Influence and the Power of Persuasion: Part 1
6 lessons in being recognized as the world-class trainer you really are.


I work with trainers, strength coaches, and rehab specialists all over the world.

Often these fitness pros are frustrated. They have degrees, training certifications, and continuing education.

Despite all that education, experience, and impressive expertise, these pros still aren’t standing out. Their phones don’t ring off the hook. Their appointment book has empty slots. Clients aren’t singing their praises to family, friends, or acquaintances.

What’s the problem?

Well, by focusing all their energy on the training and physiology parts of their work, they’re ignoring the psychology parts. And those make all the difference.

That’s why, in this video series, we’ll share the 6 key psychological principles of influence and persuasion.

Put them to work in your business and you can expect:

  • more new clients,
  • better client retention,
  • more referral business, and
  • better client results.

To learn more, click the play button below.  (Or click here for part 2 or part 3).

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Getting recognized for the expert you are

So, you’re a great trainer.

You’ve got an exercise science degree. More training certifications than you can fit on the office wall. And you’ve spent a small fortune on continuing education with the top professionals in the field.

So why aren’t new clients blowing up your phone? Why isn’t your appointment calendar bursting at the seams? Why aren’t long-time clients singing your praises to everyone they meet?

Why, with all your expertise, can’t clients tell the difference between you and everyone else in your market?

And why do some trainers – the competition – who are nowhere close to you in terms of education and experience – attract more new clients? Have a bigger/more loyal client base? And get lots of referral business?

Well, according to Robert Cialdini, author of the groundbreaking bestseller, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, you may be too one-dimensional.

Your focus on exercise science may be leading you to ignore psychological science. And that’s where your competitors are gaining an edge.

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Cialdini’s research on influence

A lifelong “sucker” for salespeople, Cialdini became fascinated by how skilled “influencers” use their techniques to get him to do things he might not have otherwise done. Buy stuff he didn’t need. Say yes to things he should have said no to.

To understand their methods, he spent three years undercover.

He went for sales training (working in used car dealerships, no less). He worked with fund-raising organizations. And he even paid his dues at telemarketing firms.

With a PhD in psychology, he also dug into the psychological literature.

And, with a combination of scientific research and real-world experience, he derived 6 fundamental principles of influence that marketers use to create near-automatic compliance in customers.

Now, what’s this have to do with you and your training?

Well, everything. Both prospective clients and current ones are always evaluating you and your services. Should they sign up or not? Should they follow your advice or ignore it? Should they stick with you or find someone new?

And by knowing how this evaluation process works, you can focus your attention on the things that’ll help you grow your business while also getting better client results.

Clients are always evaluating

When someone makes us an offer or asks us to trust their expertise, we look for certain things.

In fact, before considering the offer, we run a host of subconscious programs to decide whether we should even listen to it in the first place.

And the busier and more frenetic our schedules are, the more subconscious this process becomes. We’re not even aware it’s happening.

According to best-selling author and marketing expert Seth Godin, there’s a short list of questions we ask ourselves when considering any offer – whether it’s a gym membership, personal training package, or nutrition coaching program.

  • Do I know this person?
  • Did someone I trust send them over?
  • Where does she work? (The FDA? The New York Times?)
  • Has she won an award? Is she famous?
  • Are there typos and is the design sloppy?
  • Are they pestering me?
  • Do I already follow this person online?
  • Does music play when I visit the website?
  • Will my boss be pleased when I bring this project up?
  • Who else is pointing to/referencing/working with this person?
  • Is it too good to be true?

Of course, some of these questions may be relevant to your business, others not. However, the point is the same.

If your competitors understand the way clients think and the questions they ask – and you don’t – they’ll enjoy a substantial professional advantage.

They’ll do a better job of attracting new clients, retaining current ones, getting more referral business, and, most importantly, getting client results.

Remember, if you can’t influence a client, you can’t help them adopt new habits nor develop a new relationship to exercise and nutrition.

Worse yet, your failure means they’ll continue to be influenced by media, food industry and pharmaceutical persuasion.  Not good.

Wrap-up and today’s takeaways

That’s it for part 1 of Influence: The Power of Persuasion for Fitness Pros.

For now, here are some key points.

  • Clients are very sensitive to subconscious cues; they use them to evaluate you.
  • In Influence, Cialdini outlines these cues and shows you how to enhance your image.
  • By enhancing your image, your clients will do better and your business will grow.

For more on Cialdini’s principles, check out part 2 of this video series.

In it we’ll outline the 6 principles of persuasion and show you how to use them to actually help clients, while the rest of the world tries to sell them crap they don’t want or need.