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Personal Training Business Cards - How to Use Them to Get Leads

Personal training business cards are carried by most personal trainers but only a few know this great technique for using them to get leads quickly

Did you know you can get a lead in 45 secs using your business card?personal%20training%20stop%20watch

In this article I'm going to show you how to use your business card to get a lead within 45 seconds (that's right 'seconds') whilst you are being paid for it (that's right 'paid').

I'm also going to explain how your business cards should be designed so you can use them to effectively get leads into your business.


Why this article is important?

Personal training business cards are a vital tool for marketing but only if you have the right design and know how to use them.  Generally;

  1. Business cards are one of the most under utilised lead generating tools ever
  2. Business cards are extremely cheap and easy to use
  3. Business cards allow you to do things that other marketing collateral doesn't


How to look at personal training marketing

First things first. Over the years I've found simple marketing tactics work best.  Generally, I use just three criteria to analyse any marketing technique in any PT business.  These are;

1.  Cut through - will the audience who is most likely going to hire me as their personal trainer receive this message and respond to it

2.  Return time - once I put this marketing piece in play how long will it be before I start to see lead flow

3.  Cost per lead - what is my likely cost per lead in terms of time/money

Selecting a marketing tactic

Once a number of marketing tactics with good cut-through, the right return time and the right cost for the stage of your business (and the state of your bank account) are identified as options the next question (and the only question to ask) is;

Which of the marketing tactics within the list of options would you be happiest implementing in the next 48 hours.

You ask this question because building momentum and refining a lead generating tactic is just as important as coming up with one.  No lead generating tactic will perform at all if you don't implement it (and my experience tells me that the shorter the implementation time the more likely the tactic will be put in place).  And it's only once you implement a lead generating tactic that you can get the feedback you may need to refine and perfect it. So, ask which tactic you will be most happy to implement and get on with it.



How would I rate personal training business cards against these criteria?

Cut-through, return time and cost:

Using the technique I'm going to show you you'll use your personal training business card to get great cut through (your perfect client will recieve your business card), a fantastic return time (somewhere from 48 to 72 hours) and an extremely low cost per lead (45 secs of your time with this technique and about 10 pence or cents per business card). 

Implementation timeframes:

With business cards you can usually have them turned out within a few days or less.  So, even if you don't have a personal training business card already this marketing option is open to you almost immediately.  Virtually any print place will do a full business card design and production within a day.

Timeframe to test and refine:

If you don't mind doing a quick meet and greet with targeted clients and then leaving them your card and then calling to follow up - then this business card technique is right up your alley.  You can implement this technique one day, work it 3-5 times, refine it overnight and go again.

You can see why I think business cards are hugely under-rated and under-utilised.


What resources do you need to execute this business card marketing tactic

  1. You and your smile (shave, clean your teeth, use deodorant you know - going on a date type stuff)
  2. A pen in your pocket (blue is best)
  3. A client you already train in the club (any one will do but they're best if they have some results and are bang on your niche - the type of client you want more of)
  4. A suitably designed business card with the following design elements
  • your picture (not a flexed up, shaved down, oiled up, just a normal human shoulder shot with a smile that doesn't look like you put it on - if you're aiming to work with adults who are likely to have kids, get your kids around you and go wider / bigger - if you're a guy get the bubba on your shoulders.  You use your photo so they can remember your face, and put it to the name on the card - it's about making it easy for your prospects)
  • your name (you are your own brand - get used to it - don't muck around with fancy inspiring names - they don't work and there's nothing to suggest 'functional fizzical' or 'raise the bar' or 'betterunow' or any other fiction helps create rapport.  Leave brand for Nike, Coke, Porsche - stick to your name, it's much more endearing.
  • your speciality (one speciality only per card. If you have 2-3 niches/specialities then get a card for each or just have one card with your name and a global statement.  Mine was "Steven Gourley. Personal Trainer. Results with Care")
  • non laminated (you need to write on the reverse side)
  • blank reverse side (you need space for a variety of 'gifts' so keep it blank and ultimately flexible)
  • heavy card (the thicker the card the more important it is and the less likely it will be turfed out, and the harder it is to lose)
  • no bling (keep the design clean with minimal elements - just those above. The less that is there the more it says about your clarity and modesty - ego is not a selling point for most clients - there will be some exceptions)




Don't turn your business card design into a pissing contest.  I've been around a while and I know how cool cards get you street cred with other PTs because, well the card is a reflection of how cool you are.  I've seen round ones, slim ones, transparent ones, glow in the dark, ninja star ones - you name it, I've seen it. 

Design should be driven by what works and what your niche would respond to.  So, unless you are promoting to the graphic design / architect / interior designer or ninja only niche - do yourself a favour and follow the simple guidelines above.  They work.  They are tried and trusted. And the reason they work is because they are warm, engaging and professional - which is what many potential clients will respond to.



Making money with your personal training business card

Below I lay out the technique I personally used and have shown to a bunch of personal trainers over time.  I've done it exactly like this, generated leads every day virtually as needed, and it still works today.

professional shooting

If, for any reason, it doesn't work for you then you're mojo is out of whack.  What I mean is that you are not following the technique completely and confidently - you are sabotaging somehow by either not being practised enough at it (so it's disjointed) or by missing one of the elements of execution. 

Should you get into the 'low mojo' situation described above get a colleague to watch you complete the technique and then take feedback and make changes.  As I said before - this works, I could fill gaps in my diary using this technique alone, in any fitness club in the modern world.


The situation

Okay, let's get down to brass tacks. 

You are training a current client in the club and you're doing weights.  Out of the corner of your eye you see a member MUCH LIKE THE CLIENT YOU ARE TRAINING completing a weights exercise independently but messing it up a bit (these people are every where - if you can't find them, open your eyes before you fall down the stairs).

At the end of a set with the client you are training you draw their attention to the member and ASK THEM IF IT'S OKAY IF YOU RACE ACROSS THERE FOR 40 SECS AND PREVENT MORE DAMAGE.

Your client will (in my experience) say "sure, no problem" - my clients were usually relieved to see the back of me for 40 secs during a work out - they usually said 'take as long as you need!'

You zip over to the member walking confidently up to them and you say

"Hi my name is Steven (use your name or it will be weird) and I'm just training John (point out your client) and I wanted to zip over and say hi.  I'm sorry I can't help you more right now but can I give you something?"  As you are saying this you reach into your pocket for your business card and pen.

If they are from planet earth they will say 'yes' to your offer of a gift. I'll tell you why this happens a little bit later. 

You then take your business card, and right in front of them write "one complimentary technique session" and sign just below it.  As you are signing you say "there are a few issues with this exercise for you that I'd like to tidy up and I'd also like to check your other exercises to make sure you're getting the safest most effective workout possible.  I'm giving you some of my time but there is no obligation to personal train with me at all - I just want to be sure you are well looked after."

You then hand them your business card (they usually say thanks when you do) and you say; "You're welcome.  As I said my name is Steven, you now have my business card, do you have a mobile number?"

They won't say yes or no to that question.  What they'll actually do is just start quoting you their mobile number which you write down (I used to bludgeon it on my hand - very professional!).  As you finish the last few digits you then ask "may I ask your full name please"

They will give it to you, and you write that down too with the number.  You then look straight at them and say "I'll call you later today (or tomorrow if it's the evening) to arrange the technique session you need - it's been nice to meet you Jim (use their name), I'll just have to excuse myself now and pop back to John (signal in his direction) as he's due to lift again.  Talk to you soon"

You then stride back over to John and you say "Thanks John, really appreciate you giving me that few moments to get Jim sorted - I'll be working with him soon on some of his lifts"  John will say 'no problem' and you'll be back into your training.

This process, once practised and polished, works 90+% of the time.  The only time it doesn't work is when you seek out the wrong prospect or mess up the execution which is really hard to do once you've had some practise.  As you'll notice there is very low time cost, low dollar cost, high cut-through, rapid return-time and ultimate ease imbedded in the technique described.


business%20card%20personal%20training%20example%201Why does this technique works so well

When I started doing this I got a few new technique sessions booked EVERYDAY.  I have to admit I didn't 'engineer' this technique, it sort of happened one day because I saw a chap doing absolutely terrible tricep pushdowns and I just couldn't watch. 



I pretty much excused myself from my client, went over and insisted on a technique session on the basis my eyes were hurting and his shoulders were on the road to ruin with his technique. He took my offer immediately and I noticed he was looking over my shoulder at my client as I was writing up my business card.

Over a lazy Sunday beer I was reflecting on the most successful week I'd had for some time in finding new clients and I started to realise what I'd stumbled on to.  This technique, once refined, could be bread and butter for me.  Here's why it works so well.


You have social proof right there with you:

Your client is just like them (same demographic and niche ideally) and your client is already paying to train with you right here, right now, in living, breathing colour right in front of this prospect.  As you walk over your credibiility is very high - the highest it can be in my view.

You have no time:

There is time pressure for everyone so it is entirely okay for you to mainly talk and for them to listen as you need to get back to your client and they are in the middle of training too.  Time pressure removes the prospects objections because they don't have time to generate any and you are closing to the offer from the outset.

You are giving:

There are two phrases every personal trainer should know and use automatically.  One is "can I give you something".  It's not natural as a human to say 'no' to this question - we get trained from childhood that gifts are good things and should be grabbed with both hands at all times - it is the irresistible offer we read about in marketing so often. 

During this technique you use this magic question at the same time as you are getting the gift out so the prospect will say 'yes' because they would have to physically stop you following through on getting your business card out - which they would never do.  It's a 'presumptive close' done physically.  Giving also engages the law of reciprocity.  It's a scaling of obligations and rapport that occurs in any developing professional relationship.

You are in control: 

You'll notice you tell them what the situation is, what they need, what is going to happen and then you ask for their contact details so you can arrange it.  At no time do you ask if they want the technique session - they have to have it because they are not exercising correctly and it's your job to "make sure they are well looked after".  Essentially with this technique you start at the close rather than the needs analysis.

The member needs you:

The reason you can start at the close is because the need is dramatically implied - after all it was important enough to interrupt a paid personal training session and get you to cross the room.  You identify this exact implication when you introduce yourself and say "...I'm just training John (point out your client) and I wanted to zip over and say hi. Sorry I can't help you more now..."

You offer a risk reversal: 

You say what is going to happen but that there is "no obligation" and that "you just want to make sure they are taken care of".  If your manner is coherent with this the prospect will not feel pressured despite the immediacy of your approach.  As is often the case, it's not what you do but how you do it that matters most.

You remind them they need the technique session:

You say "I'll call to arrange the technique session you need" this is important as it provides a second cue to what they need, why you'll be calling and you'll use this at the front of your call script to ensure all the warm fuzzy feelings of first meeting you come flooding back.

You go back to your happy client:

Your client will be smiling as you come back (usually because they've had a breather and they know you've done a good thing) and the prospect will see this as further social proof plus you'll be talking positives with your paying client right at that time  "...Thanks John, really appreciate you giving me that few moments to get Jim sorted..." 

Your current client realises you give a damn about people:

This reinforces the fact that your reason for being involved in personal training is to help people get what they are after safely and surely.  It reinforces your existing client's decision to invest with you in their training.

Your client (if they are a fan) will sometimes end up talking to your new prospect:

This is quite possibly the nirvana of results.  I had times when the person I had gifted the technique session to would talk to my current client in the changing rooms afterward and with a positive word from my current client the prospect was a virtual shoe-in for becoming a long-term client. 

Plus, I found if I had targeted the right prospect (one like the client I was training) then this was more likely to happen particularly if I used names with both of them and if I said hi again to the prospect in front of my current client when their paths crossed on the gym floor.


The follow upPersonal%252525252525252525252520Training%252525252525252525252520Tick%252525252525252525252520

As with all lead generating techniques there is a next step which is the confirmation call.  Now that you have the phone number it is important to execute a seamless call to book and confirm the technique session.  For this you should develop a phone script and make sure you use the basic elements required within a professional call.



This is just one of more than fifty tactics for generating leads within a club.  As moves into the full paid membership stage (just a few months from now) you'll be able to become a member and access not only the fifty plus marketing tactics we offer but also the video walk throughs, the print templates, web templates, scripts, video lectures and much more.  

With this article I just wanted to share with you a very easy way to use your personal training business card to get leads almost immediately.  I hope you enjoy the technique and the results it produces as much as I did in my business.

sarah winful
sarah winful says:
Aug 20, 2017 08:32 AM

I am going to definitely try this technique the next time im in the gym with my client Big THANK YOU

Bruce says:
Jun 07, 2021 11:07 PM

Thank you so much for the great insight definitely going to try this out

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