How To Steal Another Personal Trainer's Clients
"Jesus Christ Chris, I thought you were an okay guy. Now you want us to sell out and go around stealing clients like the gym floor is some kind of strange Mad Max survival of the fittest Thunderdome?"
"YOUR CLIENTS ARE MINE NOW MATE!"
The obvious answer is that you shouldn't try to steal anyone's clients.
When you go after another Personal Trainer's clients directly by approaching them on the gym floor or messaging them personally it makes the work/gym environment sour for all, it puts the client in a very awkward position and makes you look like an unprofessional arse.
I've seen and heard both me and my partner coach V bad-mouthed to our clients and it leaves an extremely bitter taste.
As a Personal Trainer you need to make money. As a Personal Trainer you need to make sales. Sales make money.
I see that, I really do and I've been doing that for a long time.
But going after your colleague's business directly?
What benefits do you get from approaching another Personal Trainer's clients directly?
The only benefit you are going to get from approaching these people directly is the knowledge that they can afford Personal Training.
If you struggle to get this information from everyone else then you need to refine your sales and communication skills.
Saying "you should train with me and not them" isn't a viable sales strategy.
They already have a coach! Successful sales are secured by taking barriers down and making people feel comfortable with you. Not by telling them to fire their coach.
It's not really about the other Personal Trainer, it's mostly about the position it puts the client in.
The client might be placed into the potentially difficult position where they have to say "no" to your services (#1 reason being they already have a coach) and then see you on the gym floor every time they come into the gym. The gym management won't exactly the singing your praises when they leave because of this.
Make no mistake, the client will go straight to their coach and tell them. No matter how many times you ask them not to tell their coach THEY WILL TELL THEM BECAUSE THEY TRUST THEM ENOUGH TO PAY THEM THEIR VERY OWN HARD-EARNED MONEY AND CURRENTLY AREN'T PAYING YOU. Remember that.
This has all kinds of ramifications. A Personal Trainer who thinks you are going after your clients isn't going to give you any referrals because you are going after his or her services anyway!
I know I've provided many clients to many Personal Trainers as it's something I love doing and as much as I'd like to, I can't train everyone!
My referrals to other Personal Trainers are based on many factors.
One of my golden rules is that if you have to try and steal clients then something is wrong with your business or your mentality so my referral would be better going to someone else.
If management or sales find out you are acting unprofessionally they are less likely to give you referrals because they will favor the more professional trainers in your establishment.
In short, your business probably suffers more at every single level by going after another's business directly because it puts YOU in a bad light.
HOW TO STEAL MY CLIENTS
A Personal Trainer doesn't own his or her clients. They can speak to who they want, train with who they want and pay who they want.
I encourage mine to talk to as many people as possible to keep me on my toes and so they learn more!
If you want to steal my clients do a better job than me with your own clients, your own online content and with your own persona on the gym floor.
Introduce yourself to all members of the gym and say "if you need anything, I'm one of the Personal Trainer's here, you can ask me anything, I'm here to help."
That kind of communication makes such an impact on potential customers.
No-one can say that kind of behavior is 'client-stealing' behavior as it is polite, helpful and just good-manners.
And yes, admittedly if a client was to look for a new trainer they are far more likely to consider your services when you speak to them like that.
But all you are doing is being polite as you should be with everyone on the gym floor. If that client wants to work with you that client will come to you later down the line.
And you know what? If you can do a better job than me in every way then you deserve my clients and by doing such a good job you'll make us all have to up our game and the industry as a whole gets better.
Then we all hold hands and hug each other until the end of time.
People aren't stupid. If a Personal Trainer is doing a bad job the client will know. Success leaves clues, but failures shine in neon lights.
BE BETTER IN EVERY WAY THAN THE OTHER PERSONAL TRAINER'S AT YOUR GYM AND EVEN THE MOST OBLIVIOUS CLIENTS WILL NOTICE YOU.
Shine with success, professionalism and 'my-clients-have-great-gym-experiences-and-make-progress-ism.'
Because people are always watching.
And gym members talk to each other more than you'd think.
The same can be said when you are obviously unprofessional.
BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE ALWAYS WATCHING, TALKING AND LISTENING!
I train many people who have worked with other Personal Trainers. Many trained with other PT's in the same building at some point. I never tried to 'steal' any of these clients.
I provide as much value as I can to each and every person on the gym floor regardless of whether they have a coach or not, I only ever say that I'm just one of the coaches in the building and leave the rest to either themselves or their PT.
They asked ME questions because I provided them with enough value for them to want to talk to me and I either was doing a better job than their current trainer or their previous PT referred me their client because I had more experience with their needs or something similar.
No bad-mouthing is necessary. You do a job remarkably well and that will be magnetic enough all by itself.
I never had to go and sell to them directly or indirectly because I focus on providing value to as many people as possible. If you bad-mouth a fellow professional on the gym floor it always makes YOU look bad.
As always, the best sales process on the gym floor is talking to and providing value to as many people as possible without putting someone in a position where they will have a negative experience.
When you go after another's clients directly you shoot yourself and your sales process in both feet and swallow a grenade of self-destruction that can ruin the environment you work in.
So instead of going after someone else's clients by attacking the character or methods of another coach focus on providing the most value, showcasing the best communication skills and have the very best levels of professionalism that get results with the most people so that your services speak for themselves.
Be better, be great and be the next representative of the next level of Personal Trainer in whatever facility you work in!
Thank you for reading my friends!
Chris is a Personal Trainer, Strength Coach, Writer and man of small stature and reader of The Discworld Series with a decade in the industry.
He trains everyone from beginners to high level athletes. His favourite clients are people getting into the gym for the first time because they can make the biggest changes in their life.
You can reach me through the email address firstname.lastname@example.org
My Instagram is @Chris_Kershaw_Strength.