The critical first appointment
As a health coach, you are passionate about health and fitness—so much so that you decided to make career of it. Being a coach, you work with lots of different people with lots of different needs and drivers. With that said, though it is important that while every session with a member is tailored for that individual, it still consists of five critical components.
Prepare for the appointment:
When your member first joined the facility, he/she most likely provided a lot of information to your membership staff about their reason for joining, goals, interests, etc., and it is very important that you as their coach are up to date on all of that information before your first session starts. Knowing that information it is going to help make a quick connection when the two of you first meet. So if the member mentioned during their tour that they had a reunion in six months, you can easily use that information to kick of your meeting. Your introduction could go something like this:
“Hey, I hear you have a reunion in six months that you are wanting to tone up for, let’s get started.”
Not only are you reminding the member of their initial goal for joining, but you are also establishing the personal relationship that the majority of your members are going to need in order to have long-term success.
I am sure that your facility has a list of required questions that they want you to ask the member during each session. However, you shouldn’t ask the questions as if you were interviewing the member. That is so impersonal! Instead, try having a conversation with your member, while incorporating the questions.
Tip—It is critical to understand early in this member’s journey what motivates them. Knowing if the member likes competition, rewards or recognition is going to help you motivate them during their journey.
It goes without saying that the member’s goal(s) is the core reason he/she scheduled an appointment with you. Typically, the member will tell you their long-term goal but will expect short-term results. This will oftentimes lead down a bad path of disappointment and frustration, resulting in termination before the member has a chance to start seeing results.
Instead of solely focusing on long-term goals then, try providing your member with short-term process-oriented goals that will help them reach milestones along the way. By achieving the short-term goals, the member’s self-efficacy is going to improve as they start to see results.
Of your new members, 66% will fall into the health seeker population: those members most at risk of dropping out. Of that health seeker population, 53% have previously ended a health and wellness program and are trying again. As a coach, you want to identify why your member is trying again. Why was their program not successful before? You want to identify the barriers that the member has had problems with before for a couple of reasons. One, you may want to try a different approach regarding their exercise program. Two, you want to provide them with suggestions on how they can overcome those barriers when they come up again; and they will come up again! That way you are being proactive.
Create a workout:
Now that you have gathered some information about the member and you are starting to build a connection, it is time to create a workout. The information that you have learned about the member should help guide you in creating their workout. If the member said that they are mostly interested in cardio, then for goodness’ sake, don’t start taking them through the strength machines! Sure, you know that building muscle is going to burn fat quicker, but it won’t make a difference if the member stops coming into the facility. Wait until your next session before you start to push the member out of their comfort zone.
Tip—Be sure to schedule that next appointment with the member before they leave.
The bottom line is that members are looking to you to guide them in reaching their health and fitness goals. It’s up to you to help them through the journey. By including these five components in every appointment, you will be satisfied in knowing that your members have been set up for success!
To learn more, download our free white paper on Building the Ultimate Wellness-coaching Program.