Time constraints, a lack of funds and unachieved goals are some of the reasons a client parts ways with a personal trainer.
However, one of the most avoidable reasons in preventing a client from leaving is a poor working relationship.
A client could also sever ties with the personal trainer and training program if their goals are not being met or if the program has proved either too easy or challenging.
Tips for Improving Client Relationships
Someone who leaves on good terms will be happy to recommend your services to other co-workers, friends and family members. ‘Word of mouth’ is the easiest and cheapest method of picking up new clients for any fitness professional.
Unfortunately, if you’ve failed to meet their expectations, you can probably forget about any referrals, testimonials or good reviews.
The client and fitness professional relationship needs to be a mature one, built on trust and mutual respect.
To achieve sustainable, repeatable success as a coach means providing a consistent high level of service. You will maintain far more of your client base by being consistently solid and trustworthy rather than sporadically brilliant but unreliable.
The following 5 tips for personal trainers offer sound advice for building an excellent relationship with your clientele.
1. Always be Professional
It’s important to arrive well in advance of your training sessions. This will allow you time to prepare, focus and ensure that your client’s needs are being met.
This is their time, not yours. Be prepared and don’t dial it in!
2. Keep the Lines of Communication Open
In order to understand what your client expects out of the sessions, you want to keep the lines of communication open.
Explain why you wish to see the exercise done in a particular way. Give context to this. Don’t just instruct but explain. Impart your knowledge so that the client understands the importance of proper technique.
Do not be that PT or fitness coach who just stands in the corner barking instructions.
You also want to encourage client feedback to minimise misunderstandings of terminology, acronyms and particular movements or exercises. Don’t let your client be too ‘intimidated’ to ask questions.
Communication is a two-way street; you must listen as much as talk.
3. Tailor Your Training Sessions to Each Specific Client
Clients will come in a variety of intensity levels and age groups, so you need to tweak your sessions to handle all of their needs. Since you’re the expert, they are relying on your knowledge to provide them with both on-the-spot training and ideas for working out at home.
Continuous professional development is important for fitness professionals. Brush up on your skills and knowledge and keep abreast of the latest trends.
Hone your skills and consider signing up for an additional course or two (online is ok) so that you are always current with your thinking and practice.
4. Keep Your Clients Motivated
It’s common for a client to become disheartened, especially if they fail to see early results.
Think about this from your client’s perspective. You look great, you’ve mastered the routines, you’re healthy and exude fitness and strength. However, it is likely that your client feels few, if any, of these things.
Ensure you build in to your program activities that will provide quick success. Keep them motivated with regular ‘wins’ before moving onto more challenging exercises. Give them opportunities to fist pump their achievements.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Mix It Up
Doing the same sessions and exercises is always going to become tiresome and mundane.
Don’t be afraid to mix up your activities and how you present them. Since your clients have different needs, this will also help you determine what works best for each person.
Be present and in the moment. Concentrate, watch closely and participate when required. Give advice and correct discretely when necessary.
If you’d like further inspiration on what you should be providing for your clients, please see here.
Securing a solid relationship with your clients is vital if you expect them to become ‘repeat customers’.
You must establish their expectations and then work with your clients to meet and then beat them.
Start off on the right footwork by focussing on communication and begin a feedback loop. You want them to talk to you, to probe and to question. You want them to ask why. You don’t want surprise exits.
Clients who trust you enough to be themselves will be more prone to set realistic goals and stick to them.
Building a successful relationship with your clients comes with communication, the right training, hard work and dedication.
Remember, your clients will want to come back if you make the workout interesting and their goals attainable.
And if you’d like to expand your personal training business and would like some advice on marketing your services, please see here.