Expectations

It doesn’t matter whether you are a lawyer, accountant or personal trainer… all successful service-based companies and individuals should look their potential clients in the eye and ask this most important question using these four words:

“What are your expectations?”

Yup.   That’s it.  Just four little words.    

And nowhere is this more evident than in health coaching, weight-management and lifestyle consulting.

Let me explain.

Can you relate to this?

Judy Whitehall is an actual client who retained Beth Ann Scholl (trainer in Bethesda, MD) to help her lose weight.

Judy is 47 years old and has already yo-yo dieted at least 20 times and has previously been a member of Weight Watchers, NutriSystem and Jenny Craig.  She lost weight only to gain it all back… and more  — typically within 3 months.

Upon her initial meeting with Beth Ann, she was over 202 pounds and 40% body-fat.  She was contemplating a Lap-Band procedure but was a little scared of surgery (she should be).

Last Resort

So, here she was, in front of Beth Ann as a “last resort” to lose weight.  In her mind, this was the “last straw” before getting the lap band procedure… so, “it better work!”    (Do you have clients like this..?)

In talking to Judy about her past experiences with weight-loss programs and discussing her goals, Beth Ann learned a few things.  But, the most important thing was this:

Even though all the other “QUICK FIX” programs had failed — and even though she’d made a decision to enter the “fitness universe” to do things right…. Judy still had a “concept” in her brain that she could shed 30 to 40 pounds in just a few weeks…  or maybe a month!   (Do you have clients like this..?)

It wasn’t until Beth Ann asked this question:  “WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS?”  — that she realized Judy was still being unrealistic.  

This was time for a NEW CONVERSATION.

Decision Time

  • Beth Ann now needed to make some decisions.  She needed to educate and convince Judy to adjust her goals.  
  • Judy would need to re-frame her expectations.   She would need to understand that credible weight-loss, in her case, was going to be an all-encompassing journey of lifestyle change…

OR…

  • Beth Ann would need to make the decision to NOT take Judy on as a client.

Here’s the Truth

If you do NOT manage your clients’ expectations, they are headed for failure.  If you allow them to think they can lose 20 lbs in 2 weeks…. and they don’t… who do you think they blame?  Clients NEVER blame themselves.  They blame YOU!  And then, the negative word-of-mouth can begin to affect your business.

And it is so easily avoided.  Just ask these four little words:  What are YOUR Expectations?

What Happened to Judy…

As for Judy?  After 3 months into her journey she lost 3% body-fat.  She gained 1.5 pounds of lean mass.  She’s lost 10 pounds on the scale and dropped one dress size.  Her friends are noticing her eyes, skin and hair all look healthier and that “Judy has a ‘glow’ about her”.  She has more energy and sleeps better.

AND…..  she has referred 7 new clients to Beth Ann!  Think about that… just one client referring 7 new people..!

None of this would have happened without first asking the 4-WORD question and re-framing her thinking.


The Best “Open Letter” ever written
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