I feel like a client is taking advantage of me. She only signed up for a limited number of sessions and doesn’t want to continue because she feels she doesn’t come often enough to gain benefit. Yet, she wants me to give her a list of all of the exercises I’ve done with her and provide a second routine. I want to tell her no in a way that will maintain a relationship with her even though she doesn’t want any more personal training. Any suggested language?
This happens all the time. I train at a Y as well as on my own. When I am at the Y people just don’t have the money to see me on a long term basis. While it is nice(understatement) to make money, this is not the reason that I do this as a job. I try to teach clients how to create their own workout and supply them with a list of exercises broken down to body part category, ie. upper body, lower body, etc. I am also open to any future questions if they need help. It’s just right.
Great answer Dan. I try to always over-deliver, and I keep in touch with past clients, who often come back to train again. Even if they do not I try to encourage them to remain active and to “pass it on”. I try to inspire those who pay AND those who do not.
I do not think giving someone a program to follow who has been a client is a liability at all if the program is geared to this person. I have given away many free programs over the years to “non clients” and feel comfortable doing this.
That said I provide free written workouts to my regular clients (IDEA’s Workout Builder is great for this). Some of them do workout on their own, but sadly not all.
Since I really do not have time to take on new regular clients these days, I have a package of three sessions that I use to squeeze additional clients in. I meet with them for the first session to do goal setting, assessments and a short workout to get to know them. I then write the program and meet with them 2 more sessions to make sure they have the program down. I charge $400 for this and then stay in email or text contact to see how they are doing. Some of them I barely hear from (it is very hard for most people to keep working out on their own), but some come back in a few months for a new program and we reassess and start over. If you really feel taken advantage of you might want to consider something like this.
You have gotten yourself into a situation that is not a big deal, but could be handled differently in the future.
I always make sure to ask my clients what they want out of the time we spend together. I specifically ask if they want to learn to workout on their own or if they want me to be their regular guide at workouts.
The ones that want learn a workout routine/program that they can do on their own get a copy of the workout, but they fill in all the information they need to remember how to do the exercises. It takes longer to cover the material, but they are responsible for learning the workout.
Those that are coming in for sessions under my guidance can still have a copy of the workout, but we don’t spend time on the education aspect. We get in the gym and get the workout done. Rinse and repeat.
If a client tells me after a while that they want to have a copy of the workout with explanations to do on their own, it can go one of two ways. One, they were an excellent client for a fairly long time and I do it for free. Two, they were difficult or missed sessions (etc.). Then they can get a copy of the workout without explanations or they can do a few more sessions and take their own notes. I spend a lot of time designing a program for each client. That time goes into my fees accordingly.
All of my clients know their options. And when they want to change things, I explain their new options. You could still approach this client in this manner if you haven’t made a move on this yet.
I’m going to disagree with all the above advice and suggest that you over-deliver to this lady.
I don’t think her requests are out of line, or that you are being taken advantage of.
Give her her list.
Give her an alternate workout.
Check in with her in two weeks to see how she’s doing.
I will encourage you (and everyone reading this thread) to take a long-term and wide-angle view on serving people. Until you are booked so full and your time is in such demand that you literally don’t have 15 minutes to donate to a client, you should spend some of your non-paid time putting out good material and advice to your clients (both present and past) and your followers.
You will make a pile of money over the course of your career. You will spend a pile of time doing things for people. It evens out in the end. Don’t nickel-and-dime everyone to make some sort of statement that you never do anything unless you get paid for it. In my opinion (and I’ve been very successful in this industry for 22 years now, so I like to think my advice and perspective should warrant at least *some* consideration), being stingy is bad business, bad mojo, and bad attitude.
Hello Jayne Powers,
This is when being professional will pay off; clients will respect you more. Try to explain that your business is not able to afford certain things (your choices) and that you spend many hours of your unpaid time working for them. Now, put yourself in the client’s shoes, would you do that to someone and consider it to be fair?
Natalie aka NAPS 2 B Fit.