You have a new personal training client – congratulations! As a PT, this is always something to celebrate and a perfect opportunity to improve your rapport-building skills. Before you start training your new client, however, you need to conduct an effective client screening, writes AIF Fitness Coach, Jennifer Dabbak.
Engaging with a new client can be daunting, especially for someone new to the fitness industry, but there are many things you can do to better prepare yourself.
Here are my top five tips for screening a new client that will have you both feeling energised and confident with your new-found professional relationship:
Whether we like it or not, we are often judged quickly on things like appearance, time keeping, attitude and how we greet someone – so it’s important to pay attention to these areas when meeting a new client for the first time.
Once you settle down into the screening process, remain calm and put the client at ease. This will not only help build rapport, but will prevent excess stress that could cause things like heart rate and blood pressure to increase; we’ve all been to the GP before and had that feeling!
Have your new client’s details ready; this shows that you are prepared, value their custom, and appreciate their decision to choose you as their personal trainer. Be thorough with your questioning and recording: this will show your client that you actually care about them and their personal information.
Prepare your checklist of things to discuss and information to record. There may be things in your process that differ from what you have studied in your Certificate IV in Fitness course.
The basics will always be there, but there may be some additional lifestyle questions you need to ask or further testing you need to do. Explain the checklist to your client and let them know the reasoning behind both the physical tests and personal questions. Once they understand why you need this information, they will feel a lot more comfortable.
One thing that will always help screening and early stage testing is practice! Practice at home on anyone who is willing to sit still for long enough. The more you do it, the easier it will get, but be careful not to become complacent with the process. Each and every new client deserves the same level of care and attention as the last.
Once you complete your screening, be sure to confidentially record the details and back them up. Remember that you may need to keep records for a number of years. You do not want to be responsible for losing someone else’s personal information. It can sometimes be tempting to discuss interesting clients with a friend or those close to you, but do not do this! Your client has trusted you with their personal information, so consider how you would feel if it was the other way around.
A well-conducted screening can set the foundations for a successful personal trainer-client relationship. By following the five tips above, you’ll be on track to deliver your clients the highly professional level of service that they expect and deserve.
To learn more about the safest way to train clients, click here to check out the AIF’s Master Trainer Program™ course which includes dual qualifications in Personal Training (Cert IV in Fitness) and Fitness Coach (Cert III in Fitness).
Jen is a Fitness Coach at the AIF NSW and a personal trainer. After completing her bachelor degree in physical education and sports in Lebanon, she started working as a PT. With over a decade’s industry experience, she has studied numerous courses in rehab, massage, boxing and Strength and Conditioning.