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  • Writer's pictureSam Williams

How to build Personal Trainer-Client Relationship?

Life is all about creating great relationships. And so is personal training. Fitness expeditions are filled with many ups and downs. As a personal trainer, part of your job is to be there to help your clients through both. Doing that is much easier when you have a solid personal trainer-client relationship.

In this article, we’ll explain why building rapport with your training clients is essential. We’ll also give you our best tips for building lasting relationships with clients.

The Importance of Building Great Personal Trainer & Client Relationships

The consequences of having a poor relationship with a client are pretty obvious. At the very least, that client will probably start thinking about looking elsewhere for training. Even worse, they may share their negative experience with you on social media and review sites, costing you clients you don’t yet have.

But putting time and effort into building positive personal trainer-client relationships isn’t just about avoiding negative consequences.

In many ways, your training business hinges on the quality of those relationships. Why? Because good personal trainer-client relationships facilitate everything, you need for your business to succeed long-term.

Increase Client Retention

Their connection with you is what keeps most of your clients coming back.

As you build rapport with your clients, they develop trust in you. They believe you are the best person to help them reach their goals.

Attract New Clients

In the U.K., there are about 57,000 fitness instructors. In the U.S., there are about 340,000. And many of those trainers will share virtually the same certifications and qualifications. That gives your clients many options to choose from.

So, when clients choose personal training services, they’re choosing based on the trainer, not the training. They want someone they feel connected with and who cares about them as a person with goals, not just a potential paycheck.

Improve Client Results

A good rapport and relationship with clients make them much more likely to listen to you. And isn’t getting clients to follow your program half the battle?

When your clients trust you, they’ll trust your advice. It’ll also be easier for you to motivate them when you know them more personally.

Get More Referrals

When clients like you as a trainer and a person, they’re more likely to rave about you to their friends and family. The result? More referrals are coming your way.

Considering that referred customers have a 37% higher retention rate and 25% higher lifetime value than other customers, earning referrals can significantly impact your P.T. business.

How to Build Rapport with Clients in Personal Training

Building a relationship with your training clients is crucial to your success. But don’t let that psych you out.

Just be yourself and approach your clients like a friend but with added professionalism.

Here are a few more tips for establishing a positive personal trainer-client relationship:

Start with a smile.

It may sound simple, but greeting your clients with a smile can have a more significant impact than you think.

68% of Americans said in a survey that people who smile are more trustworthy, confident, and approachable—three qualities you want to convey to your clients. 76% of survey respondents also said that a smile is the number one physical trait to make a first impression.

So, starting every session with a smile can set the right tone, create a positive atmosphere, and make your client feel more comfortable. Plus, smiling is contagious, so your client will be smiling soon too.

Ask deeper questions.

Asking questions is a great way to show someone you’re interested in them.

When it comes to your clients, you don’t want to get too deep and ask about their parents’ divorce. But you do want to go beyond what you ask on your client questionnaire to dig a little deeper.

For instance, don’t just ask a client about their fitness goals but why they’ve chosen them. It’s okay to get a little personal and ask about work, hobbies, and their day. This can help you find common interests, discover their motivators, and let them know you care about them as a person.

Make training fun.

Personal training is serious work, but that doesn’t mean it can’t also be fun. Bringing a good (and professional) sense of humor to every session will make a big difference in your client’s experience (and yours)!

There are many benefits to laughter that can make your P.T. sessions more enjoyable. Laughter releases endorphins, gets more oxygen into your body and helps people feel at ease. How perfect is that for lightening up an intense training session?

More importantly, laughter is a primitive bonding that brings people together. Having fun and laughing together makes your clients feel closer to you.

Be a human, not just a trainer.

Again, you don’t want to get so personal with clients that it becomes unprofessional. However, showing some vulnerability can help you build a strong rapport.

Sharing parts of your fitness journey and day-to-day struggles will make it easier for clients to relate to you. They may assume you track every calorie and workout twice a day. When you let them know that you sometimes indulge in your chocolate addiction and skip a workout to binge-watch Netflix, you let them know that you’re human, just like them.

It’s important to acknowledge with your clients that fitness journeys are challenging. Plus, when you share your struggles with them, they’ll feel more comfortable sharing with you.

Keep the conversation going in between sessions.

Think of keeping in touch with your clients in between sessions as going the extra mile to build a relationship. Checking in on them even when you’re “off-the-clock” shows you’re invested in their progress.

You don’t have to text them an essay, just a quick reminder about a session, progress check-in, or even a motivational quote. Ask them what form of communication they prefer (text, call, email), and do your check-ins that way.

One thing to keep in mind is that you still want to respect your clients’ space, time, and privacy. After all, boundaries are part of any healthy relationship. You only need to send one or two messages between sessions. And be sure to send them at a reasonable hour—no one wants to get a text from their trainer at 2 am.

Tools that Help Personal Trainers with Client Relationship Management

Building and maintaining personal trainer-client relationships can seem like a lot of work, especially when your client list is long. Fortunately, tools are available that make building rapport much faster and easier for trainers.

Good personal trainer management software is the best tool to help personal trainers build and maintain client relationships. Good software will help you organize all your clients’ information, contact them quickly, and keep up with their progress from anywhere.

Different personal training software will have other features to help you manage the client relationship. For example, here are some of the ones that My P.T. Hub offers:

  • Chat. Our in-app chat tool provides a professional but convenient way to keep in touch with clients. You can send instant, direct messages back and forth, including images and videos.

  • Mobile App. You and your clients can download the My P.T. Hub app to stay connected. Use it to message clients, send them workouts, check in on their progress, and more. You can even brand our app interface with your business logo and theme.

  • Habit Tracker. An excellent way to connect with your clients is to focus on their fitness goals and habits that affect their overall wellness. Our Habit Tracker lets clients track wellness habits, like drinking water or daily step counts. You can see their progress and celebrate their achievements with them.

  • Workouts. The My P.T. Hub workout builder is all about customization. Show your clients that you know them and listen to them by creating custom workouts with their goals in mind.

  • Forms. The more you know about your clients, the better relationships you can build. Use our forms feature to create custom onboarding and feedback forms that help you learn what makes your clients tick and connect with them on a deeper level.

Start Building Personal Trainer-Client Relationships that Last

With all these tips for building rapport, you’ll have no problem connecting with your training clients. And when you can connect with your clients, you can put your training business on the path to success.

If you want to make that path quicker and easier to travel, check out all the client management tools we offer here at My P.T. Hub. Or, better yet, try them out for yourself with a free 30-day trial starting today!

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