6 Effective strategies to land new clients on the gym floor

Working in a big box gym has its perks. You get to network with other trainers, there are no overheads to worry about, and you get a large selection of clients. The only problem is that you still have to sell your services to those clients and sign them up.

And because you’re working alongside other trainers, it can be difficult to stand out and get traction. That’s exactly why I created this guide. It contains foolproof strategies that you can use to get instant results.

Give some free advice on their form

Proper form is the key to making any real progress in the gym. You know what proper form is and a bell goes off in your head every time an exercise isn’t done correctly. Explaining it to people on the gym floor may just get you the client you’re looking for.

It also helps you to demonstrate your expertise and highlight why the person needs a trainer. Show them how your guidance can double their results and maybe even minimize the post-workout soreness they may feel.

When you spot someone with poor form, the wrong approach is to come out and tell them how wrong they are. You want to make a great first impression without invoking any negative feelings

Some trainers like to first ask if the individual is working with a CPT. If the answer is yes, you can then find out what the exercise is for, and approach without putting the other person down. 

Here are some ways nice to correct a potential client’s form 

  • “I’ve been watching you and I appreciate the work you’re putting in. However, I believe you can make even more progress if you try it this way.” You can then explain why their form isn’t the best approach.
  • Doesn’t it hurt when you do that?” “Why don’t you try this instead. It feels much better, and … (list the other benefits)”. This is great for when the form could lead to injury.

Offer a short consultation 

While talking with potential clients, it’s a good idea to ask about their goals and current plans. You can then gently nudge them into a no-commitment 30-minute consultation.

During this period, you’re trying to listen and understand their needs, but also show that you have the expertise it takes to help them achieve their goals.

[bctt tweet=”One great way to get clients off the gym floor is to offer a free consultation. During this, you can listen, understand their needs and show that you have the requisite expertise.”]

Resist the temptation to fire off your list of qualifications. Clients want to feel heard, and when you only talk about yourself, you risk coming across as pushy.

Pay them a compliment

Compliment trainer to client
Photo by Ryan Snaadt on Unsplash

Good rapport is, or should be, one of the first things clients look out for when hiring a personal trainer. You’ll be spending a lot of time together, and your relationship determines how much they get out of the deal.

Here are some great compliments you can pay potential clients without lying or pretending:

  • I’ve seen you around quite a bit. I appreciate your consistency
  • Your form is very good. Have you been working out for a long time?
  • I see how much work you put in every time you come here. It shows 

With these compliments, you’re not trying to BS your way to their wallet so it helps to be authentic. Say something that’s true and that makes them feel good.

They probably won’t hire you right away. However, the interaction stays with them and you can press on later.

Pick a specialization

When you work in a big box gym, you may not get the chance to focus your practice and specialize. But if you can, it can really help you stand out from other trainers on the floor. With a specialization, you have a specific market and can easily identify clients that would be great for you.

Specializing also makes it easier for you to network as a CPT. Because everyone knows you focus on a unique area, they are more likely to refer clients that need those specific services.

The key here is to find an interesting way to articulate what you do. That way people hear and go, “oh that sounds nice. Tell me more.”

Develop simple answers to common questions

After spending time with clients, you’ll realize that they often have a lot of the same questions. Some of them may include how to target belly fat specifically, or how to build muscle while only visiting the gym once a week.

As you speak to more people, you’ll identify some frequently asked questions. So it’s a good idea to develop short and direct answers to them.

The trick is to not burst their bubble. After all, you want to build a good rapport so they’ll hire you. Instead, lead with a compliment. A great one is “I appreciate how much work you’re putting into achieving this goal.”. Then, try to present science-backed facts in a way they’ll understand.

Get jacked

You can talk about all the clients you’ve helped and the progress you made, but nothing speaks louder than a 6-foot vertical leap and 16-inch biceps.

[bctt tweet=”Sometimes, nothing says I know what I’m doing more than a physique to match. Most people will associate big muscles with competence. Use that to your advantage.”]

We know that looks can be deceiving and a defined 8-pack doesn’t translate to strength and functional mobility. But it’s just easier to get clients’ attention when you are jacked! If you can, bulk up and use that to your advantage. A lean and athletic stature will also have a similar effect, especially for female trainers.

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