Top 3 Tips to Keep Clients Engaged
In the world of personal training, long-time clients are the absolute best.
You get to have a huge impact on their life, their health, and their longevity. You get to know them on a deep level and build a true relationship; you become a staple in their life and they probably become one in yours.
The longer you work with someone, the more comfortable you’ll become with each other and sometimes with that it’s easy to get stale with their workouts. We all need to be kept accountable and not get too comfortable.
The last thing you want is to lose someone you’ve spent so much time and have made so much progress with.
Check out these 3 tips to keep your clients engaged over the long haul and keep everyone moving in the direction that you set out to:
 TRACK RESULTS......AND NOT JUST WEIGHT
Odds are when this person first came to you, you took some numerical measurements – weight, body fat, waist circumference; maybe even more.
Having these numbers is great, but are you regularly going back to them and redoing the measurements to compare? If not then why do them in the first place?
Knowing there is a “check-in” every so often – maybe every two months or every quarter – will keep your client’s fitness as a priority.
These progress checks don’t only have to be measurements, they can (and should!) be performance based as well.
One thing that makes Crossfit so successful… the repetitive and competitive workouts that allow athletes to constantly strive for better. They can compare their times and performance to previous workouts they have done before.
Just because you’re not coaching in a Crossfit box and not training a cross fit athlete doesn’t mean you can’t put this to practice.
Depending on their goal, you can have certain performance benchmarks to track their progress.
This could be anything: max number of pull ups, 1RM back squat, a mile on the treadmill, or a competitive circuit you’ve created just for them.
Just like their measurements, go back and retest these as progress checks. You'd be surprised the output you can get from some people when you shift the focus to an area they may see more progress in.
Having other areas rather than just weight and body fat to see results in (as those can be slow moving) will keep you and your clients focused on the performance of each workout.....which should also lead to the desired body change as well.
 CHECK-IN WITH THEIR GOALS
Just like tracking progress every so often, goals need to be discussed frequently as well.
If your workouts get so focused on just intensity or even just spending time with and having good conversation with your client (it happens), you may miss out on the fact that their goals have changed.
Your client may not even know their focus or goals have changed if you don’t bring it up. It takes time to sit down and take stock of where you're at....not something many clients will do on their own.
There are good times of year to bring up goal setting like New Year’s, but it’s something that can be brought up more often than that.
If you get in the habit of regularly checking their results and progress, the change of goals conversation will happen more often as well. Ask for feedback more often and see how they feel about the workouts that they have been doing.
It wouldn’t be a surprise if their goal when they started with you is completely different from what it will be 3 months, 6 months and one year down the road. That's ok, they're human.
 PUT THEM IN THE DRIVERS SEAT
Yes, you’re the expert and you’re the one coming up with the workout, but that doesn’t mean your client can’t have a say in it.
Don’t you look forward to your workout more when you know what you’re getting in to?
Having a clear focus before you even step into the gym can help set the tone for a killer workout.
Your clients will feel this too, so ask them what they want to do.
There’s nothing wrong with sending them a text the night before their workout and ask them if there’s anything specific they want to work on. Not to mention there is significant research on sticking to a routine when you're involved in creating it.
You still get to write the plan, but they have a say in it and learn to develop more ownership over their health and fitness.
You may be surprised to find they would really enjoy working out in ways you might not normally and that they'd even workout harder if you did. You won't know though until you give it a try and ask.
Take home message: Don’t get stale with your long time clients because they deserve better from a coach like you. Keep them excited about their workouts and their progress so you can continue to have a positive impact on their lives. You might just find it helps to keep you from getting stale as well.