Do your homework and get better results
Even though I have the keys to a private studio and a free membership at the local YMCA (where I work), I still have a membership at another local gym. It is always interesting to observe the personal trainers at that gym and see how long they last. The scene is usually the same; the gym is packed with members and yet the trainers are sitting back in their corners playing on the computer or intently staring at their phones.
When the trainers do get a new client or a complimentary session, I usually see them throwing all sorts of crazy exercises in an attempt to impress the client or make the client ‘feel the burn.’ It is exceptionally rare to see a gym member with a trainer more than a few times. From time to time, I’ll chat with the manager to talk about training and the usual claims resurface; “no one wants training” and “very few members can afford it.”
The need for a trainer
Unless you live in the backwoods and have no retail, commercial or industrial businesses in your area, there’s a good bet there are more than enough people that NEED and can AFFORD your services.
In the US, roughly 93% of the adult population fails to meet recommended guidelines for diet, exercise, and sleep. If there are more than a handful of members in your gym, there are enough members to support a reasonable living wage in your area. The problem you face is helping the members recognize their need for a trainer (which they might already know….) and see the VALUE in hiring a trainer. If I’ve seen trainers come and go at my gym, so have the rest of the gym membership. They have likely become jaded at seeing so many trainers de jour’ coming through the front doors. If your average local gym has 500 dues-paying members, and they follow the 93% trend, there are 450 members that still do not meet recommended health guidelines.
Understanding Demographics and Income
Your community may bear no resemblance to my community. For the purposes of this post, I’ll be looking at my community, but the principles will apply to you as well. Let’s take a closer look at the basic demographics of a community. This will have an influence over their buying behaviors and interests.
Google is your friend. Your friend knows quite a bit about your friends and neighbors. Here you can see the median income for my community is well below the average for the surrounding cities as well as the state in general. On the surface, that may present a bleak picture for income potential. That is not to say no one can afford a trainer, though.
If we take a look at the combined breakdown of average salaries over $60k per year, we see roughly 15-20% of the population make in excess of $60k annually. My community has an estimated population of almost 60,000 people according to the most recent census statistics. If the statistic of 93% not meeting activity guidelines holds true, that means roughly 56,000 residents need help with their exercise and diet. Even if we only look at that 15% with an income over $60k, then we are still left with 8,370 people in my community can afford a trainer.
By further combining BOTH the need for a trainer specifically within your gym’s population and the average income levels in the community (again, MY community), there are likely 90 gym members that both need your services AND can afford your services. If you can only engage half of that number (45 members), your schedule will be fully booked for the foreseeable future.
In short, even in smaller communities or in lower-income communities, there are likely more than enough people that both NEED your services and can AFFORD your services to support a full-time trainer. You only need to do a bit of research on your potential client base to see how MANY people there are in your area. Re-frame your mindset since you absolutely KNOW the opportunities exist. See how many of them you can find and help reach their goals.
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