Finding Success In Fitness [Part 3]
In Part One of this series, we talked about becoming the resource. (Go read it here if you haven’t already.)
In Part Two we talked about what it means to be an entrepreneur and have that mindset. (Click here to read this one if you haven’t yet.)
The third key is putting clients first, and using this in everything you do within your business. This simple concept can Be a simple framework and filter for making out on a day-to-day decisions but also bigger picture changes to your systems and processes.
Don't get this mistaken with the idea that the client or the customer is always right, as this is definitely not the case, but if you are consistently making decisions with their best interests in mind then you’ll find yourself with clients lining up to do business with you.
Want to watch a short video on the topic instead? Click here.
Client vs. Trainer Focus
Really being a client-centered trainer is about much more than just being empathetic and understanding. it's about being able to drop your own ego and get past what you want for the client, and truly taking the time to sit back and better understand why they are coming to you.
Most people get into personal training because they are interested in the body and how it adapts and trains. Many clients will also come to you initially because of physical changes they are in pursuit of, but over time you will find that for many people those physical changes are not why they stay. The best coaches take this into account and understand that there needs to be a blend between the physiological and psychological aspects of Training and programming.
Are you working with client-centered or trainer-centered training?
Client Centric training takes into account the individual characteristics of the people that you're working with in order to not only craft your day today coaching approach in a way that speaks to them and motivated them to work hard, but also structure programs in a way that they will be committed to coming back consistently. Blend this together with an intelligent approach towards exercise science and you will be the busiest Fitness Pro in the gym.
This can be quite challenging as many great Fitness professionals have a wealth of knowledge to share and may feel like they know what's best for the person they're working with. there is definitely some truth to this for many clients but the extreme version of this trainer centered training would be somewhat of a my way or the highway approach.
This can lead to solid results but may not be as effective in building client autonomy and longevity within their commitment to their routine.
Clients that not only get amazing results but feel they are heard and able to grow along with you are the ones that will bring you more clients from their network and community. Not to mention a client centric approach makes a Trainer far more versatile in working with an array of goals and personality styles.
Going The Extra Mile
To keep your clients the priority, you need to be going above and beyond just the exercises and training session… all the time. If you’re only communicating with them in training sessions then you are failing in this department.
This is the small stuff like texting them daily and checking in. It’s also the larger things as well, like engaging with them in their lives outside of their training sessions. (Run that 5k with them!)
Adding in customer service touches lets them know you really care about them and are thinking about them outside just the hour you train together and the money they are giving you.
When it comes to client longevity and retention this might be more important for some clients than the training sessions themselves. It seems counterintuitive but there is a host of information and research out there showing that humans make emotionally driven decisions and this above and beyond approach is a sure fire way to secure your relationship.
When you build these relationships and continue to put the effort into them, your clients will know that they are more than just a customer but a part of your tribe
Fall In Love With People
Putting your clients first comes down to genuinely having an interest in the human condition. You can’t fake this so if you’re not really a people person then go ahead and get out now!
The best way to go about this is to approach every person you meet with a desire to find something not just in common with them, but something you like about them and can find connection with.
This puts you in a perspective of understanding and attunement that will only add to your ability to understand why they do what they do and how you can best motivate them into action.
Put effort into this and you’ll find yourself building rapport faster with people on a daily basis, regardless of whether they are potential clients or not.
Being in love with people makes it so much easier to put in the work and continue down what can be at times a tiring path to find success in the fitness industry.