How to Sell Personal Training Online: Your Guide to Success 

When you run a personal training business, you take on many roles beyond fitness coach. You also must be your own marketer, accountant, business manager, and—often the least favorite role—salesperson. As unpleasant as it might be, if you don’t know how to sell personal training services and packages, your business will never survive in the modern fitness industry.

This is particularly true if you have a hybrid or online fitness business, as you’ll need to know how to successfully market your personal training products online and close deals with clients without being physically present with them in a gym or studio. 

A loyal client base from your past personal training jobs may be enough to get you started with your own training business, but it won’t be enough to sustain you. Selling to new clients is the key to growth. In this article, we’ll teach you how to sell your personal training services online so that you can close the deal every time, even when you’re not face to face with your potential clients.

6 Steps to Sell Personal Training Services (Online & Offline)  

Convincing a potential client to buy your personal training services is a delicate process. If you’re overly pushy about it, you’ll make them feel like all you care about is getting their money and turn them off. But if you’re too timid about selling, you won’t seal the deal as often as you should.  

Follow these six steps to strike the right balance in your selling strategy and sell your personal training services to more clients: 

1. Get to know your prospective clients. 

A significant part of the sales process is psychological. If you want your customer to buy, you must know their needs, wants, complaints, and motivations. You can get to know your personal training prospects on both a large and small scale.  

When we refer to getting to know potential clients on a large scale, we mean identifying your target audience and gathering information about its members. This involves pinpointing your ideal customer profiles and buyer personas. As you map out these profiles and personas, you’ll determine the demographics of your ideal clients, their pain points, and how you can offer solutions. This information will help you create a selling strategy before you even meet a prospect. 

Getting to know prospects on a small scale means gathering information about specific potential clients, including their needs, wants, and concerns. We’ll get further into that in the next step. 

2. Schedule a personal training consultation.  

Identifying your ideal customer profiles and buyer personas will help you outline a strategy for selling personal training services, but learning about potential clients on an individual level will allow you to refine and personalize that strategy for every sale. The best way to do this is with a new-client questionnaire, followed by a one-on-one consultation. 

In your questionnaire and during your consultation, you’ll discuss a potential client’s fitness goals and ask open-ended questions. Their answers will guide you in tailoring your pitch and identifying emotional attachments you can use to persuade them. Asking personal questions will also make prospects feel like you care about them and their goals, not just their money. 

Here are a few questions to ask: 

  • Why are you considering working with a personal trainer? 
  • What are your current fitness goals? 
  • Why do you want to achieve these goals? 
  • Have you worked with a personal trainer before? 
  • What does your current exercise regimen look like? 

You may also consider including a free trial/intro training session with your consultation. An initial session will motivate clients to get started sooner rather than later and let them experience firsthand how effective your services are before they commit. 

3. Focus on results. 

Talking about your personal training packages and services with a potential client during their consultation isn’t going to resonate with them. Instead of focusing on what they can buy from you, focus on what you can do for them. By taking a customer-oriented rather than a product-oriented one, you can tap into their emotions and make them feel like they want and need your services. 

When you talk about how your training will benefit a prospect, use their goals to frame your pitch. Do they want to lose weight? Offer a sample timeline for pounds lost until their goal. Are they looking to build muscle? Write down an example workout you would include in a program designed to get them there.  

Another good way to highlight the potential results a client could see with you is to talk about what you’ve helped past and current clients achieve. Research shows that 72% of consumers say that positive reviews and testimonials make them trust a business more. If you have video or written client testimonials or before and after photos or results, share them with your prospects.  

4. Discuss prospect concerns. 

By the time you reach the end of your consultation, many clients will still have one or more concerns about fully committing to your services. Your job is to anticipate, discuss, and overcome these objections for them. 

The best way to address prospect objections is to ask them directly if they have any remaining concerns and what they are. You’ll likely run into the same few concerns as you build your personal training business—and with your customer profiles and buyer personas, you should be able to predict them too. Planning your answers to these common objections will help you sound more confident when discussing them with potential clients. 

Here are a few common objections your prospects may have to committing to personal training: 

  • Not enough time in their schedule 
  • Too expensive 
  • Poor past experience with a trainer 

5. Close the sale. 

Even though you’re running a business, we know that most independent personal trainers are trainers first and salespeople second. Because of that, being direct about selling personal training services can be intimidating, but at the end of the day, it’s the best way to get the sale. 

After discussing your prospect’s goals and addressing any objections, ask them directly if they’re ready to commit to a program. But when you do, remember to keep the focus on them and their goals. For example, instead of saying, “are you ready to buy a session pack?” say, “are you ready to start working toward your goal?”  

One personal training selling strategy you can use to help close the sale is to ask them to schedule their next session or several sessions. Scheduling specific times and dates for next steps will make them more likely to buy now and not drag their feet. Another tactic you can try is creating a sense of urgency by offering a limited-time discount or deal. 

6. Follow up. 

You’re not always going to finalize the sale during your consultation—and that’s okay! That doesn’t mean you can give up, though. Always follow up with prospective clients who don’t book right away via email or phone call. On average, 60% of customers will say no four times before saying yes, so there is still plenty of potential after an initial “no” or “maybe.” 

A good rule of thumb is to send a follow-up email or chat message 24, 48, and 72 hours after a consultation with a prospect. After that, you can follow up every week and slowly reach out less and less if you keep getting no response. 

Tips on How to Sell Workout Plans Online

New technologies coupled with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic have led to a boom in online fitness. In fact, the virtual fitness market is expected to grow from $16.15B in 2022 to 79.87B by 2026. For personal trainers, that means more and more clients will be seeking online training programs and services. 

If you’re running an exclusively online personal training business, selling your services will follow much of the same process we outlined above. There are, however, some additional considerations to keep in mind when you’re in the virtual market. 

Here are a few of our top tips for selling online personal training: 

Highlight the Advantages to Online Training

Offering online training personal training to your clients has many benefits to you as a coach, like having more flexibility around your work hours and saving valuable time otherwise spent commuting or working out on the gym floor.

The same is equally true for your clients! While you might think that you need to offer lower pricing to compensate for not being there in-person with your clients, consider the fact that offering an online fitness solution for clients offers them more convenience, flexibility, continuous monitoring, and often better results. Particularly if you can easily drop your clients a chat message, edit their training programs on the fly and integrate all of their health data into one place to keep them accountable at all times.

When marketing your online personal training business, advertising to clients that your online options offer all of the above–and at a click of a button or through your own custom branded fitness app–will help you convert any potential clients unsure about the benefits of online training.

Establish Your Online Presence

Making sure that your fitness business is visible online is key to success in online training. After all, if your potential clients can’t find you, they’re not going to be purchasing your services.

As an online trainer, you’ll want to ensure that you have a strong online presence to expand your accessibility, credibility and reach. This might include a professional website or landing page, active social media channels and engaging online content to establish trust with your target audience and convert your potential clients into sales. An advanced client management solution and client app will help you to manage your clients efficiently from initial sale, onboarding and take care of your nutrition and workout programming.

One of the benefits of selling workout plans online is that you’re not tied to a physical location like a specific gym or local area; establishing a strong online presence can help you connect with people all over the world, opening your doors to a vast and diverse range of clients.

RELATED RESOURCES: Marketing Yourself as a Personal Trainer: Top 10 Tips

Produce Strong Content and Get Active On Social Media

Content is key when it comes to online personal training, so make sure to keep a steady stream of content flowing on your website, social media platforms, and directly to clients to provide information about how online personal training works. The idea of virtual training may be confusing for potential clients, so the more insight you can give them via blog posts, emails, downloadable guides, videos, and other content, the more interest they’ll have in your services. 

For online personal trainers, social media can serve as a powerful tool to engage with potential customers, showcase your expertise and build a loyal fitness community around your fitness brand. Regularly updating your social media accounts with relevant and visually appealing content not only keeps your current clients motivated but also attracts new clients seeking expert guidance.

Creating content can be time consuming, but there are many ways to reduce the strain by using AI tools like Chat GPT, “repurposing” your existing content to extend its shelf-life, creating workout templates which you can quickly edit and re-use for multiple clients and using user-generated content (UGC) from your clients to do some of the heavy lifting for you.

Related articles: Personal Trainer Hashtags to Grow Your Social Media, How to Get More Personal Training Clients on Facebook

Develop a User Friendly Website

A user-friendly website is a cornerstone of success for any online personal training business. In the digital age–where first impressions matter–your website serves as your virtual storefront for potential clients, so it’s important that your site is simple, easy-to-use and accurately represents your brand identity and values.

Not only does a well-designed and intuitive website look more professional to your potential clients, it also demonstrates that you’re committed to providing a seamless onboarding and training journey from initial purchase through to program delivery. Features like intuitive navigation, clear call-to-action buttons, and responsive design contribute to a positive user experience, making it more likely that visitors will explore your services, testimonials, and contact information and make a purchase with you.

Top tip: A My PT Hub subscription includes a free MySite website in addition to your all-in-one personal training software and app.

Related article: How to Get Started Building Your Personal Trainer Website

Offer Free Resources

Providing free resources is an important strategy when it comes to converting your potential customers into committed long-term clients. While offering your services for free doesn’t pay dividends to your bank balance in the short term, producing valuable content as an “easy way in” for clients can help to establish trust with your prospects and convert them into paying members.

Free resources like workout guides, nutrition tips and instructional videos can offer your potential clients a preview of your training expertise and help to build rapport so that when it comes to making a purchase, you’ve already established credibility. For example, offering a complimentary first session or recorded demo will help prospects better understand how online personal training works and how your services will benefit them. 

Top tip: Our Ultimate Guide to Starting Your Personal Training Business is an example of a free resource that we offer to our trainer community.

Implement Online Booking and Payment Options

As with your website, convenience rules when it comes to converting your online clients, so offering online booking and payment options can be a game-changer for your online training business.

Integrating online booking and payment is not only much more efficient and convenient for your clients, but it enables you to reduce your administrative tasks and avoid the likelihood of missed sessions, scheduling conflicts and chasing for payment for those clients that “conveniently” forget their wallet. For online trainers catering to clients all over the world, it’s particularly important that you can accommodate for different timezones and payment methods, too.

Related article: Finance and Client Payments – All Online

Create Attractive Packages

To sell fitness programs online, crafting eye-catching packages for your online personal training services is one of the most crucial aspects to being successful as an online coach. Unlike with face-to-face training, your online personal training clients will be making their decision to train with you based on your virtual shop window, so having an array of thoughtfully packaged and attractive training products could be the differentiator between success and failure.

As we discuss in our Creating a High-Value Offer That Sells article, many personal trainers and fitness coaches fall into the trap of selling a commodity, rather than the high-value solution to a particular problem that their clients are facing.

For example, selling a block of personal training sessions that are outwardly indistinguishable from your competition (regardless of price) can make it difficult for your business to stand out amongst the noise and generate sales, even if you’re offering a better coaching experience than the rest of the market. All too often, this will lead to “price gouging”, which can be a slippery slope to becoming unprofitable or charging less than the value that you’re actually offering your clients.

Packaging your products effectively, then, can make all the difference when it comes to selling your personal training online, so being able to create powerful packages, display them in an attractive virtual storefront and offer a branded, user-friendly client training experience will set your fitness business apart from the competition.

Related articles: Using My PT Hub to Become An Online Fitness Coach with Jack Wilson, How Much to Charge As a Personal Trainer

Get Started Creating & Selling Your Personal Training Services  

Training your clients and selling your personal training services to new prospects are two full-time jobs in and of themselves. Keeping track of the financial aspects of new and ongoing sales on top of that can cause even more stress. Let My PT Hub help take some of that stress away. 

Our personal trainer management software comes with all the tools you need to run and grow your business more easily, including a suite of finance and payment features. Create and sell packages, take card payments, record cash and check payments, and track all your money in and money out right from the app or your desktop. 

See how easy it is to manage your finances, clients, and all aspects of your training business, and sign up for a free 30-day trial of My PT Hub today!