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February 24th, 2009 | Posted by Amy Boughner in Issues | Personal

In January, the husband and I signed up for memberships at Goodlife. As part of the membership, I also signed up for 12 sessions with a personal trainer. I chose to do this because the main reason for signing up at all was to have access to the weight training equipment and to learn how to use it all properly.

I got annoyed with the gym almost right away because they sold me this service and when I tried to book my sessions with the trainer I was told they didn’t have anyone that would fit my scheduleĀ  – you know, the normal schedule of the average working person. I was upset by this because it seemed to me that they shouldn’t have offered me the service if they didn’t have any way to provide it. I sorted this out with the manager and got started with my new trainer a few weeks ago.

This brings me a little over half way through my 12 sessions, at which point it is apparently time to try and sell me continued personal training. I was presented with a plan for me to reach my goals and told the cost – about 10 times what the first 12 sessions cost me.

I said no in the most polite way that I could – I said the money was too much and that the reason I bought the 12 sessions in the first place was to learn how to use the equipment so I could do this by myself.

Now let me just say, I understand sales. I understand that it was his job to try and sell me on this service and I understand that he was using the techniques that he has been told to use, but I didn’t appreciate those techniques and it has soured me on the personal training experience as a whole.

I believe part of being a good salesman is taking no for an answer. I think this sales pitch went too far.

See, in my view the personal training is part cheerleader – pushing you while telling you that you can accomplish something, congratulating you when you do – and part of the sales pitch was undermining my belief that I can accomplish my goals if I work by myself. Those two things contradict each other, and make me not want to go back and work with this guy for the remaining 5 sessions that I have already paid for.

As part of being open with my trainer, I have shared several reasons for my weight loss goal over the time we’ve worked together, I have also shared the things in my life that I know I need to change. In his sales pitch, he used those things against me – telling me that if I spent the money we usually spend eating out on the training won’t I just feel so much better? Telling me that if part of getting healthy is so I can eventually get pregnant, don’t I want to take the best route to be healthy for my children?

In my view those are cheap shots, and very inappropriate.

The worst part of it all is that after I spent 10 minutes standing my ground, saying no in harsher and harsher terms, he walked away saying we would revisit this as I finish the rest of my 12 sessions. If we do come back to the discussion, I can promise I will be much less polite.

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