My mom always told me, “I learned this the hard way. The worst thing you can do is de-value your skills as a trainer. Charge what you’re worth.” Your skills are valuable and those who choose to invest in you will reap the benefit of your experience. There will always be people who expect you to give free advice. I encourage you to never get in to that habit as a personal trainer. I’ve learned that saying No is the best thing you can do for business.
If you’re a polite person like me, you want to be honest without being rude. The time, effort and money I’ve spent learning what I know is of value. That’s what clients need to understand. If people want free advice then they are welcome to consult the internet. If they want good advice then they are welcome to hire me. How do we set boundaries without being mean?
A member asked me the other day, “I have arthritis in my back. What are good exercises for that?” I looked at this lady and told her, “It would be negligent of me to suggest exercises without spending time with you. Honestly speaking, I cannot diagnose you within five minutes. Please feel free to make an appointment with me and I’m happy to help.” It’s always important to give an honest answer without being rude. My other typical response is, “It sounds like you have a lot of questions. Please consider booking a time with me so I can give you my full attention.” You want to let people know you’re there to help. Your time, energy and skills are of value. You, above all, must value them first and foremost.
It is negligent on your part to give people exercises without knowing their medical background. This is why I’ve learned to tell people no. Their safety is the utmost of importance. We are good trainers but we cannot diagnose someone five minutes after we meet them. It’s a matter of safety for your client. It also demonstrates diligence on your part because you’re not going to risk their safety. I tell people, “If I suggest an exercise and you get hurt, that’s my responsibility. Please feel free to make an appointment so I have more time to spend with you.”
The lesson here is that we need learn to say no effectively. When you do so, these people can turn in to your best clients. Anyone who values your skills will invest in you. We must have a high standard and work ethic. If we demand anything less from ourselves then others will not invest in you. “The worst thing you can do is de-value your skills as a trainer.” Take that lesson to heart and learn to say no.