Ask any service professional, especially a trainer, and they will tell you they hate cancelations. Client cancels can send your day into a spiral of frustrations and wasted time - that is if you let it. Go into any gym and you will undoubtedly find a trainer sitting around because they client canceled their session. With an extra hour to do nothing, the trainer will wait patiently for their next client.

    What else could we do that would be productive and would better serve our business? Over the years I have learned to take client cancels as an opportunity to help my business make good use of my time. Here are the 3 things I do when a client cancels:.

    At this moment I am writing this piece during a client cancelation. It gives me an opportunity to write blogs, pieces for industry publications and my weekly client newsletter. When I get home after a 15 hour day, I'm often too exhausted to write. I use an hour where I have a cancelation as time to clear my head and work on things that give me the most return on investment..

    Contact Clients
    I am a big believer in being a part of my clients’ lives in every way they will let me. If a client is not feeling well or had a big presentation at work, I will call or text to ask about it. This keeps me very close to them and lets them know I care about more than just their fitness. During a cancelation it gives me the opportunity to contact clients I have not seen in a while or even prospect new ones..

    One of the biggest returns on time is to read. Educating your mind and broadening your horizons gives you a fresh take on the world and opens it up for new information. From science to sales to service reading anything that can be related to our industry is a good idea. I recommend having an iPad and downloading books onto it for instant access during down time. Do this a couple times a week and you can knock out a few books a month in no time. Over the course of a year you will that much better..

    Invariably, cancelations are a part of business. They will happen. It is what you do during that time that will make your day more productive. Remember habits create your reality and the better the habits the better the reality. 

    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.