The average trainer makes less than $30,000 per year, not because they aren't passionate about their craft but because they often make costly mistakes. Our certifications never mentioned these faux paus but they could be limiting your potential to be the best you can be.

1. Don't listen
Listening is a unique skill that is developed over time and the failure to do so could have dramatic consequences. Not listening to your client’s goals, needs and wants is a main reason clients fall off and stop coming. Focus on your client and communicate often via text, email or the old fashion phone call. Ask for feedback on how you are doing and if they need anything more or even less from you.

2. Stop Marketing
We are in the people business, meaning we need people to stay in business. Even when you are full and training the amount you want, you never stop marketing. In fact the best time to market is when you don't have too. Always have reserves and a constant client funnel, it is a smart business decision.

3. Take Every Client
Getting and retaining clients can be very difficult no matter who you are. So of course it is natural to want to take on every client that shows interests in your services, however you should be picky on whom you train. Not everyone is worth your time and how much you will invest in them. Work with clients that you feel excited about and look forward to coaching and training.

4. Waste Time
Biggest pet peeve is when trainers waste valuable time talking, getting set up for their workout or taking too long with the warm up. Time is valuable and your client knows this, that's one of the reasons they come to see you. They want their time to be about them, not you scurrying to eat in between clients or talking their head off.

5. Think that Credentials Matter
They don't. Credentials do not matter, reputation does. So what you have 20 certifications, this does not impress most clients. Your education does not make you, you make your education.

I am sure there are a thousand other things we could consider mistakes that we all have made. The important thing to remember is that all of these are easily correctable with proper action.

Josh 'JB' Bowen, BS, CSCS*D, NSCA-CPT*D is the former Quality Control Director of Personal Training for Urban Active Fitness and is currently a personal trainer for Fitness Plus II in Lexington, KY and a consultant and National Fitness Director for Compel Fitness.


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