The Fitness Zone
As a personal trainer, communicating effectively with your clients is one way to ensure retention and that your clients are getting the most out of their program. In the fitness industry, there are generally four different types of clients that a personal trainer will encounter;
- New clients
- Loyal clients
- Unmotivated clients
- Clients that are leaving
Using the following advice, you can strengthen your client relationships and become a better trainer by learning to communicate effectively based on the types of clients you have.
1. New clients
Establishing a connection should be the main goal for personal trainers when communicating with new clients. Asking them plenty of questions to gain a better understanding of their personal goals is one way to gain a deeper connection and have a new client feel comfortable and confident with you as a trainer.
Aside from face-to-face interaction, you can also use technology to help aid in communicating with a new client. Keep them up-to-date and focused on their goals with weekly e-newsletters, ask about their progress via email or SMS, and encourage them to follow your social media page or online community to make them feel part of your circle. Be consistent in your communications and remember to call the client the day before your session. This serves as a reminder for your client, and it also builds rapport.
2. Loyal clients
Retaining your current loyal client base is important as it’s a cheaper and easier alternative to attracting new clients, and you need to effectively communicate with them to achieve this. Keep your loyal clients motivated by offering rewards and discounts for their ongoing commitment. For example, you can offer a free week of personal training sessions as a reward for consistency. You can also cultivate a more human connection and boost their confidence by giving them a ‘shout out’ on social media.
You can ask your loyal clients for feedback on ways they think you can improve. By listening to their needs and taking on their constructive feedback, you’re improving yourself as a trainer while forming a deeper bond with your clients. Clients who are happy with your training and feel like you’re genuinely invested in them and their goals are more likely to refer their friends and family to you, driving up more business.
3. Unmotivated clients
Encouraging clients who’ve become unmotivated or who struggle with getting to the gym requires positive, ongoing and motivational communication. When communicating with unmotivated clients, make sure you keep a positive attitude and focus on boosting their self-esteem. You can do this by pointing out their successes or achievements.
For example, mention how they’ve exceeded their personal best since the previous week, or that they’ve perfected their planking or push-up form.
You can help them set small, attainable goals to make it easier for them to stay focused. In addition, personalise their programs and try giving them small fitness challenges to complete and present to you once they’ve finished.
Again, technology and social media can be a really great tool to help encourage clients. Send them daily motivational emails, prompts, or links to short yet effective workouts to complete at home or in the gym. Get your clients to track their progress using a fitness app; that way they can visibly see how far they’ve come which will give them more motivation to continue their training.
4. Clients that are leaving
Managing clients who are leaving, or considering leaving, requires understanding as well as open communication. Be mindful that some clients might not be in a financial or personal position to commit to training. If they’re open to picking it back up later down the track, ensure you give them your contact details and let them know they can sign up again at any time.
In addition, make sure you ask leaving customers for feedback. You can do this face-to-face, over the phone, or by having them fill out a feedback form. In some cases, you can offer your leaving clients a solution.
If they’re finding it hard to keep payments going, offer a specialised payment plan or a package deal to help them save. Putting the client and their needs first should be your main priority when it comes to customer retention and satisfaction.
Learn how to communicate effectively as a personal trainer
The Australian Institute of Fitness personal training courses will help you learn how to manage client relationships and more as a personal trainer. You can choose from: