I have a few clients who don’t show up enough to get the results they desire, also one that used to come consistently but stopped showing up completely, giving me a new excuse before each session three times a week. How do you handle this population that doesn’t truly understand the value in consistent exercise?
Hello Kai Rossbach,
Those people may need reminders of why they hired you in the first place. Then bring up the facts of how their workouts will reap the health benefits they desire. Have you spoken to them about how to deal with setbacks such as these?
Everyone has their own roadblock that needs to be looked at and dealt with.
That is what I do. When they reach a small goal, I reward them and the excitement keeps them coming back for more.
NAPS 2 B Fit
I think you will find that each client is in their own stage of change, and each is motivated in different ways. Some clients make the decision to seek a trainer, but then do not follow up on actually attending the sessions. Those clients may not be ready to actually make the change, but you can try to identify what barriers they may have to attending the sessions–and work toward changing their behavior.
Try to talk to your clients and really listen to any concerns they have. See if it’s time management, fear of not doing a good job, not liking the workout, etc… You want to help, encourage, and motivate them instead of strong-arming them into coming. Let them know what a great job they are doing and give them examples of even small accomplishments.
For new clients, try to make just the fact that they showed up for the session a big deal.
Personally, I have clients who see me three times a week because they simply won’t work out on their own. I have others that I train in their homes, and we meet one time a week. They are given homework and they do it because they are self-motivated in that area. Everyone is different!
Also, keep in mind that while setbacks and situations in life happen, each client is responsible for their own success. You can only do so much, and the client ultimately has to be responsible for their own success.
Good luck and keep encouraging them! It’s challenging but so rewarding!
This is one of the main reasons I charge my clients in advance for their workouts!
Money and a time limit are motivators.
As for your specific issue I would be more aware and careful when you are screening people.
I would also ask them for input constantly and follow up when necessary.
If people aren’t getting what they want, generally they stop coming.
some conversations are not easy to initiate but you may need to bite that bullet. I don’t think that it is lack of understanding the value of consistent exercise. They hired a trainer because they do.
But there are instances when there is not a good match between a trainer and a client. It can also happen that a client is uncomfortable with something in a session and henceforth is making excuses rather than seeking resolution in an open conversation.
That does not mean that there is ‘fault’. Most mis-communications arise when there is a dis-connect between what has been said and what has been heard. I had situations when a client would tell me that used to have a trainer before but stopped using him because of something that was said or done. In just about any case, when asked whether they had spoken with the trainer, the answer was ‘no’. Most people want to avoid saying something critical for fear of hurting somebody’s feeling and rather make excuses.
As I said, this is not an easy conversation to initiate but I would give it a try.
That can be a difficult situation. At some point in our careers we’ve all had situations like that arise. Its easy to put the blame on the client. They’re canceling their sessions. They’re not following the homework. They have no motivation.
I agree with Karin, that it takes increased communication and Karin offers a great and effective way to have that difficult conversation. Another way to bridge the gap, is with an email. You can accept some blame, even if you don’t think you’ve done anything wrong. A simple apology goes a long way. As in: “Dear….., Over the last month, you have missed, canceled, arrived late to …. sessions. I’m sorry if I have done something to offend you or there is something that you have an issue with. Please allow me the opportunity to correct it. At our next session, we can take some time to discuss any issues you think we may be having to help you reach your goals. Then we can see how we can resolve these issues, differences or I can apologie for anything that I may have done that wronged you.”
That’s just an example, but I have found it useful in opening up the lines of communication with a client without seeming confrontation. Most clients are more than willing to tell you the concerns or issues they’re having, giving you an opportunity to find resolutions.