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Establishing Client Buy-In

Fostering A Belief In The Training Process To Benefit Both Trainer and Trainee

Before attempting to accomplish any goal, our first priority should be to assess whether we are fully committed to doing all that is necessary to address the many variables that will bring us closer to its achievement. Without such a commitment, we may soon lose sight of why we have chosen to pursue this goal. Without inherent meaning and complete buy-in, our goals may lose their appeal and we may soon find ourselves second-guessing why we have made such an investment in time and energy.

All of the above holds especially true for first-time fitness trainee. When beginning a fitness training programme it is essential that we know exactly why we will be training a certain way. We must also believe not only that we will achieve all of our training objectives but also in the training process itself. In other words, we must buy-in to what we are doing, a state of complete acceptance that trainers are often required to facilitate.

Buying-in to the training process is of benefit to both trainer and trainee. By trusting their trainer a client will more readily push harder on all prescribed exercise protocols; they will implicitly obey the instructions they are given and will reap all accompanying rewards more progressively and fully. Harbouring doubt and misgivings about the training process may only create uncertainty, a reluctance to apply effort, and an attendant diminishing of returns. In having the full trust and respect of their clients, and the buy-in which encourages both, a trainer may possess a greater motivation to push their clients further than ever before. Trainer complacency is, under such conditions, less likely and a mutually beneficial relationship between trainer and client will invariably blossom.

To encourage client buy-in, a trainer must

Have high integrity

A good trainer will establish buy-in through their sincere commitment to helping their clients achieve their training goals. This cannot be faked. Listen to your clients, form an understanding of their needs, and tailor all programmes to exactly what it is they wish to achieve. No cookie-cutter routines, which may only serve to undermine a client’s progress and strip a trainer of any credibility they may have. To deliver on all promises and to honestly and fully work to bring out the best in your clients will underscore the high integrity you have as a trainer. Though not all training goals may be achieved exactly as first planned (continued programme modification and ongoing guidance may be needed) a trainer must at all times work honestly and genuinely have their clients best interests in mind. This will encourage programme buy-in faster than anything else.

Be a good communicator  

A message is useless if not clearly communicated. A good trainer must be upfront and clear when delivering (whether in written form or verbally) training instruction and guidance. If a client understands what is being conveyed at first consultation, their receptiveness to employing all prescribed training protocols and following through with whatever is asked of them will be that much greater. If they are unclear on their training directives there may be uncertainty and confusion, neither of which is conducive to exercise adherence and programme buy-in.

Accepting the process

Client buy-in can be difficult to establish. People are often inherently sceptical and, after many failed attempts to shape-up, may have lost their faith in ever achieving their fitness objectives. Therefore, a smart trainer must build trust with their client; must deliver on their promises; must be honest and committed to finding solutions; and must communicate their message clearly. Once addressed, these training factors will more rapidly establish client buy-in and, most important of all, help your clients to achieve their fitness goals faster.


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