I remember a consultation I had with a trainer not too long ago, the gist of which I’m sure any trainer can relate to …
He was asking me how to deal with his problem clients, because he had a bunch of them – clients complaining about price, showing up late to sessions, and canceling at the last minute – it was driving him nuts, and he wanted a way to find “better”, or more affluent clients. Bottom line was he was sick of how these clients were treating him and he wanted a way out.
Well there’s an answer to this dilemma, but before I throw it out there, let me tell you what I told him first:
More often than not, the way people treat us is because of how we perceive ourselves. Often times the treatment we get is because we allow it, don’t put an end to it, or don’t clearly set up our boundaries, and most common of all, don’t set the example first. If you don’t exude self-respect through what you do and say and an infinite number of non-verbal things besides that, then people will treat you likewise.
If you don’t like how people are treating you and notice a pattern, make sure to take a look at yourself first, and think about what you can improve.
That being said, the next place the blame can fall is definitely with your clients. Because truth be told there are some real problem clients out there, and it doesn’t serve us in any way to train them or try to help them.
When training in a health-club, we’re almost forced to train everyone – when we first going solo, we’re sometimes desperate for whoever you can find …
But that’s not Top-Level Training. Rule number one to being a happy and success bound trainer is maintaining an abundance mentality. This means that no matter what, there are more than enough clients out there for you to have to put up with any single client that you don’t want to.
The time that you spend with an emotionally draining client can easily be spent making a deal for new leads, cleaning up the sales message or offer on your website, finding someone to post free classified ads, or running a live promotion. If you cut your dead weight client and apply those three hours a week you were spending with them toward finding new clients, you can easily replace the old client in just one week, two tops.
Marketing is always the best use of your time. And the best leverage of that marketing time is setting up a system where your marketing happens on autopilot. Get your “bird dogs” working for you, have your clients sending you referrals, your website sending you leads, and so on.
Once you have a larger number of clients to chose from, prune your client list down to the clients you like, the ones that pay you most, and that you can depend on to consistently stick to their training regimens. Training the people you want to train cuts down the amount of time you need to spend on marketing your services, gives you a dependable flow of cash coming in, and gives you the ability to do whatever you want whenever you want.
Sure, building your training business is fun, but depending on your priorities, working on yourself or enjoying your life right now may be the most important thing to you, and that’s totally understandable. In that case, go for it.
But so much of that depends on your clients – so my answer is if you do have a problem client, make like Beyonce and say “to the left, to the left”.
Want more posts on bringing up your training “inner game”? Then check these out:
Good post Kaiser,
This happens a lot, especially if you work in a health club. Thats why I’m not that big on using strong sales tatics unless the person is fully committed and ready to listen. In the long run , I dont think it is worth taking the persons money just to make a quota like they want you to do in the big health club chain.
Remember, the burn out comes from dealing with these people on a daily basis and ruins your day for the rest of your clients that you love and kick ass.
Well said Greg,
Now that I have dumped the run-of-the-mill / only valued based on my sales quota..gym and fitness center……..
I have been able to pre-qualify my client base. I never liked just taking a client 3x per week because they just happened to join the gym. I now am able to train clients who demand the highest quality from all aspects of their lives. Yes they may be born with a sign that says ” please insert silver spoon in mouth” but guess what- that’s what we want!!! Man I love that dude Edward Scissor Hands- he was one uncommon leader- he had a dream, he set forth on his journey, and cut his own version of what he wanted in his life. Edward saw the world a bit different. He went out and made a statement. Guess what? EVERYONE LOVED HIS WORK!!! He left his signature everywhere he went. We all have that gift , we see it, feel it, taste it everyday of our life’s. Unfortunately we let the thief of time block our dreams, and they turn to regrets. Go out and make anything you want like Edward mold it- create it- nurture it, polish it- do what ever it takes to be uncommon and the most requested. I know too many trainers with no regrets, you can be part of that elite group. DUMP THE GYM and stay on the forefront of opportunity.
Dave Parise CPT FPTA
Good analogy Dave!
Everyday I work on something thats going to get me closer to dumping the gym (The corporate gym that is) for good!
The first thing is talking to guys like you and Kaiser and reading good material like Top-Level trainer.
Ha! Glad you caught that Dave – sometimes we can take inspiration from movies and music, and that’s what I tried to show in this post. Training does not have to be too complicated – just get the basics right –
When you read these posts…and reply.. there is a certifiable similarity. We meaning the representatives of super-trainer.com have never met, we live in various parts of the country. Most of us have never talked via land line, or cell. I am amazed how we are so in tune with each others thought process. Once everyone understands the importance of going solo- that will be the pinnacle experience!!!
The gauntlet has been thrown- we are ready for battle!!!!!!!!!!!
Yup – I like to think I was the start of this movement, but looks like you’ve been doing it way before me – seriously, if you guys reading this don’t know about Dave Parise, his studio, business, knowledge, and credentials, you should seriously look into him. I think I’ve got him thinking about starting his own blog and turning into an internet scumbag like me – maybe one of these days he’ll actually do it.
Are you saying I’m scared- false evidence appearing real? I am a better scumbag…older and wiser! But playing it safe has risk as well. If you never dare to fail your success will have a low ceiling. Most people underestimate their merit and ability to recover from failure, leading them to pass up valuable opportunities. The ability to fail big and fail often has been a mark of the spectacularly successful throughout history. Super-trainer has many strategies that will help you put risk and reward in perspective so you can overcome the fear of failure.
1. Consider the cost of missed opportunities – The biggest risk that people fail to consider is the benefit they lose by avoiding high risk/high reward opportunities. I am always puzzled why gym trainers, fitness center ‘rent-a-buddies” are so afraid to walk the edge of happiness. Hummm maybe when you don’t know what you’re dealing with, potential consequences seem far worse than they actually are. Take the power out fear by understanding it. We learn exercise, we learn how to eat for good health…we even learn how to make a great martini! Why do we fear a great life?
Sorry I have both- the life and the martini!!!!
Man did you hit the nail on the head with this topic. Being a trainer can be a dream come true or our worst nightmare. The best part is that in most situations we have complete control over our destiny and who we choose to surround ourselves with. One of my favorite quotes is from Tony Robbins who said, “Your standards are equal to the expectations of your peers”. That holds so true to our success and happiness as a trainer, but also to the success and happiness of our clients. If we look to ourselves first and be the best we can be, then we should be surrounded by like minded people. If people can’t keep up and try to be negative and drag us down, then cut them loose if they don’t have the open mind and heart to change. Keep up the great work Kaiser.