By Zach Columbia BS NASM FPT
Fitness professionals all over the world spend hundreds of thousands of dollars marketing to potential clients. They spend hours of their day following up on leads, calling, texting, and emailing those potential clients. They provide cost free consultations, where they delve into that prospect’s lifestyle, pain points, and goals. At the end of the consultation, after investing hours of time and money into that potential client, they are often left stunned and disappointed when that individual, who seemingly needs help so badly says, “I can’t afford it.”
I’ve performed hundreds of fitness consultations and rarely have I found someone who actually couldn’t afford it. People vote with their wallets and really what they are saying is, I’m not willing to afford it.
When I first became a Personal Trainer, I was taught to nonchalantly walk the gym floor looking for prospective clients, while cleaning up and re-racking weights. At first, I would approach people who appeared lost at the gym. Perhaps they were overweight and looked like they needed help. I quickly learned that those were the worst people to approach. Those were the ones that would never afford it. After several conversations with some of the more successful trainers, I learned how they would choose who to approach. It wasn’t the people who appeared like they needed the most help, but rather the people who appeared as if they didn’t. It became very evident very quickly that if I wanted to be successful, I needed to approach gym members who looked confident, dressed nice, and we’re well put together. Why? Simple, they were already investing in their health and appearance and more willing to afford it.
What I’ve found is that those who are already doing their best and just need a little expertise and push to get them over the hump are willing to budget for a fitness program. Those who need the most help are probably in their current situation because they are unwilling to make any type of sacrifice required to change.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, this article isn’t really about budgeting for a fitness program. It’s about willingness to make a change and the required investment. Someone who regularly eats fast food does so because it requires no investment. It’s cheap, doesn’t require time to make, and it’s easily accessible. What would make us, as fitness professionals, think that someone putting in that little of effort would ever be willing to invest the money, time, and physical discomfort required to make a change. It obviously requires a major wake up call to create enough willingness for that individual to change; one I’ve seen less than a handful of people make throughout my career.
Here is the point that I want to make. Like I previously stated, people vote with their wallets… For the most part anyway. How much someone is willing to invest is a direct indication of how serious someone is. If you’re sitting here reading this, wondering why you can’t hit your goals and looking for answers; ask yourself how much you’re willing to invest to get there. If you immediately think, “I can’t afford it,” then you’re not that serious. If you read that and just thought to yourself, “I am serious, I just can’t afford it,” then you’re definitely going to fail. If you just read that and now you’re getting angry, this article was meant for you. However, if you thought to yourself, “let me figure it out, there must be a way.” You just took the first step in budgeting for a fitness program.
Let me leave you with one of my favorite sayings: If it’s really that important to you, you’ll find a way. If it’s not, you’ll find an excuse.