Motivation Vs Clients
The main aim of a company is to create the best working environment for its staff and the most talented workers of the company. Achieving this can be a complicated task and one which often fail for the company simply does not have the time, energy or staff to undertake this task on its own. Many businesses choose to outsource this task to external companies who are able to provide the required motivation to staff through a variety of methods. However there are also internal methods that are used by organisations to achieve good motivation amongst staff.
Social Media Marketing (SMM) is one such method and many SMM experts now believe that it is a vital element in client motivation. “The old idea that social media will increase client motivation is nonsense”, says Mike Webster, global head of communications at Aviva. “Social media gives a platform for businesses to connect with their customers on an entirely different level”. “Social media gives an opportunity for clients and business owners to discuss ideas in a completely conversational way”, says Sarah Bennett, director of communications at Marlborough Commercial Accreditation Ltd.
Client motivation is a difficult thing to measure although many people think that it is. “It’s not really about what motivates people, it’s how they choose to use it” says Webster. “The old idea that clients who use a social networking site will improve their motivation is nonsense. It’s not about getting more social or clicking more links”. However, a therapist or psychologist would look at whether clients are using these media to promote themselves or increasing their awareness of things going on in their lives.
If you ask a client why they exercise at the gym, the most likely answer you will receive is because it feels good. This is of course true but clients need to realise that in order for exercise to be any good it has to be done regularly. This is where the new focus on client motivation is starting to make a real difference.
The process of client motivation is much the same for most businesses but the techniques used are often quite different. A health club is probably the best place to start but even this has changed with the focus being placed more on client satisfaction and building a community. Clients want to feel part of something bigger than themselves and this is where fitness can play a part. Instead of just being told to go and work out, a health club will now encourage its members to set realistic goals.
When fitness is the client’s goal, client motivation is very different. Motivation is about ensuring customers stick with a programme or a diet. While this may sound good on one hand clients may feel that achieving a certain weight will be too much work, they should also be told that if they do achieve this goal, they will feel a lot better about themselves. Motivation works on extrinsic motivation but when the goal is about achieving personal health, this is where it can really make a difference.
A personal trainer may not have a great deal of power over the success of a client in terms of diet and exercise but what they do have is access to their client’s past successes. This information can really help the personal trainer to motivate the client into making healthy lifestyle choices. If the personal trainer keeps track of clients previous success levels they can then plan new workouts around the results achieved so that the client remains motivated towards the achievement of personal fitness goals. A client motivation approach is much the same as a health club’s focus on results and extrinsic motivation but the fitness goals are more about the satisfaction of the client achieves rather than how much they lose.
With a great client motivation and extrinsic motivation behind them, personal trainers are able to push their fitness goals further than they would without these additional forces at their side. It may seem easy to spot the difference between fitness and personal training but the benefits of each can be huge. Personal trainers often find themselves stuck between offering pampering sessions to their clients and motivating them sufficiently to keep hitting the gym. Ultimately though, personal trainers are there to provide exercise advice. If they don’t know how best to implement this advice, clients will find another trainer who does!
Ways to Boost Client Motivation to Improve Your Clients’ Results
When you are leading a health or wellness practice you already know how important client motivation can be. With so much riding on the health of your patients, maintaining a high level of client motivation can make the difference between success and failure. With an understanding of what motivates your clients and the stumbling blocks your clients encounter it’s time to consider how you could improve your retention and, ultimately, their motivation.
The SMART principle is now popular in both fitness and business because it breaks down goal-setting into specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound components. The core of the SMART principle is to eliminate extrinsic motivation. It would be inappropriate to set goals based on extrinsic motivation such as what my friend has, “Just got done” sticker on the refrigerator. The refrigerator was just put there! In order to reduce extrinsic motivation, a client’s goals must be directly connected to their needs and their ability to meet those needs.
For example, when I was working in a health spa, I would use the SMART principle to set realistic goals for my clients. I asked them what kind of pain they were feeling and I mentioned the SMART factors that were related to each. If they were experiencing severe pain, then I said that we need to work on specific exercises that would help. If they were not meeting the minimum criteria for their condition, we needed to discuss adding new products to their daily routine that would help.
In order to truly benefit from the SMART principle, client motivation has to be grounded in how people experience pain. Client motivation has to be all about solving real problems and providing a solution. I learned that the SMART principle was being applied when I was implementing changes at a local gym. People were struggling with workout time, but when I changed the rules so that they could workout more in the morning, more people showed up and really enjoyed their workouts.
When you set realistic goals for your clients, you provide an incentive to keep coming back to your gym. When a person sees that they can lose weight, get healthy or feel better than before, they will be motivated to make a permanent change in their lifestyle. The problem with negative reinforcement is that it usually does not stick. Instead, people usually just give up on the plan because they do not view it as a long-term plan.
To make this method work, you have to apply it consistently. The only way to apply it consistently is through positive reinforcement. For every client who succeeds at reaching a goal, offer them a small reward. This does two things for you. First, it gives them something small to strive for, which gives them an incentive to keep working on their goals, and it also provides them with a small treat after they reach a goal that reinforces the accomplishment.
Another way to use positive reinforcement is to remind them about previous goals. Once they’ve reached one of their previous goals, then offer them a reward for reaching that goal. They will have a sense of accomplishment, which reinforces their new goal, and they will continue to feel like they need to work at it, until they do.
If you find that your client’s motivation is wavering, offer them a little pampering at home. If you do this often, your client will work toward accomplishing the goals you are trying to achieve. You can even take advantage of this method by offering a client incentive to get a cleaning done, such as cleaning the bathroom after work. A simple thank you from the head of the household is enough to create the atmosphere for success. Your client may be receptive to this type of client motivation, but it’s not a guaranteed method. Keep offering incentives and reminding them about their goals, and soon enough, they will be motivated to work towards achieving their goals.