Getting interactive – key conversation skills for new Personal Trainers

Female PT with female client

Earlier this week I was chatting to a personal trainer about how she was going with approaching new prospects.

We had decided a few weeks ago it would be good for her to build rapport with members of the gym and she set herself a goal of 10 ‘meet and greets’ per day over the next week.

Now, for anyone who’s been in the fitness industry for a while, the idea of chatting to gym members might not seem like a difficult task, but when you are new to the industry and new to being a personal trainer, introducing yourself to a complete stranger can be a little nerve wracking.

Thinking about what might help her with this goal reminded me of a book called The Interactive Instructor by Kris Tynan. In the book, Kris talks about keys to starting a conversation:

“There are three parts to starting up and continuing conversation: The icebreaker, the opener and the secondaries”

“The Ice Breaker is the greeting phrase, which is an acknowledgement but also serves to indicate to the customer that you want to have an interaction with them” “Hi there, Hiya, G’day, Hello”

“The opener is the follow up to the ice breaker; it need e to be non-threatening and easy to deliver to someone you don’t know” “Had a busy day? How was your weekend? “

“The secondaries can be a little more probing and specific than general chitchat as you have now started to build a rapport with your customer” “Are you happy with your progress?, Are you getting the results you hoped for? What kind of help could we give you?”

These three sections of conversation are a great starting point to move towards building rapport with a potential customer. Continuing from here come the essentials of open ended questions and active listening. Each one just as important as the next.

Most importantly, like with any new job, practice builds confidence. The more we repeat a task or practice it, the better we will get. So what are you waiting for? Set yourself a goal and go out and start practicing. You might run into a few grumpy or grumbly people along the way, but chances are the majority of them will be more than happy to meet you and especially happy that someone is paying them attention!

If you want to check out The Interactive Instructor you can click here for more info