Jim Labadie is a fitness entrepreneur, sales expert and speaker. You can download a free copy of his new E-book “63 Must-Have Sales Tips for Personal Trainers” at www.ptsalestips.com.

If you’re struggling to close sales as a personal trainer, it may be because you’re missing a step. You may have missed the crucial step of prospecting. In other words, you may not be closing sales because the person you are meeting is not really a viable prospective candidate for personal training. Or it may be because the prospect is unaware what is going to happen during your meeting.

Follow these simple tips to give yourself the best possible chance of converting every prospect you meet in person into a paying client:

  1. Schedule a sales appointment/consultation with your prospects to discuss the possibility of their hiring you. It gives you the best possible chance of making the sale.
  2. Explain exactly how long the sales appointment will take, and be sure your prospects are OK with it. However long it takes you to close a sale is the amount of time you need to plan.
  3. It is your responsibility to find qualifying prospects who will make good clients. Your reputation will flourish only if you take on clients who are dedicated to success.
  4. Create a list of qualifying questions that work for you. If someone does not fit the description of your ideal client or is not someone you typically work with, feel free to pass on meeting him or her.
  5. Redirect questions about how much your service costs when you begin talking to a prospect. If they ask, let your prospects know you have no idea how much it will cost until you fully understand what it is they want to achieve and why. And to do that, you will need to meet with them in person.
  6. Ask your prospects if you’ve reached them at a bad time when you call. It’s never a good time, and you want to give yourself the time you will need to set a sales appointment if they are qualified prospects.
  7. Call your prospects whenever possible instead of e-mailing them. It’s almost impossible to find the emotional reason they would hire you via e-mail.
  8. Find some of the emotional reasons why your prospects contacted you to help you determine whether or not they are worth meeting. Prospects who won’t divulge any information whatsoever should typically be disqualified.
  9. Question whether you should meet with people who have others initiate contact for them. If a spouse, friend or personal assistant reaches you for more information on your services, politely tell them that you will need to speak directly with the person they are representing.
  10. Discuss with your prospects exactly what will happen during your sales appointment. It’s your responsibility to explain what the process will be.
  11. Ask your prospects if it is OK if you mutually come to a definite decision about whether or not you will work together by the end of your sales appointment. This will prevent them from telling you that they need to “think it over” and will increase their bond with you because you asked their permission.
  12. Explain to your prospects that it is more than OK to tell you either yes or no when the time comes during your appointment to decide whether or not they will hire you. Doing this eliminates any potential confusion and makes them feel more comfortable going into the meeting.
  13. Confirm with your prospects when setting the sales appointment that they are 100 percent certain that the day and time you have agreed upon works for them. Remember, your time is your—and their—most valuable commodity. They’ll be thrilled to know you respect their time so much.