I spoke last month at the NSCA Personal Training Conference in Las Vegas to a great group of beginning and veteran trainers. The audience seemed to eat up many of the tactics I've used to build a business around a loyal clientele, so I thought I'd share some of the bullet points from the presentation with PFP readers as well.


  • Start every relationship with a giving hand. Use the Law of Reciprocity. When you give to someone freely and without expectation, they will almost always give back.
  • Create an experience. Training with you should be somewhat adventurous, but not intimidating. Every workout should be different, fun and slightly outside the box. 
  • Remember, it's always, first and foremost, about the results. People need to know that you can deliver results if they follow what you say. And not following what you say shouldn't be an option.
  • Always have the "Puppy Dog Mentality" – the minute your client walks through the door, they should feel like the most important person in the world (like you might wet on the floor because you're so excited to see them!)
  • Train in groups wherever possible. When client sees how committed others are to you, they will be too. Plus this helps them build loyalty and lasting relationships with other clients.
  • Value your long-termers. Reward them often. Give them exclusive access to you. 
  • Pay attention to the environment. Is it a pleasant place to work out? Is it clean? Too hot? Too cold? Is the music choice appropriate? Too loud or too soft?
  • Change things up. If someone has been with you for three years, you should not be the same person, or doing the same workouts, that you were when they started.
  • Always be a professional. You are not a workout buddy. You're not even really a trainer. You should be a fitness professional. A coach. Someone who can elicit the best out of anyone.
  • Ask questions. That shows you care and want to get to know them. But most of all, remember what they've told you.
  • Let them talk. Share bits of your life so they feel like they know you, but let them do most of the talking. Also, be aware if they don't want to chit-chat. Don't fill the air with unnecessary noise, but don't let it be uncomfortably silent either.
  • Be the one person in their life who believes in them, who also has a vested interest in their success, who is their unwavering cheerleader. 
  • Over-deliver. Every time. Always.