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Stop Making These 5 Mistakes With Your Client Intake Forms

by Jonathan Goodman | Follow on Twitter

Want to grow your online or offline business by gathering clients through your website. These 5 mistakes could be stopping quality leads from applying OR could be setting precedents that are stopping leads from purchasing your services because you haven’t been able to show value.

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Hi and welcome to Jon’s Totally Awesome Fitness, I’m Jon.”

“Hi, great to meet you. I’ve heard good things, my name is Jenny.”

“Hi Jenny, I am an NSCA CSCS and certified Kinesiologist. My passion is helping others and I love working with people from all different walks of life including, but not exclusive to, the following: older age men and women, athletes, weekend warriors, people completely new to training, people getting ready for an event, or men and women that just want to lose an extra couple of pounds and firm up.

Here are a bunch of testimonials to show you that I’m great at what I do…

*PLUNK. Testimonials get dropped on the desk*

online personal trainingMy personal fitness philosophy is that fitness should be made simple. You see, I believe that there’s a lot of conflicting information today–noise–it’s everywhere and it doesn’t help anybody. Unfortunately, a lot of people are more interested in selling you their system than they are in teaching and empowering you to take the best of all different systems FOR YOU.

Nutrition is the same way. You see, the supplement industry is rampant these days. There’s a lot of money to be made in selling you fat loss pills or powders to help you gain muscle. I don’t believe that most people need to take any of these. Instead, I’m going to work with you to build up great habits to eat a full diet of real foods.

I love this stuff, so let me do the work for you. I attend tons of conferences each year, every single one is listed below on this page of paper. Here–look. I read a lot of books that make me look super smaht when I tell you about them because they have fancy names. I also do a lot of certifications so I can have 27 letters behind my name that resembles alphabet soup but looks super important.

So yeah, umm, want to buy training? It costs $500/month. I’ll provide you with workouts built specially for you and a diet plan that will help you get more energy, burn more fat, and build more muscle.

Ok, ready to go? Good. Great! Use this paypal button and pay me and we’ll get going.”

Holy hell, shut up already!

A Client Intake Doesn’t Go Like This So…

…Why do most contact forms on personal trainers and gyms websites look like this.

When a client comes into your gym for an initial intake, you should be asking as many questions as possible to get to know the client and create a relationship with them. Only then do you decide which specific services or aspects of your education would be of most interest.

Yet, when I look at the web forms built by trainers promoting their online training services or evenĀ  for trainers looking to gain clients online to train locally in person, they inevitably look something like my asinine example above.

This article will teach you exactly what you need to know to construct web forms to mimic a sales meeting. Careful consideration must be made when choosing your questions and writing the simple questions. Most of all, like a sales meeting, price isn’t mentioned until the client is convinced that you are the right person to help them.

Where to Put the Web Form

The example I’m going to use is the form I used to gather information for applicants to my Viralnomics ProTM and Viralnomics EliteTM coaching groups. While this is for an online business and branding developing program, the concepts are identical.

The first and most obvious place to put your form is under a “coaching” or “training” tab on your page.

Online personal trainer coaching

The second place is the “about” page on your site. I actually consider the “about” page to be the most important page on your website. Whenever somebody new comes to your page, they will check out the original blog post or piece of content that originally brought them there (or home page if it’s through search) and want to know who you are.

The about page should not be about you, it should be about the benefits you offer the person landing on your page. After you’ve extolled the benefits, you can add in a couple lines about why you’re awesome. To save my phalanges in explaining how to optimize the entire page, I’ll refer you to a previous post I wrote called, The Most Important Page on Your Blog–The About Page.

If you are wanting to get online personal training clients or offline clients through your website, you might want to put your contact form at the bottom of this page as well.

The 5 Mistakes to Avoid

1. Talking About Yourself First and Revealing Price.

When you first meet a lead offline, you don’t hammer them with everything you can think of that you think makes you look awesome. In Selling Personal Training in 5 Steps I talk about the importance of asking open-ended questions and building a strong relationship with your lead before breaching the subject of training or price. You should do the same online with your online form.

Nowhere on your website should you have a reference to price. If a client hasn’t yet been convinced of value, the cheapest trainer in the world is too expensive. If you’ve built a relationship and the client is convinced that you are the right person to help them, price becomes secondary.

“If a client hasn’t yet been convinced of value, the cheapest trainer in the world is too expensive.” – Click to Tweet

2. Asking Only Fitness Questions.

Ask questions to get to know your client. In my form on the Viralnomics coaching page, you’ll notice that I ask applicants to tell me their favorite books. Reading is a big part of my life and, chances are, that if an applicant names a couple great books we’ll get along.

What are your interests? Do you love to travel? If so, then ask the person filling out your form their favorite place to vacation or their favorite locale in the world.

Getting people to fill out this information has 3 benefits:

  1. Sets you apart. – Conventional is boring. Conventional gets ignored. Ask somebody to quote their favorite line from a movie and they’ll start reminiscing about a fond memory. Immediately your services become associated with that fond memory.
  2. Gives you a talking point when you contact them. – When you contact a potential lead would you rather say, “thank you for your inquiry. My prices for training are……. Would you like to get started?” Or would you prefer to say, “Wow! You love Indiana Jones too. Remember that scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark when Indiana and Sallah uncover the Wall of Souls?”
  3. Helps you pick out the people you really want to work with. – Your time is your most valuable commodity. My clients became some of my closest friends when I trained. Asking questions to pre-determine whether or not you’d enjoy working with a client is just as important as finding out their exercise histories.

online personal trainer form

Most of all, people buy trainers, not training. The easiest way to get somebody to do business with you is to get them to like you first. And why not? You’re hella likeable, so show it.

“People buy trainers, not training” – Click to Tweet

3. Not Using Testimonials Effectively.

You should absolutely include a couple testimonials on your contact page above your form for social proof. There are a couple things to consider when including your testimonials:

  1. More is not necessarily better. – This page should be kept short and clean. I suggest one testimonial that represents each major demographic you want to appeal to with your services.
  2. Include as much detail as you can. – Ask permission to include the full name, job, and a picture (perferable a bright picture of the person smiling).
  3. Try to have them include a line on overcoming the biggest problems facing your target market. – For example, do you want to train busy professionals? Well then at least one testimonial should be about how great you are at programming short workouts and tailoring it to a busy schedule. Know your target audience and all the reasons they feel they might have when considering purchasing training. Use the testimonials to assure them you can help them with exactly that problem.

4. Not getting the Client to Sell Themselves to You.

This could be the BIGGEST reason why people aren’t valuing your service enough, and it’s your fault. Don’t tell people to fill out the form for a free consultation or assessment. Instead, tell them to fill out your form TO APPLY for a 30 minute consultation.

At least one of your questions should be getting your lead to tell you why they specifically chose you as a coach or why they want coaching or how committed they are in achieving their goals (or all 3). By the time a potential lead clicks your button, they should be thinking of all of the different reasons why they want to buy your service and will be checking their email hourly waiting for a response.

online personal training

5. Not Making the Button Name Specific.

It’s been shown that click rates are higher the more specific the button name is. So instead of using a basic “submit”, name your button specific to the service that the lead the applying for. You’ll notice in my example above that the button says “apply for my strategy call” and not “submit”.

Bonus Mistake to Avoid – Not Being Yourself.

Crack jokes and show your personality. You must like the people you work with. Like attracts like. If you’re a nerd, make some nerd jokes. If you’re a guys guy, make some manly man comments. I can’t help you figure out how to be yourself, that’s up to you. My best advice is that if you want to say something or make a silly analogy, you should probably go ahead and do it.

online personal trainer form

Looking to Build or Grow an Online Training Business?

You should be. Training clients online is a great way to supplement your income with a couple thousand dollars a month for predominantly offline trainers. Or if you want to make a full switch, online trainers can often make upwards of 6-figures a year working from anywhere in the world.

viral marketing web branding coachingThe example I used for this email was from the form I use for my Viralnomics ProTM and Viralnomics EliteTM coaching groups. These groups offer both group support and one-on-one support for people looking to develop or grow an online business in the health and fitness industries. If you’re a SERIOUS ACTION TAKER and tired of spinning your wheels, one of these groups may be right for you. This is for both aspiring and experienced online fitness entrepreneurs.

To apply for a free 30 minute consultation with me, go to http://www.viralnomics.com/coaching/

The best software that I’ve come across for managing, automating, and systematizing an offline or online personal training clientele is this one (click to sign up for a free 30-day trial today). Aside from an easy to use interface, you can link it to an existing webpage or use a free custom web page provided for you. In addition, you can easily build workout templates and integrate with YouTube to take advantage of the biggest exercise library on the net.

Sign up for your free 30-day trial today at www.theptdc.com/trainerize

About the Author
Jonathan Goodman

As the creator and head coach of thePTDC, I'd have to say that this thing is pretty awesome. If you're interested in my book, it's called Ignite the Fire. Feel free to come hang out on my Facebook page where I talk explore the perfect balance between fitness, business, and living an awesome and fulfilling life.