How to “Hug” Your Clients
I know what you may be thinking, “Is this guy actually about to tell me how to hug my clients? What does that have to do with training?”
Don’t worry. This article is not actually about literally hugging your clients, but rather about showing them just how much you care about them. It’s hard to have the continued opportunity to train anyone if they never know how much you care. At Parabolic, we try our very best to let each and every client know that we care and that they are special from the minute that they enter our doors.
As a performance or fitness professional, you’re going to meet a lot of people. Your goal should be to build a trusting relationship with each and every one of them. Whether you’re new to the field or a veteran in the game, it’s important to remember that our main priority is and always will be the client.
Here are a couple of simple ways to get that accomplished.
As a client walks through the door they should instantly feel like the most important person in the world. It’s at this moment that you show them just how excited you are to see them.
Use this time say hello and greet the client BY NAME with a smile and a firm handshake or high five. Ask them about their day and what’s going on in their lives. Get them excited about being here and hype them up for a great workout. However, keep the conversation short because they’re here to train, not to socialize.
Action: Say every client’s name at least 3 times during the training session.
2. During the Training Session
It’s very easy to get caught up in the excitement of the training floor. Whether you’re coaching a large group or a semi-private class, every client should be given equal attention and care.
It may not always be in the form of cueing, but be there to encourage even the most self-sufficient people. All it takes is a simple “great job” to make them feel like their hard work is being rewarded with success in the eyes of their coach.
While it’s important to correct, it’s just as important to recognize your client’s accomplishments. There’s a reason why they choose to work with you and it’s not to be ignored. Treat everyone like today is his or her first day with you. This will be further discussed in my next article.
Action: For every correction made give 2 positive forms of feedback to each client.
3. After the Workout.
Now that the training session is complete, it’s time to check in with the client before they leave. This time is crucial for leaving a lasting impression that will keep the client coming back to you time and time again.
Ask them how they’re feeling and how their workout went. Tell them they did a great job, accentuate how much you appreciate their effort, and highlight any accomplishments they may have made during the training session.
This is also an excellent opportunity to give your client a sense of control and a voice in the training process. Ask them for feedback about how YOU can improve as a coach for next time. Take the time to listen to what they have to say and take action to make real change based on the feedback they give you. Simply by listening to what he or she has to say and demonstrating that you care enough to act on their feedback is a powerful way to build trust and forge a lasting relationship.
Before they leave, take the time to understand who your clients are outside the gym. Ask about their plans for the remainder of the week or weekend and take a genuine interest in learning more about them as a person. Finish by telling them just how much you look forward to seeing them again.
Action: Pick out one thing that the client did well that day and give them a compliment about it. Ask for one piece of feedback about how your performance and what you can do to make their experience more enjoyable. Then give them a goal or focus for their next training session.