FULL-TIME FITNESS TEACHER
What is a “Regional Educator?” Good question. 24 Hour Fitness is the only gym company to employ full-time educators and one of the few is Kory Angelin, ATC, ISSA-CPT, SPN. A Regional Educator travels the country to teach new 24 Hour Fitness sales advisors and personal trainers how to succeed at the sales aspect at their job, design effective programs, and serves as the go-to man/woman for networking around the fitness industry. Angelin is the fitness “plug” that you need to connect with.
“I educate trainers on how to build a 90-day training program that has progression,” says Angelin. “I also educate trainers on how to sell a program and have the client resign due to the good relationship they have with their trainer.”
Here’s how it works. New 24 Hour Fitness employees–namely trainers and sales advisors–are required to attend a day-long “Foundations” workshop where Angelin hosts a series of presentations, role-playing activities and Q&A about their new jobs. It’s an opportunity for new fitness professionals to network with each other and get in contact with Angelin, an athletic trainer and personal trainer in his own right.
“For the first 90 days, I have access to the trainers’ and sales advisors’ closing percentages meaning I can see how many presentations they gave versus how many memberships or programs were sold,” Angelin explains. “Every 30 days, I look at whatever class I taught in whatever state I taught and see their closing percentage. On average, we have been able to increase our closing percentage by 30% as a company.”
So how did this 44-year-old New Yorker get put in charge of teaching thousands of fitness professionals from the Tri-State area to Colorado to California how to build a business from the ground up?
Angelin earned a Bachelor of Applied Sciences in Sports Medicine/Athletic Training, become a personal trainer and eventually settled in as an athletic trainer at a physical therapy clinic. It was while working at this physical therapy clinic where Angelin formed his own speed, agility and quickness company called Fast-Edge. Angelin’s clients at this clinic were members of 40 high school sports teams.
Two major things happened around this time in Angelin’s career. First, he won the Training & Conditioning Magazine “Above the Call” Award for fitness professionals that exude great strides in the fitness industry. Then, a certain father of one of the high school women’s basketball athletes he trained at Fast-Edge approached him with an offer no trainer would refuse. The man was (now former) NFL quarterback Vinny Testaverde who is 13th all-time in passing yards thrown and played 21 NFL seasons.
“I had no idea that Vinny Testaverde’s daughter played for this team,” says Angelin. “He reached out to me after one of the training sessions and said, ‘I love what you’re doing with my daughter, I’d love to some of this training.’ Once you know one pro athlete, that usually leads to other people. That was my big break.”
Angelin trained Testaverde before his final NFL season during which he threw 952 yards at age 44. Angelin brought the Nike Sparq hurdles, agility ladder, Bosu Ball, medicine balls and running parachute among other tools to improve the Heisman Trophy winner’s football performance. This trainer-client partnership lead to Angelin being featured in Sports Ilustrated. It also led to Angelin’s next job: Department Head at Life Time Fitness.
“Vinny told me about Life Time Fitness and said, ‘If you have the opportunity to run a Life Time, take it,’” Angelin says. “Then, I was one of the first people that they hired when they opened their first New York location.”
Angelin increased his knowledge of metabolic testing, heart rate training, nutritional supplements, and of course selling, before being offered his current position in 2015.
“One of the executives of Life Time Fitness ended up becoming and executive at 24 Hour Fitness and reached out to me and asked, “What if I told you that you can educate trainers and salespeople full-time?’” Angelin explains. “I answered ‘Yes’ and now we are the only company that has full-time health and wellness educators.”
AUTHOR OF #SELL OUT
Angelin’s sales advice is practical, modern and realistic–it works because he’s been there and done that. In fact, Angelin recently released his second book on the topic of selling called #Sell Out which he discusses how to overcome objections, the key to closing a sale and more. And although Angelin sells gym memberships and “lifestyle programs” as he calls personal training programs, he has also given sales advice to successful executives including Robert D’Loran, Founder and CEO of Xcel brands and Jason Mathes, Vice President of Vossa Fitness.
“The problem with trainers is they call what they sell a ‘5-pack’ and that doesn’t embody what a trainer should be doing,” says Angelin. “I call it a lifestyle program because the service from a Master Trainer is more than just five sessions: you work on their programming when they’re not training with you in addition to their nutrition.”
Angelin mentions he believes Simon Sinek, author of Start with the Why, and Grant Cardone, author of the 10x Rule, are doing sales the right way. Angelin is a firm believer in establishing a relationship between the customer and the salesperson.
“I tell this to every trainer: People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it,” says Angelin. “The goal is always to buy something from you because they believe in what you believe in. Not because you’re running a promo or sale. If you rely on that, then you’re no different than any other sales person.”
Another Angelin tenet is that any successful salesperson needs to have a philosophy.
“My philosophy as trainer is working on your activity level, mindset, ability to recover from stress, and nutrition,” adds Angelin.
If you’re an up and coming salesperson, whether it be in fitness, retail, cars, anything, you may be thinking, “But my manager tells me how to sell and I’m just following orders.” This line of thinking is incorrect because a sale is a sale regardless if it was done by the script.
“The mark of a great manager is humility,” says Angelin. “Numbers don’t lie. If you have a salesperson that does it a different way than the manger but he/she makes the sales, that’s OK. If you’re doing it a certain way and you’re selling, keep up the good work.”
Between writing books, keeping tabs on every new fitness hire at 24 Hour Fitness, and consulting people on sales, Angelin still trains his own private clients most of which are New York City CEOs. However, he still trains former NBA player Wally Szczerbiak and another professional athlete he prefers to keep anonymous. When asked who his dream sale would be–who he would love to try to sell/talk sales with–his response is indicative that he’s the right guy for the Regional Educator position.
“When I stand in front of a group of 40 trainers in Colorado then a week later I get 17 e-mails that read, ‘Omg, I just sold my first training package,’ that’s what gets me most excited,” says Angelin. “The new, everyday fitness professional being successful is what motivates me.”
Residence: Long Island, NY
Certifications: National Athletic Trainer’s Association ATC, ISSA-CPT, ISSA-Sports Performance Nutrition
#Sell Out is available via hardcover, paperback and e-book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other bookstores.