9 Steps to Authentic Selling (And How my Personal Trainer Got Me to Say “Yes”)

9 Steps to Authentic Selling (and how my personal trainer got me to say “Yes”)

I’m not that I-have-everything-under-control single-mom and business owner who hits the gym at 5 a.m. and is showered and ready for the day by 7.

I wish I were. But there are two truths you should know about me:

  1. I’m about 25 pounds over my ideal weight. And I’m feeling it. When did bones actually start hurting?
  2. I’m a yoga chick, and had no intention of getting a personal trainer… EVER.

Until this happened… 

My 15 year old son set a goal this summer to get into shape and bulk up a bit.

But by mid-summer, no muscle growing fitness plans were in action. Because all of us – especially fifteen year olds – need a bit of a push, I said “Okay, that’s it. I’m going to help you with this. I’m getting you a personal trainer.” He was thrilled.

I called the Y, and they set an appointment for us to meet with Jesse, a personal trainer I’d briefly met and seen around the gym.  

Two days later, at 9 a.m. my son and I got out of the car, and I may as well have been sporting a suit of armor fit for protective entry into a car dealership. I spouted out to my son as we were walking to the door, “You know, he’s probably going to tell me I’m the one who needs a personal trainer. Ha! Well… that’ll never happen.

You’ve probably already guessed that by the time I left the Y that day, not only had I signed my son up with Jesse, his new personal trainer, but Jesse was now also MY personal trainer.

Here’s how it went down… and how Jesse got me to say “yes.”

1. He brought me into his playing field and connected with me.

I had already decided that I wanted a personal trainer for my son. There was no selling that needed to happen, or so I thought. I just wanted to sign him up for four sessions and be done with it.

Instead, an appointment was set and I had to show up with my son. Because we’re talking about a personal trainer where the work is very hands on,  meeting in the space where the work will actually happen is ideal. The sights, sounds, and even smells become part of the experience.  

Plus, connection is everything. That’s when you can learn about someone, get personal, ask questions. Had I just dropped my son off, there would be little chance for Jesse and I to learn anything about each other.

If you have a virtual business that’s not hand’s on, you can still bring prospects onto your turf in a few ways. If you’re posting video and lots of photos (all of which I discovered Jesse does) in the content you share, you can prime your prospects before you talk with them. And forming a true connection when you do talk by asking questions about them is key.

This is also about being the one leading from the start and setting up the call by following your own system, not doing off the cuff.  My coach Christine Kane taught me that instead of letting the prospect call the shots, you’re in charge. 

2. He knew how to communicate his value and was confident about it.

I was watching and listening like a hawk as he asked my son about his motivation for doing this. He started talking about the physical body, nutrition, what he should really be eating, and how the brain comes into all of this. It was likely the most engaging explanation about health my son had ever heard. Partly because it was coming from a very down-to-earth, extremely fit man, and partly because Jesse was clearly passionate about all of this.

He even asked my son what time he wakes up. Yeah, so 12:30 pm isn’t going to cut it, and he magically had my son setting his iPhone alarm for 9:30 a.m. every day for the rest of the Summer, even weekends.

Huh, what was happening here?

As he did all of this, he was communicating his value. He was going to be more than a guy who teaches my kid how to lift weights and get bigger. He was creating the image of a new lifestyle for my son. I wanted to hug him and scream “never leave!

The longer I sat there, the more I realized this guy cares about the people he works with. He’s way more than meets the eye. He’s not a believer in the quick fix or just physical appearance, and takes a holistic approach and cares about his clients – in and out of the gym.

Not at all what I was expecting from a guy made of pure muscle.

3. He was not pushy or salesy, but he wasn’t afraid to ask.

Once it was clear that I was all for my son working with Jesse, he turned to me and said, “and what about you? Let’s get you working in this as well.”

There it was.

Even though I had softened substantially, I quickly zipped back up, defenses prepped, and I was ready for him…

4. He knew my greatest desires and fears.

Not only was Jesse well aware of what a 15 year old boy wants in terms of physical appearance, he knew exactly what the moms want. Turns out, I’m one of his ideal clients.

He talked to me about early aging and reversing it by creating strength. “Did you know that the most common fall for old people is sitting on the toilet? But something as simple as learning how to do squats avoids that,” he explained.  

My life flashed before my eyes and there I was – just me and the toilet.

5. He knew my objections.

I shared openly that I’m afraid of getting injured because (eyeroll) I just don’t move like I used to. And that there’s no way I’m ever going to hop onto that box-thing like a spring shot out of my ass (something I’ve seen him do out of the corner of my eye – as I did my fast walking on the treadmill.)

Nor am I bending down and lifting that heavy round thing over my head and breaking my back. I said all this, proud to be asserting myself!

He just looked at me and smiled. “I’m not going to make you do anything. And no, I won’t ask you to do those things – that’s not what I have in mind for you.”  

Hm. He has something in mind for me?

I can be crazy, I admit,” he went on. “But I wouldn’t do anything that would injure you. On the contrary, I’m going to help you build strength to lessen the chances of you getting injured at all.” I squinted and thought, “this guy says nothing wrong.

Suit of armor fading fast.

6. He led me into the future.

He asked the simple question “where are you five years from now? What does that look like?” Clearly, my answer was notexactly where I am now.” When you take someone into the future, you help them see what is possible, and what it can really feel like.

7. He gave me a solid deadline.

If I signed us both up by the following day at noon, we get a special rate. Simple, straight-forward, and effective. By the time we were done talking, I wasn’t even waiting until tomorrow. I was signing up right there.

8. He was 100% authentic.

Not once did Jesse pretend to be someone he’s not.

Even when I objected about all the crazy stunts those guys do in the gym, he went on to poke fun of himself for doing those same crazy things. He told me the story of how he broke his shoulder and a few other bones the day he tried a crazy, reckless trick on the jet ski. And the time he cracked his head open because… something to do with a barbell.

You’d think this would make me nervous – considering I’m hiring this guy to be my son’s personal trainer. But it had the opposite effect. It created greater trust. He wasn’t telling me all I wanted to hear or being a phony. I knew then and there that this guy isn’t going to lie to me.

The passion Jesse has for what what he does came through loud and clear. He lives for this stuff. If I have a personal trainer, I want him to be that passionate and dedicated.

So, I said “yes.

Later that night, as I was making dinner, I thought, “Dammit, he totally got me.” I started thinking maybe I shouldn’t have done it. I mean what the hell am I doing with this anyway?

And then came what was quite possibly Jesse’s most brilliant moment.

He sent me a Facebook message that ended with six little words that hooked me for good…

I. Will. Take. Care. Of. You.

9. “I will take care of you.” 

My thougths stopped reeling.  I became quiet.  

With those six words, Jesse rid me of any buyer’s remorse or doubts that tend to come up after we sign up for something unexpectedly, especially when we know will challenge us. And I was back… I’m totally doing this!”

Because that’s all I want, and very likely what all of his clients like me want. We want to be taken by the hand and be taken care of. Don’t you?

And isn’t that what your clients want as well?

So, Jesse wins. (Um, does anyone else hear Rick Springfield playing in the background?)


P.S. Yes, Jesse is a real human and has lived up to all of this. Our sessions are about much more than getting into physical shape. Mindset shifts are happening at a rapid pace! Connect with Jesse on Facebook and Instagram for a big dose of motivation. (And yes, that’s him in the photo.)

For the record, Jesse Hyder is a personal trainer, Crossfit trainer and fitness advocate for the YMCA of Western North Carolina, who should thank their lucky stars to have him.

Share this with your friends.

Leave a Reply