Ask the Right Questions
When I first became a Pilates instructor I only knew to have new clients fill out the “New Client Intake Form” sign a liability release form and then do my best to show them that I and Pilates were exactly what they needed! Does that sound familiar to you? It wasn’t too long into my teaching career that I realized I needed to know even more than an intake form asked. And, while I am sure you are sitting there, reading this and nodding your head with me I should say that I’m not talking about their body.
Not that more info about their body isn’t necessary! But, for the purposes of this blog post, I’m going to talk more
specifically about other things that give integral info for taking a new client into a regular client. Here are just a few that I like to ask new clients during their first session.
- What do they think Pilates is?
- Where have they done Pilates in the past?
- Have they ever paid for a fitness instructor before?
- How much time each week they can devote to doing Pilates?
- Why are they coming to do Pilates?
- What other workouts do they do and how often?
- When do they expect to see results
Connect With Your Clients
Oftentimes these questions lead to other questions as I dive deeper into who they are, what motivates them, how strong their commitment to their body and goal is, how realistic their expectations are, and more. See, I believe that in a first session clients are not going to fall madly in love with Pilates. And, while I know that it is possible, I was someone who totally did fall head over heels for Pilates halfway through my first class every client is different. Some clients are so disconnected from their bodies that they are not going to feel most of Pilates. So, rather than overcorrect them and spend time telling them everything they are doing wrong. I spend my time trying to connect to them, find out how Pilates can fit in with their life today, and then potentially change it for the better.
It does require being a little more conversational and being like a detective. But, by the time their session is over, you’ll be able to confidently tell them a Pilates workout regimen that will fit in with their life and their goals. For example, if someone wants to have a full-on body makeover by their wedding in 6 weeks and you find out they travel for work every other week you can confidently share with them what you are capable of doing by their wedding if they come every day they are in town. It allows you to be more honest and authoritative without being condescending. Or, if someone needs to do Pilates three times a week but they have been sharing with you that they have never paid for a fitness instructor before you’ll have that knowledge in your head. You’ll be able to say “I know that it’s a big leap to go
from never working out to three times a week Pilates practice. But, your goals for coming here were ___ and your body needs more ____ so a consistent practice three times a week will help you get to your goal by ___ _. Or we can do twice a week and potentially get close to your goal by ____.”
You are a great body reader as a Pilates instructor but psychics and mindreaders we are not! However, by asking these questions and more you’ll be a fabulous detective that will help every person that comes looking for Pilates find the plan that works for them and for you.
For more on this subject join me on August 30th for my next webinar “Ask the right questions for Client Conversion and Client Retention.” We will be discussing how to layer these questions in, follow-up questions, and questions to ask after they have become a client to continue client retention.
Got a question that you like to ask? Share it with our readers by commenting below!