Big Problem in Personal Training industry – Lack of Regular Program Updates

Hey Fitness Pros,

In my next few blogs, I wanted to touch on a few items that I believe would elevate the professionalism and standards in our industry. Please leave your comments at the end of my blog and let me know what you think. Am I on the right track or out to lunch?!

The Problem:  Lack of regular client program updates: Trainers are often busy back-to-back with clients all day long.  It’s difficult to find the time to do program and file updates to keep clients on track with their fitness program, progressing appropriately and achieving their goals. But this is the most important part of the process – it’s the method to the madness, the rationale for what we do.  Otherwise we’re just going through the motions.  Trainers who do understand the importance of this process are often forced to do these critical program updates at home or in their down-time without getting paid.  But why would you not get paid for the most important part of the process – remember the saying “Fail to Plan then Plan to Fail!”

The Solution: As a professional fitness and training organization, we absolutely need to take the time to regularly update our clients’ files and programs, periodize their progress, measure success and plan accordingly to help our clients achieve incredible, life changing results. These extensive program updates need to be completed every 3-4 months as a minimum.  And most importantly, trainers should be charging and getting paid for this time as professionals.  Think of attorneys – very little of their time that they charge for is face-to-face time.  They understand their value and worth and have no problem charging for any time they spend on your file!  And not only that, they charge top dollar!  Bottom line – if you want to be regarded as a professional, you need to act like one.

The Action Plan: Inform your clients that for the next year, you are going to put it in your calendar every 3-4 months to spend time planning and updating their entire program.  You will systematically progress and adjust their program to ensure they are achieving incredible results.  Let them know that you will use 30-60 minutes every few months to make these important adjustments to their program.  Let them know you will complete this task in the following ways:

  • When they short-notice cancel, you will use that time to complete significant program updates.
  • When they are on holidays, instead of canceling out of all of their scheduled appointment(s), you will use a session to complete these significant program updates.
  • When a client is consistent and doesn’t miss sessions, you will use an hour of their time during your down-time/admin time to ensure these program updates get done.  You’ll just need to program that time for them into the computer like a real session and make a note in their file that you used that hour for a program update.
  • If for whatever reason your client is not comfortable paying for your ‘non-face time’, inform them that you will ask them every few months to come in early and do some cardio on their own, then you will do a shorter muscle conditioning workout, and then spend the remaining time doing this critical planning and prepping together.

Note:  During these extensive program updates, you should systematically perform assessments to measure progress and ensure your program is working.  If not, something needs to be adjusted!  At NWPT, we perform body composition and/or performance assessments every few months to ensure results are going in the right direction.

Note:  Human nature dictates that clients are ready to ramp up their program in January, Spring and September.  It would make sense to perform assessments and launch upgraded programs during these time periods.  So then the months prior would be a good point to take some time to get their files in order.  In terms of the calendar year, this is perfect timing.  December is typically a down time for clients because of the holidays and travel.  So use this time to get clients’ files in order before the January surge– just remember to charge for your time.  Same in August – training is typically slower so this would be a great time to get files in order to ramp up for September.

Win:Win: The clients win because you will be spending the critical time to ensure you’re taking a systematic approach to helping them reach their fitness goals.  You and the business wins because every few months, you’ll charge one hour to their account so you can complete these updates – that means paid training time, increased productivity, higher revenues and more bonuses.

Let me know what you think.

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan


How Personal Trainers can develop a full clientele base

Hey Fitness Pros,

We have a trainer on our team, Rob Cloke, who has been with us for almost 12 years. His schedule is always at capacity, he always hits bonuses and always reaches his revenue goals. So how does he do it and continue to do it for 12 years?! Well, we asked him and thought we’d share his thoughts with you!

Rob and Jim 225x300 How Personal Trainers can develop a full clientele base

Rob Cloke training one of his clients

Read the rest of How Personal Trainers can develop a full clientele base

Fitness Pros & Personal Trainers must offer some type of Fall promotion

Hey Fitness Pros,

I hope you enjoyed an amazing summer! Mine flew by and was full of incredible adventures including Cycling through Italy, teaching at a resort in Mexico, climbing to the top of Mt. St. Helens, attending two of the world’s best fitness conferences, IDEA in LA and CanFitPro in Toronto, fun runs, triathlon, paddle-boarding, amusement parks, and tons of fun with family and friends.  Always living life to the fullest! So you’ll notice I took a hiatus from blogging so that I could live it up! Well, I’m back and ready to ramp things up for fall and send you a weekly post to help you advance your fitness career!

Clients are getting back from summer holidays, their kids are back in school and guess what, many are ready to get back into their fitness routine!  So that means it’s time to get busy!!!

So my first question to you is what are you doing to entice people back or into your program? Are you offering some type of promotion or “Fall back into Fitness” special.  If you’re not, you’re missing the boat!  Everyone and I mean everyone appreciates a deal, even your most wealthy clients.  In fact, from my experience, the people who are the most rich are always asking for a deal.  That’s probably how they got so rich by always asking for the best price!

I just read another fitness consultant’s blog where he suggested that we should never discount our prices because it devalues our service. But the ironic part was at the end of his blog he was offering a killer deal on his products and a special on his consulting services!  Isn’t that funny?! Anyways, all I”m saying is people are ready right now and you want to encourage them to take action immediately and an awesome promotion will do that.

So figure out what you want to promote right now, offer a good discount that allows you to still make a profit, post it on fliers in your studio and around your community, post on your website, facebook and other social media outlets, and email out to your database.  Then watch as you inspire many people to commit to their health and fitness while you enjoy a boost to your fall sales.

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

ps.  If you are not part of our PT MasterMind group, email and she’ll set you up.  The first month is free so you can try it out. If you were already a member, you would already know all this info and have all the materials you need to jump into action!

Fitness Pros, Do your Homework!

Hey Fitness Pros,

Let me ask you a few questions…

Would you do business with a dermatologist with horrible skin?

Would you be taken aback by a hairstylist with a horrible hairstyle?

Would you see a makeup artist whose personal make-up application is atrocious?

And this one might hurt – would you seek the assistance of a Personal Trainer who clearly has significant body fat to lose to help you lose weight? Sure, I know of a few fitness trainers who hold excess body weight and are successful.  But they are few and far between and they most likely have to work much harder to excel in our industry than someone who looks and acts the part (aka – not ‘perfect’ but definitely a healthy and fit physique and lifestyle).

And here’s another one for our industry?  Would you seek the assistance of a consultant or mentor to help you develop your Personal Training business or studio if they themselves do not or have never owned a successful PT business.  There are plenty of so-called fitness industry consultants that claim to be able to help but I’ve heard so many horror stories of fitness pros being led down the wrong path by someone who really didn’t know what they were talking about.  So do your homework when hiring a consultant to help you increase your business revenues.  First, make sure they know how to do it themselves!

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

ps.  If you’d like to take a look at our systems for generating more than $1 million dollars per year at both of our PT studios, click on this link.  A tried, tested and proven system!


Increase your Personal Training revenues this summer

Hey Fitness Pros,

Can you believe that summer is just around the corner?!  It’s my favorite season of the year and I look forward to all the outdoor activities, the beach, BBQs and sunny, warm days!  But many personal trainers don’t enjoy summer because they experience a substantial dip in their income as clients reduce their training because their kids are home from school and/or they are away on holidays.

However, summer doesn’t have to be the slow season in the fitness industry if you don’t want it to be! Side note:  It is okay to reduce your hours in the summer and just enjoy a few extra hours of rest and relaxation. It will give you a renewed sense of energy for the fall!

But if reducing your income is not ideal, be proactive and take some action steps to get an influx of new clients into your system. Here’s some ideas: Read the rest of Increase your Personal Training revenues this summer

What did we do to experience our best May ever?

Hey Fitness Pros,

I just made the decision to take all of our marketing dollars for the summer and pour them into social media initiatives.  So this month, we launched a Groupon campaign and I ramped up our Facebook ad dollars.  And guess what, it worked! We just experienced our best May revenues in the history of both of our studios!

Just thought you should know!

Yours in health, fitness and business,


ps. You may not know this, but we offer the license to utilize all of our Business Systems as your own in your Personal Training business.  We do over $1 million dollars per year at each of our studios and you can mimic your business after ours.  Follow along and do exactly as we do! Don’t reinvent the wheel.  Use a system that works!

Shut up and let them buy!

Resist Your Fear of Asking!

You’ve finished the initial session with a prospective client, now what?  Sales gurus suggest that we fail to gain commitment to purchase on approximately 62% of prospects because we don’t ask them to participate. You’ve got to resist your fear of asking. Use phrases like “Let’s get started immediately” or “We should get started right away so we can start working towards your goals. I’ve got Monday or Wednesday available at 7:00 am.  What would work best for you?” or “Based on your goals, I think we should try a 20 session package” or “Most of my clients see me three times a week. How does that sound for you?” or “Let’s go with a 6 month package because that will be enough time for you to experience incredible results!”

You’ve got to ask for the business. Sit down and review the program and the suggested plan for success. You may say “John, I’m so glad we were able to start you off with four key abdominal exercises. You can start on those immediately. You’ve also told me it’s important to you to tackle fat loss. I can definitely help design a program that includes aerobic exercise, muscle conditioning and proper nutrition–all key components of an effective fat loss program. There are lots of ways that you and I can work together towards your goals. Some of my clients see me as often as five times a week and others as little as once every two weeks. It depends on how much time, and of course finances, they want to commit to their goals. What do you think would work for you?”

Once you have asked the client for a commitment, stop talking and wait for his or her response. Sales experts suggest that people need three to four seconds before they can respond.

Also, remember to look for signs that the prospect is telling you he wants to invest in your services (checkbook or day planner comes out). Timing is everything. Don’t ramble on with more information if the client is ready to sign up. If you wait too long, he may change his mind. Have you ever been in a situation when you’re ready to buy and the salesperson is still trying to sell you? If your client is ready to make the commitment to their health and fitness, shut up and let them buy.

Yours in health, fitness & business,

Sherri McMillan

ps. If you haven’t heard, we’re offering 20% off our ’1st session with a Client’ Evideo until the end of May so you have 1 week left to take advantage of this offer.  I teach you everything you need to know to close 80-90% of your new client sales. Plus you get to see me with a real live client! It’s a great training video for yourself and your team! Click the link below for more information.

Every personal trainer must read this…

Hey Fitness Pros,

I was forwarded the following article that I think every Personal Trainer should read. It may be a bit controversial but definitely addresses some important points and is a great reminder!  Maybe read it together at your next team meeting…Be sure to leave a comment on my blog. I’d love to hear what you think!

Yours in health, fitness and your business success,

Sherri McMillan

ps. If you haven’t heard yet, we’re offering 20% off our ’1st session with a Client’ Evideo.  I teach you everything you need to know to close 80-90% of your new client sales. Plus you get to see me with a real live client! It’s a great training video for yourself and your team! Click the link below for more information.




Overcoming Obstacles to Sales for Personal Trainers

Hey Fitness Pros,

As trainers, if we aren’t skilled at helping people overcome their mental barriers to taking action, then they’ll just keep THINKING about starting an exercise program forever and never actually DO anything about it! It’s our job to help people overcome the obstacles that are preventing them from reaching their goals and living their best life!

Fortunately, the obstacles that most of our clients will present us with are very common and predictable. We just need to know what they are and be prepared with a system and questions to help them overcome those obstacles to success.

For example, I’m sure you’ve heard these before…
• I want to think about
• I don’t know if I’ll stick to it.
• I’ve tried before and never experienced any results.
• I can’t afford it.
• I’m too busy

When handling someone’s concerns, try the following system guaranteed to get clients to stop thinking and start doing!

Read the rest of Overcoming Obstacles to Sales for Personal Trainers

You need to get on this asap!

Hey Fitness Pros,

Mothers Day is 2 weeks away and I wanted to make sure you’ve got something special planned for the ladies at your club. Here are some ideas that are not too late to initiate:

  • Offer a Mother’s Day special on services.  We offer specials on Personal Training, Partner Training, Massage, Pilates and heavily promote that we have Gift Certificates available.  We want people to give fitness versus flowers or chocolate!
  • Offer a Mother/Daughter/Sister/Grandma specialty fitness class.  We host Bootcamps, Zumba-a-thons, Partner Yoga and more
  • Offer a Women’s Retreat including workouts, Women’s Health workshops/lectures, lunch and maybe some pampering.  Charge a fee for the day depending on the services that you provide and you can actually make a good amount of income and treat a bunch of gals to an amazing day!
  • Give a gift to all the ladies at your studio. For example, purchase some single flowers to give to each lady who comes in and works out Mother’s Day week. Or perhaps find an inspirational poem relating to women, mothers etc and print on nice paper and give to all your gals.

Client retention is all about attention to details.  Now’s your opportunity to show these gals how much you care!

Yours in health, fitness and business,

Sherri McMillan

ps. If you were part of our Personal Training Master Mind group you would have all the fliers, templates and materials we use to market and promote all these successful programs and initiatives year-round.  Save time and make more money by mimicking our monthly internal and external marketing action steps.  Click on the link below and instantly transform your business and watch your profits soar!