Magic words …hmmm… sounds either airy-fairy or intimidating. It is actually neither. The focus of this article is on placing emphasis on being very clear in our communications and when we are very clear, we get more of what we want. You will be impressed with how simple it really is. Let's take a look at something that most of your trainers do on a daily basis and that is introducing themselves to members they don't know. Let's refer to them as floor intros. What? You mean to say this is not something they are doing on a daily basis? That is not surprising.

Floor intros are the simplest and fastest way for the members to get to know personal trainers, like them and trust them. This simple tool is one that I see happening too infrequently in clubs. If personal trainers are not doing these intros, it is only to their detriment. Here is how to make the most of floor intros from an organizational perspective and a magic word perspective:

  • Organizational: Set a goal for the number of members your trainers will introduce themselves to. This includes long-time members whose names they still don't know. This also means circulating around the club in areas they might not normally spend time — i.e., cardio areas are great for intros.

  • Magic words: When personal trainers introduce themselves to members they have never met or have only seen recently, encourage them to use the following verbiage in a warm, genuine and conversational way:

“Hi, I don't think we have met yet. My name is _____________ and I am a trainer here at the club and you are? Good to meet you ___________.

How long have you been a member of the club? (Wait for response and comment accordingly.) How is your workout going today? (Wait for response and comment accordingly.) _______________, what one thing can I show you that would make a difference in your workout today?”

A few hints on this intro. Your trainers' perspective is not to sell personal training at this time but instead to open the door for a relationship and future opportunities. Additionally, notice how personal trainers are being specific about showing members one thing that can make a difference for them. Your trainers will want to be specific about that because when members start asking trainers to show them more and more or create a program, that is when staff can reply with the following:

“___________, it sounds as though you have a lot of questions and might want to make some changes in your program. What you are talking about falls more into the realm of personal training. Would you like to schedule some time to talk about how PT can enhance your exercise results or would you like to spend a bit of time doing that now?”

If the timing is not right for them to discuss PT that is perfectly alright. Simply have your staff respond with:

“OK, if you feel that you would like to discuss it at some time, please let me know. Have a good workout.”

When introducing themselves to a long-time member, the essence is the same but the lead in will be a little different. The following will show humility:

“Hi. Please forgive me — I know you have been a member here for quite a while and we have never formally met — my name is _____________ and I am a trainer here at the club and you are?”

At this point, trainers can use the rest of the original intro.

One more note to maximize the magic even further. This is one of the most important parts of this business builder and that is when trainers meet and learn the names of these members, have them write them down in a database. The purpose of documenting the names and a bit of the conversation is so that trainers can remember their names and a bit about the conversation the next time they see them in the club. This way the next time they do see the member, their memory will be less likely to fail.

Karen Woodard is president of Premium Performance Training — a staff training and consulting service. She has authored numerous books and training manuals and can be contacted at 303-417-0653 or via e-mail at www.karenwoodard.com.