There are two types of trainers:  Those who ask for feedback from their clients and those who don’t.

If your goal is to help people, you need feedback and constructive criticism.  If you want to build your training business, you need the same.  You cannot truly give your clients what they want if you don’t ask.

Sometimes, trainers/coaches are afraid to ask these kinds of questions because they may not like the answers their clients give them.  However, these answers are the keys to growth.  Opening up for honest conversations with your clients will bring you valuable insight that can be transformative for your training methods and your overall business.  

Question 1:  What are you looking to get out of our training together?  

This seems like a no-brainer, but I have asked this question hundreds of times and have received answers I would have never imagined.  While it seems simple, people have many different goals and ambitions that you may or may not be aware of.  Rather than serving your clients how YOU think is best, why don’t you eliminate the guesswork and directly ask them what THEY want?  Their answers may surprise you.

The answer to this question should be something measurable; a goal.  Your client may be looking to lose 20 lbs by summer or add 25 lbs to their bench press before their next competition.  Whatever the answer, this is the ‘What’ behind their training and needs to be addressed as a priority.

The ‘Part II’ to this question is, “Why is that important to you?”  

This follow up question establishes the ‘Why’ behind your clients’ goals.  If the ‘What’ is the goal, the ‘Why’ is their motivation.  You may have someone who wants to lose 20 lbs; perhaps you assume the reason is for health, vanity, etc.  When you ask why that is important to them, they tell you it is because they want to be fit enough to play with their children because right now, they are too winded to feel like a loving, playful parent.

WOW.. did you have any idea that was their motivation before you asked?  Now, use this as a reminder when things get difficult for them – when they don’t want to work out, eat right, etc.  This will be an absolute game changer if you can reach the true ‘Why.’

Question 2:  What is your life like outside of ‘The Gym?’

This question provides you with important intel on your clients that you may not otherwise come across.  What is their life like outside of the environment you always see them in (the gym, remote training, etc.).  Do they have kids?  What do they do for work?  Are they active?  Do they eat right?  Is their significant other supportive of them?

Dig deeper to learn more about your clients.  Asking them good questions makes them feel like you are investing in them (and you should be)!

I know of a gym that asks you what your occupation is when you sign up. They keep a rolodex of all the people who are members and a network that supports itself.  Example: If I need a plumber, I can see that Bob is a licensed plumber and works out in the 6:30pm class.  I would rather support Bob than a total stranger.  What a brilliant idea!

Taking the time to learn more about your clients is not only valuable for you, but it is a feel-good exercise that can provide a stronger network and community among your clients. 

Question 3:  What can I do to make your experience exceptional?  

This can be a tricky question.  Clients will respond with all different types of ideas/services that you could offer.  While you won’t be able to cater to every request, there will be some nuggets of gold in these conversations.

Perhaps you have 10 clients who would really like to have a weekly nutrition consultation, but you don’t currently offer this kind of service.  They are willing to pay an extra $100/month for such a service, which would add $12,000 to your annual revenue.  ASK and then LISTEN.  

Perhaps there is something that you are not doing that could really help your clients.  Be open to constructive criticism.  Don’t ask and anticipate that you’re doing everything perfectly already – I can guarantee that there is something you can improve upon.  Don’t sit and wonder how to make your training experience better.  Ask your loyal patrons and they will answer!

Closing Thoughts

Asking these questions isn’t difficult.  Listening, managing the data you receive, and providing solutions is the best thing you can do to improve your business.  There is a reason why your clients are training with you.  Find out what that reason is and how to serve them best.  Chances are, you will learn more about them, yourself, and what your business needs to go to the next level.

Are there other questions that you find valuable?  Let us know in a comment below!

Until next time, stay moving!

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