Why You Must Qualify Your Clients
Do you want to be seen as “just another fitness professional,” or the badass, transformational, life-changer you are?
If you’re reading this, I assume it’s the latter. I don’t like to assume, because, you know the saying…when you assume it makes an a$$ out of you and me, but why else would you read this??
So anyway, if you want to to be awesome, you gotta’ understand one thing. You will be awesome with some people, and you’ll be average with others.
You’re not the best fitness professional for everyone. However, you are the best fitness professional for some.
To build your business around more of those who are a good match for you, you need to qualify your clients. Or, put another way…
…your clients have to qualify to work with you.
While it’s tempting to take on everyone who wants to work with you, doing so limits your long-term success, and leads to boredom and burnout.
I write from experience.
In my first several months, I trained everyone who was willing to work with me. However, I soon realized I had to rethink things a bit. I didn’t enjoy working with everyone I trained at the time.
More than likely, they didn’t all like working with me either.
I decided to set some standards around who I would train, and who I wouldn’t.
I thought about my “ideal” client. What was unique about their personality? What type of commitment did they display? Were they coachable? What type of attitude did they have? How experienced were they with exercise?
Once I could clearly identify my ideal client, I started qualifying potential clients based on the standards with which I described that person.
Wouldn’t you know it? My business grew, and my satisfaction and sense of fulfillment soared.
I want you to avoid boredom and burnout too, which is why I feel it’s a must that you set your own standards, and then carefully qualify each prospective client.
The following is WHY it’s so important to qualify your clients. Once you understand why, I’ve put together a free guide that will help you in HOW to qualify them. It’s the freebie you saw when you landed on this blog post.
There is a fitness professional out there for every client. But every client doesn’t belong with just any fitness professional.
1. When You’re “Hard to Get,” Those Who Want You Work Hard to Get You.
Remember the hard-to-get-girl in high school? She’d go on one or two dates with a guy, and then move onto another? She was hard to get. Because none of the guys could get in a real relationship with her, more of the guys wanted to try.
She might not have even been relationship material, but because nobody could get to that point, it made the guys try even harder.
I’m not suggesting you act like a high school girl. I just tried to make a point. We sometimes want more of what we can’t have.
If people feel you’ll work with anyone, they won’t work hard to work with you. If you make it difficult, they’ll want you more.
In my opinion, your prospective clients need to pass more than the wallet test to work with you. Just because they can afford it, it doesn’t mean you two will be a great match.
That said, if you’re a mediocre fitness professional, and you try to make yourself appear too exclusive, you’ll be found out pretty fast.
But if you really are great at what you do, your prospective clients will feel a greater desire to try to work with you, when they know not everyone qualifies.
2. Saying No to Some Potential Clients Leaves You Open for the Ideal Client
I understand how it feels when you look at your calendar and see open hours in your calendar. You want to fill those hours with paying clients as soon as possible.
I’ve been there. Early on, I signed six, and even some 12-month agreements with clients I knew in my gut were’t a perfect fit.
They were the ideal client for a different trainer, just not for me. But I signed them anyway, knowing that I’d have them in my calendar for two or three hours per week.
I don’t do well with those who don’t commit, and follow their program. I’m not a cheerleader. I often see through others’ excuses. And, as much as I like exercise, I never liked the idea of training someone who wouldn’t follow through with their program outside our training sessions.
Yet, there were times I took someone on who had a halfhearted commitment, and I’d often kick myself later on.
Often, while I worked with a client who wasn’t a great match for me, I’d meet someone who was a perfect fit. But, I’d miss the opportunity because my schedule was full.
If you consistently build your prospect list, you’ll find plenty of new prospective clients who are a perfect fit. Refer everyone else to fitness professionals who are better fits for them!
3. You’ll Start Your Days With Enthusiasm and End Them Fulfillment
Wouldn’t it be awesome to look at your calendar in the morning, and look forward to each client on it that day?
You might love clients who have a lot of emotional “stuff” to work through. Or, perhaps you love clients who come in to just crush their workouts. Others might like clients who workout just to stay active and social as they age.
Like I said, there is a fitness professional for everyone. But everyone isn’t a great fit for every fitness professional.
Whatever floats your boat, when you qualify your clients better, you’ll feel better about your day and the people you invest your time with.
Your motivation and mental energy is limited in supply. When you work with clients who aren’t a good fit, you use up a lot of that energy. You finish your day exhausted instead of exhilarated.
If you’re not excited as you look at your day, the lack of excitement is a red flag. If you count the time left in a session before it’s over, it’s more like a fog horn warning you of danger ahead.
There are plenty of people who would love to work with you, and whom you would also love to work with. Fill your schedule with them and you’ll never feel like you just have to “get through the day.”
Be Exclusive, Not Arrogant
As you consider your ideal client, and set some standards around your business and the clients you’d consider, be careful to not cross the line into arrogance.
You provide your best service to certain people. You also, then, don’t provide your best service to others. Stay humble about that.
It’s not that there is something wrong with them, nor something wrong with you. It’s no different than understanding some men or women aren’t a great match for marriage, even though they’re fun to hang around with as friends.
Your training style isn’t ideal for everyone, nor is your nutrition philosophy, business practices, or humor. But it’s perfect for some. And that’s who you are looking for when you qualify your clients.
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