How to encourage clients to try online personal training

Switching sessions online has been a seamless transition for factions of the fitness fraternity. Conversely, a fear of the unfamiliar has forced some to temporarily put one-on-one exercise on hold. Entirely understandable during such a period of unpredictability, but a mindset you can certainly help to alter.

Should you have experienced difficulties with clients not wishing to jump squat via an iPad in their living room, here are five quickfire suggestions from guest writer, experienced personal trainer and owner of Positive Impact Fitness, James Drabble.

1. Offer them a free trial

Simple. Every prospective client I speak to receives a free consultation prior to deciding whether they wish to have me as their Personal Trainer. 

Why not offer the exact same service for a type of training they’ve never experienced before? Not every client will be comfortable with the unknown, so reassure yours with a session free of further commitment. 

If they like it, you’ve just maximised a gap in the schedule which would have been exactly that regardless – a gap. Plus, you learn a bit more about your credentials as an online trainer in the process.

2. Reduce your rates

Every business is having to make adjustments at this time. Firstly, be thankful if you’re still employed. Secondly, form a solid business plan in the knowledge a reduced rate will (hopefully) remain temporary. 

Be it a basic reduction per session or an up-front offer such as 15 sessions for the price of 10, decide what works best for you and your clients. 

An honest and open discussion is the best way forward; Gauge the feeling and, if necessary, tailor offers to the individual. A short-term small hit will pale in comparison to the reward of those clients sticking with you for the long haul.

3. Invite partners and children

Scheduling calls to liaise with relatives and friends is enough to prompt ventricular contractions for the best of us during this time, let alone an entire PT session. 

And while you won’t wish to run a madhouse during your sessions, consider having others join to avoid a potentially awkward scenario of you and a client speaking remotely for the first time. 

They’ll be put at ease, the session instantly carries more value with more involved for the same price and, you never know, you might just bag another client or two off the back of it.

4. Create group workouts

Just like the above, some may feel uneasy about training one-on-one over a video call. Try clumping clients together to create a mass workout they can all take part in. 

Naturally, this will only be applicable to certain clients happy to endure the same workout as others, but it’ll provide a sense of community to those partaking and, even better, prompt them to train even harder.

5. Add variety

As the well-informed Barbara Ann Corcoran once said, innovation and creativity are juiciest parts of running a business. 

So, er, juice up. Consider fun themes you can add to each session – a silly item of clothing, a question of the day, something new to learn about your client during each rest period, It can be anything you like. 

Set new challenges they could only achieve at home using equipment they can only find at home. Variation is limitless, so don’t be afraid to jump right in.

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