3 Psychology Techniques You Can Use To Get New Clients

No matter whether it’s personal training, or health and life coaching in general, it all comes down to influencing and changing behaviour. As a coach it’s your job to help people change so that they can help themselves.

Much like coaching, marketing to get new clients is also about changing behaviour.

The more you look at it the more obvious it becomes that the techniques and skills that you use to get your clients where they need to be are also the same skills and techniques you need to make them become your client in the first place.

Armed with this understanding, here are three simple psychological concepts that you can make use of to create an effective marketing campaign to increase your client base.

Gaining New Clients is All About Psychology

The following three psychological concepts might sound pretty simple, but are you actually using them? If you aren’t then you could be missing out on thousands of dollars!


1 – People Like People Who are Like Them

Have you ever found yourself instantly liking someone who supports your football team, has kids around the same age as your kids, or who has the same car as you? You gain a deeper connection with people when you realise that you share the same opinions and values as them.

How about when someone genuinely pays you a compliment? You find yourself automatically warming up to them.

People are hardwired to connect with people who like them, and ARE like them. This is why we get on so well with them.

This concept was proven with a pretty simple experiment. It showed that people are more likely to give money to a stranger who needs it to make a phone call if the stranger is simply dressed similarly.

When you’re putting together a marketing campaign for your business remember that people like people who are like them.

Think about how much more success you’ll have gaining a client if the prospective client likes you. When you meet a prospective client you should always find some common ground between you. It could be a favourite exercise, or food, or you could just bond over where you both come from.

When you’re talking to them you should avoid the things you disagree with or the things you think they should change, such as their diet or training routine, and instead focus on a positive that you can compliment them on.

A simple thing to do is tell them that you think it’s great they already exercise twice a week instead of telling them that they need to exercise more than twice a week.

Remember that you need to turn someone into a playing client. You can move on to addressing and changing behaviours after you’ve already got them on your side.


2 – People Value Things More if They Believe The Supply is Limited

This is a simple concept known as the “Scarcity Principle” and it’s why people place a higher value on rare collector’s items.

One common example of this principle is something that happens to most people on a daily basis. If you’re having a conversation with someone and your phone rings you’re compelled to answer the phone, especially if you aren’t sure who’s on the other line.

Even though the conversation you’re having might be entertaining and interesting you know that you can get right back to it. You also know that if you don’t answer the phone you’ll probably never find who was calling or what they were after. This makes the conversation that much more valuable to you right then because you know that it has a limited availability.

You’re probably wondering how you can use this phenomenon to your advantage.

The three easiest ways you can convey scarcity to your potential clients is to offer something that no one else is, to limit how much of it there is, or limit how often it will be available for. Any or all of these will make people want to sign up as a client and will also make them willing to pay more to do it.

The first thing we mentioned is essentially the same thing as a unique selling point (or proposition). Look at your competitors and identify the knowledge and skills you have that they don’t. This could be a specific training type, your personal approach to coaching, or even your facilities and equipment. What matters is that it’s unique to you.

If you think long and hard and still can’t find an answer then you should think about up-skilling or coming up with a training package with features and benefits that your clients won’t be able to find elsewhere. It could be a free element, a complimentary product or service, or just a discount with a partner.

One solution is to offer people a free trial to your weekly boot camp with your 3-month personal training plan and throw in a free monthly sports massage if you have a good sports therapist in your phonebook you can partner with.

The second way you can make your product scarcer is to just limit how many clients you take on. Open up just five places on your training program and you’ll create a real sense of urgency in people that makes them want to book and avoid missing out. Use your marketing channels (such as your social media accounts) to update people on how many spots are left to make this feeling more intense.


3 – People Will Give You Something if You Give Them Something

Another powerful psychological tool you can use is the “law of reciprocity”. When someone does you a favour you become more likely to return that favour. Many people feel obliged to return a favour. The more you do for someone the stronger their need to do something in return.

In the world of personal training this means that the more you can give your client for free the more likely they are to pay for your services. Not to mention the more they’ll be willing to pay to fully return how much you gave them. This is why a free personal consultation is an important step for people who haven’t given personal training a second thought before.

If you’re wondering how much more you could possibly give then consider offering clients a free e-book on your website. It can be a book of advice and tips for living a healthy lifestyle. You can also take workout and nutrition guides to networking events and hand them out. Or you could also offer to spend some time on the gym floor with someone and help them out by teaching them a few new exercises.

While there are people who will be inclined to return the favour after just one gesture and sign up, you’ll find that if you really give people a lot they can quickly become some of your best clients. They’ll do it all just because of everything you’ve done for them.

Don’t be afraid to give up some of your “best stuff” to prospective clients; you’re building a strong sense of reciprocity to be paid back to you after all.


You wouldn’t be wrong to think that all of this sounds like common sense. The study of social psychology is just studying common and intuitive human behaviours.

While our suggestions may sound obvious there are only a few trainers actually taking advantage of these three simple ideas to grow their business. Make sure you’re one of them and see what you can do for your client base with the power of social psychology.

Take Action Today and Gain Clients Now!

For a deeper understanding, read Robert Cialdini – a great book if you want to understand how to influence your clients – in and out of the gym.