Going the extra mile…. Top tips for Personal Training Client Retention
In todays job market, clients have plenty of choice for selecting their personal trainer. Many people possess the same qualifications, and on paper, look of a similar level. As mentioned in previous blogs, having extra qualifications such as kettlebells, or skills in Olympic weightlifting will help you to stand out from the crowd, and make you a more popular choice for clients. However, once you have obtained clients, keeping them challenged, happy with your service and coming back to you for more becomes of the highest importance. Clients are your source of income and are essentially the people who pay your bills, which is enough of a reason to look after the clients you have. Here are some top tips for personal training client retention..
1) PLAN SESSIONS AND KEEP TRAINING LOGS FOR EACH CLIENT
It is very easy as a newly qualified personal trainer to forget to plan sessions and simply turn up with an idea of what exercises you want to do each week. Whilst this approach will most likely elicit some vague improvements in your client, the reality is you will not know what exercises have worked most effectively, what hasn’t and where to progress to next. Planning sessions in advance allows you to progress steadily each session, ensures you know what the focus of each session is, and provides more structured training for your client. Keeping a training log during sessions is a useful tool to demonstrate to clients what they have achieved during the session and again allows you to track their progress. Structuring training in this way means you and your client can reflect back after a period of training and properly assess progress. And this is a great way to improve personal training client retention.
2) VARIETY IS KEY
Most clients you come across in your career as a personal trainer have their own personal goals. Whether that is fat loss, wanting to get stronger or anything else, most people also want to enjoy their training. However much someone thinks they want a certain goal, for example, to lose fat, they will be unlikely to continue with the pursuit of their goal if doing so is the most boring, tedious, stressful hour of their week. Most people want to enjoy their training. Whilst some sessions may be painful and challenging, they should still be enjoyable and rewarding. Using a variety of different training methods is key within your session and to personal training client retention doing this will keep clients engaged and challenged.
3) SHOW AN INTEREST IN YOUR CLIENTS AS PEOPLE
If your sole interest in your client is getting their money, it will become obvious very quickly. It also probably means you are in the wrong business. Trainers that have a great personal training client retention, show a genuine interest in their clients as people and care about their development. They want their clients to improve, rather than just filling an hour with “activity” which may or may not improve them. Clients will see through this approach very quickly also, as they will notice they are not improving and will likely find sessions pretty boring if they are just simply being instructed around. Asking how they feel about certain exercises, asking at the end of sessions what parts they enjoyed, will help you to get to know what makes your client tick, and will keep them coming back to you for more.
4) USE OBJECTIVE ASSESSMENTS
Simply telling your client at the end of a 6 week training block, “you look like you’ve lost fat” is not good enough. Whilst it may be a nice compliment to tell them they look good, as a personal trainer you need to offer more than just your opinion on their look. Many clients may not believe you anyway. Giving objective measures of improvement, such as measurements of body fat or body mass, shows their improvement in black and white and demonstrates to the client that they are getting good value for money, You’re sessions are clearly effective! This is of huge importance when talking about personal training client retention. Equally, having objective measurements of progress allow you as the personal trainer to assess which training methods were the most effective for any particular client or if you need to change your plans of how you are training somebody. Test regularly using whichever tests you choose, around every 4-8 weeks depending on your clients’ goals, and adjust their training programme if need be.
5) GIVE EFFECTIVE FEEDBACK AND COACHING CUES
Many newly qualified personal trainers are keen to show off all their knowledge to all clients. Whilst being keen to impress is no bad thing, it often results in personal trainers using technical language clients do not understand or overloading them with a million and one things to work on in any given exercise. Keep instructions simple during sessions. In terms of technique, at any given point, give your client only one or two things to be thinking about. Keep language in laymans terms – your client will most likely not understand how to “extend their thoracic spine”. They will however, understand “chest up”. Keep things simple and effective within sessions in order to gain maximal improvement from your clients, and personal training client retention will seem easy to you.
These 5 simple tips will ensure you are keeping your clients happy and challenged and in turn, make sure your personal training is a success. To further your knowledge as a personal trainer, check out our latest CPD courses at DoTraining Academy.