Tuesday, 11 December 2012

What’s missing in our industry?

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I don’t sleep well, I never have.  There is always something pressing in my mind at the time where I would like to be falling asleep.  Lately, my thoughts have been somewhat cheesy by my own standards.  I started thinking if it is possible to affect change in people’s attitude to the point where they actually give a shit about what they are doing.  I am pretty lucky to work with a great group of people that I like to think are pretty driven, but there is always room for improvement, including from myself.   My collections of thoughts come from years in the industry and learning from both mine and others mistakes.  This is just a few to start…

Ask yourself the following questions:

·         Are you confident enough in your knowledge to share it with not only co-workers but others in the industry?

o   If you think you are doing something “innovative” or “new” in this industry, you are probably wrong.  Just because some dipshit Guru hasn’t written about it yet or sold his soul to YouTube, doesn’t mean it hasn’t been done.   Instead of trying to hide your “secret method” try sharing it with others to get their feedback.  Every person we work with is different, and learning from others in your industry will help hone your skill set.  Having said that, we need to learn from both the good and the bad, and if you have an ego, it makes it hard to find out the flaws in your system.

·         Are you thankful for your clients that make your job a possibility?

o   One of my hairstylist clients told me you need about 600-700 regular patrons to maintain a busy schedule.   Our physiotherapists estimated about 400 plus clients.  Personal trainers, strength coaches need about 40-60 regulars.  Can you see where I am going with this?  Piss off one of those 40 clients that may see you 2-3 times a week and it puts a big dent in your schedule.

·         Are you driven by the fact that the results your clients achieve can be life changing for them?

o   If you are driven by the results your clients achieve for the sake of your own benefit, please become a stock broker.  Don’t get me wrong, your client’s success will build your referrals and in turn make you busier.  Having said that, there are a lot of trainers that are more driven by publishing the success of one client instead of all of them. 

·         Do you put your client’s needs ahead of your own?

o   Clients are not paying to hear about your weekend.  It is their hour!  We are not psychologists or whatever Dr. Phil is, but we can be there to offer support and advice when it is asked.   Save your weekend stories for your buddies.

·         Do you call, email, text or whatever instagram is your clients to see how they are doing occasionally?  Or receive and respond to their calls, emails, texts or whatever instagram is in a timely manner?

o   There is something special about the little touches you put forth to your clients.  Do not mistake that with touching your clients inappropriately.  A simple message seeing how their rehab is coming, how they felt after a tough workout, how their birthday was will go a long way in separating you from your competition.  Our time away from the office is just that, our time.  You need to find a way to show some level of customer service so that phone calls, emails etc. are answered and followed up on relatively quickly. 

·         Do you put the same amount of effort into your preparation for your clients as you do on social media?

o   Social Media is MEDIA now.  If you are not using it in your industry, you are behind the competition.   BUT, it consumes many people to a point where it is taking away from time that could be used more beneficially.  Look at the time you are putting in creeping peoples Facebook pages and see if that time can’t be used to actually make you better.  Then creep on the weekends….

·         Do you volunteer with anything?

o   This is one of the first questions we ask new applicants to the company.  “Do you volunteer with anything”?  Personally, I like to know that fellow employees are willing to offer their time and skill outside of the work environment.  We are only as good as our community will allow us to be!  Aside from the personal reward, it is an opportunity to build relationships and build up your actual REAL hours of working with people.  Which is kind of a big deal in our industry.

·         Do you take every aspect of life from coaching to business as a learning opportunity?

o   There are very few, if any scenarios that haven’t been played out in our industry already.  The more you understand the concept that we are a people driven industry, the more you will realize the importance of every conversation you have. 

·         Do you take care of yourself physically, mentally and emotionally?

o   When your day is spent helping others, it becomes difficult to help yourself.  I still find it difficult to balance the physical, mental and emotional aspects of this job and I am in my 13th year of doing this.  No matter how busy your day may be, you need to find time for self-preservation.

·         Do you have the willingness to refer your client to someone else within the industry if you are unable to help them with their goals?

o   We can’t answer all questions and we can’t help all populations, specifically in rehab settings.  There is a time and place where you may need to be honest with yourself and your clients that you are unable to help them at this point in their sessions.  Building a network of good doctors, coaches, trainers and therapists will help you give your client the best opportunity for success.  I have referred clients in the past (sometimes outside of our company) to others in the industry and at some point, they all return. 

·         Do you show up late for your sessions?

o   If you show up late, you are dead to me.  It shows you think that your time is more valuable than your clients.  Give yourself plenty of time to get to your sessions, if you can’t achieve the times you have set, give yourself more time!

As always, these are just some of my opinions.  If it pisses you off, we can hug it out at a later date.  Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions or comments at joe@level10fitness.com

Yours in Strength,

Joe McCullum

Director of High Performance and Staff Development

Level 10 Fitness


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