Client Questions? And Earning Trust.
When I first meet potential clients I try to learn as much as I can about the individual, and his/ her goals. More often than not it’s a goal the the clients themself don’t truly understand, as far as the goal’s true meaning, or even why their goal is what it is. At this point, I just do my best to actively listen, ask questions an collect as much information as I can. After all, trust has to be earned. So the , “I know you say you want that, but you really need this”, approach is likely to scare off a lot of people.
So how do I earn that trust? Give them exactly what they said they want in the form of a workout in the safest way possible. A client of mine said the goal was to get leaner, tone up, & lose stomach fat, and go on a strict diet. But that client only wanted to work upper body once a week with me. He also wanted to spend another 2 workouts doing strictly cardio by himself. Now I could have overloaded the individual with information to show “how smart” I am, and that maybe theres a better way to get to that goal. But instead I just accommodated the client’s request. We went through a few upper body workouts. Results slowly began to show. After 2 months, and more rapport has been built upon, that’s when I began offering more information to that client to better fitted to his goals than what he requested from the when we first met. Now there’s a level of trust. Now we’re modifying that client’s workouts in a way to get to that goal the fastest way possible.
And that client recently asked a question after the most recent session, “ Carlos I’ve been getting really really hungry after all these workouts, but i dont want to eat because I’m afraid that I’ll lose my gains”.
My response, anyone who’s truly had a badass workout (like my client) deserves a great meal afterward. In fact I encourage it a nice hearty meal if you feel you feel like you need it ( ask my clients, I don’t annihilate anyone, but I’m definitely not giving a BS workout), then lets get back in the gym and lets rock n’ roll again. But that’s not information I would offer at the initial meet-up because the trust hasn’t been earned. And it would go against the client’s perspective of what he or she thinks they need.
So why does this matter to the masses? Welp, I’ve written a few articles about nutrition with the main messages being:
- We must maintain a healthy relationship with food
- There’s no “ good” or bad” food ( unless a registered dietician says it is particulary bad for you)
- Generally speaking we are so easy to underestimate the amount of calories we consume and overestimate the calories burned during our workouts
That 3rd point is the real kicker ( I know, Carlos where are you going with all this?) I’m out here telling people to chow down after they workout with me!! BUT, I have clients that expressed how much better they like they way they look. And thats right after they stepped onto the scale and saw that their weight was slightly higher, but so was muscle mass while body fast percentage was down. And they look lean .
Now lets relate this back to where we started in this article when I said I listened to what the client said they wanted, didn’t overload information, earned trust, and offered information once that trust was earned. As personal trainer, the most important part of our job starts from the beginning, LISTEN.