Most personal trainer marketing sucks. Does yours? Understanding the 'Features' vs. 'Benefits' approach in your personal training marketing will get you more clients!
I‘m pissed off.
Too much personal trainer marketing sucks. I don’t care if you bought the “secret personal training ninja marketing bundle” or are following the “7 step blueprint for personal training marketing success”. Because none of that shit works. This is tough love. I’m here to challenge you to get better, not baby you with an article about listening skills or tell you for the 1000th time to learn how to close.
I see your Facebook posts, look at your flyers, and overhear you speak about helping your clients. You nod your head and smile and tell them you can help them lose 5lbs. You scribble it down on a piece of paper to show that you’re both authoritative and attentive. You paraphrase it because you read an article once that told you that makes it look like you care.
And you do care. That’s what pisses me off the most. You love your clients and want them to succeed. You know you can help them if they only gave you the chance. But your personal trainer marketing sucks so they never get in front of you and when they do you can’t sell them on training. You resign to offering them a free session to “try it out”. Stop it! Stop offering a free session right now. It’s killing your business.
There is one concept you’re missing. It’s so simple that you will slap your head after I tell you. It’s also enough to change your business around.
Personal Training: Benefits vs. Features
Features speak to the head. Benefits speak to the heart.
Features speak to the head. Benefits speak to the heart. Click to Tweet
So what’s your problem? You are speaking to logic, not emotion. Emotion outsells logic 10 to 1. Emotion dictates purchase decisions, logic justifies them. Why do you think infomercials sell so much unneeded crap? They sell on emotion and get people to buy quick. Read over these two explanations of a program:
Trainer 1: “My goal is to train you to do squats. The reason is that squats work all of the large muscles of the body. By training large muscles your body will burn more fuel during the workout. The best part is that after the workout your metabolic rate will be raised for as much as 72hrs. Pretty cool huh? Ok, let’s get out there and train hard.”
Trainer 2: “We’re going to have some fun today. When we’re done you will be one step closer to ripped abs because of all of the fat you’re burning from using such large muscles. I know you have your vacation to get ready for in 2 months and the girls won’t be able to keep their hands off of you if we keep training like this.”
Trainer 1 and 2 said the same thing. Squats work big muscles = more fuel = bigger body.
Trainer 2 extended it to getting laid. Sex is one of if not the most important benefit you need to understand. Here’s a list of all the ultimate benefits from Dr. Jeffrey Lant’s book How to Make a Whole Lot More Than 1,000,000 Writing, Commissioning, Publishing, and Selling How to Information:
- Financial stability
- Community and peer recognition
- Sexual Fulfillment
- Beauty/desirability/personal attractiveness
You can help your clients with health, love, security, self-regard, community and peer recognition, sexual fulfillment, and beauty/desirability, personal attractiveness.
In fact you’re already doing it. So write down this list and keep it some place safe. It’s worth it’s weight in gold. Hell I’ve got a good idea. Instead of writing the same ads as everybody else promising that you specialize in fat burning, athletic performance, pain reduction, or muscle gain how about you switch things up?
Why don’t you tell your clients you can help them get laid? Seriously. In an ad write “I will help you get laid”. It appeals to men and women. Or maybe you want to delve deep into the emotional benefits. Why not write a short story something like this:
“When Mary got married she was petrified at going to her in-laws. Everything would be fine until the dreaded dinner came. Mary was afraid to eat because the second she took her first bite the stares would start. Slowly her father in-law would make a snide comment before the whole table would start speaking about how overweight she was.
Mary started working with me 4 months ago. She’s now down 20lbs but that doesn’t matter. What does is that the comments have stopped. Ha! Just last week her father in law called in to start on a fitness program himself.
We don’t care about the weight you lose at Jon’s Totally Sweet and Awesome Ninja Gym. We give people their lives back. If you suffer from snide remarks at the dinner table we’d love to help. For the next 2 days half of the price of your initial package will be donated to the charity of your choice so sign up now, donate to charity and get your confidence back.”
Perception is More Powerful Than Reality
Perceived social support is more powerful than actual received social support (Wethington and Kessler 1986). Your job is to give your clients the ultimate benefits of personal training. If losing 10lbs is a step along the well then so be it.
Personally, I work out to give me more confidence. And when I have more confidence I walk into the room with my chest up. And when I walk into the room with my chest up I might just catch the cute blond in the corner shooting me a look. And when I catch the blond giving me a look I say hello. And when I say hello my chances of getting laid go up.