In nature, there are many personalities in humans that clash. Just like dogs, we do not get along with every person we meet. This does not mean that you or the other person are wrong, it just happens. As the dog trainer, we need to realize when our clients are not getting the most out of our training sessions. It is our responsibility to lead these clients to someone more suited to their needs and personality, who will give the client what they are paying for. There are many signs that indicate you should turn away a client, here are five of them.
1. You Dread Your Sessions
While we will not always enjoy every one of our sessions for various reasons, if you find yourself counting down the minutes until your session begins in agony and then counting down the minutes until it’s over, this may not be the right client for you. We cannot give our very best to someone when we start to resent or despise them, and this can occur when we dread our sessions due to the client. I would suggest evaluating your sessions and your client and finding out what makes you dread your upcoming sessions. If you find that you cannot handle your sessions anymore, it may be an option to turn away your client.
2. You Feel Your Client Is Absorbing Nothing You Are Teaching
While we all want to be paid to do nothing, sometimes it just doesn’t feel right to take money when your clients are gaining absolutely nothing from you. If you feel that you are trying to teach your client and they are just not picking up on what you’re saying no matter how you try to teach them, they may be better off trying someone else who has a different teaching style. Maybe your teaching and learning methods clash. If you feel your client is not gaining the knowledge on purpose, maybe because they don’t agree with your style, then this can also be a hint that you just aren’t the right teacher for them.
3. You Feel Offended By Your Client After Every Meeting
Is your client fighting every word that comes out of your mouth? Maybe they don’t agree with your methods and they make that loud and clear. Maybe they outright call you ignorant or feel that they know better than you do. Sometimes people are so set in their ways that they do not want to learn or they don’t realize what they are saying is coming off as offensive. After trying your best to communicate, sometimes it is just easier to agree to disagree and go your separate ways.
4. You Feel Unsafe Meeting Your Client Due To Location Or Emotional Feelings
Being a trainer who does private, in-home sessions usually means that you don’t know where you’re walking into. And sometimes there are some downright unsafe places. There are also people out there who can come across as very inappropriate or just give you an unsafe feeling. If you feel unsafe at all due to either reason, I would highly urge you to find a way to make yourself feel safe or just turn away the client. If bringing another trainer or assistant along would make you feel comfortable, I would highly urge you to do so. Sometimes I get an awkward feeling before we even meet and my husband and I set up a system so he knows where I will be and exactly when I arrive and leave. Safety is always a priority.
5. You Feel You Cannot Offer Your Client The Training They Need
There are a wide variety of needs clients want met. If you have never done agility and your client is looking for agility training, it may not be in your best interest to take on that client. Another reason may be that you don’t feel comfortable training certain things that your clients are looking for. In order to gain experience with new sports or methods, you may find a local trainer who excels at that particular method and ask to shadow or attend their lessons together so eventually you can also help clients looking at that particular sport or method.
Turning away a client is not a bad thing. It shows that you are responsible, honest, and know your boundaries. It also means that you are being safe about where you are and who you are with. These are all things that successful trainers are good at doing. What are some other reasons you may want to turn away a client?
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