My palms sweated causing the ball point pen in my hand to grow slippery.
I put it down.
‘Erm,’ I stammered, ‘You see, if you buy a 5 or a 10 pack you can save some money.’
I nervously pointed on the piece of paper on the round aluminium cafe style table between us.
I was in a gym in Preston, Victoria. Stumbling my way through a sales script I had read online and tried to memorize.
I had just completed a free trial personal training session with a member of the gym and was now poorly attempting to sell her more sessions.
It was 3 months since I qualified as a personal trainer, I had zero clients and yet I was attempting to charge more than any other trainer in my gym. I had been told during my schooling that I should value what I do and not just charge less because everyone else is.
It was a great theory but in practice I was struggling to execute it.
The girl on the other side of the table looked at the piece of paper my sweaty hand was now leaving a grease spot on.
I tried to smile reassuringly. I probably looked like I was just baring my teeth at her.
Don’t say anything now. I had read. Stay quiet for as long as it takes for them to say something.
‘Uh, if you sign up for a 10 pack I’ll throw in an extra two sessions,’ I blurted out.
I had to say something! I was going to lose this sale otherwise.
The girl looked around the gym searching for an escape.
She looked nervous too. Clearly I was not instilling confidence in my abilities.
‘I’m sorry,’ she began.
I didn’t hear the rest. I knew I had blown it. Again.
That was nearly 5 years ago.
After that vivid failure I distinctly remember the feeling of despair I had. After several similar experiences I ended up leaving that gym and joining a small Personal Training studio instead.
Here I found some support, not really in the form of sales training but in the ability I had as a trainer.
I still had to try and sell people coming in sign up for personal training. Most of the time I still failed or they would just buy a 5 pack and never come back after that time. But at least now I had a small community of trainers to help pick me back up afterwards.
My actual training sessions were interesting, but I really struggled to teach people what seemed like basic movements to me. And then out of fear that they would get bored I would attempt to scale them up to more complex drills before they were ready.
It was a big mess of trial and error and fumbling about.
Then one day, about 12 months after finishing my PT course, something changed.
I would sit down with a new client and instead of just buying a 5 pack or nothing at all, they started buying 20 personal training sessions from me. Often that was just after a 20 minute chat and free trial.
With my bootcamp leads, 9 out of 10 people that asked about bootcamp would sign up and pay on my phone call or email to them.
The strange part was that I had long ago stopped trying to memorize and use sales script on new leads. I felt like I was just being myself and chatting to them.
What had changed?
I had gained confidence in my ability as a trainer, in what I was doing/selling and in the price I was charging.
I had seen my clients get results, I had seen their lives improve and I knew fully and deeply that what I did was valuable. I didn’t have to convince myself that I knew, I just knew.
And I hadn’t given up months ago because I had had the support from the other trainers in the studio to get me by.
Tactics and scripts matter less then you think
Marketing experts are often showing you tatics, sales scripts and more. I have a folder on my computer chock full of digital products I purchased to help me sell fitness.
In the end, all of that stuff accounted for only about 10% of my sales success. The other 90% came from confidence.
Just watch this video of Humans of New York creator Brandon ..
How to become more confident
The best way to become more confident about something is to put in the work.
Show up each day and over time your abilities will increase, decisions will become easier as you have experienced them before and that confidence will be noticed by all those around you.
Sales will become easier because people will be able to see that you are genuine. They will sense that you actually know what you are talking about and believe in what you do.
You can’t fake that.
You can’t fake that feeling of, ‘This is what I do, if it’s not for you, you can go somewhere else. However, if you would like to train with me, this is how much it is. Cash or credit?’
You can only get that kind of posture in one way.
And that is to do the work.
You have to go through the sucky part where your palms sweat every time you try to sell a new client. Where yet another person rejects you and walks away. Where you give another client the wrong exercise modification. Where you can’t teach this crazy client how to squat properly.
You have to go through that.
But you don’t have to go it alone. Like I said, I owe a lot of not giving up to the 4 or 5 other trainers I worked with on a weekly basis. Their confidence started rubbing off on me and my skills increased faster then bashing it out alone.
That’s why The Trainers Tribe is here. To help you not quit. To help you stick it out until one day you realise that those many of fears you had have melted away.
Of course then there will be new fears, but that’s for another article.
Join The Tribe
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