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Old 08-29-2014, 12:17 PM   #1
TKDwarrior
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Default Need some advice..your thoughts?

Just to give you a little background: One of the gyms I work for is an older, independently owned gym. The gym is owned by an older gentleman (probably close to 80) and the clientele are mostly in their 30's all the way up to their 70's (no kidding). This gym actually has nautilus machines from probably the 70's in it, along with a free weight room, and a room of machines, along with cardio equipment.

Here's the deal: I got a call last night from the new "personal training manager" who wanted me to come in today for an interview. My first response was "I work there already" but this new manager said that the owner hired this company (I won't name the company...they are national) to run his personal training services and they wanted to talk to me. I knew the owner had hired a consultant, because he wanted me to come in for some classes a few weeks ago, but unfortunately, I couldn't go in as my mother had bypass surgery that same week.

I go in and meet with them today(there were 4 people from this company who now work there) , and essentially, they gave me a booklet on how to sell personal training services that I have to read, along with THEIR workout that they use. I have to go back in two weeks to be tested on the material. The owner sat there quietly and every once in a while gave me a glance as if to say "sorry", and kept telling them what a good trainer I was. It was almost like he was afraid they were going to can me.

They now give new members a complimentary personal training session, and then they call me or one of the other trainers to do it....we don't get paid. We get a lead, do the complimentary session, then it's our job to sell a personal training package.

I don't mind doing that...give me leads and I'll go in. I do that with my other personal training jobs..I have to find my own leads and I have a studio that I can use for training my clients. I split the fee with the owner of that studio. I also work at the local YMCA training and I have to find my own clients.

My problem is this: The elderly owner is now paying 4 people from this company and I feel like he's being taken for a ride BIG TIME by these clowns. For this owner, I'd be happy to go in, do the complimentary session for free...it's a lead that will lead to some training sessions and extra income. But for these guys, who also give you the workout for the client, I'm not so enthusiastic. They seem more interested in sales than training.

Here's my dilemma...my sense is that the elderly owner called these guys for some consulting but all of a sudden got locked into a contract with them (the owner has a hard time saying no to people).

What would you all do? Would you tell the owner you think he's wasting his money with these clowns? Or would you go along, get leads, and train there? For what he is probably paying these clowns, I could do the same thing...all the owner had to do was add the complimentary session on his own.

Sorry for the rambling...I like the owner of this gym, and I feel like he's being taken for a ride.
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Old 08-29-2014, 12:42 PM   #2
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I would probably talk to the owner and just be honest with him. He may have entered into an agreement which he didn't fully understand the terms. Does the owner plan on selling the gym or is he going to give to his kids? Because it sounds to me like he's planing on selling the business to a big national chain. And if that happens you will be looking for a new job. Sorry man, not trying to be negative, just calling it like I see it.
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Old 08-29-2014, 12:49 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by CaseyB1987 View Post
I would probably talk to the owner and just be honest with him. He may have entered into an agreement which he didn't fully understand the terms. Does the owner plan on selling the gym or is he going to give to his kids? Because it sounds to me like he's planing on selling the business to a big national chain. And if that happens you will be looking for a new job. Sorry man, not trying to be negative, just calling it like I see it.
I don't think he's planning on selling. His wife is a co-owner. Either he wanted to improve his personal training services, or these guys approached him with something to sell, I'm not sure.

I agree..the best approach is to probably say something to him when they aren't around.

Training is a part time gig for me, so if I'm out of a job at this place, I have the other two places along with my full time job. I happen to think this owner is a good guy but maybe not fully aware of what he got himself into.
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Old 08-29-2014, 01:13 PM   #4
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I don't think he's planning on selling. His wife is a co-owner. Either he wanted to improve his personal training services, or these guys approached him with something to sell, I'm not sure.

I agree..the best approach is to probably say something to him when they aren't around.

Training is a part time gig for me, so if I'm out of a job at this place, I have the other two places along with my full time job. I happen to think this owner is a good guy but maybe not fully aware of what he got himself into.
Yeah... wait till he's by himself and ask him whats going on.
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Old 08-29-2014, 04:55 PM   #5
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I would definitely talk to him. "management" groups are notorious for bs and scams. I drop 20,000 plus because I was locked into a contract. Talk to a lawyer and the contract was basically worthless. All one sided which they usually are.
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Old 08-29-2014, 08:41 PM   #6
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I looked over the sales book they gave me, and basically they encourage the trainer NOT to talk about the price with the potential client during the complimentary session, and refer to the personal training manager or have them pick up a "fee card" at the front desk. Sounds like car sales to me.

I'm going to talk to the owner. Essentially I'm going to say thank you, but ethically I can't do this. I cannot give my clients a cookie cutter program made up by some organization, nor do I believe it is fair to a potential client to not reveal the fees for the gym I work for.

My sense is that this "personal training" firm that he hired is going to drive his gym right into the ground.
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Old 08-29-2014, 08:58 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by TKDwarrior View Post
I looked over the sales book they gave me, and basically they encourage the trainer NOT to talk about the price with the potential client during the complimentary session, and refer to the personal training manager or have them pick up a "fee card" at the front desk. Sounds like car sales to me.

I'm going to talk to the owner. Essentially I'm going to say thank you, but ethically I can't do this. I cannot give my clients a cookie cutter program made up by some organization, nor do I believe it is fair to a potential client to not reveal the fees for the gym I work for.

My sense is that this "personal training" firm that he hired is going to drive his gym right into the ground.
That sounds like the right thing to do. I have a feeling that he hired that company because business wasn't doing so good anyway. Good luck to man.
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