what your competition is doing, learn about the area you’re working in and the type of people coming into your gym, and experiment with different price and package levels. Before long you’ll hit the sweet spot that works for you and keeps the customers signing up.
9. Your body: This is the one industry where it’s ok to be shallow and superficial…in fact, it’s more than ok, it’s expected! If you’re promising to get someone into the best shape of their life, make sure you’re in the best shape of yours. If you specialise in weight loss, make sure you don’t look like a fast food junkie looking for your next hit.
In short, if you’re going to talk the talk, make sure you can walk the walk.