Starting out the New Year I have been in the market to hire a personal trainer. You would think this would be something that should be fairly easy to find, particularly in my field of work, but what I’ve learned is a lot of personal trainers and gym owners are making some critical errors that are losing them potential business.

Here is what I have personally come across that those reading this should try to avoid as a gym owner or a personal trainer – if they want to stay in business that is.

1) Be confusing in your offerings
What specifically do you offer? Are you a group trainer, are you a one-on-one trainer, do you only offer online training? Do you train out of a gym, if so, where is the gym at? Do you train on location, if so, where are the locations? What style of training do you want your clients to engage in? It surprised me how many questions I had to ask prospective trainers because that information was not readily available.

2) Be vague when answering questions
This may seem like it is the same as the first, but it actually deserves its own point. When I contacted gyms and personal trainers to ask questions and try to obtain answers, it shocked me the vague answers I would get. Responding to potential consumer’s questions with “well, it depends” or “well, we should meet to discuss first” does not instill confidence. Do not ask people to jump through hoops when it comes to hiring you. One gym I contacted about rates would not give them to me. A week later they posted on their Instagram how they will never give out their rates over the phone and that consumers should come into the gym to see how awesome it is before they hear the rates. What a terrible way to do business. We are going to hide what we charge until we get you in person. And then to double-down on your dumbness by posting about it online; another fail.

3) Don’t follow up with prospective clients
With that same gym I was talking to, they told me they would have their head trainer call me to discuss my goals and what options I would have. That was two weeks ago (before they performed that idiotic post on Instagram). I’m a potential consumer, who was told I would receive a call and never did. Why would I give you any of my money now?

Now… let us flip the funnel to show you how a gym owner or a personal trainer can avoid these mistakes and actually succeed at booking clients.

1) Make it simple to understand. Illustrate your offerings in detail on your website. It is okay to limit your offerings and if it makes you feel better you can add in an option for “custom” packages. Bottom line; don’t assume consumers will know everything about you and what you offer. Make it crystal clear.

2) Answer questions completely to ensure your potential consumers understand the service offerings and what their options are. A consumer should not feel more confused after talking to you.

3) Always follow up, especially if you say you are going to. This goes to building and keeping trust with your potential clients. How can you expect your clients to do what you are going to say if you cannot follow through and simply do what you said you would do?

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto