Nuances of the job of a fitness trainer are slippery and controversial aspects of his activity, which can sometimes contradict logic, but in fact, often rely on it. It often happens that you can understand a situation only by looking at it from the other side, from the point of view of the person who, as it seems to you, acted incorrectly towards you. When you learn to model the situation in advance from the point of view of the colleagues you work with, the number of controversial situations will decrease significantly, because you will understand what is the root cause of the conflict and how to prevent such a development of the situation in the future.
Nuances of the job of a fitness trainer
First of all, according to the established tradition, I remind you that this article is a logical continuation of a series of articles about the profession of a fitness trainer. For the most complete understanding of the topic, I also recommend you to familiarize yourself with the articles “Who is a fitness trainer“, “Job description of a fitness trainer“, “How to become a fitness trainer“, “Myths about the job of a fitness trainer“, “How to get a job fitness trainer“, “Job interview for a fitness trainer“, “How does a fitness trainer gets a client“, “Secrets of the job of a fitness trainer” and “Secrets of success of a fitness trainer“. Now let’s continue.
The case described below is not a secret, since within the profession everyone already knows about it, but it’s quite fair to call such an approach a trick. Since clients are a source of income for a trainer, there is a struggle for them at all levels, both among newcomers and among more experienced employees. In order to understand what competition is, I need to describe the process of getting a client by a trainer. This topic is so relevant and is always discussed so actively, especially in large chain clubs, that it deserves a separate article, because this is a very significant, even global nuance of the job of a fitness trainer. Further you will understand what it’s all about.
So, in a classic situation, a person who has entered a fitness club goes to the reception, where friendly administrators are selling membership cards, personal trainings and additional club services. A person buys a membership to the gym and becomes a client of the club. In the case when the client himself takes the initiative to buy personal trainings, or when the administrator sells him this service, that is, there is a need for the services of a trainer, the situation can develop as follows.
Ideally, the administrator offers the client to choose among several trainers or to go straight to the gym and “see everyone”. It’s also possible that the administrator directs the client to the trainer who is free, provided that the others are busy at that moment. But there is another, dark side of the coin, which knocked out more than one trainer and not even a dozen trainers from the profession. This nuance of the job of a fitness trainer is pretty unpleasant. In this case, the senior or more skilled trainer bribes the administrator so that clients who have bought personal trainings are sent to him. Why such behavior can be fairly called cheating? Because instead of giving all trainers the same conditions for earning, the administrator “gives” most of the clients to one trainer. Such a trainer-administrator pair “cooperates” either through friendship, or on the basis of financial mutual settlements. In any case, it’s rather difficult to trace and disclose such a scheme, especially since the management is not interested in this.
And here’s the deal. It turns out that the administrator gives clients to only one trainer and knowing this scheme, other trainers can’t complain to the manager or director of the fitness club. Well, in theory, they can, but in fact, this will not give any result. Why? There are two reasons for this. First and foremost, the management needs money to go to the cashier so that, for example, 1000 personal trainings can be held per month. The owners of the fitness club don’t care whether five trainers will conduct 200 sessions, or four will conduct 100 and one 600. Therefore, the owners or directors usually don’t interfere in such schemes, even if they know that it exists. The money comes to the cashier, so everything is ok. Don’t rock the boat, keep working.
What if it’s not that simple
Now, since anger of injustice has flooded your eyes, I propose to blow off some steam and look in the mirror. So we move on to the second reason why a situation similar to the one described above arose. The second reason follows from the first – if of those five trainers working in the club, four are not well versed in their craft, are shy, have bad soft skills, don’t know how to sell and, as a result, don’t bring money to the club, it’s quite natural that the administrator will direct clients to the trainer who has a higher efficiency in sales of personal trainings. In such a situation, management may even encourage such an initiative of the administrator or their joint coalition with the trainer. And as you can see, the situation takes the opposite turn. It’s not them who don’t give you the opportunity to earn money, it’s you who don’t know how to “hook” the client. That nuance of the job of a fitness trainer is worth to be written on the plate above the bed. However, in order to draw such conclusions, one must have a high degree of self-criticism and introspection.
How long has it been since the last time you looked inside yourself? Have you ever wondered how competitive your level of influence over people is? Can you look at yourself from the outside and evaluate your pros and cons from a critical point of view? Can you admit to yourself that you are afraid to be the first to approach people in the gym, feel embarrassed to be the first to start communication, feel discomfort in finding topics for communication? How often when communicating with clients you cannot answer their questions? How often does awkward silence arise between you? At the end of the day, something about your behavior can turn off the client – appearance, manner of speech, bad breath. Even if you found out about the existence of such a scheme described above, and felt that clients are walking past you, don’t rush to blame the whole world around, first of all, ask yourself questions. Why they don’t give me clients? What am I doing wrong? How can I fix this situation?
In such a situation, the most important thing is not to be among those who don’t know how to communicate and sell, because if this is really the case, don’t be offended, but they simply will not give you clients. Left without clients, you will have nothing to do in the club and often, the trainer, without delving into the essence of the situation that has arisen, blames his inexperience for everything and goes to advanced training courses, where he will be given even more knowledge in anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, and so on, but as before, they will not provide knowledge on influence, persuasion and sales. After the courses, he will return to work, will be surprised to find that, just as before, he cannot sell anything and will make the erroneous conclusion that little information was given in the courses and that the courses were bad. But in fact, you just needed some other courses. Having found himself in such a position and languishing with despair and lack of clients, such a trainer either quits and changes the club, or even leaves the industry altogether, disillusioned with the profession. Often, precisely because of their own erroneous conclusions.
There have always been nuances of the job of a fitness trainer. Today we have considered perhaps the most important of them. In order to anticipate a course of events similar to the one described above, firstly, constantly work on yourself, learn and improve, and secondly, always coming to work in the club, look carefully at your colleagues, see who goes to the smoking room with whom, who goes with whom for lunch, who drinks coffee with whom and cracks jokes all the time and creates the appearance of friendship. If you notice this trend, keep in mind that this semblance of friendship may be based on mutual benefits. What should you do in such a situation? See how the club will treat you. If you have tested the operation of this scheme on yourself, despite the fact that the level of your knowledge is high enough, they will most likely not give you clients in this club. And since we have already found out that it is difficult to reveal the scheme, and it is pointless to prove anything to the management, there’s only one way out – you need to change the club. But in no case should you be disappointed in the profession. Until then, develop your communication and sales skills.
Felix Palmer – author of the blog crusfit.com