Home > Approach > How many contacts does it take to sell? what can I learn from this encounter?

How many contacts does it take to sell? what can I learn from this encounter?

Obviously, "it depends".

As a personal trainer in a gym...I have to get my own clients. In my particular situation i am extremely disadvantaged by the fact that the night manager is a trainer and her husband is too. So WHOEVER comes to the desk asking about training wont be hearing my name passed out anytime soon, lol.

So that leaves me to approach people in the gym.

So lets say I have never spoken to the particular person. In general they might have just joined.

How many "contacts" with the person would be average before I have sold them to start training with me? I am pretty sure most of my "sales" have been 1 contact deals, lol. Sort of easy come-easy go so far since most of them trained for a while then drifted away from the gym.


Here is a scenario that happened recently. (I dont remember all of the exact details)

2 women joined the gym. I just happened to be standing there at the desk at the time. I approached them and asked if they just joined blah blah. I handed them each a little flyer/inspirational article I had sitting on the desk. naturally it had my contact info on the bottom. I aksed about goals and there was a sentance or two exchanged there. One lady said "whatever will help me hit the golf ball further" to which I replied that I golfed too and it probably wouldnt be that hard to add a few yards etc. I left it how I have always generally left it (the "loser" non-close, lol). "If you are interested in getting some help or have any questions at all contact me blah blah." yes, weak I know....it has never worked yet so why does it seem so natural to say?

So I saw them again and an old guy who runs the desk some was showing them some of the machines. The guy is nice and we r buddies...but he is no trainer, lol. He always asks me questions about stuff, lol. Anyway he is showing them some machines etc. After they finished I spoke to the one lady who had done the talking before and my probable line was "well, are you ready to sign up for some training?" Naturally being very smiley and positive etc.

She replied about funds being tight etc. Then she said "mainly right now I am trying to learn soem of the machines". To which I laughed and said "and what would be the BEST way to do THAT?"

She sort of laughed and said "with a trainer I know". I told her that her friend and her could sign up together for a reduced "group rate". It ended up with her saying along the lines of "Ill talk to her and see what she wants to do" or similar line.


besides the obvious fact that I am clueless about sales, lol. I guess those are two of the standard objections. "money" and "check with someone else".


So what can I learn from this encounter?

how many such conversations usually must take place before there is a sale?

from your experience...besides me probably playing it all wrong...do these women sound interested in any personal training?

In my mind, if some of the trainers from the daytime were there, theyd already have these 2 training under them.

When I saw them being shown soem machines by the desk guy, should I have basically "took over" the situation and started helping them?


any thoughts etc? - by Fitness Trainer
Obviously, "it depends".

As a personal trainer in a gym...I have to get my own clients. In my particular situation i am extremely disadvantaged by the fact that the night manager is a trainer and her husband is too. So WHOEVER comes to the desk asking about training wont be hearing my name passed out anytime soon, lol.

So that leaves me to approach people in the gym.

So lets say I have never spoken to the particular person. In general they might have just joined.

How many "contacts" with the person would be average before I have sold them to start training with me? I am pretty sure most of my "sales" have been 1 contact deals, lol. Sort of easy come-easy go so far since most of them trained for a while then drifted away from the gym.


Here is a scenario that happened recently. (I dont remember all of the exact details)

2 women joined the gym. I just happened to be standing there at the desk at the time. I approached them and asked if they just joined blah blah. I handed them each a little flyer/inspirational article I had sitting on the desk. naturally it had my contact info on the bottom. I aksed about goals and there was a sentance or two exchanged there. One lady said "whatever will help me hit the golf ball further" to which I replied that I golfed too and it probably wouldnt be that hard to add a few yards etc. I left it how I have always generally left it (the "loser" non-close, lol). "If you are interested in getting some help or have any questions at all contact me blah blah." yes, weak I know....it has never worked yet so why does it seem so natural to say?

So I saw them again and an old guy who runs the desk some was showing them some of the machines. The guy is nice and we r buddies...but he is no trainer, lol. He always asks me questions about stuff, lol. Anyway he is showing them some machines etc. After they finished I spoke to the one lady who had done the talking before and my probable line was "well, are you ready to sign up for some training?" Naturally being very smiley and positive etc.

She replied about funds being tight etc. Then she said "mainly right now I am trying to learn soem of the machines". To which I laughed and said "and what would be the BEST way to do THAT?"

She sort of laughed and said "with a trainer I know". I told her that her friend and her could sign up together for a reduced "group rate". It ended up with her saying along the lines of "Ill talk to her and see what she wants to do" or similar line.


besides the obvious fact that I am clueless about sales, lol. I guess those are two of the standard objections. "money" and "check with someone else".


So what can I learn from this encounter?

how many such conversations usually must take place before there is a sale?

from your experience...besides me probably playing it all wrong...do these women sound interested in any personal training?

In my mind, if some of the trainers from the daytime were there, theyd already have these 2 training under them.

When I saw them being shown soem machines by the desk guy, should I have basically "took over" the situation and started helping them?


any thoughts etc?
Fitness, thanks for the detailed explanation of your situation.

Here are some thoughts:

My first impression is that you didn't discuss the prospect's situation or determine any needs or desires. You heard them mentioned that one of them made a comment about golf. You should have taken that comment and started a conversation about it, instead of just stating that you could probably be able to add a few yards to her drive. That comment is about YOU, but you need to find out about HER. "Is that the main reason you joined the club, to improve your drive?"; "How often do you play golf?"; "Tell me about your golf game." "What challenges do you have with your golf game?"; "Have you ever worked with a trainer to improve your golf game?"; etc., etc., etc. There are a million possible questions, but the goal is to get your prospect talking so you can learn. She talks...you listen. It takes good questioning skills to do that. That will do far more for you than handing out a flyer. Save the flyer. Ask questions instead. This is so basic to sales, but almost every week I see salespeople who could boost their sales significantly just by asking more and/or better questions.

Secondly, I agree with another post on another thread: someone had recommended (I'm sorry, but I can't remember who it was) for you to offer your time free and be available and willing to help people out. I think that's an excellent strategy. Get to be known as the expert at the club. Be visible. Offer to help. Give advice if it is wanted. It's a p.r. campaign, really. The more p.r. you can generate, the more attention you'll have, and the idea is that interested clients will seek you out.

Thirdly, I think you're on the right track. You seem very aware that you're not selling the right way to get the results you want. What impresses me is that you're willing to ask for help here in the forum, and you seem very interested in improving your skills. That will take you to the next level.

Fourth: You need a viable marketing strategy (separate from "selling") to drive some interested prospects your way.

I hope that helps.

Skip Anderson - by Skip Anderson
Great post Skip! thmbp2;

FT, when you're in front of a qualified prospect who is ready, willing and able that prospect might buy on the first contact. The opposite can be true too. If you're in front of someone who doesn't want your services or couldn't afford your services if they wanted to (to name a few factors) then until that changes you could have an unlimited number of contacts and still have no sale. - by AZBroker
I have been a successful personal trainer for almost eight years so I guess I can help you out a little bit.

First of all, it sounds like you are not at a very busy gym if there are only two other trainers (I read your intro post). So that just makes your job harder, but the thing is as a trainer you really need to focus on bringing value to your clients. When I started, I made it my mission to learn many different facets of training - not just lifting weights and weight loss. I learned training for many different sports, became a top level runner and triathlete, took a whole bunch of nutrition courses and took a lot of therapy and rehab courses. This was so that if anyone came through the door with something they wanted help with, I knew the answers. It quickly got to the point where I was turning clients away because there was noone else at that gym with my skill set. Knowledge is a very valuable thing. Also, be an example - you need to be in good shape and demonstrate that you practice what you preach.

You do need to give your time away a little bit to demonstrate value. For example, with the woman talking about golf, that would have been a great opportunity to simply ask her when the next time was she was coming in and offer to work with her for 30 minutes and see how she liked it. Don't go into it thinking "how can I sell this person?", think about it more in terms of "how can I help this person?". Some people will take advantage of you, but the majority will not - plus it gives you 30-40 minutes to make a real sales presentation because you are one on one for that time.

Remember to think about it in terms of what the buyer wants - if they just want to learn machines and get a routine, have a package for them that has maybe four sessions to design a program - often once you spend that time with them they will renew if they like you - and they see value in spending time with you. If someone only needs one session a week, be honest with them and tell them so.

Make sure you are visible and are there constantly helping people out if they need it. You can pick clients up off of the gym floor easily simply by asking if they want some advice and then offering them a free session. Some will take you up on it, some won't.

Remember too that "I have to think about it" sometimes means just that - if you stay friendly with these people (remember their names, say hello regularly) you will be the first person they think of when they do want a trainer.

Hope it helps, feel free to PM me with any other questions. - by fitseller
Thanks for those tips. I have heard or thought about all of those before and except for one (getting a few "package" deals together) they ALL hinge on one thing. People skills and confidence to approach people.

Which is basically the very thing I am lacking. I am just NOT "pushy", "agressive", 'forward' etc. I see the other trainers...damn those guys are like vultures, lol. A new face comes in the door and SWOOP there they go, lol.

Me, I have tons of knowledge just goign to waste. I cringe at the weak advice and explanations I hear the other traienrs giving for exercise info etc....but they have the people skills so they have the clients.

The knowledge thing is interesting because so far I havent seen a ton of value in me having what I have. Why not? Because the average client is SO uninformed that they wouldnt know the difference. They see a guy in a tank top with some decent arms and thats all the qualifications he needs, lol.

So really..almost the ONLY thing holding me back is just the social skills and confidence needed to approach people.

On the "free 30 minutes" idea. hehe, I have offered people a free first WEEK and just had them be indifferent. Its pretty hard to keep confidence when u cant freaking GIVE it away, lol.

I am also very limited in my time right now. Whereas for a large part of the year I WAS in the gym quite a bit trying to "be visible"..for whatever reason I was INvisible, especially compared to the louder more gregarious trainers.


is it even POSSIBLE for a somewhat introverted person to do anythign in sales and specifically in PTing. Its not that I am supershy or anything but its REALLY hard for me to break the ice. Once the ice is broken things r fine and people generally like me...but 99% of the time it doesnt get that far.

tell me EXACTLY what u say to people when u approach them?

how do you break the ice to them that you are a trainer? I started a conversation with a young guy tonight and we were talking about making gains etc and I sort of slid it in like "as a trainer, the main problem I see is peoples diets" etc. So if nothing else at least he knows I am a trainer now.


Right now, because I only have a few clients...I am not even sure anyone knows I am a trainer, lol. The gym owner just absolutely doesnt promote us at all except word of nouth for th eones she likes, lol. We get our names in the local classified as but what good does that do if no one knows my name? She talked about getting pics of all of us but that was like a year ago, lol.

I had flyers etc up at one time but I got pissed and took em down since not one person every approached me in reference to any of the flyers.

I just got a portrait pic done so I am working on another flyer just to get my face out there and let people know I am a trainer. - by Fitness Trainer
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