free sessions to signed clients – ALWAYS BE CLOSING!

“So did you enjoy your session?”


“Yes, very much!”


“And uhh…well.. Ok cool… well.. you have my number… Thanks a lot!”

*runs away*


Book them in for their next 3 sessions.  Now.

One argument might be to never train a client for free.
This is a mentality that I totally agree with (particularly when it comes to family and friends) – but sometimes you need to give them a taste before they buy the cheese.

“Free” Trials for potential clients

In recent years, gyms and sole-operating PTs are gravitating to an offer of a heavily-discounted or free trial session of 1-on-1 personal training, in hopes to secure a long-term paying client. This can be a powerful technique, as it employs a number of tried and true sales techniques:

  • Give them something. So when you later ask for something in return, they feel an obligation to return the favour.
  • Use the session to establish yourself as an authority figure.  The time you share with your potential client in the free trial session will let them decide if you are knowledgeable about the steps towards their desired goal.
  • Give them the opportunity to get to know – and most importantly – like you.

You can even go for a four-weapon-combo by including Scarcity. Offering the client a reduced rate for a package of 5 sessions, but only if they sign up today.

These ‘Weapons of Influence’ identified by Psychologist Robert Cialdini should be required reading for anybody in the business of sales.
Which, effectively, is everyone who supports themselves by running their own business.

Free 1-Week Email Mini-Course

No time to read an entire text-book
on Sales + Influence?

I’ve got you covered.

Join the tribe of trainers learning the juiciest parts of Cialdini’s ‘Weapons of Influence’ to help maximise their business.

Free 1-Week Email Mini-Course

Quick and dirty rules for running as free trial sessions

  • Keep sessions to 30 minutes.
    Anything more is too long for a client who may not sign (and who isn’t paying); anything less won’t be enough time to forge a connection.
  • Conduct a fitness screening test at the start of the session, and take measurements. This will save you time in the long run, and will better help you decide the type of training (and language) to use with this client.
  • Figure out the ‘tone’ that you will need to use to work with them, and in which ways they learn best.
    Some clients need a drill sergeant, some need a hand-holder, some need a gym clown to get them over the line. Knowing this information about their personality this early in the game will help you know how to ‘close’ the sale – when you ask for it.
  • Always. Be. Closing.
    Use this as an opportunity to learn about the client, but most importantly – get them to sign on the dotted line after the free trial session.


How do you get them to sign on the line which is dotted?

It’s not easy.  It takes a bit of courage, and even after 20 times, the ‘ask’ part still stings – but it will sting less with each and every ‘yes.’

Here are 3 simple steps that will help you connect with your client and make them want to train with you.
This whole process can be done in about 45 seconds. Not a bad sprint of pain to earn what could be a lifetime client.


Step 1: Discover What they Need. – during training

What is their goal? By when? Why?

This is no time for SMART goals.  Most clients at this stage won’t have SMART goals already, but it is absolutely something that you should help them design on their first (paid) session.
We want to find what their discomfort with their current circumstance is, so we can work out how we can help them break through it.


Step 2: Paint a Picture of Victory. – during training

“How will you feel when you are successful?”

Get them to describe what they will feel when they achieve their goal.
Ask them what success looks & feels like to them.

Getting them to paint a picture in their head of achieving their goals makes them seem more attainable.  Hopefully, your client will associate the person helping them reach those goals in their head (you), with someone who can help them do that in real life.


Step 3: Ask for the sale. – post-training

“I can see how driven you are towards your goals, but that you need a bit of guidance and support from someone along the way. I would like to be that person for you. What do you say?”

“Shall we plan a time to get started?”

Pull out your calendar.  Get their next session (or training package) commitment right then and there.
Book it in – and if possible – take a pre-payment on the spot.


Easier said than done…

The final step from above is always the hardest.
But just like asking out your crush – if you don’t ask, you’ll never get a yes.


#1 Fear – ‘But what if they say “No”?’

“I’m just not sure if I’m ready…”

The number one thing to remember is that with answers like the above – that isn’t a No.

Your potential client has trouble committing, which says less about you as a trainer, and more about their personality type.  They might have already decided that they want to train with you, but would prefer to go home and sit on it for a while before booking in.  Or maybe, they need to check their bank balance first, before buying 10 sessions with you!

Address their concerns, re-emphasise their goals and how you can help, and leave the rest up to them.
But make it easy for them to say Yes next time you ask, by taking responsibility of making that next phone-call.

“That’s okay – obviously I want you to feel confident in your decision about choosing your trainer, because of how important your fitness and health goals are to you.
I want to make sure you’re doing this right.
I think you’re a great fit as a client for me because __reason___, and I know I can help you out with _______.

I’m going to call you in a couple of days and see where your head is at. How does that sound?”


Happy Training.

Resources / Additional Reading