Learning how to better communicate with your clients is just one of the many steps towards becoming a better trainer. There is always more to be done, and always new ways to improve.
So let's explore some of the ways you can ramp up your training to better aid your clients.
As we begin to talk about setting yourself up for success, let's start with some tips from trainers who have "made it" and are doing things right. Don't forget... it took them a while to climb to where they are now.
" Only those who are willing to make the sacrifices are the ones who will make it." - Michael Cazayoux.
Mike Bledsoe and Michael Cazayoux reflect on the sacrifices they both made in an episode of The Strong Coach.When first getting started, Bledsoe was living in his gym in order to make his dream happen. While Cazayoux was just scrapping by by doing unpaid internships because he knew he had to put in the work to get where he wanted to be. They advise new trainers to just keep grinding with their end goal in mind. Because making great things happen doesn't happen over night - sacrifices will have to be made. But that doesn't mean once you have "made it", your desire to continue to progress and put in the work stops.
You need to stay "Humble and Hungry"
You can't stop improving. As Jermey Thiel would say, you need to stay Humble and Hungry. Each day you need to act like you haven't made it yet.
Everyday is your first day. This way you aren't getting ahead of yourself and you are setting yourself up to keep learning with each day. The way you carry yourself will be translated to your coworkers and work atmosphere. If you are the leader, lead by example. Don't let ego get in the way of improving. If you have the mindset of bettering yourself, staying humble and keep grinding. Create the work environment you want others to follow.
Listen more to Jeremey talk more about staying hungry and humble.
Pro Tip: Create a mission statement with your staff.
With a mission statement in place, communication will instantly become easier.
Because you and your staff are more unified, all working towards the same end goal. With many moving parts in a gym, from clients coming in and out to organizing trainers, constructing your values will help keep you aligned.
It may seem daunting to conceptualize a mission statement, but break down your core values as a team. And keep it simple.
This is what the AS Roma staff did. Their mission statement was "to put the athlete at the center of all decision making." Simple. And effective. That mission then spreads across your team and their clients, influencing success from every step along the way. This is a great way to communicate your principles as an organization to prospective clients. They can easily figure out if they align with your values and make a connection with you even before an interaction. You can set yourself a part, especially if you are exclusively online.
Mission statements not only make you look more unified and client oriented, it makes you more trusting because you clearly state your beliefs and goals for all to see.
"The base of the pyramid is forming trust." - Michael Cazayoux
A huge transition Cazayoux made that increased both his relationships and retention was listening more and talking less. In the beginning of his career, he believed he needed to be constantly teaching and talking at his clients.
The more you talk and teach them, the more they will trust you he thought.
However, through his experience he began to realize that creating a strong connection was most important to success.
Constantly talking at someone is leaving little room to really connect or observe where they need you most.
Cazayoux began to leverage a client's energy and focus on what they wanted, rather than trying to steer them towards a goal. Trainers often struggle with wanting to fit all their clients into their methodology and how they want to run stuff. But, that isn't going to work for your clients.
Each client needs to be treated as an individual. You should be the one adapting to their needs.
Thinking of your clients individually should drive your training plan. Regardless of online or in person training, you want them to feel valued and that their unique needs are being met.
Making your client feel valued can be done in a few different ways:
1. Give them your attention
When they are talking, be attentive. Don't work on something else like- like your upcoming schedule or updating your latest Fantasy Draft. They'll always notice when you're not focused on their movement.
2. Use the F.O.R.D. Approach
Everything circles back to making that crucial connection with your client. Cazayoux suggests the Ford Approach to get to a deeper level with each client.
F - Family
O - Occupation
R - Recreation
D - Dreams
These are all fairly personal subjects to be talking with someone about. Especially their dreams. Getting to a place where your client is willing to be vulnerable with you is a place where loyalty is bred. If they feel this comfortable with you, chances are they aren't going anywhere.
You want them to feel valued and a part of your family. You can then better communicate with them because you can hold them accountable for what they say they want, and what they are actually doing.
Let's talk about dreams for a minute.
Dreams are a topic you aim to discuss with your client. But it can be hard to just flat out ask "what are your dreams?".
So, how are other trainers doing it? Micheal Cazayoux suggests asking your client to think of where they see themselves 2 years from now both personally and professionally.
For the same reason you would use the FORD approach - this allows you to gain a deeper understanding of who they are and what they hope to accomplish, both with you and without you. It will give you insight on how they work, what motivates them and what is important in their life. Allowing you to better help them reach those goals.
Key Tip: Ask for permission to give them advice and input. While you may assume most appreciate your advice, some clients might be more hesitant if they interpret your help as criticism. As soon as you ask for permission it changes the way they hear your advice. By granting permission, the advice is on their terms as they willingly accept our guidance.
Topics: Training Tips