How do I handle clients that are not respectful to my program?
Hi Fit Pro, TrainerLisa here and Thank you for your question, as this is a question you may have to ask yourself more times than you’d like during your career.
When it comes to clients, in a perfect Certified Personal Trainer’s World, your client would do the following:
1. Never haggle over their training session prices.
2. Show up at least 5 minutes early to get their warm-up in.
3. Adhere to all exercise instructions for form and safety.
4. Follow their nutrition program (if you’re a nutritionist/dietitian) to the letter.
5. Ask you for a weekly or bi-weekly assessment to make sure they are on track.
6. Come in with a positive attitude (no vampire suckers…they’re the ones that take all your energy).
But…this isn’t the perfect world, so when it comes to your client not being respectful of your program, your time (arriving late/leaving early),or your expertise, you have two options:
1. Can We Talk? Take your client aside, making sure you’re in a quiet room without any distractions and have a heart to heart. The questions may include some of the following:
• I’ve noticed that you seem to be distracted during your workout lately. Is everything alright?
• How do you feel your training sessions are going with me, so far?
• What do you think we can do to get you the results you want?
If these questions don’t work, to open up a positive dialog between you and your client, you must take the bull by the horns, and ask them if they’re still interested in training with you.
This can be very hard, as sometimes you may not like their answer. But you do have to ask, both for your sanity and for your integrity as a professional. Bottom line, do you really want to train someone who doesn’t want to train with you or doesn’t like you?
2. Discussions Over! If you decide that it’s just not worth it to train this client, then it’s a good time to find your client another certified personal trainer. This can be done by asking trainers at your gym (if you work at one), going on your certification’s database to find one, or even asking other trainers if they have a trainer that they can refer to you.
After you find (and interview) other personal Trainers, have a talk with your client, letting them know that you don’t feel you’re able to give them the workout they are looking for (trust me…they get it). But also make sure to tell them that you do have several trainers that you would highly recommend, and if possible, that you would like to set them up to meet. By doing this, you will generally still have the client’s trust as well as their best interests at heart.
It’s sometimes hard to accept, but not everyone is going to like you or your training style. The best that you can do is maintain your professionalism, your sense of humor, and keep smiling as you do the best you can as a Personal Trainer.
If you have any additional questions on this or any article that you’ve read, please don’t hesitate to drop us a line.
Cheers to Life and Until Next Time
Lisa Lorraine Taylor (aka TrainerLisa)
Lisa with a B.S. in Holistic Nutrition, and a minor in Nutrition/Optimum Fitness has expanded her business to include being a Beachbody Coach, and a Fitness Consultant in helping others in the Fitness Industry and well as individual Personal Trainers to grow and market their business.
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