“I’m just here because it’s free. I don’t need your help. I don’t want to buy anything from you.” So says the client in front of you at your complimentary session.
How do you deal with a statement like that within the first few minutes of a complimentary session? It’s hard to tell right away, but it might be the best appointment you have all day. You have an opportunity to make a real difference here.
One approach would be to go ahead and conduct the training session trying to charm the client, take him through the process hoping that he’ll open up and you’ll break the ice. You could continue to probe him for goals or what he wants to get out of the session most. You might be successful with that route.
Internally, you might shake your head the whole time, not understanding where a client is coming from and why you of all trainers on your staff had to get that one! You could just try to get through it and get it over with and move on to the next one. Big mistake.
If you address the real objection you stand a much better chance of making a good first impression; cracking the tough exterior of the client and having a real conversation.You are much better off saying what you’re thinking. What is that? Wouldn’t you be thinking what a tough session this is going to be? You’d be thinking that this guy has his mind made up he doesn’t want personal training, so much that even if he does really need it, he won’t understand what you’d try to tell him about your assessment of his situation. If you proceed this way you’re going to be scared of recommending something knowing you’re going to come back to this spot right now.
Address it head on! Address the problem. Don’t go looking for the scripted objections. He already has given you the biggest one.
“You seem defensive, I”m afraid we won’t get very far giving you information that’s helpful for you during this time if that’s true. can you tell me more about what you do want?” “You seem defensive. You sound sure that I’m going to sell you something. If you’re thinking that we’re both going to be distracted rather than focused. Can we clear the air on that?” “Are you thinking this is just a sales pitch?” “You seem defensive. Maybe you’re sure this is going to be a sales pitch. Is either of those true?” “Let’s agree on this, OK? I do work as a personal trainer; that’s how I make my living. I make sure that people don’t get hurt, get started on the best path toward exercise with the most benefits, and I look for things during our first meeting here that tell me you might need assistance in doing that.” “Our mission here is to make sure that every one gets the best exercise recommendations to get the most from their exercise time. I will watch you and if I see something that tells me you’d benefit from personal training, I’m going to tell you about that. If I know I can help you I’ll tell you that. But there’s no obligation on your part and you still will walk away with this knowledge and know I’m here to answer questions for you, today or later. Fair enough?”
If you’re role-playing, and I hope that you are, if you want to build your personal training business, you need to build your ability to speak to people! Address the tone of voice, the body language, the real message. Then you can make some progress.
Read tomorrow’s blog! What happens if you ignore something because you don’t know how to talk to people?