Fitness News

How to turn free sessions into long-term clients

By 9th March 2017 No Comments

Breaking News: If you want to become a successful fitness professional, with a tonne of clients, then you have to be able to sell your service well!


Ok, I lied, it’s not exactly breaking news…in fact, it’s quite obvious and clear that this is what you have to do to get more paying clients. But something that isn’t so clear is actually how to sell.

Selling personal training isn’t as easy as crossing your fingers and hoping, especially if you’re new to the industry.

You don’t have to be a super sales person or have an extensive resumé of selling in the past, you just need to learn the best methods.

One of the most common mistakes when selling is throwing it right in the prospects face straight away. BUY BUY BUY! It just doesn’t work.

Unlike other businesses – like online stores – not all your visitors are ready to purchase instantly. You need to nurture them into becoming a warm lead. I always recommend giving prospects something for free, first of all, to help turn them into a lead without piling on the pressure.

One of the most successful freebies a fit pro can offer is a free session.

I’ve spoken about how to offer a free session in the past, but in this article, I’m going to tell you what to do once a prospect has booked in for the free session.




A warm lead starts with a free coaching session.

Most gyms offer a free session with a trainer when someone purchases a gym membership. If you are operating independently, however, it’s still a good idea to give all prospects one free personal training session.

This is like buying a car. It allows people to test drive your service.  

The free session works in your favour, too. It makes the sales goal much easier to land, by building a face-to-face relationship with the prospect.

So when somebody books in for a free session, there is a number of steps you should follow to land the sale…




Speak with the prospect the day before.

It can be quite nerve wracking when attending a PT session for the first time. The first thing we want to do is make the prospect comfortable and excited!

A great way to do this is by picking up with the prospect, the day before, to speak with them and answer any questions they may have. Help build up their confidence before the session.

This also serves as a reminder for the client to show up for the session and see if this person is truly interested in your service.

I recommend contacting them through a call. Try to avoid texting or emailing. A call helps to build the a stronger relationship.

Remember that the purpose of an introductory session is for you to show your potential clients how personal training is needed to help them achieve their goals.

Be explicit about the purpose over the phone, but be succinct. If the client starts to bombard you with detailed questions that require detailed answers, politely remind the client to ask those questions during training, as that is part of its purpose.

If a client asks what you need from him, simply state that he should come dressed in gym clothes, be ready to complete a fun workout, and that you will take care of everything else.

The tough part here is that you might lose a few people right there and then during the call, but it’s more than likely these people weren’t fully interested in the first place. I’m sure you would rather find out over the phone in five minutes than after spending a full hour with them that they aren’t interested.




Make your free session fun.

You want inject excitement and fun into your free sessions. I’m sure you do this in your standard sessions, but in your free sessions, crank it up a notch!

It could be simply showing the client a new exercise that you think they would enjoy, or helping him complete his first successful workout.

Then at the end of the session, Ask your client, “Was that workout fun for you?

Make your free session so awesome that you’re more than confident that they will reply with “YES!”

Don’t push your client to the brink of hell on their complimentary session. You don’t want them to dread coming back. Ease them into it, help them visualise the progression they could make with your help and you will be onto winning ways!



Use The Yes Factor.

The ‘Yes-Factor’ is one of the most popular sales techniques and with good reason. Not only does it put a potential customer in a positive frame of mind, it also helps to gear them into buying-mode.

During and after your free session, ask basic “yes” questions. Yes questions are exactly what they say on the tin – questions that warrant only one answer…Yes.

Some simple Yes Questions you can ask are:

During the session

Can you feel it working?

Shall we try this exercise? 



After The Session

Did you enjoy that session?

Do you think this would make a difference to your fitness?

Shall we trial some sessions?



The point of these “yes” questions is that you are making the clients confirm over and over again that they do want to be in better shape; they do want to improve their health; they do need help in constructing their workouts and nutrition plans; and they do need a personal trainer – you.

This way when it comes time to purchase personal training sessions, they are already ready to say the magic word – Yes!




Give them options

When offering your training packages, give your client choices. Don’t just say, “Would you like to buy personal training?” and look at them with hopeful eyes pleading for them to agree. Instead, try a different angle and give them options.

Instead of jumping in with a blunt question, try something like this for your final pitch:

“Ok, so now that I have an understanding of your goals and what you want to achieve, we should look at training together 2 or 3 times a week, which one of these options would work best for you?”

Giving them the option puts the power in their hands. After speaking with a number of fitness professionals, I found this is easiest to employ than simply asking the client if they wanted to purchase personal training or not.




Final Thought

Selling your product or service is a skill – a skill that can be perfected over time with practice and effort.

The tips above will help you improve your selling game, but the majority of your progress will come from practice.

The more practice you have, the more you will memorise your pitch as well as feel comfortable when delivering it.

Remember, your marketing goal is to show the client that you are the type of trainer they want to work with. You are the trainer they have been looking for.