We often talk about how to accumulate and retain personal training clients and how to help those individuals achieve their goals. What often isn’t discussed are the ways in which you can lose a client. Your clients are paying you to be the subject matter expert. You are expected to guide them through the tougher parts of getting back into health and fitness. The responsibility is on you to ensure they stick with their program and continue their fitness journey. Losing a client in 30 days is as easy as these few missteps…
1. Setting Goals That Are Too Big
By setting too big of fitness goals, you are setting your personal training clients up for failure, and quickly. This is especially true if you also don’t set small goals that help them measure their progress/effort along the way. It’s easy to get discouraged and unmotivated if you don’t celebrate the small wins on the journey to the bigger picture. The bigger picture could be months or even years away.
2. Creating a Plan That’s Too Easy or Too Hard
The easiest way to lose a client is creating a plan that’s too complex and challenging for their fitness level. If they feel like they can’t get through a single workout without giving up or modifying it, they will be worn out and frustrated. Clients should enjoy their workouts and it should make them feel stronger rather than depleted, especially if they are just getting back into their fitness routine. Alternatively, if you never progress your clients or send them the exact same workout that you’ve sent them several times before, they’ll get bored or think you are not doing your job effectively.
Every fitness journey starts with a goal.
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3. Not Listening to Feedback
Personal training clients typically understand that you often know what’s best since you are the professional, but that doesn’t mean their feedback shouldn’t be heard and valued. In addition, your client has a different lifestyle, with different goals and challenges than your own, so you need to listen to them. Your client will know better than you in regards to their own health and body. If you constantly ignore their feedback and continue to program exercises or workout formats that they dislike, they’ll think you aren’t listening to their particular needs. You’ll lose a client quickly if you don’t listen to his/her needs.
4. Negative Talk
One of the most important things about your job as a personal trainer is inspiring people to live a healthier lifestyle. Whether you are having a great day or really don’t feel like rolling out of bed for that 5 AM client, you need to show up to each session positive and focused. If you are negative about your day or even worse if you are critical about your self-image, your clients will be left uninspired and focused on all the wrong reasons to get into shape.
Personal trainers have a great responsibility to inspire and motivate people to improve their health and wellness routine. Clients will always come and go for different reasons, but there are ways in which trainers make them want to quit sooner than later. Taking your role seriously and treating each client as the most important part of your day will ensure you don’t have to worry about losing too many clients as the year goes on.