Your client came to you because there was something in their life they wanted to change.
It may be an athlete looking to get stronger or a corporate executive looking to shed some body fat. They are looking for a change and we hold the key to make an impact in their life. Over the years we have had tremendous success in building a clientele and more importantly keeping our clients.
Client retention is a huge key to be successful, as a trainer and as a business.
The following list will provide you with some points of wisdom to keep your clients and if you do this you may never find yourself looking for more sessions. Before you get to the list ask yourself this one question: "If I moved across the country would my clients miss me? If you can't answer yes, this list will be very valuable to you.
- It's about them. The session is about them, not you. They are paying lots of money so you can help them change their lives. It is very important to show genuine interest in your client. Ask questions about how their day is going, what their kids are up to or how their nutrition plan is going. The one person people love to talk about is themselves.
- Greetings. When your client comes through the door greet them before they greet you. Greet them with enthusiasm. Instead of Hi Ted use "Hello Ted, How are you doing today Buddy? This simple gesture can turn a negative "I do not want to be here" attitude into a positive "I love my trainer and I am excited about being here" attitude. Show genuine enthusiasm that you are excited to be training them.
- Interests. Find things out about your clients that interest them and talk about them. Steve loves going to see the Rolling Stones in concert. Steve will probably feel comfortable talking about Music and will add value to his experience. Not a music buff, go get an issue of rolling stone and read up.
- Focus! Your focus should be 100% on your clients the entire session. If you walk away and talk to a buddy while your client is doing an exercise this shows you are not into the session and will decrease the value of your services. This does not mean you have to be a robot and the rest of the world is dead to you but be sure you do not leave your client hanging around waiting. If you are the business owner this is a very challenging issue because there is so much going on that concerns you. Your most important task is the one that is going on right now.
- Body Language. Your body language is a big time indicator of your passion, interest and confidence. Have you seen the trainer picking at his fingers and looking around the room or sitting down while their client is giving it their all. Your body language and facial expressions are a key to success in this business. We have known trainers that are so into their client's session they unknowingly were making the same faces as their client when they were straining to get the last few reps. That is great body language and that shows you are passionate and care about what you do.
- Have a plan. After you asses your client, write their program based on how they performed in their assessment and their goals. This adds value to your sessions and shows that you are not just an exercise prescriber but you are a program designer that takes careful consideration of your clients individual needs. Anyone can lead someone through a series of exercises, that's easy, anyone can make someone sore or tired that's easy too, separate yourself from the rest of offer a more value added program by using assessments, exercise progressions and considering the goals of your clients.
- Check your baggage at the door. We all have issues in our life. During your training sessions is not the time to unload your problems about your girlfriend to your client. This is not to say that you do not disclose any personal information about yourself to your client but remember that they are not their to listen to your issues.
- Positive Reinforcement. There are many times where we have to tell our clients they are doing something wrong. Try to refrain from using negative words like "No that's no right" instead say something like "great job keeping your chest up next time try to pull your toe to your nose a little more." People will learn more and feel better about themselves when they are in a positive environment.
- Keep moving. Try using supersets, trisets and quad sets instead of one exercise and then sit there for 60-90 seconds. This keeps the tempo of the session up and eliminates that dreaded awkward silence. This does not mean crush your client with 4 very challenging exercises. An example of a quad set could be Horizontal Pull, Split Squat, Plank and Pec Stretch. During the pec stretch they are essentially resting but it is active recovery, it keeps them engaged and you are addressing a personal need for your client.
- Pick up that phone. It takes about 30 seconds but it is sure to make a huge impact on how a client values your services. Especially in the beginning, call your clients to make sure they are feeling ok. The phone call should be very brief but the thought alone will let you client know you are thinking about them.
- Become a full time student. Not literally, but make sure you are dedicating several hours a week to learn about your craft. There should never be a time where you are desperate for CEU's and you buy some crazy aerobics videos just so you can renew your certification. You should be learning everyday. Find experts who you can relate to. For example, when I see a Mike Boyle DVD I remember and understand almost everything in the video. Mike presents information in a very practical way so it is very easy to understand. Find people like that. Do not limit yourself to just training books. Read about business and personal growth. The money spent on these books and videos will reap you much more benfit in the end. There are no secret programs or workouts. Everything is out there at your disposal you just need to go out and get it.
Vince Gabriele helps fit pros become better business owners, make more money and live the life they want. If you need help growing your business and want to talk to him, visit www.vincegabriele.com to book a free strategy session.