I’ve had my fair share of gym memberships. In various gyms I’ve seen great trainers, and I’ve seen some down right horrible trainers just based on how the client responds to the trainer. I don’t hide the fact that I’m a personal trainer, but I don’t flaunt it either. In the course of conversations with other gym members, I’ve found that many trainers often leave clients with more questions than they give answers, and when I’m asked as a personal trainer to clarify something that their trainer has told them, I do my best to give an honest after getting more information. Without sounding pompous, the case has been that more often than not I was able to more effectively answer a question for another trainer’s client than was the trainer.
Some trainers would consider me giving these answers as “undercutting” them or trying to take their business, but I make it a point not to solicit other trainers’ clients as a professional courtesy. What is the most professional way to deal with situations like this, and do you think that it is wrong to simply clarify something for another trainer’s client if that client wasn’t satisfied with the answer that the trainer gave him/her? Also, do you think that as professionals we should just stand idly by and watch other trainers’ clients have less than fulfilling fitness experiences? Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions? Concerns? I’m open!
Good question. I will only get involved if I see another trainer teaching a client an exercise the wrong way, because I feel that a big part of our job is to make sure no one gets hurt. Beyond that, if a client is unsatisfied with their trainer (for any reason) they are welcome to look elsewhere for a new trainer. If they ask for my help then I will give it to them, but in most cases only the client and their trainer have all the facts of what has been said between them. I don’t like to make assumptions.
I believe if you are asked a question and it is within your professional scope of knowledge, there is no reason to not answer it with complete honesty. As other have mentioned, it is important to obtain as much information regarding the nature of the question as possible. It could be that the other trainer offered sound advice, however it was simply misunderstood by the client.
If you are truly concerned about undercutting another trainer and taking his/her business, the simply way to avoid that is to not take on that particular client. That way you can answer any questions she/he may have, but you are unavailable to take them on as a client.