How do I find out what motivates my clients the most?

Ah, motivation. Depending on whom you talk to, motivation can be one of the finest tools for achieving success or just a downright intimidating word that prevents anyone from achieving their goals. It’s vital for the fitness professional to remember that every decision we make starts within ourselves and where our mindset currently resides. Motivation is found in what inspires us.

Creating and maintaining motivation for our clients can be challenging, therefore, I have designed this three-step “R” system that will help guide you in helping your client achieve the most success possible while they remain motivated throughout.

What promotions can I offer to drive new clients to me?

Hi Fit Pro,

TrainerLisa here, Happy Holidays and I hope you’re excited to kick off 2016 with the renewal of current clients, and an in-box filled with inquiries of potential new clients clamoring for you and your services!

Now, how can you get those fabulous new, committed clients to contact you, let alone show up looking for your services? Well, wonder no more! I’m going to give you some ideas that I hope will get you excited and fired up to get started NOW and not waste another day trying to re-invent the wheel. But first, have you experienced the Fit Pro Cycle? If you’re not sure…read on:

What questions should I ask that will help uncover any emotional resistance my clients have to their physical success?

This is an interesting question that definitely explores the psychology aspect of our role as a trainer.  Initially, you might think “why would anyone be resistant to achieving their goals?” However, I’ve seen it so often with clients, potential clients, people that aren’t even my clients, etc.… it’s a common issue that is sometimes erroneously perceived as a lack of motivation.  However, emotional resistance is something that goes deeper than motivation.

A client can be motivated to change but, simultaneously, emotionally resistant.  For example, I’d be willing to bet that most trainers reading this have worked with a client who had New Year’s resolutions to get in shape but it somehow fell flat.  The motivation was there… the client took that all important step to approach you. Whether they recently had a health scare/wake-up call, wanted to get rid of the spare tire around their belly or incorporate more healthy habits into their lifestyle, they knew they needed to take steps towards their goals.  They may not have known what the next steps were (which is why they came to youJ) but they knew they had to take them.  HOWEVER, their level of motivation was not as strong as their power of emotional resistance.  In other words, their motivation to change was not enough to elicit change…

What are the top 3 things I should do outside of face-to-face training that will keep my clients happy and raving about my services?

Whether you’re a fitness professional who has just started with a new client or have been training the same client for multiple years, providing top-notch service will always separate you apart from others. Impeccable service is not only crucial to obtaining new business but is the necessary foundation that every fitness professional needs to abide in retaining the clientele that you already have.

So, how do you separate yourself from the rest of a competitive field of fitness professionals? One word — integrity. There’s no faking integrity since your clients are intelligent enough to know if someone doesn’t genuinely care about their well-being or is even being dishonest with them. Integrity is what your client witnesses and feels emotional with you on a personal level. Besides tremendous service in the trainer/client session, you must go even further to truly produce excellent service.

Demand for my time is high. How can I address raising prices for my current clients without losing or upsetting them?

You’re stressed out, feeling uneasy but know you need to make a change. Your livelihood is on the line!

Should you raise your rates or keep them where they currently are? Are you making a big mistake if you raise them? Or is this what you are supposed to do? What’s the best plan of action for yourself and your business?

These worries and questions are normal when you are running your own personal training business. While your business should always focus on providing the best and most effective fitness training, it’s also imperative that you structure your income to reflect your worth (and needs) as well.

Check out these three key points if you are currently facing this situation in managing your own training fee structures:

What can I do when I need a break or vacation? What should I tell my clients to ensure they don’t regress physically or I don’t lose business while I’m away?

While you are living out your passions as a fitness professional, helping your clients become healthier and happier – with it, this lifestyle can still bring numerous demands. Unusual hours, physical work, and varying client personalities can drive any fitness professional to crave a much-needed vacation. That being said, it’s normal to worry about your clients and their needs if you were to take even a short break. The fear of losing a client as a result of taking time off is also not uncommon, since you understand the importance of maintaining their fitness goals consistently. Every fitness professional has had or presently has these same concerns when attempting to go on vacation. Below are some tips to ease these anxieties, so that you can enjoy some rest and relaxation.

How often should I recommend clients to weigh themselves? What caution should I give them when using the scale to determine their progress?

A former client of mine used to put so much faith into her scale to “hold her accountable”.  One problem with that, however, is that she allowed the scale to determine her outlook and mood.

I remember her telling me, after a couple of months of training together (and following my direction to not weigh herself during this time), that she was feeling so good about her progress… her clothes were looser, she had more energy, she was feeling stronger… UNTIL she stepped on the scale and saw that the number hadn’t really budged much from the last time she stepped on it.  Her good mood went out the window and she immediately became discouraged.

For new moms, how can I help them balance their fitness regime and their children? Are there a few exercises they can do while with their kids?

I can only imagine how being a good mother has got to be one of the most difficult jobs for anyone to take on because you place your children’s needs in front of your own. Therefore, defining a “good mother” equates to being selfless to her own desires; however, a new mom needs to make time to take care of herself, too. New moms need to realize that they would only be better at being moms if they were more physically and mentally fit. While these moms may have zero time for themselves – there are plenty of exercises they can do at home, actually with their infant, to benefit their health. Enclosed are three exercises for new moms to perform to help get their workout in without having to leave the comfort of their own home or little ones. 

How can I tell the difference between someone overtraining and needing to rest before they get sick, or someone just working hard?

This can be a very real challenge to have, especially when you first start working with a new client and you haven’t developed that client/trainer relationship yet.  Not knowing how your client ticks could make it difficult to differentiate between an overtrained person and someone who is simply training hard.

Overtraining is defined as excessive frequency, volume, or intensity of training over an extended period of time, resulting in fatigue (which is also due to a lack of proper rest or recovery).  It can cause significant performance decreases in clients of all training levels.  If you have your client on a realistic, properly designed program and you suspect him or her of being overtrained – or, more likely, of ‘overreaching’ – it could potentially be due to their lack of self-care (sleep, nutrition, hydration, etc.) outside of the time spent with you.

In what ways should I advise my clients on their eating habits?

This can be a very tricky subject as there are standard guidelines on what a Certified Personal Trainer can and can’t discuss (or do) with their clients.  These particular guidelines are based upon where you live as well as well you work. In some states you need at least a two (2) year degree, in others you need a Bachelor’s Degree, a certificate or be a Dietitian, and of course in other states (or gyms), you need nothing.

The best ways to advise your clients is to stay in a “Safe Zone” of nutrition.  What this means is that when you’re advising, make sure you’re doing it with your client’s best interest at heart and that the program that you put them on, does not have a counter effect on what they’re currently doing and or eating.

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