Customer Retention Motivating Your Clients

“Curious that we spend more time congratulating people who have succeeded than encouraging people who have not.” — Neil deGrasse Tyson

What motivates you as a trainer? What’s motivating your clients?

The holy grail of the personal trainer and client relationship, is the motivation factor. Clients depend on you as a trainer, to motivate them. Motivation cannot be delivered in a cookie cutter format, where you “energize” everyone the same way. People get motivated in different ways, so it’s important you understand your client as a person first as there is an emotional angle to all of this. Once you understand your client, you’ll be able to tailor the way you encourage them to push harder, or to push at all.

How do you “understand” your clients? You can start by placing an individual’s personality into one of two groups: The “Love For The Game” group, and the “Just Do It” group. Both group’s enjoy a different aspect of training, which you can use as the driving factor to motivate.

Love For The Game: This person is not driven by awards or praise, but instead enjoys the increased confidence and competence the workout providers. Your clients who fall into this group, need to be constantly reminded of the great feeling they enjoy while training, with less emphasis on results. The journey experience exceeds results.

Just Do It: This person is driven by awards, praise, and hitting goals. Hitting goals is a great motivator to keep this client going on your workout program, and tying it to an “award” would be even better. An example that’ll keep this client motivated to keep on your program would be, “If your body fat percentage drops 2% in 12 weeks, I’ll give you a nutrition plan on the house.”.

Now take a look at the quote at the top of this article. I’m sure many of you give praise when goals are hit, which is a great driver to motivate the “Just Do It” group. But how about the “Love For the Game Group”? This latter group requires more than a pat on the back after hitting a goal, but if you can keep this group motivated, you end up with a client base that stays with you longer as they are more likely to continue with your programs long after the awards disappear. It might even be a good idea to practice some of the motivation drivers from this group with the “Just Do It” group.

Here are some great ways to enhance motivation not based solely on hitting results:

  • After EVERY training session, allow your client to experience some form of “success” by highlighting it. It can even be a positive emotional feeling.
  • Congratulate them on every “step” taken towards a goal, so less emphasis is spent on hitting the “goal” itself. These “steps” can be as simple as doing a workout on time, eating a healthy meal, or even buying a pair of new running shoes. Every “step” is a result of their commitment to hit the goal, so remind them of that.
  • Change up the workouts, to keep the experience of working out interesting. Don’t have them do the same routine over and over again, and also, assign some workouts outside of the gym.

Understanding what motivates your clients from an emotional perspective, can help you do a more effective job, getting them to workout. A motivated client group, results in a longer lasting relationship that ultimately drives more revenue for your business.

Are there any other tips you can share, that has worked for you to motivate your clients?

Sharad Mohan
CEO | Trainerize

Trainerize – Helping Fitness Professionals differentiate 

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