I have had a handful of clients over the past 3 years that I have worked with. I recently started working with a client who’s initial conversation compared to the gym facilities that I work at to a “third world country” and essentially stating that he can’t see him getting much use out of it. The past weeks there has been a rather nasty cold going through the building and we’ve been keeping up on the cleaning and sanitizing of the facility equipment and such. He has since come down with a cold that has put him out for a week. Next week we are closed due to building renovations, which I have offered an alternative area to workout at, to which he doesn’t like the idea of either. This morning I called to see how he was doing and was told that he called the night before to cancel today’s training as he was still not feeling well. He went on to express how many hoops he had to jump through in order to start working with, things like food logs, health history, interviewing, assessments, etc. Went on to say that we are really disorganized and that he could just find another trainer, because he is not impressed. He blames the staff for him having gotten sick which has impacted the time he has lost towards his goals. He stated he’s worked with many trainers, 12 years ago, and that things seem to have changed since he last worked out.
How do you deal with someone who comes in with a negative attitude and continues to run you and the establishment that you work for into the ground?
he sounds to me like a person who is not happy until he is unhappy. He made a telling statement when he said that he had worked “with many trainers”. From my experience, most clients are very loyal and do not change trainers easily. Those who do often look to find fault with external circumstances to justify why they are not making progress. Your narrative about your interaction with that client confirms that.
I would have a conversation with him where you acknowledge that he is not happy and then offer to assist him with finding a place better suited. This guy is toxic and will only poison the atmosphere.
People don’t change their attitude unless they want to change it. Trying to talk him into being more patient will only make him defensive. Of course there are ways to change this situation I’m sure, but you are not a therapist. If it is serious enough I’d say to drop him and pick up someone who actually wants to better themselves instead of make excuses. With 3 years of coaching you should have a decent enough client pool to do so. But, do what your gut tells you. It’s usually right.
Hello Jeremy Mulcahy-Hill,
Embrace the challenge; refuse to fail. I have some ideas that may help you; don’t let their energy contaminate your good energy. I see this as a challenge, not as a pessimistic client; a learning experience for all involved. The following may help you:
a weak immune system is the reason for becoming ill;
thank you for your input; we will work on your suggestions;
“how may we help you?” is a sincere question; so, thank you for your ideas;
we have different perspectives as we go through time;
maybe you need something different; we encourage you to find other sources which may be a better fit for you.
Natalie aka NAPS 2 B Fit.