In 25 years of practice I have never experienced this. Finally decided to fire a difficult client (drama, late on compensation, non-payment for late cancellations and verbally abusive)and now she is threatening to ruin my career by writing about me on the internet among other things. Does anyone have any experience with this or advice????
One person is not a big deal. You will never make everyone happy and there are always going to be a few who will complain and blame the trainer for their failure. I don’t want to go to deep into this issue because everyone is different and we all had different experiences with cases like yours. The bottom line is, not to worry to much. If you have been in the industry for 25 years, that alone tells a lot about you and your professionalism. I’m sure for every one who complains, there are many others who have a lot of positive things to say about you and that is where you need to focus your energy.
I have let clients go in the past because of the same reasons you have mentioned. Once I let them go, I really didn’t waste to much energy on them and their thoughts because I had given them everything I could while they were still with me. One person cannot take away from you 25 years of hard work and positive attitude, unless it has happened in more than one instances (track record).
I hope this helps.
If it comes down to it you can or threaten to sue her for slander of your name.
It would cost you a lawyer to right up the letter but I would suggest doing it before she starts writing negative reviews about you. Once people see the negative you more than likely already lost them.
Trent’s link was really interesting.
I don’t know whether you can have the lawyer write a letter before the person writes anything, that is, unless you have documented threats. Did they threaten this in an email, or in person? privately, or in front of people? Did you document her behavior on the road to termination?
This one is also interesting….
Laws vary by jurisdiction, and laws related to the online world are new, and in some cases still being written. Talking to a lawyer now might be worth the time and money just so you have a plan of action and so you aren’t feeling so anxious.
There are companies that will suppress online reviews that are negative. I think I’ve heard one advertised called reputation.com, but I think those services are very expensive. And I don’t think I would go there for a host of reasons.
I think Harris is right, that the weight of your years and all the people you have worked with who like you will more than balance one person who makes a fuss. Particularly if they are inclined to make an unreasonable and overly caustic fuss. You might reach out to other clients and ask if they would be willing to write some new reviews, as a way to help balance this.
Hello Lena Ryman,
Not all business is good business. Sometimes we run in to the client who takes advantage a little too far and too often while we are doing our best to be professional at all times. I believe you do the right thing by letting them go. Word of mouth is also the best advertising; so, I would not worry about what one disrespectful client has to lie about when you have so many years of happy clients to back you. If you see/hear derogatory comments from this individual you will have the opportunity to defend yourself…respectfully and professionally, of course.
This situation is most uncomfortable and hurtful; but, remember to do your stress reducing program to get through.
Best of luck,
Natalie aka NAPS 2 B Fit.
You’ve received good comments so far. I’m most in line with Harris. If you’ve been in business for 25 years, then your ethics and behavior already speak for themselves. One person won’t be able to do too much damage.
Sometimes, I’ve seen businesses reply back to negative reviews in positive, rational, honest terms. This might help diffuse the situation. If she trashes you and you choose to reply, don’t trash back! Something more along the line of, “I’m sorry that you weren’t happy with our training sessions. If you are still interested in personal training, perhaps I can refer you to a trainer who might be a better fit for your personality and goals.”