3 Tips for Nurturing Client Relationships as a Personal Trainer
As a Fitness Professional, the relationship you build with your clients is your key to success. It determines who will sign up for your services, how long they will stay, and possibly why they decide to leave. Sure, most clients come to me with a physical goal they are looking to accomplish, but what I’ve learned as a Pilates trainer is that your ability to help them meet those goals isn’t what’s going to keep them around in the long run. Good results are obviously a good thing, they should always be the priority, but it’s not what will keep them committed to you.
As a Pilates trainer, I’ve found that it’s not my ability to give them the results they are looking to achieve, but it’s actually about my ability to get them to trust me enough so that I can get them there and beyond. The way to accomplish that trust level is by taking your relationship with your clients beyond that training session and nurturing that relationship. This nurturing is referred to as the “Steward” phase in the relationship cycle, which is the most common place to fail. That is no different in the fitness industry as a personal trainer. So here are three tips to improve stewardship with your clients that will help you build solid and long-lasting relationships with your clients.
1. Routine Check-ins. Setting up monthly check-ins with clients to make sure they feel good about their progress. This is crucial because your clients hired you for a reason: to make a change in their lives, so if they’re not getting there, why should they keep you around. Goals are constantly met and changing, so it’s your responsibility as a trainer to stay up to date with what your client wants. If you ever find a client meeting a goal and doesn’t know what they want next, work with them to see what they want to work towards next. Goals don’t have to be strict or rigid, but it gives us motivation and reason to check in again when we have something to work towards together.
2. Build rapport with your Clients. Take some time before, during, or after sessions to get to know your clients on a more personal level. Yes, your relationship with your clients is, of course, professional, but in many cases, as a trainer, you are working with your clients on pretty private and personal aspects of their lives. In some cases, you’re working with your clients to overcome their biggest insecurities or an injury, so it’s vital that your clients feel safe and comfortable opening up with you. I can say, with confidence, that my most successful and longest relationships with my clients are with the ones that consider me to be a friend or part of their family. Don’t rush this process, be consistent, and with time you will find trust.
3. Celebrate your Clients. People love to be recognized for their accomplishments, so it’s crucial as their trainer to remind them that you’re paying attention. Praising your clients doesn’t have to mean you recognize them for reaching their goals like you would in a check-in. Maybe it’s just the more seemingly trivial things like improved form, reduced pain in their everyday lives, or just being consistent about their practice. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to recognize someone for the great things they are doing. Being a trainer, I’ve noticed that people are the hardest on themselves, so if you can take the time to remind them and help them see all the amazing work they’re doing, it can go a long way.