Think about what happens in your mind when a client stops responding to you.
Things seem to be going really well and then, suddenly, they disappear. “Do they hate me?” “Did I say something?” “Did I offend someone?” “Should I even be a fitness professional?” “I don’t think I’m good at this!”
The reality is often that the client went on vacation and forgot to tell you. Our brain is very good at jumping to worst-case scenarios.
There will be times when a client ghosts you. It happens to everyone.
In today’s episode, Jon and Amber talk about why clients ghost you in the first place and how to bring them back to being active clients.
You can be really proactive and get in front of it during the sales process. But, still, it’s going to happen. And, when it does, you may think, “It’s all over. They finally figured me out. I shouldn’t be doing this.” You don’t know what happened and shouldn’t let that impact you.
One of the ways to avoid this is to make it okay for the client to open up and say things that may not feel good to hear.
How do you make this all work? Let’s talk about something that’s in the Online Trainer Academy textbook. In the Academy, we teach you how to navigate situations that are going to come up that you haven’t thought about. The section we’re talking about is called “When Clients Ghost You.”
Here’s the gist of what’s in that section.
When clients ghost you
There are numerous reasons why a client stops checking in with you. Many of them have nothing to do with you. Don’t tell yourself a story that throws you off your coaching game.
This is where motivational interviewing (something we’ve talked about before) comes into play. Here’s what it may look like.
- Follow-up, 2 days after they’ve ghosted you: “Hey, it looks like you might have missed my message. Do you mind if we circle back to that message? I’d love to hear more about your week [or whatever you’re checking in on].” There’s emotion and support here.
- 2nd non-response message up to 2 days later: “On a scale of 1 to Liam Neeson, how quickly should I send someone to check up on you?” In this situation, you’re making a bit of a joke out of it and taking the focus off of them not responding. You’re going to the extreme. You’re trying to get them to respond.
- 5 days later: “Hey, I noticed you haven’t been responding to my messages. No problem. My job isn’t to tell you what to do. Instead, it’s to help guide you. Can you tell me, on a scale of 1 to 10, how committed you feel toward achieving your goal we set? There’s no right or wrong answer. You don’t need to impress me or make me feel good. I just want to get a handle on how you feel now. Cool?” It’s straightforward and reminds them that they are in charge—which is key.
Quite often, people ghost you because they are afraid to tell you stuff that they think you don’t want to hear. They think there’s going to be confrontation.
Giving them a scaling question gives them the ability to slowly start moving in the right direction. “What’s it going to take to get you to a 6.5 instead of a 6?”
What to do next
If they keep ghosting you, keep checking in with them respectfully. They’ll know you’re there for them if they’re going through something.
And sure: Maybe they do hate you. Most likely, this won’t be the case. But if it is, you’ll want to know that so you can stop spending time on them and have a chance to figure out what you did wrong.
Most of the time, what we tell ourselves is happening with the client is not accurate. They may just be juggling numerous things or focusing on something else. The key is to keep in connection with them so you can bring their focus back to what they should be doing. Reengaging with clients like this enables you to pull them back into your communication when they are ready.