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?
Everyone here has some great points and there is not much to add. I agree that there must be a two way communication between the trainer and the client. If the client continues to make excuses, it’s obvious something is not right. Either they are not happy with the trainer or they don’t get what they paid for. If the client has lost interest in the training and for whatever reason it cannot be reversed, then it’s better to burn the rest of the sessions and move to the next one. Not all clients will connect with you and it’s ok.
You can sit down and try to find out what the problem is, but in your case it seems like it will be difficult to get the client come back and continue the training. I would still approach the client and find out the reason for canceling the sessions and if I can’t fix it, I would take their criticism and use it as a lesson learned for the next one.
Don’t take it personally, it’s just the way things are in this business :-).
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.
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.
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.