DO you remember the very first product you everofferedto your prospects and clients? Think backlong, long ago when you were first starting out...Your first product was time with you, the trainerwho would provide an excellent experience and proven results inrecord time.You packaged yourself in how you dressed and carried yourself.Youenthusiastically introduced the components of your product; yourexpertisein exercise progression, supportive motivational elements andguidance needed to reach their goals. You used your environmenttohelp set the stage for this great product, offered a guaranteewith yourproduct and priced out your product accordingly.

Prospects became clients when they liked the look and thepromise ofthe product they were buying. And if you, the product, deliveredas promised,most of them continued to purchase more time with you, thetrainer.If, on the other hand, many of them did not renew their timewith you,what did you do? Did you go back to the drawing board torecreate yourproduct? Or perhaps you added some 'special features' likediscounts, additionalassessments or maybe a free pedometer or nutrition record log.Take a look back at your original product, and take a look now.

Back then, were you so determined to help people that your careandconcern shone forth ever so brightly in your excellent treadsidemanner?Did you individualize each client so they felt they were yourfavorite clientand they basked in the attention and love they got from you?

Your treadside manner is what sells your product -- you -- timeaftertime. That treadside manner is what your clients tell othersabout; it'sthe reason they love you and stay with you.

In the way that some patients prefer a doctor who is allbusiness and othersprefer a doctor who will hold their hand, so too it goes withpersonal trainers.Do you have an innate sense of what each person wants or needstocarry on, to commit, to succeed? If not, simply ask them; thendeliver it.

If your treadside manner is adaptable to individual desires, ifyou mirrorthem and give them what they need as individuals, you will renewthe majorityof your clients, no matter how diverse.

Does your current treadside manner shine forth withindividualized attentionthat balances your client preferences in the relationship andthebusiness of training?

Don't know? Ask some of your favorite clients if they realizethey areyour favorite client then listen and watch for their response.It just maymake your day!

Greg Justice, MA, CPT, is the founder of AYC Health &Fitness ( and the CorporateBoot CampSystem ( Hehasbeen actively involved in the fitnessindustry for morethan a quarter of a century as a clubmanager, owner,personal trainer and corporate wellnesssupervisor.