I recently put together some statistics on my clientele. My longest standing client has now been with me for over 8 years. My average client has been with me close to 3 years. I think you can already start to see that many people are seeing the value in having someone dedicated to their health and especially when it comes to prescribing exercise as a preventative measure for disease.
So why is that?
You may have noticed that the focus of our medical system is primarily on treatment. You may have also noticed that our medical system is heavily burdened. Hospital beds are scarce, GPs are often inundated, specialists are booked out months in advance. As such, more and more people are looking for a health professional that supports them, improves their quality of life and extends their life span.
Not only that but many people are frustrated with not being able to develop a relationship with their health professionals. The opportunity to have time to explain your health problems and in turn have someone take the time to explain effective strategies to you, as well as guide you through them is rare and highly valuable. If you don’t believe me, try limiting all of your conversations with friends and family to 15mins and see how well the relationship holds up. Now try only speaking to that person every few weeks, months or even years. You will probably find that the relationship suffers. You will also find that if you have a problem, that person will not be as well placed to assist you as when they had more regular contact with you. The same goes for health services. It just makes sense.
Here are 3 real examples of why trust and rapport matters:
1. You personal trainer knows when you are having a good day or a bad day:
By developing a strong rapport, it can be very clear when you are not at your best. If you haven’t seen another practitioner for months a bad day or a good day might be interpreted as normal. This can lead to poor advice or at minimum, less specific advice. Wouldn’t it be nice if you had someone who can adjust day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute based on your current emotional, physical and mental state?
2. Advice that is placed in high context:
A personal trainer can provide you ideas for when and how to find time to exercise based on your regular habits – because they know them. They might know that Saturdays are busy, that Tuesdays is tennis or that next week is your birthday dinner. In that context the advice can become far more specific and far more effective. You might go for a lunch at your favourite restaurant, wouldn’t it be nice if someone can tell you the healthiest option because they know the menu because you have discussed it so many times before?
3. You can be honest and open up:
I have been shocked many times with what a client will withhold until they trust you. I do a thorough health screening with every client but time and time again after weeks, months and sometimes even years the client will finally divulge some highly personal information that is affecting their health. It may be to do with their mental health, it may be to do with a traumatic childhood that lead to an eating disorder, it may be an unstable relationship that is affecting their ability to take control of their life and their exercise habits. Whatever it may be, it doesn’t get mentioned, discussed and addressed without trust and rapport.