Dear Dr. Bell, what are effective new client consult protocols? The client consult materials the gym I’m working at provides us are crap. You use this cookie cutter form and the results correspond to prescribed training. However, these “tests” lead to everyone needing the same exact training. What consultation questions are necessary? Which work the best? How long should the first conversation be with a new client?

This is an excellent question! Possibly, the most critical questions every Certified Personal Trainer should ask and the answer to which is essential to personal training success.

The IFPA Personal Training System is divided into Seven Phases and as you know, Phase One of the System is the Client Consult and Assessment. While everyone else focuses on some of the other Phases, to become a successful Personal Trainer, you must focus on Phase One!

Why? Because if you cannot master Phase One, you will never get a client and never get a chance to show how good you are in the other Phases of the Personal Trainer Process.

What you learn in the IFPA Personal Trainer Certification is that people have different personality types, or are in different personality phases. To have effective communication with your prospective Personal Training Client, you need to quickly determine which personality type/phase you are talking to and then modify what you say and how you say it, to maximize your ability to communicate and motivate the prospective client, to begin and maintain exercise sessions with you. The questions you ask will be determined by the personality type you are talking to. The answers you get from your prospective personal training client will be used to answer the objections you get from the prospect and then to “close” them on your personal training services. This means they sign your agreement and give you a check..that won’t bounce.

Here are samples of the questions you ask per personality type:

Amoral Personality: Are you prepared to start an exercise program today or this week?

-The answer which will be no, provides you an opportunity to get rid of them as quickly as possible. Amoral types will never train with you, don’t let them waste your time.

Ego Personality: Have you exercised before? How did you feel? Why did you stop? How long did your exercise program last? What made you stop in to see me today? How long have you been thinking about restarting an exercise program? What are you looking for in a personal trainer to help you reach your exercise and fitness goals? Does your doctor know or advice you to begin an exercise program? How many days/week can you train with me, so you can reach your fitness goals? How much time do you think an exercise program will take to achieve your goals?

Pleaser Personality

Does your spouse know you are preparing to start an exercise program? Is your spouse supporting your efforts to get back in shape? Does your spouse know you came in to see me today about starting your fitness program? What is your primary motivation to get fit and live a longer healthier and happier life? Are you doing this for you, your spouse, your children or some else important to you? *Note: some of the time/chronology questions you asked of the “egos” are used here.

Authority Type:

How long have you been thinking about starting your exercise program? What do you need to know from me to make you feel comfortable to get started? Is your health a concern and motivation to begin a fitness program? Do you realize that a professionally designed exercise program will not only get you healthy, make you feel better, give you energy, but also increase your mental and emotional effectiveness? Is that a good motivator for you to being to exercise?

The other personality types are more straight forward and easier to deal with than the four above. The questions above will help you recruit and maintain clients, but they are also designed to get the client to open up to you and give you the specific information you need, to understand their goals.

Unfortunately, many clients do not share your goals. Most would never want to look like a professional Bodybuilder, Powerlifter or physique athlete. Many others will not like “Weight-Lifting.” If you can generate and have a candid conversation, you can better determine their goals.

Once you know their goal, you can select the Fitness Tests you need to track their performance toward their goals. Then you can write the appropriate Exercise Prescription to achieve their goals and then develop a customized Program Design that is tailored to your clients’ personalities, needs and goals.

It is possible to recruit 90% of the people you talk to and keep them as clients for your entire career. To help you achieve your career goals, the IFPA has developed over 60 Advanced and Specialized Courses to aid you in becoming the Master of your Craft.

To help you with Phase One: The Lifestyle Fitness Coach Level I & Lifestyle Fitness Coach Level II, will help you beyond measure. Imagine using these courses to increase your closing ration from the industry started of 8% to 88% or better within months of completing these courses. How does a 1,100% increase in revenue sound to you?

For Phase Two: The IFPA Fitness Assessment Specialist Certification will provide you a vast increase in your skill.

For Phase Three: The IFPA Exercise Prescription Certification will make you a master of of this phase.

All of the certification courses build on the knowledge, skills and abilities you learned in the IFPA Personal Trainer Certification.

The IFPA went through great time effort, energy and expense to give you the tools you need to become successful personal trainers. Please make the effort to use these resources to be the very best you can be.

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