Personal Training Business Blog
First - listen to my gripe, then I'll give you the lesson for Personal Trainers:
No, it's not fitness getting my blood boiling - it's the fact that I'm stuck in Wellington airport waiting for Jet Star to follow through on a promise - ie fly me home so I can watch the ANBL final between the Breakers and Cairns Taipans!
My ticket was for 4:30pm. Enough time to get home, help put my 3 kids to bed, and speed over to my mate's place to watch the hoops with a few of the guys I grew up playing ball with - absolute bliss.
Instead my flight was delayed till 5:20pm, and now 7:20pm. Of course there is no one to blame, no culprit, and even if there was they'd 'just be doing their job'.
I guess JetStar is an experiment in how unreliable and indifferent to your customers you can be for a given ticket price or saving. It’s the ultimate – just good enough model.
Would I pay more (which is what I could have done if I booked AirNZ in the first place) now to fly home - YES. Can I now - NO!
So what's the moral of the story for trainers:
Okay, think of yourself as an airline. AirFitness say.
Now you get a client interested in flying AirFitness because you can get them to their results on time, pleasantly, in a condition that allows them to enjoy their destination.
You sit down with them (the consult), set out the itinerary (the exercise plan), get them excited and book in their first leg of the journey (your first week of training).
Now, what would happen if you were late, or didn't care, or the first leg of the journey wasn't anything like what you'd promoted.
What if you didn't follow through and deliver everything you promised and more.
Well, you'd end up with someone like me - a reasonably angry piece of work. Why? Because you had failed in your agreement to get me from point A to point B on time, pleasantly, in the agreed condition.
Oh, I hear you, I know what you are saying - it's not my fault my clients don't stick to their guns and do what they're supposed to! Rubbish. It’s your number one opportunity – simply don’t let them fail or waiver by giving them more PT, more often.
What has happened is that you haven't given them the right expectations, you haven't tracked their course and made immediate adjustments when they are off the flight path, you haven't attended to the disinterest in their eyes when they train or the indifference to their progress they express through their body language.
You, You, You. Not them. Never them. They pay you, the professional, to get them where they want to go.
And this brings me to the consultation and planning process you use with clients:
If a client wants to go from Wellington to Christchurch and you say you can do that for them and you will get them there then for crying out loud be sure you tell them exactly what will have to happen for that to occur - don't under-sell, under-deliver or under-commit a client. Tell them straight; if you want this, truly want this, then here's what it'll take - period.
Don’t skimp, trim, waiver, squeal, squeak, blush or fidget about it – it is what it is – get it in front of them and close the deal.
See, we (Personal Trainers) are a premium service. A risk management strategy to insure a client's health and fitness happens exactly as they want it to.
We are the insurance policy every sane person wants so that they will, without a doubt, get their goal.
We are not, and should never be, the thing that you tried that didn’t work. That is the death knell – it’s another Jet Star.
And beyond getting them what they want, the way they want it, when they want it - we are nothing. That’s right, not a damn thing. We are dust. It's all or nothing.
Yes you can moderate their views, educate, wriggle and perplex but you only need to do that if you are not genuinely and solely focused and responsible for their progress - and START OUT THAT WAY.
In other words, if you don't care enough to get them the result you will have to change their expectations and no one - I mean not one client I've ever met - would say:
"yip, that's fine, get me as far as the cook straight and if that's the best we do – just drop me in!"
So take a look at an example of the client consultation form and video outlining the consultation process - I hope you take the time to watch it.
Make sure you watch it with the view that under no circumstances should the client leave the room with the wrong expectations of what getting to their dream destination will involve. They will thank you for it, particularly when they get there, pleasantly, on time, and in good nick.
Not like me, at the Wellington airport while the biggest game in Australasian Basketball history is going down. Damn you to hell JetStar - you are the wart on the butt of following through.