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  1. #1
    Registered User kristinpete38's Avatar
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    Excuse comebacks...

    I see that all effective trainers have that Do-Not-Accept-Excuses attitude and have a smart comeback for each one brought forth that often ends up convincing their client to continue on. I was talking with my fit manager and he said he thinks I'm too nice when it comes to that hopeful resign at the end of the session. He said I needed to be more aggressive.

    What are some great comebacks to the common excuses you hear at payment time?
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  2. #2
    'Tis but a scratch j1akey's Avatar
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    Personally I hate aggressive trainers. I don't need someone in my grill trying to get me to spend my hard earned money all the time, I can't even get one to just watch my form for a couple days without trying to retool my whole program and get me shell out another $100.00 for an eating program. Too many of them like to confuse a thing I like to call "reality" with what they interpret as an excuse.
    "When you fall into a pit, you either die or get out."
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  3. #3
    Registered User WoofieNugget's Avatar
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    Depends on what you are talking about. I don't really give comebacks because my philosophy is that anyone you have to talk into training isn't going to be a good client. They are always going to have excuses and probably not invest in their goals. Are you talking about renewal time or when they are buying initial sessions?
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  4. #4
    Registered User kristinpete38's Avatar
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    Excuses at point of sale.

    And I said "assertive", not "aggressive" lol. Not gonna jump tackle clients. Just a little more direct and with more confidence "this is what you need"
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  5. #5
    Team MuscleTech Rep MuscleTechMarc's Avatar
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    The best way to get the clients to stay with you is to plan ahead. Dont wait for the last session to ask them to renew - you have to plant the seed weeks in advance!

    1. On day 1, capture credit card info and explain to them that there are many phases of training and that this first training package will take them through the beginner phase.
    2. Reinforce how great they are doing half way through their package and explain how much potential they have and how easily they will progress through the intermediate phase of training.
    3. Book a fit test on the 3rd to last session to review their progress and make new goals for the future. Here you will tell them what to expect from the next phase of training and that you will start planning out their new program (soft sell).
    4. Second last session, tell the client that you have completed their new training program and they should book-up the next few weeks ahead of time to ensure you maintain their preferred time of workout.
    5. Last session: simply remind them that they need to pay today. If they forgot their wallet or dont have time - tell them not to worry as you have all their info on file and that will gladly process everything and have their copy ready for their next session ;-)

    If you set it up right, you wont need to answer any excuses!
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  6. #6
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    Excuses are like a** holes, everyone has one and they all stink.

    But hey its there fault if they don't come in. You don't need to have a good comeback to convince them to come back just give them a good and fun workout and i guarantee they will be back for more.
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  7. #7
    Registered User ericmackcarter's Avatar
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    I retain 90% or more of my clients. Honestly, I am always under the assumption that they will continue, so once they are signed up, I never even discuss renewing. If I need a check from them, I just ask for it.

    EDIT: More to your point, the best response for comebacks is to have great results and develop a great relationship before the excuse ever rears. That way, if they need to quit, you can assume it is legitimate. The only reason I have ever lost clients is a change in their financial situation.
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  8. #8
    Registered User kristinpete38's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ericmackcarter View Post
    I retain 90% or more of my clients. Honestly, I am always under the assumption that they will continue, so once they are signed up, I never even discuss renewing. If I need a check from them, I just ask for it.

    EDIT: More to your point, the best response for comebacks is to have great results and develop a great relationship before the excuse ever rears. That way, if they need to quit, you can assume it is legitimate. The only reason I have ever lost clients is a change in their financial situation.
    I.guess I'm looking more for how to get those people you haven't had much time with - one intro session for ex
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  9. #9
    Registered User WoofieNugget's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by kristinpete38 View Post
    I.guess I'm looking more for how to get those people you haven't had much time with - one intro session for ex
    Intro sessions are usually garbage, but you can use them to your advantage. Right at the beginning set the expectation that there is no way you can give them a "program" or show them how to use everything in an hour. It just isn't enough time. However, since you want to make the most of their time together you will teach them some basic principles, give them an idea of how long it would take for them to get to their goals, and then if they want to move on, you can talk about it.

    Throughout the session always be closing - talk about how long it will take them to be able to do a proper squat/deadlift/pullup. Talk about how you can get them working towards that long term goal beyond weight loss like a sport or something fun they want to do. Teach them stuff they didn't know before. They will enjoy it, and be more likely to invest in you as a trainer. If they are a good prospect and are interested, try to help them, you never know when (even if they don't buy) they will refer.

    In sales, there is such a thing as a bad prospect - and a lot of fitness managers don't realize that. If they have no disposable income, little motivation to be there and are a bad demographic (eg a young male who thinks they know everything already) then 99% of the time you're wasting your breath. Do the required time but don't waste your time trying to close them.

    If you want hard sales tactics for closing then there are lots of good teachers out there. I'm of the opinion you shouldn't have to do that.
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  10. #10
    Registered User PerFit's Avatar
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    do you mean being more assertive and increasing your close rate?

    if that is the case its more about prequalifying them better.
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  11. #11
    community gym PT KyleAaron's Avatar
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    PerFit, OP is in a commercial gym where people are given "free PT sessions!" in lieu of the ordinary health consult + programe intro + followup session which we see in gyms in Australia. OP won't be paid for these sessions, this is presented by her managers as her opportunity to sign these people up for PT. So the pressure's on to SELL SELL SELL. There's no prequalification or the like, the best she can do is simply to ask everyone and hope the usual 1-6% will say yes.

    OP, you've already been given lots of good advice on presenting your services and yourself, in a heap of different threads on this site, and I've no doubt on other websites, too. It's obvious you've not listened to any of it. For example, you've not yet had time to watch the videos on this site, which I've previously linked to. Take the time to study these things and put them in practice. You want instant easy answers. There are none.
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  12. #12
    Registered User kristinpete38's Avatar
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    Excuses:

    "I'm working too much."
    "I'm too lazy!"
    "I want to practice this all first"/"I want to try it out on my own first."
    "I need to talk with my husband."

    Bottom line: "I don't want this badly enough"

    I understand that the minute they walk out the door, you've lost them. People who are on the fence will talk themselves out of it once they get home. So if it's an "I need to talk with my husband" excuse, I have no idea how to counter it. I had one coworker who told the lady to get her husband on the phone. And she did and she bought sessions. With the "I need time to think about it", I always ask them to specify - "is it money?" but it really doesn't go much further than that.

    Counter - excuses to these? I see other trainers who are able to get a person past all of their excuses with that no BS attitude. They talk the potential client out of their negativity and convince them they need it.
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  13. #13
    Registered User kristinpete38's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by PerFit View Post
    do you mean being more assertive and increasing your close rate?

    if that is the case its more about prequalifying them better.

    Yes. My fitness manager was telling me he thinks I'm too nice. I let clients and potential clients get away with their excuses and he was telling me I need to be more assertive and confident - be able to express that I am the ONE source that will get them to their goal. Expressing that they are silly to think otherwise. Rather than saying "which session package would you like to do?", telling them they need this particular session package. Etc etc.

    I'm unable to turn these free sessions into anything. Most of the people from the start let it be known they aren't interested in purchasing training; they are just getting the free session or some free information. It reflects badly on me when I am unable to resign.

    So, the point of this thread is to give great comebacks to these excuses. I need to be more assertive. I need to be more confident in suggesting that I will be the one they need to move on.
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  14. #14
    Registered User kristinpete38's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by KyleAaron View Post
    PerFit, OP is in a commercial gym where people are given "free PT sessions!" in lieu of the ordinary health consult + programe intro + followup session which we see in gyms in Australia. OP won't be paid for these sessions, this is presented by her managers as her opportunity to sign these people up for PT. So the pressure's on to SELL SELL SELL. There's no prequalification or the like, the best she can do is simply to ask everyone and hope the usual 1-6% will say yes.

    OP, you've already been given lots of good advice on presenting your services and yourself, in a heap of different threads on this site, and I've no doubt on other websites, too. It's obvious you've not listened to any of it. For example, you've not yet had time to watch the videos on this site, which I've previously linked to. Take the time to study these things and put them in practice. You want instant easy answers. There are none.


    The point of this section is to improve our quality of training. Most questions asked will be in looking for advice. Others will look to compare instances.

    I've never asked this question. Asking how to increase my paycheck is different. Your answer was "to meet people on the gym floor(even if it takes months for them to sign up)". Great. However, that answer doesn't qualify for this question. I've heard to lower rates - I have no control over that. I've heard to pass out business cards - I can only pass out my gym's card. I've heard to ask for references. Those answers help improve my client build-up, but none of them help me in closing a sale, which is moreso what I'm asking here.

    Specifically: "comebacks to common excuses"

    Really, you're asking that I stop asking for advice in here and look elsewhere. But it's important to listen to other trainers' experiences and ideas. I have many books. But most books don't cover certain important aspects of the field. Instant, easy answers? Yes, there are some. And yes, there are strategies that I have not heard of that some may have found to be very successful.
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  15. #15
    Registered User ts65's Avatar
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    aren't all of kristin's posts total BS anyway?
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  16. #16
    community gym PT KyleAaron's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by kristinpete
    Really, you're asking that I stop asking for advice in here and look elsewhere. But it's important to listen to other trainers' experiences and ideas.
    The point is that you're not listening. You're asking questions, getting answers, then asking the same questions again or slightly different ones indicating you never listened to the answer the first time. There's no use our answering your questions if you won't listen. I'm not talking about your not listening to me in particular, fair enough you might think one person's ideas sound like bullsht, or get too much different advice to follow - so pick one person or group of people and follow what they say for long enough to figure out if it works for you. But you don't do anything. At all. So why should we bother?

    First, show that you've listened to the advice we've given you so far. Then we'll know it's worth giving more.

    Originally Posted by ts65 View Post
    aren't all of kristin's posts total BS anyway?
    It's hard to say, to be honest. She certainly leads a dramatic life. Or melodramatic. But in some cases her questions are worth responding to because even if she doesn't listen, and even if they're based only on some drama in her head, the answers will be of use to people reading the forum. I mean, lots of new trainers struggle with getting clients.
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  17. #17
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    Originally Posted by KyleAaron View Post
    PerFit, OP is in a commercial gym where people are given "free PT sessions!" in lieu of the ordinary health consult + programe intro + followup session which we see in gyms in Australia. OP won't be paid for these sessions, this is presented by her managers as her opportunity to sign these people up for PT. So the pressure's on to SELL SELL SELL. There's no prequalification or the like, the best she can do is simply to ask everyone and hope the usual 1-6% will say yes.
    If thats the case and you only have a small amount of time with them, you need to build their problem during this session. Sit down with them and ask about their goals, what their current phsyical status is stopping them from doing, how would life be better if they could reach their goals etc etc. Make them really see how it is emotionally affecting them and their life. Once they have this big ass problem in front of them you can them provide them with a solution with your training.

    Don't be generic with talking to them about it. If they have Diabetes/High blood presure/taking medication that makes them feel like crap, simply tell them that your training will specifically help remedy these problems with the most efficiency and in the least amount of time.
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  18. #18
    Registered User kristinpete38's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ts65 View Post
    aren't all of kristin's posts total BS anyway?
    No, but this is total BS:
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...#post829527811

    And this?:
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...#post833060581

    What, you don't deserve a "butt ugly woman"? Try getting more than that honey...

    By the way, if you're gonna play dumb, be funny about it ("proton shake").

    Love how you contribute none, yet try to call out others' posts.
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    Originally Posted by kristinpete38 View Post
    Excuses:

    "I'm working too much."
    "I'm too lazy!"
    "I want to practice this all first"/"I want to try it out on my own first."
    "I need to talk with my husband."

    Bottom line: "I don't want this badly enough"

    I understand that the minute they walk out the door, you've lost them. People who are on the fence will talk themselves out of it once they get home. So if it's an "I need to talk with my husband" excuse, I have no idea how to counter it. I had one coworker who told the lady to get her husband on the phone. And she did and she bought sessions. With the "I need time to think about it", I always ask them to specify - "is it money?" but it really doesn't go much further than that.

    Counter - excuses to these? I see other trainers who are able to get a person past all of their excuses with that no BS attitude. They talk the potential client out of their negativity and convince them they need it.
    So your fitness manager is telling you you're doing something poorly, without any way to change it or improve yourself offered? No closing training? Sounds like a great manager. He/She should be sitting down with you to go over this stuff, not have you asking strangers on a message board.

    You're also asking for sales training questions - if you google sales training forums you will get much better answers than those here can provide.

    And your bottom line is wrong: The bottom line is that they don't see enough value in what you're offering to invest in purchasing it. Increase the amount of value relative to the person that you are talking to, and you will close more people.
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    Originally Posted by kristinpete38 View Post
    No, but this is total BS:
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...#post829527811

    And this?:
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...#post833060581

    What, you don't deserve a "butt ugly woman"? Try getting more than that honey...

    By the way, if you're gonna play dumb, be funny about it ("proton shake").

    Love how you contribute none, yet try to call out others' posts.
    Difference is I'm mostly a troll, and I'll admit to that. You're trying to disguise your trolling as legit questions.
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  21. #21
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    Originally Posted by ts65 View Post
    Difference is I'm mostly a troll, and I'll admit to that. You're trying to disguise your trolling as legit questions.
    I suppose you mean that my asking questions relevant to improving qualifies as trolling? I say you're paranoid.

    It's a legit question. Trainers ask it all the time. "What are great comebacks?" I'm not understanding really how this offended you....

    lmao...
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    If you're referring back to that man I mentioned in another post, well, really there's no way to prove to you it's true. I already put up a few of his emails. I could give you the link to his page.

    Maybe you can't relate because you're male? It's definitely not uncommon for females, especially in the gym, to attract weird old men. Are there any other females on this PT section btw?
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    no kristen, kyle's post showing all the threads you made collectively makes me think you're full of it. Your life is basically a soap opera.
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    I'm not looking to hear personal opinions of me; I'm here because I love training and I figured it'd be a great place to gain from. A straight up answer to the particular thread is all I need. Those who refuse to answer: Shouldn't be entering anything.

    "Makes me think"..think all you want. What it comes down to is you really don't know me or what my life entails. Even if I had the most f*cked up life, why should that restrict the answers I receive? This under another name would be a legitimate question... and somehow, you find that it is not...?

    I wanted advice for my first obese client? ****. I messed up. I needed advice as to what I should include in my advertising vid? ****, I'm ruining the board. I wanted opinions for my next certification pursuit? Wait, isn't this all relevant? Yes, the NASM was easy. I asked if anyone had clients interested in them (I have a client I considered might be - called me hot today). I'm assuming, no, nobody has dealt with it. I wanted to hear other options because my paycheck was low. I needed to hear what I should do about a man who I wasn't at all sure about... yet who carried a lot of insight on the topic.

    It's all legitimate. You had biases coming in. So did KyleAaron. It's only a waste of time. If one of my threads needs to go unanswered, so be it. I'm better off with that. Enjoy your "trolling"
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    Originally Posted by WoofieNugget View Post
    So your fitness manager is telling you you're doing something poorly, without any way to change it or improve yourself offered? No closing training? Sounds like a great manager. He/She should be sitting down with you to go over this stuff, not have you asking strangers on a message board.
    Come on now, she works at a big chain gym. What big chain gym manager ISN'T a glorified used cars salesman that doesn't really know anything about fitness other than what they read in Men's Health?
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    Originally Posted by mikehayman View Post
    Come on now, she works at a big chain gym. What big chain gym manager ISN'T a glorified used cars salesman that doesn't really know anything about fitness other than what they read in Men's Health?
    Oh, I believe that. Likely the guy just stuck around long enough to not get fired and was the only viable candidate to be a manager because he had more than one years' experience. Numbers are usually all they care about, not actually developing decent trainers.
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  27. #27
    community gym PT KyleAaron's Avatar
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    I was in a discussion online with a club manager of a big chain gym. He was complaining about the low standard of trainers out there. His previous job was marketing manager for... a paint company.

    It was all wrong on so many different levels I just didn't know where to begin.
    Elite coaching is about getting the last 5% out of a person's performance, personal training is about getting the first 50%.

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    Yeah, my gym's going through quite a bit of rough times at the moment. Our club manager was transferred out (complaints), our membership manager was fired, our fitness manager quit (and we've since gotten a new one who I really like), and some trainers are gone. My new fit manager has had a lot of success with this business, and knows his stuff. The club manager on the other hand... a bit off.
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    Originally Posted by PerFit View Post
    If thats the case and you only have a small amount of time with them, you need to build their problem during this session. Sit down with them and ask about their goals, what their current phsyical status is stopping them from doing, how would life be better if they could reach their goals etc etc. Make them really see how it is emotionally affecting them and their life. Once they have this big ass problem in front of them you can them provide them with a solution with your training.

    Don't be generic with talking to them about it. If they have Diabetes/High blood presure/taking medication that makes them feel like crap, simply tell them that your training will specifically help remedy these problems with the most efficiency and in the least amount of time.
    I hear a lot about this - using fear tactics to increase the need by the close. I think I've tried employing this -going back to mentioning their main goal and how the training will help- but I don't think I'm making it as desperate as I should. They have an excuse - I should hit them with a negative image of their health in the near future if they should choose not to continue? "More likely to revoke your membership after a month of not knowing what to do."

    I'll focus on this more. Thanks

    [I have absolutely no background in sales and I feel my position here is heavily sales-based. It's a skill to be practiced and learned..]
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    When they make an excuse just be motivational in response and extinguish the excuse. You don't have to be mean with comebacks and there is nothing wrong with being nice, just encourage them to do their best regardless of what may or may not be holding them back.
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