I want to provide a referral gift certificate good for a free session to each of my current clients. A client would give her gift card to someone she thinks will have a genuine interest in my services. For that one complimentary session, what is your best practice with the signed forms to keep yourself covered without burdening your prospect?
I was asking myself that question once and decided not to offer such complimentary sessions.
My reason is that I do not work out with anybody who has not completed a health history (and physician’s approval if applicable) and who has not gone through an assessment with me. By the time I am done with all that, I have already invested a significant amount of time. But I will not train a person without this process and therefore do not offer those comp sessions.
I realize that I did not answer your question but just gave you my perspective on comp sessions.
I have offered complimentary sessions to prospective clients in the past and I always make them sign a waiver and complete a health history q’s before they do their session. I email them the forms and they have to complete them and return them back to me before their session. This way I have an idea of what shape they are in and be aware of any medical issues they might have. Then, when I meet with then I do a quick assessment on them to see where they stand and give them a short training session. It’s just enough time for them to see my style and for me to get to know them better. Usually one session is not enough to get any results, but I use my time with them to explain to them why they will need me and/or answer any questions they might have.
They need to understand that without signing these forms, there will be no training session. These forms (health history q’s and waiver) are there for your protection as much as it is for theirs. Any responsible trainer would require his/her clients to sign these forms and they should not be looked as burdening.
I agree with Karen and Harris that completion of forms is a pre-requisite to any session. Forms are often perceived as a barrier. Emailing forms or providing them online is a great option. If you want to do the bare minimum, you can opt for a Par-Q and waiver then use part of your session to follow up any responses from the PAR-Q and get some health and exercise history. This will give you some face time with your prospects and alert you of any issues. You can also complete the forms WITH your prospects on the day of their complimentary session. Engaging the client is key. Once engaged, they will complete a book of forms if you ask them to. Best of luck with your referral program!
I think it’s very important and professional to have everyone sign a waiver, complete a health history form and to have an interview process before training with them regardless if it’s complementary or not.
I don’t offer complementary workouts, I think that there has to be a value attached to training, and money is a form of value!
Have you ever thought about giving a complimentary consultation to discuss the prospective client’s needs, wants and desires. In that way you will be able to assess their stage of readiness to determine whether they are truly ready for your services.
In this manner the risk is reduced.
Hope this is helpful.