Will more coaching credentials help you sell more gym memberships? Nope. Here’s Chris Cooper with the reason why.
Hey everybody, it’s Coop here. And today I want to talk to you about credentials and something that’s called the technician’s curse. I wrote about this a little bit in “Founder, Farmer, Tinker, Thief,” but the real source of the technician’s curse paradigm is Michael Gruber’s book, “The E Myth.” And in short, it says that every one of us wants to believe that being super, super good at their jobs is what will ultimately make them successful at their business. If we’re a great practitioner, then people will somehow find their way to us. They’ll pay us more money, than our competition. And we’ll ultimately be successful just because we’re good at this thing that we love, right? That’s the technician’s curse. Now. Here’s where it came up today. And my friend Nigel asked this amazing question in our private group. Thanks Nigel. He said, Hey guys, would you recommend yourself or your coaches to do OPEX as a way of selling individualized personal training.
Now this answer is not specifically about OPEX, which I hear is a great course, but it applies to all continuing education for coaches. The thing is that credentials don’t sell. Conversations do. No matter how well credentialed you are, matter how educated, you and your coaches must learn to identify, prescribe and sell what clients care about. And that’s almost never your technical expertise. What do they actually care about? That you know enough to solve their problem, that you care enough to solve their problem and that you can make their problems seem solvable. So you probably already know more than you need to know about movement and exercise if you’re listening to this podcast. You can get people results. The most successful trainers in history in terms of impact and lives changed, they were great storytellers and motivators, but none of them had a PhD. Now this wasn’t always the case.
This is a very hard lesson for a nerd like me to learn. I want to believe that the smarter I get, the more people I will attract, but that’s not true. One of the things that drew me to Greg Glassman in 2007 was his continuing assertion that if you just get people results, they will tell their friends and you will be successful. And I was dying to believe that was true. Of course, being good at your job is necessary, but it’s insufficient. We know that now. And I love continuing education for myself and my coaches, but most coaches worry way too much about taking their technical expertise from a nine to 10 instead of worrying about taking their relationship skills from a two to a three. We founded Two-Brain Business largely because this was the belief that flagged me through the first decade of my career as a trainer from 1996 until I opened up my gym in 2005. I just believed that being an expert and demonstrating that expertise over and over and over again would eventually make me successful, successful as measured not just by the dollars that I earned, but the lives that I changed.
And it wasn’t true. Being good at your job is necessary but insufficient to have the impact that you’re trying to have. What do you need to get good at? You need to get good at painting a picture for people. You need to get good at telling stories about success. You need to get good at sharing information freely, knowing that information is not what you sell. You need to get good at empathy, you need to get good at listening. You need to get good at being patient, asking questions and letting people tell you exactly what they need you to sell them. You need to be good at presenting the options for them, and then unashamedly without embarrassment unabashedly saying, here is the price. How do you want to pay? That’s what you need to get good at if you want to be a successful trainer. Being good at business is just doing these things over and over and over again, and then scaling up to allow other people the same opportunities. But that opportunity is not to educate themselves to the point of PhD. The opportunity is to get better at empathy, at care, at listening and making prescriptions and selling those prescriptions to people. And that’s what will ultimately make you successful. And I would argue better as a coach. If you can’t sell somebody on your solution, whether you’re giving them that solution for free or charging $15,000 for it, then they won’t sign up. And if they don’t sign up, then you can’t change their life. Hope that helps. Thanks.
Two-Brain Radio airs twice a week with tips, tactics, and stories from real gym owners who are building amazing businesses. Make sure you subscribe so you get it all. And now here’s Chris one more time.
Thanks for listening to Two-Brain Radio. If you aren’t in the Gym Owners United group on Facebook, this is my personal invitation to join. It’s the only public Facebook group that I participate in. And I’m there all the time with tips, tactics, and free resources. I’d love to network with you and help you grow your business. Join Gym Owners United on Facebook.