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The Fitness Zone

Retaining your Personal Training Clients
January 29, 2013

Retaining clients is an important part of your personal training business, and it's all about the quality of the service you deliver, says Lead NSW Coach at the Australian Institute of Fitness, Katrina Cochrane.

Client retention not only saves on marketing costs and time building new relationships, but it also builds credibility for your business. If you keep losing clients that could say something about the service you are providing, or not providing.

The following three characteristics should be taken into consideration to retain your clientele.

1. Professionalism

  • Always arrive or be prepared at least 15 minutes prior to the commencement of the session. It doesn't look good when a trainer is fumbling through a session due to not being prepared.
  • Ensure that you look the part, and presentable at all times.
  • Your phone greetings need to be professional and most importantly ensure you follow up messages as soon as possible.
  • Ensure all marketing and social networking is up-to-date and presented in a professional manner.
  • Avoid being critical of other trainers and fitness professionals.

2. Preparation

  • Always look to contact your client in advance (at the start of the week is always recommended) to confirm their session. This also allows you the opportunity to provide extra sessions to regular clients, or utilise this opportunity to approach new client base.
  • You can also follow up 24-48 hours prior to the session to discuss what to bring (if anything), any injury concerns that may have presented since previous session, how their individual training may affect your planned session, and any extra information that may assist with their session performance e.g. their nutrition.
  • Plan your session in advance after referring to your previous session notes and have all necessary follow-up assessments, paperwork, and external resources prepared and ready to implement with your clients. Always advise your client of fitness assessment dates and any other specific sessions so they can also be prepared.
  • Practice your exercises and technique skills (especially those that are new) in your own training and time to ensure you are providing the safest execution of these exercises for your client.

3. Program Design

  • Program cards need to be specific to the goals of your clients. Yes, you may have many clients who want to achieve the same goal (especially if you have a specialised target market) however, there will always be an aliment of variation to each individual client. For e.g., same exercise is applied, however, you have a variety of level and ability or technical skills of your clients you need to take into consideration at all times.
  • Every exercise you apply to your programs and sessions needs to be justified in relation to your clients' goals and how it specifically will help them achieve these. Remember it's not about us applying our own favourite exercise or a new idea we picked up on a weekend course to their session. If it doesn't relate to your clients' goals, don't do it!
  • Provide variation to your sessions and program designs. This keeps your client interested and avoids boredom. You don't need to change every aspect or concept of the training session; just slight variations and progressions will keep them engaged and allow them to see why they are utilising your service to help them achieve their goals faster.
  • Be creative. This is a must especially when training groups of people. You'll often have many personality types and learning abilities in the one group, so with adequate planning and program design, you can ensure everyone gets the workout they came for.

So look to apply these three main characteristics to your everyday career as a Personal Trainer. Your business will not only grow and develop to be extremely successful, but you'll also ensure you have a regular, enthusiastic client base who will not only gain so much from you as a PT, but will become one of the best marketing tools you will ever have word of mouth.

This content is not intended to be used as individual health or fitness advice divorced from that imparted by medical, health or fitness professionals. Medical clearance should always be sought before commencing an exercise regime. The Institute and the authors do no take any responsibility for accident or injury caused as a result of this information.

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