As a nutrition coach, we have many different types of clients, but they all generally have one of three goals: weight loss (toning-up/fat loss), strength gain (performance), and optimal health (longevity/wellness).  No matter what their goals are, it is helpful to create a uniform way of finding out more about them.

Why is someone coming to us for help?  Why did they trust us to solve their problem?  What got them started in the first place?  These are all questions many of us need to start asking as nutrition coaches.  We know they need help, we know we can provide it, and we know they will see better results with us because of peer accountability, a system for change, and an understanding of what each person needs to be successful. If that is the case, why is it so challenging to transition a client from a free nutrition intro to a customized plan or from a customized plan to on-going nutrition coaching?

James fills out his initial nutrition questionnaire asking for help losing weight and signs up for a time to meet with his nutrition coach.  During his meeting, the nutrition coach is asking all of the right questions, learning more about why James needs help with weight loss, why weight loss is important to him. He also discussed how it could affect his future and whom it will affect around him.  But how does the nutrition coach recommend a package for James?

Recommendation Statement 1:  Our nutrition program at XFit has three different options to get started, a 4-week customized plan, which includes an initial 1-on-1 meeting, a handbook, meal plan and access to a coach via email or the messaging in our app. This is the price of that package. Or, we offer a second option which includes everything from the customized and more accountability with a virtual meeting every two weeks. It is a 3-month commitment at this price. We also offer a third option with everything from the previous two options and we can meet weekly in person or virtually. It is also a 3-month commitment at this price.  Would you like to sign up today?

Recommendation Statement 2:  At XFit, we believe in helping people solve their problems, and, James, from what I’ve heard from you today, I believe the best option for you is our enhanced customized nutrition program with additional accountability because you told me you would have been more successful in the past if you had someone to check in with regularly.  This package includes our initial consultation to determine the best course of action to create lifestyle change and get you to your goal of weight loss.  I’ll give you a handbook you can reference anytime if you don’t feel like writing me an email or waiting until our next visit to figure something out.  We will go over a customized meal plan that helps you determine portions at meals and what kinds of foods you should be eating.  We will talk about how to implement the plan and how to start to customize it even more for you.  Finally, because we are going to be meeting every other week, if you run into challenges along the way, we can tackle them together and figure out the best course of action for you.  How does this sound to you?

Between recommendation 1 and 2, there is a clear difference in what is being said to the client.  One option is listing things you sell to everyone, while the other one is solving their individual problem.  In many situations, it is important to have the confidence to say to the client, “I recommend this plan,” because you know it is the best way to reach their goals.  Our clients have come to us because they see us as the answer to their problem.  So when you talk to your client about the next step, are you giving them a list of your services? Or are you telling them how your services will help them reach their goals?

You are the expert.  They have come to you, and they want you to solve their problems.  Are you crafting your message to meet them where they are and explain to them why you are able to help and how you are going to do it?   If not, then you need to start practicing the way you recommend your service.

Meet with a mentor and see how they do it, role play with your peers, talk it over with your owner, and formulate a plan as to how you are going to have the next nutrition talk.  It is imperative to practice.  This will help you gain the confidence to make your clients certain that this is their best option, and that there is no way they can accomplish this without you.   Be the expert, make a recommendation, continue to help your clients crush their goals.

Carl Balentyne
HSN Mentor