Michael Mantell by Michael Mantell

Did you know that the ACE Integrated Fitness Training® model has the secret to turning your exercise science knowledge into career success? Between the health, fitness and performance continuum, the phases of functional movement and resistance training, and even the cardiorespiratory phase, there is one concept that is woven into all aspects of the ACE IFT® model, and that is “rapport.”  

Rapport, by definition, means “relation or connection, especially harmonious or sympathetic.” You can connect with any client if you use the right approach, and knowing the key questions to ask to determine the style of the client will help you secure the foundation of rapport.  Here are two simple questions to guide you:

1.  Is your client more direct and fast-paced, or indirect and slow-paced?
2.  Is your client more guarded and task-oriented, or open and people-oriented?

The answers will help you identify your client’s behavioral style and adapt your approach as needed. It’s built on the “Platinum Rule” that says, “Treat your client as THEY want to be treated, not as YOU want to be treated.” (Forget the Golden Rule - it's the Platinum Rule that will make your pockets jingle.) Being able to carefully read your clients and use basic behavioral psychology will help determine your clients' style and effectively build rapport.

A great example of fitness professionals building rapport is apparent at the world’s #1, fastest-growing and largest co-ed gym chain in the world, Anytime Fitness. Owners Chuck Runyon and Dave Mortensen use the concept of "People, Profit, Play and Purpose" to turn rapport into cash, and have demonstrated unrivaled success with their value system, which is definitely noteworthy.

Always remember—if you don’t take care of your clients, another trainer will, so take the time to learn and use the concept of the “Extra Mile.” Around-the-clock coaching, being “contagious”, having that “WOW” factor, and learning what “C-A-R-E” really means are all great ways to build rapport.

Here are some pointers on how you can go the Extra Mile:

  • Continuously stay in touch with your client
  • Appreciate your clients and their ongoing training
  • Remind your clients what you can do for them
  • Educate them with ideas that will help them further

Approximately 68% of clients leave as soon as they perceive indifference and feel their trainer doesn’t care, so doesn’t it make sense to harness the power of real rapport and connectivity? Knowing how to use these tools will allow you to build an incomparable training business in which your clients are no longer just satisfied - they are “raving fans” that can be molded into your new, loyal sales staff, and in turn, boost your bank account.

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