It’s no secret that there is a good deal of competition in the field of personal training. That’s a good thing. That signals that the profession is needed and in demand.

But, on the other side of the coin is a serious question: what makes a client choose one trainer over others who are just as qualified? The answers are many and diverse, but here are a few things a client might look for before signing that contract.

A Trainer Who’s Affiliated with the “Right” Gym

Many times a potential client chooses a gym based on name recognition, or number and convenience of locations, and will then choose a trainer on staff.

While that’s not the only thing you should consider if you’re just starting out, it’s something to keep in mind especially if you’re wanting to build quick experience to strike out on your own. Just being employed and in rotation at a gym—that is using their own budget to attract business by the way—can help you get chosen by clients even if you’re brand new.

A Trainer Who’s Relatable

This might sound obvious, but it’s easy to get caught up in talking up credentials, honing a physique that is simply beyond reproach, or focusing on competitive prices and fees. Credentials, pricing, and good fitness are all important, but so, too, is being relatable. Some clients find it important to have common ground with their trainer. Think about it. They’re disclosing personal information like goals, health issues, hang-ups. They want a professional who has more knowledge than they, but also someone they can converse with and feel at ease around.

A Trainer Who Tried Harder to Earn Their Business

Doesn’t it feel good when someone works to earn your business? It gives you the sense that having you as a client is important, and you might pay just a bit more attention, and money, to them versus someone who delivers a canned spiel and hands you a business card with a flippant “Gimme a call when you’re ready.”

Think of what you can do to stand out in a potential client’s memory. It’s a chance to use your creativity to find something that fits with your personality and brand. It might be something like finding common ground with each new contact or offering up a no-strings-attached free workout to demonstrate your knowledge and style.

Your standout move can also be something as simple as following up. You’d be surprised how many don’t take that step after an initial meeting, losing hundreds in revenue in the process. You might also stick in someone’s memory for not following up…but not in a favorable way.

What the most memorable reason a client chose you? Tell us in our Facebook comments, and let’s start a conversation!


Tanisha Rule

Tanisha Rule has a BA in English and is a former Mad Dogg-certified Spinning instructor. She taught indoor cycle and boot camp and has now combined her passions as a full-time writer for the health and fitness industries, check out her site at If she isn’t writing or reading, she can be found happily training for an endurance event, likely after having said, “This is my last one for a while,” because there is no finish line; there is only progress.