The following is a guest post by Eric Falstrault. For every trainer, keeping clients can be just as hard as getting new ones.
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How do some trainers keep training the same people throughout their career? New trainers will get their clientele in the beginning, but it’s another story to keep the old ones - and keep the new ones coming. Here’s how to retain your clientele, and bring in more referrals without even lifting a finger!
Prove yourself: Bring the results, baby!
There’s trainers out there who still think that working their clients to the floor will prove their skills as a personal trainer. It’s time to rethink that strategy. Your client’s definition of weight loss is to train hard, but as trainers, we should know better. They’re not paying you to do what they say, they are paying you for results. If this means walking before they can run, so be it. Beginners who can’t do a kettlebell swing because of back issues need to take a step back and build core strength.
The Golden rule: ‘’Give them what they need, not what they want’’
Many fear losing a client since they don’t do what the client is expecting. Your job is to explain your approach, and what you believe is best way to achieve their goals. Those who follow will be the best costumers, and as a result, they’ll be your best sellers as well. If they truely understand and believe in what you’re trying to do, they’ll explain it to their friends and family. New prospects.
Find your niche
The secret is to love what you do. Save your energy for clients you actually enjoy training. If training young kids drains you, don’t do it. Train people who you and can learn from, and it’ll be much easier for you to get up in the morning.
People who succeed absolutely love what they do. Be passionate, and you won’t have to work a single day in your life.
It’s called your “Private life” for a reason
‘’How are you?’’
‘’Ahhh, don’t ask, it must be the worst day of my life, I really can’t….’’.
Imagine that person being your personal trainer. How motivating! Don’t be the person that let’s everyone know you have the blues and can’t keep mood swings to yourself. Your clients shouldn’t even be aware of your private happenings. Leave your private life at the gym door and always bring your best.
Nobody likes a grouch.
Listen & Learn
Everyone loves to be listened to, but your job still needs to be done. A great workout will forget all the worries, and clients will thank you for it. They won’t know it, but by becoming a better listener yourself, it will improve their compliance and results.
A month into the program they complain they don’t see results as fast as they should, but you remember that they partied every weekend for the last few weeks. By listening carefully, you’re able to remind them why results seem scarce, and get them back on track. Clients will respect that you truly care to help them get serious results.
The more you know, the more you can help
Open your horizons and don’t just focus on one single tool.
As much as I love kettlebells, they’re not for everyone. My million-dollar deal executive is not going to be keen on getting his hands dirty doing Strongman training. I’m not talking about the being trainer/physiotherapist/massage Jack-of-all-trades type, but at least be proficient with at the basics. After all, the more you know, more people you can help.
Read and take classes on a broad spectrum of health and conditioning. For every course you take, you will get double the return on your investment. The true mark of a great personal trainer is continuing education. Never stop learning.
Some last words
After more than 20 years as a trainer, half of my clientele are ones I started with. They have come and gone, tried other trainers, other techniques, stopped training and started all over again, a few times. You’ll get clients who will sign up for 3 months - others will look for a long time engagement. The your job is to be at your best for every single client. After all, one of them could be the one who fills up your agenda with great new clients, or the one that books you the same spot for a full year in advance.
You never know.
How do you keep clients coming? Do you give them what they really deserve?
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Eric Falstrault is a Montreal-based strength and conditioning coach, Naturopath, Sport Therapist and founder of BODHI Fit. He is certified level 5 PICP (Poliquin International Certification Program) a high level certification program that has proven its grounds on every aspects of the iron game. He has effectively undergone numerous internships with Charles Poliquin (founder of the PICP and world renowned Strength Coach) and Nelson Ayotte (strength and conditioning coach of the St-Louis Blues). Eric has worked with athletes of all levels, from youth sports to professionals in the NHL. You can follow Eric on Twitter and “like” his Facebook page.