The Episode: Working With Clients Who Aren’t Like You
For some of us, running a training business means connecting and working with clients who are different from ourselves. If that is the case, we need tools and strategies to do this successfully, to meet our clients where they are, and really serve their needs. In this episode, we break down some simple ways to approach these challenges, avoid the easy mistakes that can occur, and underline the importance of listening! One of the main takeaways here is to remain open and humble, allowing space for experiences and perspectives that are not your own, in order to be of better service.
In This Episode
- The gender imbalances that are so prevalent in the training industry [0:12:09]
- Ways in which a trainer might differ from their clients [0:19:45]
- Learning the language of an audience in order to connect [0:21:00]
- Locating the spaces to connect with your target market [0:28:09]
- Finding content and messaging that resonates [0:31:57]
- The importance of reflection and open-mindedness [0:36:29]
“Let’s get immersed in the language of whoever it is that we are serving. We’ve got to learn to speak the language of the demographic.” — Ren Jones
Patriarchy and the Training World
We all know there are many more men training women than the converse. This is just one of a plethora of results of the legacy of patriarchy in the fitness world, and there are many dynamics that contribute to this issue. There are, however, other forms of disparity, between trainers and clients, for example, diet preferences, age range, and body type. These are all relevant to this conversation, as hurdles to overcome.
How to Learn and Connect
Fundamentally, trainers and their clients must be able to communicate and understand each other. That leaves the onus on the trainer to learn the language of the markets they are trying to serve. A great way to do this is to find books and publications that are popular among a target market and internalize the style of communication and diction used. The other branch of this is to find the places and platforms where your ideal audience spends time. By engaging and absorbing information in these forums, you can really get to grips with your people!
The Right Kind of Attitude
As a trainer, you need to find things that resonate with your clients. The best way to do this is to involve the people from that segment of the market, listen to what they are saying, and don’t assume things before learning. This all relies on your abilities to listen and reflect, so you have to stay open and responsive. Despite the need to share expertise, you want to avoid presenting yourself as an expert on areas that do not relate to your own lived experience.
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