7 Quick Tips On How To Profit From Clients Who Say No

No is better than yes. Eventually.

More sales came from clients who initially say NO. These are the same folks who got a free consultation or training session. They’d get their free things, say “no” and be on their way.

Unless you are a god, chances are someone said “no” to your services. The fickle ones may have even decided to go to a personal trainer less qualified to help them than you.

Why would a client go to a personal trainer less qualified than you?

Easy. Because they were better at sales.

Let’s take Joe Wicks. He probably isn’t any more qualified than you. But he might be more clever than you.

In the mind of your clients, a buying decision is reached only when absolute certainty is reached about three things.

Here are 7 quick tips to turn “NOs” into long-term client memberships.

1. At the time of enquiry, prospects are rarely ready to buy

This issue is that the prospect lacks a level certainty, trust and information about you.

Rather than initiate a full on sales spiel on your prospect, train yourself or a member of your front of house to approach the initial enquiry with curiosity, care, consideration and empathy.

Give your staff free allowance to spend as much time as they need with the initial enquiry, whether that be on the phone, via email or in person. You don’t want this to come across scripted, or like you have no time for this person.

If you’ve done your numbers, you know that this time with the client is worth every second.

2. Hot Buttons

You probably receive mostly email and telephone enquiries. Your staff, then, needs to pick up on the prospects hot buttons and language patterns. Write this stuff down. You’ll learn how to mirror the exact words the prospect uses. Instant rapport!

Capture the prospect’s name and email address quickly. You can build a relationship on value and trust first, knowing that asking for the sale later will be much easier.

3. Follow Up

Whether the prospect moved along the line and booked an appointment or decided on the call that you weren’t for them, creatively craft emails that are personal to what the prospect said.

Preparing autoresponders, templates, and boilerplate emails will fail horribly if you don’t take the time to make each and every communication personal. Each prospect is on a different stage of the buyer’s journey, and your communication needs to acknowledge and honour where they are, even if that means a delayed sale or no sale at all.

Remember that even freeloaders can become raving fans.

The aim is to keep your business at the top of the prospect’s mind. One of the best ways to do just that is by keeping in touch with them in between appointments.

Nurture the lead, but be ruthless about it. Your job is never quite done. The prospect agreed to meet with you, but agreeing to an appointment and actually showing up are two very different things.

4. What to do if they don’t show up? Or cancel last minute?

Continue to add value, where possible. Don’t assume the worst. Sometimes, people genuinely can’t make the appointment because of very valid reasons. The best way to approach these scenarios is to begin by reframing negative judgements came popped up in your mind. 
Things like, oh another time waster or, even worse, she must be happy to stay fat.

Personal trainers who fat shame prospects should be ashamed.

Bride-to-be hits back in perfect way at personal trainer who fat-shamed her ahead of her big day


Make it a game. If anything, be curious and just imagine that she might of been involved in a car accident.

By assuming the best, thought processes and attitudes change. Then, when speaking to the prospect, you tend arrive in a more empathetic mood. Good for them. Good for you. Good for your brand and your bottom line.

Collecting your prospects names, contact details and “hot buttons” ensures that you can speak their language every time you encounter them.

5. Don’t give up

Think back to an occasion where you bought something expensive. Did you buy right away or did you have to think about it?

It’s not uncommon for prospects to receive emails for a year or so before they gather the courage to join a studio. Your ability to close them rest upon your positive mindset. Acknowledge that courage is never instant, or trust.

Typically, personal trainers do not possess such positivity and patience, so this is where you can differentiate yourself.


Hi, are you still looking to lose that extra weight? If so, I’d love to catch up with you again and share my latest Skinny Jeans Challenge.  

Short, simple and clear emails like this go a very long way. Sometimes, clients who didn’t follow through are too embarrassed to get back in touch.

Extend an olive branch, and you may see an email reply like this:

Thanks! I’ve been wanting to get in touch. It’s so good to hear from you. Thank you for sending all the articles and emails. They are really inspiring. Yes, I’d love to catch up. When are you free?

6. Address objections before the prospects even brings it up

Think of all the reasons a prospect would say no to you. List them out. Ensure that you answer these in your communications with prospects.  

7. You delivered a perfect free consultation. Still no?

Ah, the mystery of sales. You never know why this might be. You can only assess and review your “sales conversion/funnel” after it happened and tweak where possible.

In a perfect world, you do a good enough job to push along what Jordan Belfort (the “Wolf of Wall Street”) calls to the “buying scale”; that is, a sale only occurs when you know enough about the prospect’s beliefs and objections, so that the “scale” tilts towards a “buy” decision.


Imagine your client’s mind as a high tech combination lock you’re trying to pick.

You get the first number in place and nothing happens. Same with the second number. But then you get all three numbers in place, and all of a sudden you hear a click. The safe opens and the clients buys. Everyone has a different buying strategy. Your job is to uncover the strategy and pick the lock for each client.

If not, then this is where you get your first real NO.

I need to think about it. I need to speak to my partner.  

They will tell you politely. They won’t say no, you are not worth it or I’ll just waste my money because you’re just the same as every other trainer I’ve met.

This is where you deflect. You’ll push the client’s objection off to the side. Never say I understand. Instead say, I hear what you are saying, but let me ask you a question. Does my Skinny Jeans Challenge program make sense to you?

After you deflect the client’s initial refusal, do not directly ask why she is refusing. Instead, go backwards in your sales process and resell your product. Your second pitch will be more powerful and bullet orientated. Use these exact words:

And let me say this. The true beauty of the program is…

For help crafting the perfect words, check out Words That Sell, by Richard Bayan.

Attempt this up to three times before backing off.

Consider these three things to persuade her into becoming a client:  

  1. Offer some sort of trial
  2. Depending on what stage you’re at with your business, everything is negotiable. So negotiate.
  3. Surprise and delight. Prepare in advance something meaningful for the client as a way of saying thank you for showing up. This creates a talking point amongst her friends, as well as a lasting impression. Just because she didn’t become a client does not mean she won’t refer someone.

Finally, just when you think all is lost when a client says NO, know that there is still hope. Check out this email correspondence:

Email 1: Client response after agreeing in person to become a member then following up with an email to cancel.

Email 2: My response. This was actually the second follow up email. You will see that I used the tactic outlined above.


Email 3: Email correspondence a few months after this client had agreed to join As you can see, happy and achieving results 🙂


These are the clients that you make the most money from.


Because they have followed through on almost everything. They’ve checked out your website, received your emails, enquired, booked something, showed up, had regular conversations with you, submitted questionnaires, and so on.

They operate on their own time. But when they decide to pull the trigger, they’ll become your star clients.

FIT MAN can help. We’ll critique your sales and follow-up process, for free. Why free? Because, like any good trainer, we believe in results first. We’ll show you where you are losing money, and how to get it back.

Email us, and we’ll be in touch within 24 hours.

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