Hey, Personal Trainers – are you getting new clients, referrals and plenty of sessions? If not it might be as simple as beginning to smile!

Some of the best trainers I know are worried that they may not “look” the part. They’re afraid someone might ask them, “Do You Even Lift” aka the dreaded “DYEL”. But they shouldn’t be because the job of being a great (and busy) personal trainer has very little to do with what you look like and a whole more to do with how you act and what you can contribute – read on for a simple fix to what is often a major oversight.

My gym, like many others has its share of genetically blessed personal trainers. There’s the fellow over there with the “hella good hair”, and the girl with “the pumps and the bumps” – apologies to Taylor Swift and Fifth Harmony, but you know what I’m getting at. People who’d look great whether they exercised or not, even if they were wearing a paper bag on their head. But they do exercise, and they put on muscle easily, lean off easily and generally they’re not doing it with a paper bag over their head. But maybe they should be, because and this is just an observation, not a rule…many often don’t smile, don’t look friendly or even just approachable. And if you’re not approachable, then you are going to get a whole lot more time to “perfect” your look because you won’t be training others very much!

Now, I’m not saying these people aren’t first class trainers, or first class people for that matter, but I am saying that unless they can match their interpersonal skills to their natural genetic gifting, they most likely won’t do well in the world of personal training. And the flip side? Last thing you should be worrying about is whether the mirror on the wall says you’re the fairest or not. No, the thing to be working on is how to foster good relationships with all the people you are coming across in your day, and that starts with a smile and a hello.

But, just backing up for a second, I want to prove to you this is serious. I mentioned my gym for good reason. As I franchise from a well-known chain, by and large the facilities are well kept, the classes well attended and we get a good score on the very regular assessments they do on us, except…except for the customer engagement rating. This rating revolves around questions like did the staff acknowledge you, say hello, say goodbye, help in any other way? And the truth is at my gym the score is very average. Now a few of the worst contributors have moved on and things are turning around, but if everyone smiled and said hello, well that is all it would take for us to score highly here too.

Ok, I’m smiling now, and saying hello, what next?

Learn their name.

I am terrible with names, but I tell you what, I have trained and trained and trained myself to remember members names. The joy of hearing someone say hello to you using your name is significant. There are so many café’s in the area I work that they seem to have all made it their mission to remember people’s names and it is a powerful tool to get someone to come back when they know they are getting a friendly greeting. “Hello Martin, how is your day going?” Seven words that change my coffee from a drink to an ongoing relationship.

Ask about their training, their goals.

Not in a horrible, salesy way, but genuine, so next time you see them you can not only ask how they are doing but be helpful.

Be neatly presented

You would be amazed at the resistance trainers seem to have to uniforms. Maybe it’s the maverick spirit that is necessary to get someone out and doing the job, but it doesn’t serve you well if it continues over into your clothing and presentation. I would say it is literally a rule that the busiest and most successful trainers I see are the most committed to having the correct uniform, name badge on, new looking shoes and good grooming. It’s not about being beautiful, it’s about caring.

And Smile!

Honestly it really is that simple. You are going to have countless opportunities today. Today, you can begin to connect, to collect names, to establish you and your gym as a friendly place, so prepare to get busy!


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