Will Haddad is the Director of Wellness at Northwood Club in Dallas, Texas.
When I started my tenure at Northwood Club five years ago, I implemented a program for me and my five trainers to follow that would engage members during those periods when they were traveling or away from the club for an extended period of time. For reasons that I will explain, I think it’s vitally important to stay connected with members and clients when they’re out of town.
As a trainer, there are a finite number of opportunities to gain clients. So, when you have them committed to working with you to improve their golf game or general health and wellness, it is super important to stay connected and engaged, regardless of what other aspects of life may get in the way. It’s very easy for a client to go off on an extended trip and overlook some of the priorities you have put in place together at your facility. And when they return home, you may not be the first thing on their mind. Keeping in touch and remaining relevant in their lives is key to maintaining a relationship that is productive for the client and lucrative for you and your staff.
If a member is in the middle of a 6-12-week program and they’re going away for two weeks, we’ll try to stay focused on the goals we’ve set during that period of time. But obviously things change – I’ll have them send me a picture or video of the fitness space available to them at their hotel. It’s usually an adequate gym or fitness center, but sometimes it might just be a pair of dumbbells. From there, we have to rethink our plan based on what tools and time they have available, and formulate ways to move forward without losing the progress we’ve made. There’s certainly some programming that goes into it, but it’s predominantly me sending them some exercises and a regimen to follow while they’re away.
In addition, I encourage my trainers to send a “What’s up?” text to leisurely gauge how their clients are doing, while also staying present in the back of their mind. They may lament the dessert they had the previous night or the extra trip to the buffet. But I’ll reassure them that a small blip here and there won’t deter us from achieving our goals, and will remind them to keep their eyes on our long-term agenda. These efforts help ensure they don’t go completely off, really taking a considerable step backwards in their fitness progress. We’re still focusing on good, objective changes in their body and performance throughout this communication.
These efforts should not be hard for any fitness professional or coach. A timely text, rapid response or extra encouragement takes seconds to communicate, and the effects of this outreach are incredibly productive. It’s about education, accountability and motivation, and keeping your focus on the mission at hand, even when your clients might be a bit more distracted.