"Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction." -- John F. Kennedy

I did an article a few years ago titled "The Four Ps that Make a Great Personal Trainer." They included Passion, Perseverance, Patience and Persuasion. I should have added a fifth P: Purpose.

You must know what your goal is before you can reach it. As a personal trainer, your purpose is manifold, but to keep your clients satisfied you must: 

- Deliver results
- Keep them coming back for more

In order to deliver results to your clients, you must do an initial needs assessment, goal setting and obstacle evaluation to determine the training regimen for that client. Make sure that you're not shy about correcting their form, listen to what they're saying, and push them to work their hardest by keeping the session interesting and fun. Based on the clients' progression, add or change exercises to adapt to their daily needs and goals. Make sure you provide detailed explanations as to why you are making these changes. This offers you a unique opportunity to demonstrate your expertise and knowledge in the proper setting. Ask short, direct questions to determine if there are any new or additional concerns or questions your client would like to discuss. Feedback from your client is essential because if you don't know how you're doing, you don't know how you can improve. Most of all, you need to be friendly, fun, and caring. Building a relationship with your client will help you deliver the results that they want because they will listen to you, believe in your knowledge, and trust you to train them.

In customer service, it's essential that customers leave with a smile on their face, ready to come back for more. In personal training, you need to follow the same principle. During cool down, go over the client's improvements in cardio capacity and strength, weight loss and/or measurements; compare these to both prior and target stats. This way the client will know how much they've improved and will focus on where they want to be. Give a quick pep talk to keep the client motivated after they leave and inspire them to continue working hard in between sessions. Don’t forget to let them know that their success means something to you, and be specific about what their achievements are.

When your clients succeed, you succeed. As a trainer, your success depends on what you are able to do for your client. So don't waste time in your sessions; keep your focus on the client by listening to what he has to say and keep things interesting to keep them coming back for more.

Topic: Client Attainment/Retention

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