How to reduce dropout and retain clients
Over 50% of fitness club members drop out within the first 12 weeks. Nearly 30% of new members visit their club less than once a week in the first month after joining. By the third month, 40% fail to visit once a week.
— Reviewing Progress with Clients (PT Direct)
As a trainer, you can help remove barriers that could keep your clients from training regularly and achieving their goals. A new client is highly motivated to overcome any barriers through personal determination. As time moves on, a client’s personal determination might dwindle in light of barriers. It’s your job to continue to offer support to keep their attendance or they will drop out. Effective trainers combat dropout by checking in every 3-6 weeks.
How to prepare for the meeting?
- Let your client know that you’re going to spend the first 10 minutes of your next session reassessing measurements and checking they are on track with their goals
- Compile previous measurement assessment data
- Prepare programming in a way that will show progressions
- With your client’s goal in mind, think about new focuses for the next month
What to cover in client progress review meetings?
In this meeting, you will address any barriers that have surfaced in the last month, celebrate progress, and set the direction for the next month.
Frequency/consistency: Either they have been able to successfully add exercise into their schedule, which calls for celebration, or they have still struggled with consistently finding the time. If it is the latter, use this time to figure out why. This conversation is a chance for you to encourage your client to increase the frequency of training with you from 1x weekly to 2x weekly. Trainer Vision can help you here—we automate calculating client training frequency.
Measurements: If your client has a body composition goal, use this time to reassess any previous measurements that have been done. Trainer Vision saves and plots this data for you. In the app, you can easily show your client a graph or chart of their progress.
Strength gains: Use your programming to show them where they have gotten stronger.
Wellness Goals: Trainers only get 2-5 hours a week with a client. Work to set wellness goals and intentions for the rest of the 163 hours. These goals can cover anything from nutrition to sleep to water consumption.
New skills: Highlight any new skills your client has learned. These skills can be in the gym, maybe an exercise that was really challenging initially that you have already progressed because they were able to do it efficiently. Or these could be skills they’ve implemented outside of the gym, like taking the stairs instead of the escalator.
What to expect moving forward: Work together to create a plan to continue a path of goal achievement or how to alter the path they’ve been on to see goal achievement. Also, a good time to ask if any new goals come up?
What if they haven’t made progress?
This time should leave your client with a challenge to change and a call to action, not feeling deflated. As you assessed their consistency, were the stats really low? This is a chance to coach them with prioritizing training. Schedule out the next month and challenge them to do whatever they can to keep those meetings. Did their work schedule change? Maybe you guys need to change your training time.
Try to figure out what the barrier is and develop a plan to combat that over the next month. Maybe there isn’t huge progress, work to find one way to encourage them in their fitness journey. Even if it’s just the fact that they came to this meeting.