How To Convert Prospects Into Paying Clients Without Selling
by Amir Pozderac
I spent the first five years of my PT business trying to “hard sell” prospects… And I went bankrupt.
In the last 4+ years I’ve used a completely different, non-selling approach and my PT business made close to $200,000 in revenues last year.
Here are the seven secrets I’ve learned for turning prospects into paying clients, without being salesy or feeling like a “used car salesman”.
1.Most people are NOT qualified prospects for personal training/coaching
Because personal training is a luxury service.
Just like an $80,000 Range Rover or a $300,000 Lambo aren’t for everyone, personal training isn’t either.
So to expect a person with an average income to pay several hundred dollars a month for your services is foolish.
Shocking Statistics Reveal Major Opportunity
Research shows that less than 10% of members of any gym are potential prospects for personal training.
In other words, most gym goers (as well as the prospects you encounter) are simply NOT ever going to invest in a luxury service like personal training.
And this means that if you talk to “everyone”, your chances of converting them to a paying client are immediately down by 90%.
The way to cure this is by creating “filters” who’s sole purpose is to identify the best, highly qualified prospects, that you then go and talk to.
That’s why you should always…
2.Pre-qualify your prospects BEFORE ever talking to them
Indeed, WHO your clients and prospects are or how you pre-qualify prospects before ever talking to them is THE key to converting more of your prospects into paying clients.
One of my mentors says that “if you make a living selling Lamborghinis to people making $40K/year – you’ll starve soon”.
So make it a rule to never talk to prospects who cannot possibly be your clients.
This is the exact OPPOSITE from what you’ve heard before.
As you know, PTs are generally advised to: “talk to as many people as you can, as often as you can, so some of them will eventually become your clients”.
Does that approach work?
Well, barely. But I guess it’s better than nothing.
But here’s the problem.
Are most of the PTs in big box gyms fully booked? Or are they struggling to make ends meet?
Are most freelance PTs and coaches fully booked, with all the clients they can handle?
Or are they also struggling, with their incomes being a roller coaster of unpredictable, unreliable up-and-down cycle?
I am sure you can guess the answer.
And why are almost all of them struggling?
Because they are talking mostly to the wrong people, who cannot possibly become paying clients.
I know what you’re thinking:
“Ok Amir, I got it. So how do I pre-qualify my prospects before ever talking to them?”
To not make this post way too long, I am going to give you two approaches that guarantee you never waste your time again on people who cannot possibly be your clients.
Approach No.1: Build your business on “referrals only” basis.
As in – only have consultations with people who come referred from one of your current or past clients.
More specifically, only talk to prospects who already know what you offer, how much you charge and what the “rules of engagement” are.
By definition, this will be referrals from your current and past clients. As one of your clients talks to their friends, family members, co-workers or neighbors, they will tell that person how awesome you are, how much you charge and what you expect from them as a client.
If a referred prospect is not ok with any of the details they heard, they will simply not contact you.
Thus, you will not waste your time talking to them, only to find out that they either can’t afford you or can’t fit your schedule or whatever.
But if they are ok with all the details about you, they will reach out to you. And this will then be a done deal, pretty much. You just have to agree on the terms, schedule and outcomes they want – and voila. You got a new client!
One of my mentors, a marketing legend – Jay Abraham said:
“If I had only one thing to build a business on, I’d choose “endorsed relationships” as the surest and easiest way.”
So focus on getting referrals as if your business depends on it.
It probably does.
Approach No.2: Have a mandatory questionnaire for them to fill out
If you’re talking to people who don’t know you, or don’t know how much you charge – the best way to prequalify them and not waste your time on freebie seekers is to have them fill out a questionnaire.
This can be a very simple list of 8-15 questions that simply tells you if they are qualified and worthy of your time or not.
You can ask questions that give you insight into what they expect and if they are a potentially good match for you.
Here are a few example questions:
– Did you ever work with a trainer before?
– How many times a week would you like to work out?
– How important achieving this goal is to you (from 1-10, 10 being extremely important, 1 being not that important)?
– Why do you want to achieve (their stated ultimate goal)
By having a questionnaire that they need to fill out, you are accomplishing several things:
- You’re differentiating yourself from all other PTs (no one is doing this)
- They are now selling themselves to YOU (not the other way around)
- They perceive you as important and highly professional
- They expect your rates to be high due to the above points
If they fill this out, they are now emotionally and intellectually – invested.
And that makes it so much easier to convert them into a paying client.
Ok, so let’s say you used this and pre-qualified someone, and now you are meeting them for a consultation.
This is what most PTs consider an “uncomfortable”, “I hate it” part of building your business – the selling part.
We’ve all heard and thought this: “I don’t like to feel like a used car salesman.”
Yet, those exact high-pressure sales tactics is what is taught in most sales books, sales training courses and seminars.
So if a prospect has an objection or doesn’t buy, you “force them” into buying your service, talk them into it by using fear and other sleezy tactics…
Well that’s NOT how we do it.
We don’t convert prospects into clients by using high-pressure tactics to get them to sign up.
Instead of “forcing” them into becoming a client…
3.We convert prospects into paying clients by deeply UNDERSTANDING them
It’s a fact that most people spend their whole lives never feeling understood.
Stephen Covey, one of the most respected, loved and successful coaches and authors in the world said:
“If I had to sum up my life’s work into ONE crucial thing, it would be: Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”
Here’s what that means for you:
Showing your potential clients that you deeply understand them, understand their problems and desires is THE most valuable and the rarest thing you can do for them.
You probably heard this old rule too: people will buy from, do business with, or refer people to – those who they KNOW, LIKE and TRUST.
In other words, if a prospective client feels like they know, like and trust you – they are very likely to become your client.
If they feel like they don’t know you, don’t like you and don’t trust you – they will likely NOT become a client regardless of everything else you do, your credentials, your presentation or anything else.
So the best way to convert prospects into paying clients is to deeply understand them, which makes them feel they know, like and trust you.
Thus, we start with…
4.Give your prospects the feeling they KNOW You
What makes YOU feel like you know someone?
What makes someone feel like they know you?
Well, it’s having one, two or ideally several what I call “affinity bridges”.
Affinity bridge is a set of similarities or characteristics that suggests or builds a relationship between two people.
If you and your prospective client both:
– come from the same country or the same state
– belong to the same religious circles
– have the same cultural background
– or are of the same age, gender, race etc…
All of these are very strong affinity bridges between you and the client.
Which help to build a good relationship with them and makes you both feel like you know each other on a deeper level.
But these can also be something simple like:
- You both drive the same cars
- Like/enjoy the same things (sports teams, boats, watches, makeup, movies)
- Dislike the same things (in politics, religion, sports…)
- Aspire to the same goals etc
This is another example of why pre-qualifying your potential clients before you ever talk to them is crucial to building a highly profitable PT business.
More Affinity Bridges = More Likely They Are To Become A Client
On top of all this, you’re more likely to actually ENJOY working with the person you have a lot in common with, than you are with someone who is completely different from you.
So identify and work only with people who you have close affinity bridges with.
Which leads me to our next point here:
5.ONLY talk to prospects who you like and who LIKE You
Let’s now talk about likeability.
Research has shown that how much people like you is MORE important than anything else when it comes to:
– getting hired for a job
– getting a date
-being accepted in any group or
– having great relationships with people
Truly, this “likeability factor” is THE key to success in life.
And is also the key to building rapport with your prospects and converting them to paying clients.
You’ve probably heard that we only have “one shot at making the first impression”.
Several research studies showed that people make a decision whether they like another person or not, in less than…
Yes, you truly have a miniscule amount of time to make the right first impression.
So let’s see just how to do that and become more likeable?
The best way is to use the four-step process outlined in the awesome book by the author Nicholas Boothman:
Step 1: Be Open
Open your body and your attitude.
Body language makes majority of the impact in any conversation.
So aim your heart and face directly at the prospective client and display a positive attitude.
Everyone wants more positivity in their life. Be that source!
Step 2: Make Eye Contact
One of the strongest factors in people perceiving you as confident, likeable and trust-worthy is to look them in the eye.
Holding eye contact for about 3-5 seconds is best, just make sure to look away at some point as staring someone down can get creepy 🙂
Step 3: Smile
Always be the first one to smile when meeting your prospective clients.
This gives off a positive vibe, sends the message that you are sincere, likeable and trust-worthy.
Step 4: Be Delighted To Meet Them
One of the simplest yet most over-looked ways to build rapport and likeability is simple enthusiasm.
Simply be excited and delighted about meeting them and working with them.
Start by saying “hello” or “hi” and truly be delighted to see and meet them.
This type of enthusiastic approach is rare and they barely ever experience it.
So when you have it and show it, it automatically increases your likeability and your chances of converting them to a paying client.
It’s also basic human nature 101:
We tend to like AND be liked by people who are just like us.
And finally, there is one factor left in building awesome rapport with potential clients that helps turn them into paying long-term clients.
It is to…
- Build trust by listening and understanding them
Finally, there is the trust factor.
How do you get someone to trust you?
Or to perceive you as trust-worthy?
It’s by showing them that you understand them, their pains, problems and desires on a deep level.
And the way to do that is by asking open-ended questions and…
Yes, building trust is as simple as asking open-ended questions such as “why”, “how”, “what”, “tell me more” and then carefully listening to what they are telling you.
But there is a structure to this. You cannot haphazardly or randomly ask questions that have nothing to do with what you’re trying to accomplish.
The first and likely the most important question comes from one of my mentors, Dan Sullivan and it’s known as “Dan Sullivan Question”.
It goes like this:
More specifically, you would ask your prospective clients:
- What do you want to accomplish, what is our ultimate goal?
Here’s The Bottom Line
Choosing the right client is THE most important factor in building a 6-figure/year PT business.
The better and more affluent prospects you choose – more clients you will have.
And the more money you will make.
You can’t just “work with everyone” and expect to build a great business.
Incidentally, that’s what almost all PTs are doing – train everyone.
Not surprisingly, most PTs are broke and hate what they do.
But if you take a different approach and focus only on the prospective clients who see you as an authority, know how much you charge and will gladly pay top dollar for the best of the best (which is you) …you can see your business grow like nothing before.
If you want something like that,
Here’s Some Great News.
I’ve created a full video course on how to identify, select and attract the Ideal client for you.
The course is called “Ideal Client Avatar” and normally sells for $197.
But I want to give you this course today…FREE.
And all you have to do to get it is to try out my inner circle mentoring program for one week.
Yup, for just $1 – you can try out my best programs, have direct access to me and get support from other PTs in the group who are building their own 6-figure businesses.
In fact, this is not all.
I want to make this even more of a no-brainer for you.
Not only that you get this course for free, but there are also two other extremely valuable resources I am going to give you for FREE, just to try out my mentoring program for one week.
If that sounds interesting to you…
Here’s What To Do Next.
I’ve posted a short video describing how this works.
Go Here to watch the video now.
Assuming you’re OK with my “hidden motives”, you’ll want to proceed and join our group.
This Is Not What You Might Be Thinking.
If you’re skeptical and are wondering if this is some kind of a scam, or some kind of “bait and switch” – that’s understandable.
The good news is, it’s NOT.
In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
As you’ll see HERE, I’m willing to take ALL of the risk and refund you your $1 (yup, even your one dollar) in the event you feel the group is not for you, or you didn’t get 10X the value from it than what you paid.
No strings attached.
It’s all spelled out in black and white here.
The Catch You’ve Been Looking For.
There are two.
First, we don’t accept just any PT or a coach to this group.
If you are a “know-it-all”, you already have all the clients and all the money you want and there is nothing more for you to learn – this is NOT for you.
The second is, this is very time sensitive…for a reason.
I’d like to keep this group small and private so that we only have the most ambitious, go-getter PTs and coaches in there.
And so that I can personally answer their questions and help them with their individual challenges while they’re building their 6-figure businesses.
Once we get a certain number of members, I will shut down the access and no one will be able to join afterwards.
So if you found this article helpful, and would like to see exactly how these types of strategies can help you build a fun and enjoyable 6-figure business fast, go here.
Myself and the group of kick-ass PTs are waiting for you in the private member area.
…And you get to test it all out for a full week for only $1.
If that sounds like something that could help you, go here while there is still time.