Personal training clients will work harder, and be more consistent with their training, if they respect you, says Step into Life’s founder and director Larry Cohen. Not only that, but with trust and respect comes greater word of mouth publicity and existing clients’ signing up for more. So, here are Larry’s top tips for gaining (and retaining) a great rapport with your personal training clients.
The first step in earning a client’s respect is listening. That means actively engaging and listening to their history, goals and motivations. It’s often easy for a personal trainer to become complacent because you might hear from so many clients. But, for the success of your business, it is vital to keep each client’s experience separate from the next. Listen to their journey and understand what they are hoping to achieve, whether it’s to lose weight, conquer a fun run or improve their general health and wellbeing.
One thing is for sure, you can’t fake care factor. As a personal trainer you must be genuinely passionate about assisting your clients’ because if you’re not, they’ll see right through you.
Care factor means:
- How a client perceives your actual interest in their training;
- Your attention to detail; and
- The way you focus on them during their time.
Remember, it is easy to lose a client’s respect. All it takes is standing at training with your hands in your pockets while counting reps, or checking your emails on your phone during a session. Do these things and just watch your care factor score drop to zero and their respect for you immediately diminish. Instead, try to focus on punctuality, your communication ability and professionalism to help show how much you care.
It is possible to build a great rapport with a client from the very first contact you have with them. First impressions really do matter so, start acting as their personal trainer right from the first phone call or email. Show them that you can listen, make a recommendation as to how you can help them achieve their goals and let them know that you care. This will form the basis of a trusting, and hopefully long-lasting relationship.
#1 – Be contactable;
#2 – Be a good listener, remember it is about them and not about you;
#3 – Communicate with passion, knowledge and empathy;
#4 – Make a recommendation as to how you can assist them as soon as possible, and if you can’t be honest and tell them that;
#5 – Be honest with your feedback. For example, if you think they can work harder, tell them. Or let them know if they are being too hard on themselves.