I used to struggle with getting new clients to be totally honest and forthcoming in the first meeting. I came to realize that it can take many sessions to gather all the pertinent information. While there are some very important things to know about a client, only a few are really necessary to get started. And often clients won’t open up about things, things that they really want or think they want or need or even fear or even like and dislike, for a while. For many clients a big part of moving forward in their health and fitness is becoming comfortable accepting help and guidance. Many clients just need time to become ready to trust their fitness instructor. I still attempt to learn as much as I can in ever meeting and session, but I have learned to also be patient and let the client become ready to let me help them.
I also agree with Karin that the first meeting with a client sets the foundation. I usually tell my clients during the first meeting that it is usually the hardest session—not because of the workout, but because they are getting to know me and I am getting to know them. That initial session is more important for making a connection than it is for the workout itself.
One of my biggest concerns in that initial meeting is making the client feel comfortable with both me as their trainer and themselves. I let them know that training is really a process, and that each and every session will bring them closer to their goals. I know that making a strong connection with a client will boost their confidence and motivate them, and I let them know that there will be ups and downs, but it’s the journey that counts.
Hope this helps.
Hello Jenna Hussey,
Thank you for your question.
My very first client meeting had me feeling nervous; but, that left with experience. Now, I do not have any difficulties; I am excited to meet someone new and figure out the reason for their lack of results.
I consider the hard part to be on the client end: contacting me for help in the first place. On my end, the hard part is already done when they contact me for an appointment.
The disappointing issue for me is when the client cancels the first meeting or second session; because, I know I am able to help them.
Therefore, the challenge is getting people to schedule sessions with me and understand that I offer a service of health advice which is worth more than the small fee I charge. I wish all the elated clients would write reviews stating the wonderful comments and results they tell me, to help spread the word to the general public and ease any misconceptions.
Initial interactions are personal as Karin mentions, which are all learning experiences.
Natalie aka NAPS 2 B Fit.
not so much a struggle as a heightened awareness that this first encounter really lays the foundation for a relationship that can be rather long, and where, in the first meeting, I ask very personal questions of a person who hardly knows me. I am very aware how much on edge a new client might be. After all, I had announced in the telephone conversation that the first meeting is an assessment; that may sound a lot like a test to some people, and they may be worried to fail. It is important to make the client comfortable. I make a point to re-frame any negative self-talk into a positive statement.
Even though a client comes to me because of perceived deficiencies in the way the body functions does not mean, he or she is a person less worthy. Some people even rate asking for help as a sign of weakness. While I assess a persons functional abilities (or lack thereof), I need to have him or her leaving my studio feeling good about the process that has been started and looking forward to the next step.