Building a strong client-trainer relationship begins with the initial contact with the potential client. It is important when first talking with him/her about the services you provide and collecting information about their wants/needs, to be courteous and patient. Some trainers may find it repetitive talking with potential clients about their goals and desires. It is important to keep in mind even though many of your current and future client’s goals and abilities may be similar; each client/potential client should be treated with the same enthusiasm and passion that your initial clients probably received when you first became a trainer. Coming off as bored or un-enthused can not only hurt your business, but more importantly hurt your client’s feelings.
As the client progresses from intake to consultation, there are several important factors to keep in mind when meeting with a potential client for the first time. First, make sure the consultation area is located in a quite, distraction free location. Secondly, be sure you are dressed appropriately (nothing that could come off as distracting or tasteless). Thirdly, always try to meet the client as they are walking through the door. By being the first person they see coming into the facility, it shows them you care (as opposed to the client needing to ask for you at the front desk, and having them wait for you to come up to get them). Finally, after greeting the client, see if they have had a tour of the facility. If they haven’t, take them on one. It gives you the opportunity to create a more comfortable banter with him/her before beginning the actual consultation/assessment. This can help put the client at ease as it may help them relax and realize it is just a consultation, and not a life altering exam.
As you continue through the initial consultation, remember to continue being patient and answer any questions they may have. Always be empathetic. Clients prefer trainers that truly care about their situation in life. In addition, be positive and enthusiastic. Expect when most clients first come in, they may be airing on the side of doubt. Though motivated enough to come in and begin the process of making a health change, keep in mind some of your clients might have been dealing with various health issues for years. They might be in a state of “last hope” and not fully sure even fitness can work. To help them understand their goals are obtainable, provide them with sound research that proves their goals can be met.
Showing your enthusiasm, understanding and interest in their goals and current life situation in the beginning will make it easier at retaining them as a recurring client.