Knowing this during an initial consult can help land you the gig.
Understanding the difference with current clients increases your chances of keeping them around. Some people are naturally motivated to exercise. Others need you to “get in their head” a little deeper (in a good way). It’s all for the good of their health and your business!
At first glance you might think you’ve got it figured out. Your client might be a social butterfly at the gym. This doesn’t mean that they’re extroverted, which describes people who are externally focused and very social. They could be an introvert who’s actually happier when in their own thoughts and feelings.
Why so social? To survive! People do what they have to in order to “fit in” (no pun intended).
Many introverts have learned to be social, to be polite and get along in the world even though they prefer alone time. An introvert might seek you out to guide them in exercise, but also want privacy while working out. They might view their session as “me time”.
Gym go-ers are often extroverts by nature. But, they need your help also. Don’t let their gabbing tendencies prevent them from getting results. Guide them to a balance between socializing and working hard. If it’s all work and no fun they might find someone else to train with.
How do you know?
Keep in mind, most people are neither one or the other – but a blend. Identifying which side someone leans toward and what their preferences are helps you provide a better workout environment for them. Find out if they view their session time with you as an additional social opportunity or private time away from the office and family. You can do this indirectly by observation or directly by asking.
What to Observe:
- Their body language when they’re talking to other people. Introverts might be hard to spot, but they usually end conversation more quickly. They might avoid talking to other people all together.
- If they give you short answers when you talk to them. This would signal an introvert who wants to focus on their workout and not make small talk. This can be hard to pick up on if you’re an extrovert and like talking. You might miss the subtle cues.
What to Ask:
- Do you think of yourself as an introvert or extrovert?
- Do you prefer to talk during your session (extrovert) or focus on your body (introvert)?
- Do you like socializing at the gym or prefer privacy?
Becoming more aware of social habits will make you a more successful personal trainer overall. Pay attention to form, but also tune into non-verbal cues people give. There’s nothing worse than being stuck in a conversation for an hour with a personal trainer who doesn’t know when to stop making small talk. Some people want your guidance on form and that’s it!
What to do now that you know
If you identify your client as an introvert, keep them in private areas at the gym that are more quiet. Limit your talking and help them tune into their body. Having a good knowledge of anatomy and biomechanics will make the time more interesting for you if the quiet seems boring. You can guide them through what muscles to feel, proper form, etc.
If you identify a client as more extroverted, consider placing them with another extrovert in a partner session or threesome. Especially if you identify yourself as more introverted. This is a way to remove yourself from the pressure of socializing. You can also use a timer for their exercises instead of counting reps, so you don’t get distracted by the conversation.
Start paying closer attention and enjoy identifying the various people at your gym! It’s a whole new level of people watching to embrace.