Business ManagementClient RetentionClients and Members Spot the Warning Signs: How to Tell When a Client is About To Quit (and How to Save Them)

Spot the Warning Signs: How to Tell When a Client is About To Quit (and How to Save Them)

As trainers, we have all been there. You work so hard with a client, they are getting results and all is going well and then you get the dreaded email or text. Yes, you know the one I’m talking about. The “Thank you for everything you have done, but I think I’m going to take a break from training for a little while and try doing it on my own”. I want to first start by saying this is OK! Most times it doesn’t always mean you did something wrong as a trainer. You shouldn’t take it personally.

To be honest, my goal for all the clients I work with is to educate them and guide them so that they are able to go off and continue to succeed on their own. I also have the confidence that if the client is really not ready to go off on their own, they will come back, and they always do!

Let’s chat a little bit about some of the warning signs that a client might be getting ready to take a break from training with you, and how to lock them in before the “dreaded email”.

Warning Sign #1:

They are on a numbered session package that is coming to the end.


Before the sessions are up, talk to the client about how they feel and remind them of how well they have done in their training. Whether this is an in-person, or online training client, you need to open up the conversation about what they want to do to continue to work towards their goals.

In my business, I do not force people or use crazy sales pitches to sell them on training, I feel that my training speaks for itself. I have honest discussions with clients about buying more sessions and if the answer is yes, then no problem and we keep going. If the answer is no, then I open up the discussion for an alternative plan to keep them as clients.

I listen to the clients concerns regarding training, and work with them to create a solution on how they can fix the problem. For example, if the problem is budget, we have a discussion about options for them to continue training on the budget they have available (whether it is dropping their session number each week, and working more independently, or switching from in-person to online training etc). If your client trusts you, they know you care. You put your all into training them. Your client will always be open to a discussion to find a way to continue to be connected to you for accountability and guidance.

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Warning Sign #2:

They start falling off on accountability, or not showing up for sessions.


This is very common in online training. A client will start out checking in for all of their workouts, tracking their nutrition and doing everything their coach says and then suddenly darkness… Where did they go?

You message them and they respond days later, stating some kind of excuse as to why they haven’t been working out. This is a clear sign that this client is falling off track fast, and there is a high possibility that they will end their training.

How do we save them? Send them a message or give them a call to let them know you care, you know why they initially set out to start their journey training with you, remind them of what they have accomplished so far, and that they need to keep working towards that goal.

Our main job as trainers is to hold people accountable to their goals. Let them know you are on their team, let them know you are there for them. It is your job to do anything you can to not let them quit on themselves. Remind them of why they reached out to you in the first place. Listen to their problems, and offer a solution that allows them to continue with training. Don’t be a sales person. Be a friend and listen to them. Trust me, this goes a long way!

Warning Sign #3:

They are not getting the results they want.


If a client has expressed to you that they are not getting the results they want from their training as a reason to end their training there are a few things you can do.

Step one:
Listen to their concerns without judgement or taking it personal.

Step two:
Discuss the changes that are realistic to achieve within the time frame they have been training for (if you didn’t at the start of their training) and remind them of how well they have done thus far.

Step three:
Have a serious discussion about their accountability to training, nutrition, and sleep throughout the entire week. Tell them to be honest with you about how they have been following your training and nutrition guidelines and if they think there is room for improvement? Most often they will say yes. All it takes is a serious discussion with our client as a friend, talk to them about what is going on in their life, and come up with a solution together on how they can do a better job of getting to their goals (if you have decided on some realistic goals for them).

Personal training, whether online or in-person is based solely on building a relationship with your client. Your clients need to know that you are in their corner and you are not just some random person they are paying to put them through a workout. Building relationships will help keep clients for a longer period of time and also help build your business because your clients will love the relationship with you so much they will tell all of their friends and family about you!

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