First impressions are everything. It takes just 7 seconds to make a judgement about a person after first meeting them. Within this short time frame, a client will make a snap decision that determines how easy (or difficult) the rest of your negotiations will be.
If they’re instantly impressed by your professionalism and take a liking to your personality, then it’ll be much easier to sign them up as a paying client. But if you come across as well as hoped, then you’re unlikely to persuade them to work with you (no matter how good at training you are).
⇒ In this article, we share 3 practical tips for making a positive first impression that helps win new clients.
So, how do you make a winning first impression? Here are three determining factors that can influence how you’re perceived when others initially meet you…
#1 – Be Authentic
The first and most important thing is to just be yourself. Sounds simple enough right? But our unconscious need to be liked can sometimes mess with our natural instincts and lead us to say or do things slightly out of character.
We’ve all tried to impress others at some time or another, only to have it backfire. Then we wish that we’d just said what we really thought instead of pretending to be something we’re not. So, we need to accept that we can’t be best buddies with everyone (as much as we’d love to be).
You’re not going to be everyone’s ideal training partner and they might not be yours either. It’s no bad thing – the world needs different types of people and personalities. Things would be pretty dull if we were all the same. So, as the legend says…
“Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.”
~ Bruce Lee ~
Don’t try to be someone you’re not. Faking a bubbly personality if you’re an introvert will come across as fake. Pretending to have an interest in football if you’re really a salsa fan just isn’t helpful long term. Keeping up the pretense will be exhausting and clients will know that something is off. We can feel when someone isn’t being genuine and it plants a seed of distrust that’s difficult to overcome. Whatever your personality, there are clients out who’ll be an ideal match – so just be yourself.
#2 – Play To Your Strengths
In sports and in business, it’s important to play to your strengths. Lean into the positive traits that people appreciate and like in us. These can range from our sense of humour to admiring our dress sense. It may be the skills we have, like a specialisation in post-natal training or experience with pro athletes.
Seeing our own strengths can sometimes be tricky though. Our perception of ourselves often differs from how other people see us. We all know a colleague who thinks they’re a great motivator, but is actually just a bit intense. Or someone who thinks they’re awesome at explaining physiology, but others find a bit boring. So, spend some time brainstorming what your strengths are and how you can work them into your discussions with clients.
#3 – Believe In The Value Of Your Services
To be a successful personal trainer, you must believe in yourself and your abilities. People can pick up on subtle signs of self-doubt and it makes them uneasy. If they perceive doubt in you, then they’ll immediately question whether you’re really any good at your job. When PTs are hesitant about money or apologetic about their prices, it seems like they don’t think their services are worth the money. If this is the case, then the sale is lost before you’ve even begun.
If you don’t believe in yourself, how do you expect anyone else to?
What it really comes down to this – can you help the client solve their problem? Can you help them achieve their fitness goals? Would they honestly be able to do it without you? The answer is probably no. Because if they could, they would have done it already.
People don’t just buy personal training for the workout programme. They can download a hundred different programmes from the web for free. They want guidance and motivation. Sometimes they just want a training buddy to hold them accountable. What you provide is much more than just a programme, so don’t undervalue it.
If you have real concerns about the value you offer, then it’s time to have an honest conversation with yourself. How can you create more value for clients? What can you do to deliver a win/win outcome? Are there other ways that you can help them achieve their goals? Nutritional guidance, healthy meal plans, sleep aids, and stress management advice will all be appreciated by clients. So, what else can you offer to give them even more value for money?
Making A Client-Winning First Impression
By being authentic, playing to your strengths, and believing in your value, you’ll make a positive first impression with clients. They’ll be more likely to trust you, understand how you can help, and believe your services are worth the investment. If you’d like to learn more about essential selling skills, then check out this online course.