Although I loved math in school, I never wanted to sit at a desk job all day. I hated getting dressed up every morning. I wanted to wear running shoes and sweats. I wasn't particularly interested in sitting down for more than an hour at a time, and I loved to help people.

After 3 months of working my first "real job" (sitting at a desk), wondering why the hell I wasn't a personal trainer, I left. I'd gone to school for Kinesiology, and being a personal trainer was my burning desire. So, off I went.

As I made my way through my personal training career, into middle and then upper management of the largest private fitness chain in Canada, I got the chance to use my math skills -- and it changed my business.

I know it's not the most glamorous thing, but if you're going to run an effective business, whether you are working in a fitness club/studio or on your own, you need to know your numbers.

The 3 Numbers Your Must Know Are:

  1. Book Rate
  2. Show Rate
  3. Close Rate

Let's start with some definitions.

Book Rate: The number of people you book (confirmed day and time) for a consultation compared to the number of people you spoke to in any given time frame. For example, you talked to 10 people on the gym floor throughout the day and booked 6 of them for a consultation with you. Your book rate is 6/10, 60%.

Show Rate: Out of the 6 people you booked for a consultation, how many of them showed up to the appointment? Let's say 3 showed up. Your show rate is 3/6, 50%.

Close Rate: You've had the opportunity to do a full consultation with 3 people, and 2 of them buy personal training. Your close rate is 2/3, 66%.

These rates are absolutely crucial to progressing in your business. It's one of the best ways to figure out what's working well and where there are opportunities for improvement.

You may be asking yourself what the rates should be. My answer to you is, better than they were last week!

You can see here that it took talking to 10 people to gain 2 new clients. Since you're always looking to improve, let's say you want to gain 3/10 next week. The goal is to get the percentages as close to 100% as you can in each area.

Focus on the area where you think you can make the most impact, first. In this example, if you increased the book rate to 80%, but kept everything else the same, you'd sell training and gain 3 new clients the following week by talking to the same number of people. Magic!

Here are a few tips for improving each area:


  1. Be sure to ask them about their goals before you try to book anything.
  2. When you go to set up a time to meet with them, instead of asking them to choose, offer 2 times that you have available and have them pick. It's a lot tougher to choose "any time" than it is to choose between 2 slots. Help them commit.


  1. Book the appointment within 48hrs. There is a drastic decrease in the likelihood of them showing up for every day after that. If the appointment is booked more than 4 days away, the chances of them showing up are slim to none.
  2. Make a confirmation call the day before the appointment. When you're on the call, confirm their goals (this shows you were listening and that you care), and find out if there's anything else you should know. Tell them what they can expect in the consultation, including the chance to discuss the best way for you to work together going forward (i.e. options for buying sessions).

Stand up when you make the call. This will help with your confidence, and voice quality. Get excited! Make sure they know that you can't wait to help them!


  1. Don't make this complicated. If once you give them your recommendations, and the amount of the investment they say no in some way, refer back to their goals and the reasons why they want to achieve them. Saying yes is an emotional decision, not a logical one. Tap back into what is motivating them. Playing with their kids? A better sex life? Being able to carry their groceries?
  2. Look them in the eye with confidence. Don't fidget. Tell them the truth about what it's going to take to achieve their goals, and problem solve with them to find a solution that works for you both.

Looking for more on selling personal training? Read this (click to open in a new window and read after):

When you follow these simple steps, your numbers will go up. After each consultation write down some notes about what you said and how it worked. Do this for those who did purchase sessions and those who weren't ready to get started yet. Think about what you could do next time to improve. Talk to other trainers and ask them what has worked for them. Find your groove and make it your own.

So, is there a little bit of math to do? Yes. Is there some analysis and strategizing to do? Yes. Will you see a change in your business, and learn how to do less work and get better results? Absolutely.

Take the time to know your numbers. Track them every day, or at the very least, every week. Look for what has worked well and figure out why. Do the same for the opportunities, and decide the steps to take to improve. Take notes because you'll want to continue to improve and then repeat what you did again, and again, and again.

Commit to tracking your numbers. Not only will you be able to improve what you do, and get the same results in less time, but you will also be able to better plan for the weeks and months ahead to ensure you are always on track with gaining the clients you need, knowing exactly what it's going to take to find them.

I promise, you won't regret it.