Be aware of these key issues that can impact your relationships with your personal training clientele: how to communicate a fee increase, and how friendly to be with clients outside of sessions.
Raising fees. When it comes to talking to clients about fees, a matter-of-fact approach is best. I do not increase fees on a regular basis, and I try to remain sensitive to my clients’ financial situations. I tell clients a month in advance that I will be raising fees, and I have never had a client object. I do raise the price for new clients, and clients who have been with me longer appreci- ate that they pay significantly less than my newer ones do. Some trainers send a letter detailing the price increase. However you choose to do it, present the change in a professional manner, and you will get few arguments from clients who value you.
Becoming too friendly. How do you avoid becoming too friendly with your long-term clients? You are a major part of their life, and they likely will invite you to their parties and life events. Obviously, a romantic relationship with a client is out of the question, but it is up to every trainer to decide how best to maintain a professional relationship with someone who considers you a friend as well as a trainer. I have attended major events such as a client’s wedding, but I usually decline invitations for events involving family members, such as a bat mitzvah. You must find the line for yourself, and it may differ from client to client.
For more information about retaining personal training clients, plus a much wider discussion of the topic, please see "Rentention Secrets for Personal Trainers" in the online IDEA Library or in the February 2015 print issue of IDEA Fitness Journal. If you cannot access the full article and would like to, please contact the IDEA Inspired Service Team at (800) 999-4332, ext. 7.