A problem client can turn your life upside down.

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 …


Cut around the edges until your client roster is perfect.

Cut around the edges until your client roster is perfect.

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.


I could have another YOU in a minute ...

“I could have another YOU in a minute …”

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: