Why it's OK to fire a client

Do you pay attention to the energy you bring each day? Does it change depending on which client you're working with?


The relationship between you and your client can be toxic just like any other relationship. I trained a client several times a week and his life at home was such a disaster that he brought his stress to our workouts. He complained about his wife. He complained about his job. It just seemed like nothing was going right in his life. I tried to make conversation more upbeat and find the positive side of things, but he always found a way to spin it back to the negatives. To boot, I saw this guy twice a week at 6am. Not the type of energy I want to start my Monday mornings.

This client was what I would call an "energy vampire". He literally sucked the life out of me in one hour, wasn't getting any significant results from his training, and was just a headache to be around. I couldn't train him any longer.

Telling a client you don't feel this is the right situation for them is a hard task. I was nervous as hell thinking about what I would say, but knew I needed to have that conversation. He took it well and conveniently it came at a time when I was getting a promotion and my rate would be increasing, which made it much easier since he mentioned many times before he was under financial stress as well. It gave me the perfect opportunity to unhook the baggage of dealing with his negativity.

I filled his time slot soon after with a wonderful, upbeat client and immediately there was a shift in the energy I had throughout my day.

If you find yourself working with a client that is constantly bringing negative energy, complaining about their problems and doing nothing about it, and zapping your energy, you have to unhitch the load. First, have a serious conversation with them and let them know their negativity is effecting you and impeding their performance. Take them into a quiet place, sit down, and hash it out. Just the act of sitting down to talk and not do it during a session or on the gym floor sends the message that it's a serious matter and you take your job seriously. If you strike a cord with them, great. Move on and enjoy less stress in your workday. But if you don't see a change, find a way to get them off your schedule. Just don't hand them off to a trainer without a disclaimer that they come with extra baggage. It's not cool to pass on your problem to someone else without fair warning.

If you're early in your career, you may find it hard to fire a client because every session and dollar counts while you're building your client book and gaining experience. But if you've been in the game for any amount of time you value the low stress and only want hard working clients that you also want to work hard for. Rid yourself of the energy vampires that bring stress into your life and fill those spots with hard working, high energy clients!