Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Missing the Forrest for the Trees

Ever have those clients that ask too many questions...or more specifically...all the wrong questions? They become too analytical--that it goes beyond the conventional need to learn, but more a need to analyze a particular request or task? I have a couple of those clients. They tend to miss out on the big picture because they focus their attention on a particular pixel (that makes up the picture), rather than consuming the entire picture.

Why are they like that? Why do they ask you things about an exercise that they really shouldn't concern themselves with? Here are some thoughts:

1.) They are power-hungry. If your client falls into the upper-tier income bracket, chances are he/she is a CEO or someone who calls the shots. It is likely that they are not comfortable with leaving all the "thinking" up to you, and ask numerous questions to feel empowered.

Solution: Remember, you want to lead the session and don't give up steering wheel. Be convictive when you speak to them; but very patient at the same time. The more you are "open" with your client, the more responsive and coach-able they will become.

2.) They are nervous. I talked about this here. Many newbie clients will be nervous and possibly uncomfortable with a trainer--especially in the early sessions. They will want to drive your attention away from their faults (fat belly, shaking underarm fat, weak arms, etc), by keeping you engaged in conversation.

Solution: Be patient. Have a talk with your client and ensure them that you are there to help them transform and there is is no need on their part to "hide". Everyone is there for a common goal.

3.) They want to compare notes. Many clients have probably worked with other trainers in the past or currently know someone that works with a different trainer. In an effort to 'unify philosophies' and trust you (as their trainer), they ask a multitude of questions to understand your position on things. This is common and usually an investigative measure to assure themselves they made the right decision in hiring you.
Solution: Be patient and reassuring. The information you provide them should be clear and concise. They are still in the process of entrusting you, and they may want to compare your qualifications with their neighbor's trainer. In the end, they want to make sure the made the right decision in spending their money. Show them results and I guarantee they will become putty in your hands.

1 comment:

  1. Another great post! I have one particular client who fits into the #1 category. I think she just wants to feel in control of things. She's my client who always "doesn't feel it" or has an "alternative" idea for exercises she doesn't like. I've learned to meet her halfway. :) I think you just inspired me to blog about the "I don't feel it" thing, lol!


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