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The Fitness Zone

What to Do About PT Clients Cancelling at the Last Minute
November 9, 2014

With so many things to consider, starting your own personal training business can be scary! Kris Watkins, Fitness eCoach at the Australian Institute of Fitness QLD discusses how to deal with clients cancelling at the last minute.

One of the biggest mistakes Personal Trainers make is underestimating the time they need to invest to the everyday running of their business. It is not all about just training client after client – having good business systems in place is crucial to your success!

Part of your business should be a strategy to optimise client care. Having this in place will make sure you keep a great client base, who show up consistently and are motivated to train.

From personal experience as a PT, the following tips can help to eliminate the last minute cancellations.


Include a cancellation policy as part of your business welcome letter. Once you have explained the policy to your client get them to sign it and provide them with a copy to hold them accountable.


Even if they are a regular client, make sure you confirm the appointment the day before. This will give you enough time to fill that spot if they do need to cancel.


A text message two or three hours before as a reminder will eliminate any excuse that they forgot.  Saying something like, “I just wanted to tell you I have the best session planned for you. You’ll really love it and I can’t wait to train you!” will potentially keep them motivated to attend if they are considering cancelling, and it will make them feel good to know you are thinking of them.


If they have cancelled at the last minute more than once ask your client if there is a better time to train. Would a morning session be more convenient? Provide a number of time slots and let them chose.


Don’t ever change your client straight to another time slot. You need to create the impression that opportunities to train with you are limited, so they value your time too. It’s your business so it’s important you keep control of your time.

By spending time on your business, rather than in your business you’ll be successful and the best possible PT to your valuable clients!

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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