Bidding My Clients a Fond Farewell
Most of my long-term followers and colleagues are pretty familiar with my philosophy right now. I don’t like the diet mentality, I believe in balance, and I take a habit building based approach to my coaching clients to teach them how to give their body what it needs.
Then, most of the time I hope never to see them again.
That sounds really harsh when I say it that way, doesn’t it? Allow me to reword:
When our time together is done, I intend on having imparted enough that they don’t need me anymore.
Better? Good. Here’s the logic behind that thinking, and more insight into my approach for the newcomers:
Skill-Building over Planning
Nutrition coaching is about 20% food and 80% change management psychology. Most people intuitively know what they should be eating through education and practice. Why then do so many people struggle with nutrition?
Our relationship with food is heavily tied into a gazillion (actual statistic by me) other factors. Budget, time, sleep, emotions, habits, and social environment are just a few of the things that impact our eating habits. My approach is to identify these barriers and help my client determine how to overcome them. If they build the skills they need to overcome challenges, they can fall back on these as time goes on. I aim to teach skill building strategies, so a client can become confident in saying “if x happens, I will do y” without my input.
Investments vs. Money Grabs
Most nutrition programs require some form of monetary investment, my coaching services included. As with most coaches, our passion fuels our business, but we also need to eat the meals we talk about right? Anyway, while the money allows me to eat and pursue my passion, that doesn’t mean I want to take all of yours. In marketing, you’re taught that you’re not selling a service; you’re selling a solution. That means something needs to be resolved.
While most industries highlight the importance of repeat customers, the same does not apply in nutrition coaching. I’m not selling you on a new quick fix solution every few months because they aren’t sustainable. Let’s spend your hard earned money wisely so that you can eventually spend that money on something other than coaching.
What is the Exception?
Of course, if I run into you at the grocery store I’m not going to turn and run the other way. Unless we’re both in the ice cream aisle, in which case we’ll pretend not to see each other. The main exception to me not wanting to see clients again is if they set new goals. Many individuals fall in love with a sport while pursuing their nutrition goals. This leads to bigger goals, which sometimes require additional coaching to help them get to the next level. In that case, I’m more than happy to continue their journey with them.
The other exception is that clients are human. Sometimes life happens, they fall off track and need a hand remembering what they’ve learned. Even the act of having a coach for accountability while shaping their own path can be beneficial.
So there you have it. Fellow coaches, do you feel the same about your clients? Clients, how do you feel about this mentality? Share your thoughts below.