Do you work as a fitness instructor or personal trainer in a commercial gym with access to members everyday? Are you looking for ways to connect with these members without looking too sleazy or desperate in the hopes that they’ll be interested in your personal training services?
If that sounds like you then this short guide on how to get clients from the gym floor is for you. I built the foundations of my business using gym clients and this is how I did it.
1. Establish Rapport
The first and most crucial step to getting clients from the gym floor is starting great conversations and winning people over. Being able to talk to clients about their problems in a language they understand and with empathy.
Literally every person who walks through those gym doors is trying to solve a problem. Some want to lose weight, some want to build muscle and some want to improve their confidence or feel fitter for life.
Your role as the go-to personal trainer in your gym is to empathise with their problem and offer solutions to solve it.
I spent so much time on the gym floor offering free advice, spotting heavy lifters and stretching clients that I was actually accused of lifting money from the cash register because we didn't take on as many one time entry fees.
My manager sat me down to ask why we make significantly less income on walk ins, people who pay a one time fee for daily access, than when the other members of the team are on shift.
Luckily, there was 24 hour CCTV and after we reviewed it, my manager realised I was their best member retention strategy.
I spent so much time helping out our existing members that retention rates were better than ever before.
2. Free Consultation Coupons
If you’re a bit shy and struggle to approach people on the gym floor to chat and help the members, try offering them a free coupon to have a 30 minute consultation with you.
This is a win win for both you and the gym you work for because you get one on one time with members while improving the gym experience.
You might need to ask a manager about the logistics but advertising options include:
The key is to figure out what works for the gym and its members so everyone can benefit.
3. Gym Email List
Almost all gyms collect the contact details of their members. Unfortunately, not all gyms allow you access to email those members.
One way you could get on the email blasts is by simply asking if your services could be mentioned. This might work well with a free offer as described above instead of listing prices and terms. The gym will more than likely have some kind of format to stick and restrictions on what you can and can’t say. Play the game and get as many eyes on your business as possible.
Some gyms may give you unlimited access to their list. In this case, you can take more time and establish rapport by sending tonnes of value to that list for your gym. Exercise and nutrition tips that have worked for your client.
Again, make it a win win for everyone. An engaged list for your gym, value for the members and eyes on your business.
4. Non Members
While it seems pretty obvious to constantly talk to members and offer free consultations etc, most trainer miss another abundant source of clients.
Non members. The people in your gym who work there. The marketing guy, the girl who serves coffee, the bodybuilder who serves protein shakes and the girl on reception.
The people who work at the gym more than likely have some interest in fitness, even if it’s small. But this means they’re much more likely to have friends and family who are interested in keeping healthy.
Becoming the go-to-guy for non members will make you the go-to-guy for their friends. Be helpful, offer value, get them a coffee, be a nice person. If they’re ever talking about fitness or health outside of work, guess who’s going to be top of mind?
5. Give to Get
Again, this boils down to just being a great person.
Offering a free consultation or 30 minute session is nice. But it comes with the salty taste of sales. The member knows you’ll ultimately try to sell them something more. And that’s OK.
But nothing beats giving unconditionally. Like seeing a member really struggling and buying them a Powerade.
“Hey, you look like you’re working double time so I got you this. Don’t tell anybody or they’ll all want one”
The member will forever associate you with that kindness and be much more willing and open to return a favour. The key though, is not to do it for a favour, it’s to be nice unconditionally.
6. Health Assessment Days
When I worked in a hotel leisure centre, one of the other personal trainers held a health assessment day.
Between 9am and 3pm you could book a 10 minute slot to assess your health with a personal trainer for £5. Each test included weight, body fat percentage, blood glucose and more. Plus some 1:1 advice while everything was being done.
The personal trainer was so fully booked she had to call her husband to come in and help out with the admin.
As well as the one time fees which added up to a pretty substantial amount, she also gained a few recurring clients from the assessment.
Why it Works
The reason all of the strategies above work because they don’t use complex marketing strategies, funnels and Facebook ads. They just require you to be the best person that you can be. To do what you set out to do when you first became a personal trainer.
To help as many people as possible.
With these 5 ways to get clients from the gym floor you should be able to build a strong foundation for you fitness business so that you can eventually take the next steps in to self employment.
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