Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Last Standing Personal Trainer

With all this talk of personal training dying to make way for group classes and bootcamps, I am dumbfounded at how many people come to my facility aghast at the possibilities that they have to transform. 

Imagine...if you will...being able to sit with your doctor one on one, with his undivided attention for longer than 15 minutes? When I say undivided attention, I mean there isn't anyone else waiting for him, or medical staff requesting his signature, or his beeper going off to tend to a patient on another floor. 

Imagine...if you will...standing over your car hood looking at the engine with your own private mechanic. The two of you talk over the symptoms, hearing the explanations and possible repairs that loom. When I say your "private mechanic"...I mean, he has no other cars to work on today...no sales consultant to haggle with, and there are no distractions. The car will be done on time.

Imagine...if you will...having your own private postal worker? Imagine walking into a post office with your shipment or package and walking right up to the counter? No lines...no one buying stamps in front of you...and no annoying cell phone users. That postal worker takes your package and finds the right delivery method and off you go. In and out in under 4 minutes. 

Okay,  that last one is hard to imagine but you get the point. Personal training is still a viable service to be offered in gyms and private facilities. When customers see the outside of my facility and see this: 


They walk in and the jaws drop when they see this:


What I think goes through my potential client's mind when they walk into my facility and speak with me?

"All this stuff is for me!"

"I get to use this place all by myself!"

"I have this guy to help me all to myself!"

"There's no one else here to annoy, distract, or belittle me!"

I can't speak for commercial gym personal training in this post. Because for the client,  the product is the trainer and if the trainer is mediocre or non-engaging,  the experience will be poor. However, speaking for private facility owners, there are four factors that will make personal training continue to be a revenue generator for your business:

Privacy. With the condemnation of fat people, there is a polarization in society. People know they need to get fit and healthy; but they don't want to be in an atmosphere where they will feel judged or intimidated. Selling private training is a powerful tool. Yes, group energy is still a major player when it comes to creating an atmosphere and generating income, but people will pay for private service. Remember, if you can have a solid service and outlet to impact people on an individual basis, they will invest in accountability. Empowerment is a powerful emotion and you have the ability to instill that on clients everyday. If you are sitting in a room with a doctor, mechanic, policeman, or priest with the ability to ask as many questions and receive as much advice as possible is; that is a valuable commodity.  That opportunity exists in private training. If clients can view you as a professional with resources and proven results, this commodity beckons advantage. 

Individual Attention. Customer service begins with attention. Remember how you interacted with your teacher during class and when you were alone she acted differently? During class, a teacher divides her attention among 20-30 students. When you are alone--as in tutoring--her attention is solely on YOUR NEEDS. That is why tutors are valuable assets to the learning process. Private training is equivalent to tutoring. Trainers act as coaches of human movement and help client understand how to move better using exercise and physique alteration. 

Selfishness. There is a component of selfishness that drives people when they invest alot of money. People are willing to invest big money into a service, provided they are felt like number #1. It's a natural devotion that comes with handing over a large investment for a need. If the need is great enough, the more selfish your client becomes. Having the opportunity to sit with a professional for an hour or 30 minutes is what drives this selfishness. This emotion is born from the need. 

There is still a need for private training. 95% of my personal business is private training. Working with clients on an individual basis is the essence of coaching. 



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