What Is Corporate Fitness?

Corporate fitness is fitness facilities and wellness programs for the workplace. The programs may take place at that particular business, a nearby health club, or another facility. These programs increase job satisfaction and help keep employees healthy, especially since people are now working longer days.

As a trainer, working with people outside the four walls of your health club can be a great way to keep yourself motivated and energized, because you're changing your environment. Corporate fitness allows the trainer to experiment with different programming, and working with larger numbers of people can also increase hourly pay and overall salary.

There are several types of corporate fitness. The first type is the gym/fitness center in the workplace. The in-work fitness center is becoming increasingly common, but is also quite costly for companies to establish and maintain.

A less expensive, and therefore more common, alternative is for companies to partner with a nearby health club and work out some type of discount or reimbursement for its employees. This option has very little to do with personal trainers directly; it is an arrangement between the company and the health club. A third option is for a local health club or independent trainer to offer programming directly in the workplace on a certain time each day or week.

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Try to find someone within the company who can act as a liaison between you and the employees, preferably someone in upper management. This will help you learn what the employees want and need, and will make setting up programs much easier. You want to make the process as simple as possible, because time is money.

Training in the Workplace

The norm for most trainers is working one-on-one with clients. In a corporate setting, however, you most frequently work with groups of people. There are several factors you might consider while developing a corporate fitness program:

  • How big is the area you will be utilizing?

  • How many employees are in the facility?

  • What type of company is it?

  • Do they have their own equipment?

  • Do you need to bring equipment?

  • What type of training do you want to offer?

  • When and how often will your program take place?

  • What is the maximum number of employees you can handle at one time?

  • Do you have the support of upper management?

  • Who is going to pay for your services: the company, employees, or both?

Finding Companies to Work With

Landing corporate fitness accounts can be quite a challenge, as it requires the trainer to become a salesperson. First, you must research the companies in your area to see which ones might support this type of program. There should be at least 50 to 100 employees for the training to be worth your time. The more employees at a facility, the more likely it is that you'll have enough interest to run a successful program. There should also be a sizeable physical space to run the program. The company should have a room that is at least 400 square feet, though you can work with a smaller space if necessary. Once you find a company that fits the profile you're looking for, it's time to sell.

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You are more likely to land a corporate fitness account if you know or train someone who works for the company and can vouch for your skills, professionalism, and reliability. It's therefore wise to network with your personal training clients. Learn where they work and what they do, so you can see if your services might be needed in their place of business.

If you're going to be successful, you should have a good sales plan. First, decide how you'll make the initial contact with the company. Usually, the best way to make an initial contact is by mail. Be sure to include your resume/bio, services you can provide, a description of past and present corporate programs, and the features and benefits of using your services. These materials form your media packet, which will showcase your skills and experience for potential clients, and hopefully establish a relationship. This simple task can help you get in the door for a face-to-face appointment/presentation. You'll need to figure out who the contact person at the company should be (more on this below), send the letter to that person's attention, and then follow up with a phone call. Before you make any calls, write a script to work from, so you'll sound confident and professional and not forget any pertinent information.

Question

What is the difference between cold calls and warm calls?

A cold call is when you call on the phone or visit a company unannounced and try to sell your services. A warm call means the company is aware of who you are because you've made contact previously by mail, e-mail, referral, etc.

This follow-up call will hopefully bring about an appointment at the company for you to showcase your talents. Once you have your appointment set up, you must make a full sales presentation. It's important to adequately prepare and practice, as this isn't a task commonly performed by personal trainers. Be sure to have the following forms and information:

  • Waiver and liability forms

  • Health screening forms

  • Proof of liability insurance

  • Resume, if you did not already send it

  • Program design including cost, dates, and times

It is important that you are as professional as possible. You should dress in business attire, be early for the appointment, and be prepared.

Finding the Right Contact Person

Determining who your contact person should be at each company is a very important task, and it may be as easy as getting referrals from your clients and other people you know. Talk to as many people as you can. Ask them about the company they work for: its size, location, and if they think there might be an interest in your services. If the answer is yes and the company meets your other requirements, find out from your referral source whom to contact.

If you're unable to get leads in your warm market (a market in which you have a networking partner), you'll need to do your own research and then contact the Human Resource Director or someone in a related position.

Try offering the company one or two complementary workouts to help generate interest and excitement in the employees. If management sees their employees' enthusiasm, they may be more willing to hire you. Remember, you're not going to close every sale. What might work at one company will not be a good fit for another.

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Networking is the name of the game. The more influential people you meet, the better your contact and referral system. Establishing strong business relationships is very important.

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