As in most businesses, building rapport and trust with your clients/customers is vital. As a personal trainer, this might not have been your first consideration. In truth the majority of PT’s go into the business as they love fitness. The reality is, as a personal trainer you also become a sales person. Your selling yourself consistently. Having confidence in “your” product is vital, as you have to breed client confidence.
Both verbal and non-verbal communication skills are vital to thriving in a very demanding market place. You most likely know trainers who don’t pay attention to this basic and thus struggle.
So what simple skill set should we abide by?
Body Language. Look at how you present yourself. If you come across as closed and defensive. Barriers are almost positive to break down. Be open, happy and positive EVERY time you are meeting your clients. Positivity will spread.
Listening. It sounds simple but many personal trainers fall into the trap having their own ideas on their clients training before they have even asked them! Be attentive, listen to what THEY want and discuss together how to get there. This in itself will help build a partnership and more trust. This includes actively listening when your client discusses anything. Ensue they have your undivided attention.
Empathy. We all have a story and every-one will have external influences that may cause stress and concerns. Relate to your client and understand their limitations, even if it might be just for that session or work-out. Be prepared to adapt if required.
Care. Be concerned about their health and mental well-being. Use your skill set and passion to show them. By using your knowledge to not just achieve their fitness goals, but offer advice in other aspects. It’s a difficult line to balance though.
Discretion: What is said between you and your client is confidential. Again, sounds obvious, but it’s vital this is maintained.
By listening and care, the relationship built will be healthy and strong. Be specific to the individual and listen to your client’s needs. By meeting your client’s needs and building these types of relationships both loyality and reputation will be built.