Updated: Apr 8, 2021
Hiring a personal trainer is a big deal. Costs for training packages can reach well into the thousands, and the time and energy that clients invest in their workouts are arguably worth even more than that.
When a client chooses not to re-sign with their trainer after the initial package, they may claim that it is just too expensive or they don't have the time. However, you shouldn't always believe them- the reason might just be YOU.
Below is a list of what I think are the most common mistakes new trainers make that lead to client drop-out. It is by no means a complete list, so feel free to comment and add your input!
Reason #1: You are too comfortable with your client
The gym is a casual and fun place to work, but remember you are providing a service that your client is paying for; and your client is expecting to get their money’s worth.
Showing up late for sessions, not focusing on the workout, or using time to vent about your own problems is unprofessional and rubs your client the wrong way, even if they say they don't mind it.
Reason #2: They feel like you don't pay attention to them
Every session should be 100% about your client. Your attention should be on their program, quality of movement, and coaching. It also includes never answering your phone or texting during a session.
Let your clients know right off the bat that you do not take calls during sessions. This will not only explain why you don’t always pick up when they call, but also show that you care about the quality of your training sessions.
Reason #3: You don't care about them; or at least they don't think you care
If you are not remembering things like the names of your client’s kids, where they work, and their birthday, then you are missing out on big opportunities to show that you really care about them. Getting distracted or answering phone calls/texts during a session all send a signal that you'd rather being doing something else at that moment.
Reason #4: Your sessions aren't motivational
Personal training is more than just paying someone better looking than you to pick exercises and count your reps. A training session is a multi-dimensional experience.
Good trainers find the root causes of why a client hires them. They help their client envision what his or her life will be like after accomplishing their goals. They use these images as reminders during sessions of why they are sweating so much and why they need to stay focused. And when these visions finally do come true for your client, you have a client for life!
Reason #5: You are not helping them enough with nutrition
Your client is expecting help with their eating, and their nutrition is just as important as their training session. A bad diet can sabotage even the best workout program.
Don’t just tell them what to eat, help them learn to make healthy choices for themselves. Meal plans usually don't work in the long-term; and besides, certified trainers are not qualified to provide personalized meal plans anyway.
The Bottom Line: Are You Worth It?
Ask yourself this honest question, "Would I pay what I charge to train with me?"
If you are not sure, then it's time to up your game. The good news is that there are many resources out there to help improve the quality of your service. But they are not going to find you. It is up to you to make the effort to become a better trainer, motivator, and coach.