Personal Trainers: How to Build Rapport With Your Clients

Becoming a personal trainer can be a very dynamic process, and requires a lot of studying, training, and skill building. The skill and knowledge necessary to be a successful personal trainer are nothing to take lightly. Thankfully, there are certain tools that can really help you get to a place of confidence in your journey and help you become the trainer you want to be. 

To become a personal trainer, there is a fair amount of rigorous studying that is necessary to acquire the proper hard skills to do the job. When you prepare for different certificate exams, it takes patience, determination, and planning to be successful. It’s not enough to set a goal of becoming ACE certified. You have to learn how to study, use ACE practice tests, and come up with a plan to acquire the knowledge you need to pass the test. 

The same goes for soft skills. In fact, soft skills are one of the most important aspects of becoming a successful personal trainer. One of those skills is going to be the ability to build a rapport with your future clients. This is arguably one of the most important and fundamental soft skills that a personal trainer has to learn. This can help launch a trainer into success as very few other soft skills can because it focuses attention on the client in a way that improves customer experience. 

Personal training is, well, personal. Learning how to connect with your clients and not only win but hold their respect takes time to learn how to do well. This is also one of the most dynamic soft skills to learn because every person will be different. As a personal trainer, you will have to approach every person individually in order to build a rapport that will allow you to lead them to their health goals. 

Here are some tips for how to build rapport with your clients so you can be the best personal trainer possible. 

Know Why Rapport Matters

This is the most foundational step, understanding why a rapport with your client matters. Yes, they are your client and they are paying you to help them reach personal goals, however, there is a strong element of relationship involved. While this person is paying you, and there is some kind of understanding and trust based on that alone, a strong rapport is a big factor. 

In order to see your clients reach their goals, improve their customer experience, and see success as a personal trainer, you need your clients to trust you. Trust between you and your clients is how you will be able to figure out more accurately, and quickly, what problems they face and develop plans to help them overcome. Trust will also encourage your clients to stick with the plans and regimens that you develop for them.  

Trust Starts With Listening

There are a lot of factors that come into play when building rapport with someone. One of the most important factors that lead to a good rapport, is listening. Learning how to actively listen to your clients does a lot for helping to build a rapport they can trust in. 

Listening is actually something that takes a lot of effort and determination to do well. While some may struggle with active listening more than others, this is a skill and like all skills, takes time to learn. Active listening is the act of not only listening but looking for ways to affirm the speaker of their message. This can look like asking questions to help gain more clarity, or simply giving affirming statements that show the speaker they have your attention.

This kind of listening does two things, one it bolsters the confidence of the speaker – but secondly, it gives the listener a more thorough understanding. This is a win-win situation, especially for personal trainers who need to win the confidence of their clients while also attaining a deeper understanding of their current state. 

Lastly, Pursue Your Own Health and Fitness

Lastly, it’s important to not let go of your own health and fitness. To build a strong rapport with a client, you need to show that you put your mouth where your money is. By not allowing your own personal health and fitness to go down the drain, you can build up a strong rapport with clients based passively on your own fitness level. 

Conclusion

As a trainer, you will be in the gym a lot, and constantly helping others. It’s important to build healthy boundaries that can keep you pursuing health personally while helping others. With an emphasis on active listening, a belief that you can make a difference, and maintaining your own health – you can start building client rapport that matters. 

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