By Jonathan FitPro
I am going to go over a very polarizing topic that I probably won’t earn me many friends. I want to talk about selling supplements to your clients. Rule #26 in the 100 rules of being a good personal trainer says you should push supplements that you don’t believe in.
Now when we talk about supplements,there’s an entire gamete that we could run through but I’m speaking specifically about associating yourself with a multi-level marketing company (MLM). here
For those of you who don’t know what an MLM Company is, it is a business structure where the sales force is compensated not only for sales they personally generate, but also for the sales of the other salespeople that they recruit. It is commonly referred to as a “pyramid.” Now, I’m not going to tell you what to do with your life, but I’m going to go over 6 points for you to consider before you decide to align yourself with such a company.
1) Does it fall in line with your personal beliefs on nutrition?
The first thing you should ask yourself is “Does this company’s subscribed practices fall in line with my personal beliefs on nutrition?” For me it usually doesn’t. I’m a big fan of preparing your own foods, and I personally believe that you don’t need to be rely on powders, pills and bars for your nutrition.
Most people’s issue lie mainly with preparation and with organization than it does with availability. In most cases, people just don’t do the front-end work to make sure that they are in position to eat healthily throughout the day. Preparing portioned meals earlier in the week when you’re less busy can help you avoid two common habits that lead to weight gain: 1) Over consumption of processed foods and 2) Binge eating.
Suggesting that clients live mainly off of supplements is like suppressing a cough without treating the cold. It’s going against what will help you see long term success. I tell my clients I’m not about the quick fix, I’m all about long term goals, whether they’re with me or not, the principals with which I equip my clients, if practiced over time, generally ensure success. It is lack of consistency and patience, not lack of knowledge that usually gets in the way of people’s success.
2) Does your sponsor (coach) have a vested interest in your decision to sell to your clients?
You have to understand that when somebody who has never met you is pushing a product or pushing a supplement, they have something to gain from this. If I were your “coach” and I were to get you to sign on with my supplement business opportunity, you would work under me so every time you make money, I make more money. Every time you get people to sign on with you I make more money.
You have to understand that the person pushing the sale of the product has a vested interest in your ability to sell, not necessarily in your clients’ health. They are relying that you, through the efforts have invested enough into your clients’ emotional bank account that sales resistance will be low. This, of course, will earn you more money, but there will be a delicate point where your clients will understand that you are doing this more for the money than you are for their well being. If your clients see that, and if you’re only pushing something because it’s going to make money for you then, eventually you will lose credibility. Do you want to be that person? The XYZ shakes guy, or oh you’re the XYZ pills woman, who also happens to train. The clear message that may eventually be sent to your client is that you don’t really care about them, you just care about your pocket.
3) Understand the concept of memetics
Memetics is an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture. Have you ever yelled at your kids and all of the sudden heard your parents voice? That’s in a nutshell how memetics works, your thoughts are not always entirely your own. Your “coach” will say things that they want you to tell yourself in order to believe that you’re doing this out of the goodness of your heart.
Your coach won’t you’re selling XYZ shakes, he or she will explain that you are just trying to help people. My question to you as a reader is, how great were your efforts to educate your clients on nutrition and shape their nutritional habits before there was an extra monetary gain? As far as I’m concerned, when it comes to supplements, they’re all useless if they’re not coupled with good primary nutrition. So you have to make sure that you’re doing your work on your end.
4) Have you done your own research on the product?
Have you done any research on the product? I’m not talking about a Google search, have you looked at the product turned it around, checked out the ingredients, and then noted anything that is completely foreign to you? Have you checked out why this product is supposed to work?
Now if you go this product’s webpage they’re only going to tell you the good things about it, but you should have some basis on nutrition like what is in this product that makes it so good? Everybody thought that Stacker 2 was a great idea when it first came out, people started dying and then the makers realized they needed to take ephedra out. Even with all the research that you do, companies change their ingredients or proprietary blend all the time for a number of reasons, so you’ll never really know if the product you’re standing behind now is the product you stood behind 6 months ago.
5) Have I taken this the way my clients will have to take it?
So, you want to make sure that if you’re going to sell this product, you know how to take it correctly. As with training, you are your own first client.
So when I’m telling people about my Zone Diet, the first thing I do is direct them to my MyFitnessPal diary. I tell them they can look at my diet, strip it down to however many calories that they need and use me as a guide. So, if you’re not taking the product, why are you selling it? What reason do you have to sell it? How can you convince a client that it will work for them if it hasn’t worked for you?
6) Have I exhausted all my efforts to ensure my clients’ nutrition success?
The next thing that you want to consider. Okay, have I exhausted all my efforts in order to make sure my clients are practicing good nutritional habits, this goes back to number one.
Alright, so before you were approached by this supplement company were you doing anything to make sure that your clients were in line with the nutrition. It’s not easy, but are you even making any effort to make sure that your clients’ nutrition is in order. Are you asking them for journals, are you reviewing the journals? I have, in my bootcamp right now; for instance, out of the three classes I train about 75 people, that’s an average of 25 people per class. That’s a lot of people for me to have to track their nutrition.
So, if you want an idea on how you can at least identify somebody that needs help, have a, have a day out of the week where everybody has to weigh in and report whether or not there is weight loss, weight gain, or no change. Do a fitness profile using The FitProCalculator so you can go over required calories and changes in body composition. The truth is some people need more help than others. But even with all my clients I don’t spend more than 30 minutes a night looking over MyFitnessPal. Moreover, the time you spend training is a great time to review where your client may or may not be struggling in nutrition. If after many attempts you notice a need, then you can recommend a supplement program with a clear conscience.
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I hope you found this post helpful there will be many others to follow but if you want to chime in with feedback feel free. Don’t forget to add me on the facebook, and as always, remember to eat healthily, hydrate, drive safe, stress levels low, get rest, don’t slap anybody, love your clients, they will love you back, I will see you all tomorrow, or the next day, and you have a GOOD ONE!