What does a Personal Trainer Really do on board?

For the first time ever! A true explaination of what it means to be a personal trainer on cruiseships.

I wanted to call this post; how to be the best personal trainer on cruise ships, but unfortunatly, that either wouldn’t be true or not helpful. Because what most people do not realize is that if you work on cruiseships, you are not a personal trainer. You are a sales person.

Let me explain. 80% of a Personal Trainer’s salary comes from selling products. A PT makes 9% over all services in commision. So with a average price of $80USD and 5 to 10 sessions a week, a personal Trainer who only does PT sessions makes no money. This is where the detox comes in.

Elemis Detox

The image above displays the 4 bottles of the Elemis 3 month internal detox. Cal-Metab Capsules, Deep Drainage CapsulesSilhouette Capsules and Elemis Vitality Capsules.

Read more about detox sold on the ship via Google.

Selling 1 three month programe is roughly $300USD, that’s more interesting for PT’s. There are also 6, 9 and 12 month programs (9% over 1200USD, nice!).

And now, you might think, yeah, but these people spend there time doing Personal Training sessions. Well before every personal trainer starts there is a training academy that they need to pass. If you’ve read my blog you know what get’s taught at the academy… If you didn’t; at the academy they teach you how to do seminars. Seminars with titles;

  • – Detox for Health and Weightloss
  • – Burn Fat Fast
  • – Secrets to a flatter stomach
  • – Eat more to Weigh less
  • – How to increase your metabolism

In those seminars, cruise ship passengers get info about nutrition, exercise and most important detox. The Triangle. Everything the personal trainer tells you is aimed to get you into 1 of these seminars. Because they all end in the same thing.

A BCA. A Body Composition Analyses. This will tell you how much water you (as a future detoxer) retain. The intercellular level of water is the most important. Because this shows how much water is surrounding your cells that needs to be dissolved by detoxing.

The Personal Trainer will invite you to do your BCA for only (roughly) 30USD which will take 45 minutes and you will learn how long you need to detox / how much detox you need to buy.

Rough daily divide of time:

20% seminars

30% – 60% BCA’s (hopefully)

30% – 40% PT sessions

10% – 30% classes like spinning / yoga, bootcamp, etc

Hopefully now you have a better understanding of what the real job of a personal trainer is on board.

What if your colleague is experienced and makes all the money?

So, you’ve just come straight of out Steiner Training Academy and feel you can sell anything to anyone! What do you do if your new PT colleague has years of experience and won’t let you do seminars, BCA’s and make no money?

Well, it’s a crappy situation to be in, we all know how shiplife can be sometimes, and you are not alone in this situation, I’ve heard it many times before, so in this article I will give you practical step by step instructions on how to deal with this issue.

You might think yourself lucky getting teamed up with a experienced PT, and in most cases you are, but in some cases it is very hurtful for your selling. I know from my own experience, my first PT was a lady that had done over 12 contracts with Steiner. She didn’t care anymore and couldn’t be bothered about sales, learning, ships, anything…

Just keep in mind that when you are working on a ship, you have to be positive and surround yourself with positive people that can help you! Be very selective whilst picking your friends.
This (article) applies to Steiner Nail technicians, Steiner Massage therapists, Steiner barbers, Ioni’s and receptionists too!

Step 1. Become better

So, your colleague will tell you that the gym/spa needs to make money and that he is better in seminars / bca’s than you are, he has to do them. The problem is, he/she is right! But the only way to change that to study, learn and practise.

Before you can improve you selling skills, you will need to know all your products, External detox, but mostly Internal detox (Elemis Cal-Metab, Deep Drainage, Silhouette and Vitality Capsules) know each ingredient and what it does.

How to become a better CruiseShip Personal Trainer

  1. Observe the top 3 selling colleagues (and/including your PT colleague).
    1. Watch how they talk
    2. How they connect to guests
    3. What they say
  2. Make notes on your observations. You’ll notice that the best therapists build really close connections to their guests, they (almost all) genuinely care. You will also notice that they find they area of concern and how this impacts the guests and repeat that they can help them with it. Notice how they change their voice, notice who they speak to when they have a couple, who makes the decision and most importantly how they close the sale, how do they look when they ask the closing question, what do they ask, etc.
  3. Spend 5% of your monthly salary on a book / audio book or video series on selling, confidence, public speaking or any other skill directly related to your job in the spa. Yes you can download them, but buying gives you ownership and makes you commit to actually doing something with it.
  4. Practice your seminar / closing with the top sellers, get constructive feedback (write feedback down and improve, repeat proces weekly and ensure you do not get the same feedback)

So I am learning and practicing, now what?

But most likely your colleague will still be better and stay better than you. Hell, after 3 months of studying, practicing and learning I still couldn’t beat my colleague, and she wasn’t even trying…

So, you will have to talk to that person to let you do seminars / bca’s. They might argue, or get angry, or try to explain why they have to do the seminars/bca’s, etc. But the simple truth is that without practice you will not get better and are not making any money for the company.

Step 2. Talk and Compromise

It all comes down to compromising a bit. Look he will probably get more people signed up for seminars and close more BCA’s, but just keep mentioning that without a chance to practice you will never learn. So there are a few options, that you can suggest (but make sure you pick an option and stay firm, dont give up on it, all of these are quite reasonable!) depending on where your strengths / weaknesses are.
You do intro and body part and experienced colleague does close (you can practice public speaking and you can both get the bca’s)
Experienced colleague does the seminars for the next 3 to 5 days, you observe and from that point you both do 1 seminar each, equal.
If experienced colleague complain that you are not good enough, make him teach you.

In my opinion the best way is to offer a 2 way close:
Script: Look Name, I have to improve my seminars/BCA’s, so either you have to can help me practice my seminar closing, OR you can let me practice 1 seminar per day?

Step 3: If compromise doesn’t work

You will need to talk to your spa manager.
But, before you do that, maybe talk your problem over with someone else from the spa who you trust and has been here for a few contracts. Because sorry to say, but the managers goal is also to make money. Her commission comes from the amount of money the spa makes.. So she might not be to thrilled for someone to make her less money..
After talking to your spa manager and if that didn’t work, you might consider emailing Steiner (manager has email, and most ships PT’s have to email end of cruise report to Steiner shoreside anyway). Be careful with this option though, use it as a last resort. There is a lot you can do yourself to help yourself, but if not others are there for you.

There is always a way!

In the end it comes down to your attitude and how well you can sell! I’ve sold a detox package after a 10 minute stretch class, I’ve seen a colleague sell a $1200 package to a 18 year old kid after he missed the seminar secrets to a flatter stomach. Stay confident and improve yourself, you will make it!