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  • Founder of Athletes Authority
  • Marketing Maverick
  • Business Strategist
  • Newsletter Publisher

If Retention Is King, Sales Is?

Here’s some drama for your Thursday.

I got a post sent to me this morning from a trainer on IG who loves (and I’m guessing with intention), to be polarising. 

In essence, the post said this:


The only reason you’d need to be any good at sales is if you sucked at retention.


That’s partially true, of course.

High churn in your business will put far more pressure on your front end and require more volume and higher sales conversions. There is no doubt about that. And it’s also true that we should, above all else, pursue best practices with our clients and serve them as best as we can — which means the customer experience must come first.

But here is my gripe with it all — it’s only half of what he’s saying.

The other half of what he’s saying is if you’re a great trainer with excellent retention, there is no real advantage in improving your sales skillset.

Which is undeniably false.

This is the problem with dogmatic thinking — it’s valid at a surface level… until you dig a little deeper and pick it apart.

Now, I can’t say he genuinely believes this (I think it’s just for IG engagement), but we enlightened souls must have a more balanced perspective than this black-and-white, all-or-nothing approach.

This brings me to the point that will never get old:

To be great at sales is to be great at communication and tactical empathy.

The better you are at sales, the better you are at helping your clients feel understood.

The better you are at helping your clients feel understood, the better their buy-in and results will be with whatever intervention you prescribe.

And the better their results… the better your retention.

See how this works?

Retention and sales are synergistic — not mutually exclusive, as this trainer would have us believe.

 And this is what PT purists don’t get who think business skills have no place for a young or up-and-coming practitioner…

You don’t have to be either-or.

You can work on both.

Nothing is stopping you from being a more persuasive and effective communicator who can help prospects shift non-serving beliefs and frame opportunities to overcome fear… whilst also being a rockstar practitioner who nails the customer experience.

Sales will get prospects (who could be your next dream client) off the fence, and being a great practitioner is what will retain them.

So while taking a side might get you more clicks, I have a different approach:

The side that says:

“Why not have both?”

That cute Spanish girl from the Ol El Paso ads has got a good point.

But I must confess…

Sifting through sales content is a minefield, and there is definitely strategies that are more effective than others.

So if you’re looking for somewhere to start with a more humanistic approach to selling, then hit me up and I’ll get you some great resources to get you going.

Or, if you’re already a competent communicator but want a short refresher, I’ve written a 54-page book called “Stacking The Close” that you can read in one sitting… email me back, and I’ll shoot it through to you.

– Karl Goodman

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Lachlan Wilmot



  • Bachelors of Exercise and Sport Science
  • Honors in Rate of Force Development in Team Sport Athletes

Lachlan began his professional sports coaching career as the second ever employee at the GWS Giants in 2010-11 season prior to entering the AFL in 2012. Over 7 seasons, Lachlan grew a team of talented young men into back-to-back preliminary finals contenders. As the head of strength and power, his role was to turn teenagers into physically dominant men, developing their strength, power, speed and most importantly, their resistance to injury.

In 2018, Lachlan’s success afforded him the opportunity to shift codes, having been offered the role of High Performance Manager for the NRL’s Parramatta Eels.

In as little as one rebuild season, he had taken the wooden spooners of 2018 to the finals in 2019, where they inflicted the greatest defeat of the Brisbane Broncos in NRL history. By 2019, it was time for Lachlan to go ‘all-in’ on his other baby, Athletes Authority.

Now, Lachlan leads the performance program, designing the programs for all the athletes here. He works closely with the sports medicine team, just like he did in pro sport, to help athletes achieve more and reach new heights with their athletic careers.

Karl Goodman


Karl began his career in coaching as a Personal Trainer back in 2007. After competing for NSW as a Baseballer, and then competing at an elite standard as a cyclist throughout university,  Karl received the opportunity to work with Gordon Rugby in the Shute Shield competition. From there, he found a way to marry his passion in sports and competition with coaching; selling his investment property to start Athletes Authority in early 2016.

Starting from humble beginnings, the facility vision was taken to another level when Lachlan and Karl partnered up in 2017 and Athletes Authority was incorporated. It was no longer just a gym training athletes; Athletes Authority was committed to becoming a brand athletes worldwide could rely on for quality coaching, advice and service.