Reflecting for Improved Performance

Reflect by FUMIGRAPHIK licensed under creative commons

It’s week 3 on the job. You’re nervous before meeting yet another potential client.

You had one appointment last week that went well. The client was friendly, and you seemed to hit it off. You asked the right questions. You had the right answers for all of her concerns. It went exactly how you had envisioned a sales meeting would go for you after taking the personal trainer course.

You felt confident. You say to yourself, “Maybe I can do this.”

Unfortunately, this wave of confidence doesn’t last long. The next 3 consults that you had were absolute disasters.

For some reason, things just didn’t click like they did with the first client. When the next session didn’t go well, you began to doubt yourself. You thought about what your responses should be rather than really listening to what the clients were saying. In turn, they didn’t feel like you could give them what they needed, so they decided to look elsewhere.

You’re now worried. You need to turn things around. How are you going to pay the bills?

It happens to everyone

First, you breathe. Relax. If it is supposed to be easy, than everyone would be successful. It would be unrealistic to believe that you would be able to make every single sale.

During my early days as a trainer, there was one meeting in particular that just a disaster.

She was a middle aged woman looking to lose some weight. She asked what kind of results would be reasonable for her to expect.

I will never forget what my response was. It still makes me cringe just thinking about it.

I said, “It depends on several factors, such as body type and genetics. You may not be able to get down to a size similar to me, for example, but you will definitely be able to lose some weight.”

I knew it was bad the second those words left my mouth. I could tell she was offended. I didn’t know what else to say to fix it, so I just continued on wife something else.

Needless to say, I never saw her again.

What you should do.

Remember what you tell your clients. Just focus on doing things that are under your control. Don’t worry if the scale doesn’t seem to budge.

This goes for you, as well. As a new trainer, skills like sales will take some time to develop.

The best thing to do to learn from your mistakes is to face them head on. Reflect after each session. Ask yourself:

  • What went well?
  • What didn’t go well?
  • What did you say that worked and what did you say that didn’t work?
  • How focused were you on the client?
  • Did you ask the right questions?
  • Did you sound confident?
  • How will you do better next time?

Time to Reflect

Reflecting after each session is probably the single most important habit that you can develop. Don’t just toss the bad experiences aside. Sit down and replay the scene in your head. Critically examine what you did. Take the good and repeat them for subsequent sessions. Discover the bad and make a plan so that you don’t repeat the same mistakes in the future.

What I did

First, I swore I would never say anything that would make me sound that arrogant ever again.

Next, I thought about some responses that would have been more appropriate in that situation and wrote them down. This way, I would be more prepared the next time someone asks a similar question.

Then, I practiced saying these responses out loud. There are two reasons for doing this. One, practicing the delivery makes it sound as natural as possible. It also makes you more confident in what you are saying. Two, sometimes things don’t sound as good out loud as it did in your head. This way, you can change the wording so that everything flows.

I hope that nothing this embarrassing will happen to you. However, there’s a good chance that it will.

When it does, don’t fret. It happens to everyone. As long as you commit to critically examining yourself to do better next time. Find and enhance your strengths. Discover your weak points and make a plan to improve upon them.

Most importantly, don’t give up. People need your help to change their lives. They are worth the extra 10 minutes it takes to reflect on your own performance to become better at your craft.

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