If you really care about a client, you have to care about the people around that person.
If you truly care about this client, you need to know what’s going on at home. You need to know what’s going on at work. You need to know about his or her children and their environments. And then you need to help the client make positive changes in every aspect of life.
Think about it: You can put clients in a positive, caring, health-altering environment for three or four hours per week. But the rest of their time is often spent in a stressful, harsh or health-harming environment.
If you really care about clients, you have to take steps to change the rest of their world. And that means changing the people they live, work and surround themselves with.
How to Help Them Change Everything
Sit down with all clients at least twice per year. Four times is best.
Ask them: “Are you totally happy with your progress?”
If they say “not totally happy,” then dig in. Use motivational interviewing to determine what’s going on in their lives and how you can help them manage better. Make a new prescription. Sometimes this prescription will include more of your service; sometimes it will include less. Sometimes it will include a referral to another service.
If they say “totally happy!” then extend your care to their environments. Start with the people around them.
Ask, “Are your coworkers stressed right now?”
Or, “How’s your partner doing with nutrition?”
Or, “How’s your kid’s hockey team managing through this weird season?”
Then think: “How can I help the person/people my client just mentioned?”
And then offer your assistance:
“I think I can help. What if I came to your office, brought some sandwiches and gave everyone some ways to destress at work?”
Or, “I think I can help. What if we brought your partner into our nutrition kickoff program for a month?”
Or, “I think I can help. What if we gave the kids a super-fun off-ice experience here on Saturdays?”
This is sometimes called “marketing.” That’s because the process has reciprocal benefit: The clients become healthier when their environments become healthier. Your business becomes healthier when you add more members. It’s literally a “win-win-win.”
But it starts by helping clients. And when you help the people around them become happier and healthier, the client will be the biggest winner of all.