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!
I am in the very happy circumstance of having my own studio with only my husband and myself as trainers. I also work out there myself because I just do not enjoy ‘normal’ gyms. Thus I have removed myself from situations like the ones you are describing.
But I was at gyms long enough to remember well how often I was biting my tongue and forced myself to look into a different direction. I made it a principle not to initiate a conversation.
What I may have tried was to start a conversation with the other trainer and, as best as I could, lead the conversation towards a subject that I may have overheard.
When people asked me directly, I’d answer as well as I could. When asked to comment on somebody else’s answer, I always stated that I may not know the whole story but would give my personal opinion. This I would not consider undercutting. I never solicited somebody else’s business.