Pat Rigsby is the co-owner of several businesses in the fitness industry, including the Fitness Consulting Group. He also serves as an industry consultant focusing on the development of profitable personal training departments. To learn how you can improve your club’s retention, referrals and profitability, sign up for his free newsletter, Three Free Business Building Reports, at www.fitnessmarketingmachine.com. Rigsby can be reached at pat@fitnessconsultingroup.com.

One of the biggest things that prevent health clubs from selling more personal training is paying little if any attention to its closing percentages. Personal training department heads work hard on setting appointments. They require floor time from their staff. They hold seminars and do in-club advertising—all in the hopes of generating leads. But the real name of the game is turning those leads into high-paying clients and closing the deal.

Do you know what percentage of prospects you convert into clients? Don’t guess. Do you know the exact number? If you don’t, start tracking it today. Only then can you test other approaches in your quest to close more prospects and know if the changes you made are paying off.

Once you start tracking your numbers, here are five tips you can use to increase your closing percentage:

1. Make your trainers celebrities. You have to help members understand exactly why they should work with a personal trainer. The first step toward this is making the trainers the stars in your club. From the first moment a prospect enters the club and is considering a membership, you should start positioning your trainers as the ultimate solution for fast results.

2. Have social proof. Put up a “wall of fame” showcasing the success of your trainers’ clients. Create testimonial books sharing success stories. Use testimonials in your marketing so that prospects are pre-sold. Help people feel confident that your trainers are the solution to their problems by showing them that your trainers have already been the solution to other people’s similar problems.

3. Use a script. Once you find the best way to sell personal training, why not replicate it? Scripted sales presentations are often the difference between profitable training departments and training departments that run in the red. Develop an entire sales approach that your trainers follow, and consistently measure to find ways to improve it.

4. Don’t use sales training just for membership sales. Hold weekly sales training for your personal training staff. Work on the script, troubleshoot their presentations and role-play to help them get comfortable with the entire process.

5. Sell on value, not price. People want a good deal and to be treated fairly, but they don’t mind paying for results. There is nothing wrong with charging a fair price and paying trainers accordingly if they’re good at what they do.

These are five simple tips to help you turn your personal training department into a money-making, result-producing machine. Apply them, and watch your training department become the engine that propels your club to new heights.