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Like most businesses, building rapport and trust with your clients/customers is vital! As a personal trainer, this might have been your first consideration. In truth, most PTs go into business as they adore fitness and want to share their knowledge with others. The reality is, as a personal trainer, you also become a salesperson. You are selling your knowledge and expertise consistently. Having confidence in your ‘product’ is crucial, as you also have to harvest client confidence!

Both verbal and non-verbal communication skills are needed to thrive in a competitive marketplace, build rapport as a personal trainer helps with both gaining new clients as well as maintaining clients. Good rapport with a client aids the encouragement of the client, creates a bond between you both and thus, helps the client trust you and your knowledge.



Examine how you present yourself; do you come across as closed off or open and friendly? Are you slouching, avoiding eye contact, crossing your arms? All this communicates to others that you are open to conversation and lack confidence in yourself. People looking to spend time with someone consistently seek someone with a genuine personality. So, stand straight, maintain eye contact and, be open with your mannerisms, be positive every time you encounter a customer so that they will become more positive and confident in themselves and your service.


Looking like you’re listening will increase your client’s engagement (source).  It sounds simple, but many personal trainers fall into the trap of having their ideas on their clients’ training before they have even asked their clients what they want! Be attentive, listen to what they want and discuss how to get them there; remember it is a collaborative experience between client and personal trainer; this will help build a partnership and more trust. By listening, the relationship will be healthy and strong. Be specific to the individual and listen to your client’s needs. You are creating loyalty and improving your reputation as a personal trainer by meeting your client’s needs.

Women training for boxing
Men training women for boxing


We all have a story, and everyone will have external influences that may cause stress and concerns. Relate to your client and understand their limitations, even if it is just for their session or workout. Always be prepared to adapt your approach if needed.


Be concerned about their health and mental well-being. Use your skillset and compassion to show your clients that you care. Using your knowledge, you can also provide advice not just on fitness but on other topics too. It cannot be easy to balance but always care about your client’s fitness ambitions and needs.


As a personal trainer, you’re not consistently on in back-to-back sessions and spend much time on the gym floor; here is the perfect opportunity to gain new customers through having polished people skills and good rapport. There is no need to go into a hard sell, do not tell people who you are and what you offer straightaway, lead with conversation and curiosity about how they are.


Greet people as they enter the gym, and let them see you as a familiar, friendly face. People may not be instantly warm, but the more you introduce yourself, the more comfortable people will be towards you and be inclined to view you as an approachable person, which is always needed in the gym, which can be intimidating for many.


Once you’ve introduced yourself and a few backs and forth with a person, using your judgement, you should be able to offer them advice; if needed. They will begin to see you as a source of reliable information and respect you as an expert in your field. If they were to desire a personal trainer, they would already trust your ability as one!


Once again, building your rapport is about using good judgment, so if you feel inclined and the person you speak to would appreciate words of encouragement, then go for it! We all want our hard work to be acknowledged.


Discussing goals is part of the encouragement, but you can also talk to people about their goals, why they have come to the gym and what outcomes they desire. You can then encourage them as well as offer advice.

When approaching potential clients on the gym floor, you need to read people’s body language, whether they are open to your greetings and introduction, and then give them their space. If they are doing cardio best not approach, we all know how hard it is to talk during high-intensity workouts! If they are wearing headphones, it is clear they are not at the gym to speak, so do not approach them.


While you may choose a career in the fitness industry, it is vital to understand people. The driving focuses on why they are choosing to add a fitness routine to their lives, which could be to battle stress, improve their self-worth, or feel more fit. As a personal trainer focusing on the rapport between your client will only improve your service because if you know their starting point, you can empathise and encourage them to the finishing line!

While you are here, you should look at Body Aid Solution’s personal training courses! We are looking forward to having a rapport with you and progressing your career!

Man personal training another man
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