Losing weight and getting in shape has been at the top of people's New Year's resolutions list year after year. Many decide that signing up with a personal trainer is the way to go so that they'll have someone to keep them accountable.
But lots of these same people lose their enthusiasm after a while and cease meeting up with trainers and keeping their gym appointments. So how can you, as a personal trainer, do a better job at retaining your personal training clients?
Here are 5 things you can do to keep clients coming back:
1. Put the "Personal" in Personal Training
Make an effort to get to know your clients personally, especially during those initial first sessions together. It can be very intimidating for people to approach a personal trainer when they are feeling insecure about their physical condition, especially as it compares to someone who works in fitness.
Though you should always strive to keep it professional, you can build your clients' trust by seeking to build a personal relationship. This way you can show that you understand the struggles that their current lifestyle presents.
Learn more about who they are as a person and what motivates them or what their biggest struggles are. Never forget that each one of your clients is an individual with specific strengths, weaknesses, and goals. Listen and react to show attention.
Be someone who cares about your clients' success. Be invested in their health and well-being. Write thank you cards or holiday cards. These personal gestures will go a long way. So will checking your phone in session, being distracted by others around you or coming across judgemental. You want each of your clients to feel special and look forward to your sessions.
2. Be Honest and Straightforward
Show sympathy with each client and your belief in them toward reaching their goals. However, balance that sympathy with a straightforward approach and manage their expectations based on their unique situation.
Many clients might have people in their personal life who tell them they don't need to lose weight, or they're fine the way they are, in an effort to pacify them or not hurt their feelings.
There's no need to be brutal, but clients will trust a coach who gives it to them straight. Be honest and upfront about the work required to reach their goals. Lay it out there.
Be firm and to the point when discussing which habits need to change. Many clients hire a personal trainer so they will have someone in their corner who tell them what their friends won't and push them forward through challenges.
3. Keep in Contact with Your Personal Training Clients
While most people don't expect to stay in contact outside session times, checking in regularly to ask how they are progressing in everyday life will add a nice touch and help build rapport.
Send weekly emails showing support and tips for reaching their goals. Send the occasional text to your client asking how their day is going and encouraging them not to give up when they have a tough one.
Keep past clients in the loop with any changes you make to your programs and training methods in case some of them were looking to invest in personal training help again in the near future.
4. Be Specific About What Clients Should Do Between Sessions
Your clients rely on you and pay you to guide them. That's the purpose of personal training!
Your sessions together make up such a small portion of their lives, so one of the best ways you can help them and keep them coming back is by laying out specific plans on what actions they should be taking between sessions.
Avoid vague instructions such as, "Eat well, get that exercise in!" Work on specific goals with your client and then lay out the game plan, down to the smallest details if necessary, so that they know what's expected of them. Educate them about calories and macronutrients, set weekly habit targets and introduce methods to track their progress.
5. Make the Most of Personal Trainer Resources
Learn from other personal trainers who have been there. Discover more effective ways to retain clients, attract new ones, and improve your reputation online and in person. Learn more about how to decide what you should charge your personal training clients, to whether you should work for yourself vs. a local gym.
Check out all of our amazing resources tailored to the needs of the entrepreneurial personal trainer and build your business the way you've imagined.
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