How to write your personal training questionnaires and onboarding questions. We'll cover 3 steps to writing onboarding questions and then examples of great questions to ask.
How to write your personal training questionnaires and onboarding questions.
At WeStrive, we're really big on helping you add more clients to your business. After the client lands on your landing page and reads your bio (see our article on how to write a professional personal trainer bio), the next thing they'll hopefully do is go to sign-up to be your client.
If you individually ask clients each question it will waste a ton of your time (and theirs).
Instead, use these techniques below to learn everything you need to know about current and potential clients so that you can get started training sooner, save time, and ultimately make more money.
Some platforms like WeStrive allow you to add On-boarding clients when you have clients to train with you. If that isn't an option, just make a simple PDF or Word document that your clients can fill out and then send back to you.
3 Steps to writing professional Questionnaire Onboarding Questions:
1. Take notes of what you ask your clients
As a trainer, you're constantly doing questionnaires during your training sessions and maybe you don't even realize it. How often do you drink? What type of cardio do you like?
Whenever you ask questions like this, take note of it. If you find yourself asking a question with more than one client then it should probably be on your onboarding questions list.
The goal of these questionnaires is to get as much information possible so you don't want to waste time asking your client's questions that could have been answered in the initial questionnaire.
Some trainers like to get very personal with their clients. One of our trainers, Michael Atunrase, has over 20 online clients and countless more in-person. Here's what he had to say about onboarding new clients.
I ask them what are they are passionate about, whether it is fitness related or not. Your passion can always be tied to why you should live a fit and healthier life!
2. Don't get too crazy with your questions - Keep it simple
The goal of this process is to get as much out of your clients in possible - in the shortest time possible. You want to ask them all the questions that you find important, but you also don't want to give them a 30 minute homework assignment.
Don't add personal stories or long examples to your questions.
If you want to know what equipment a client has, just ask, "what equipment do you have access to".
That's all you need.
People, including myself, hate filling out long & drawn-out questionnaires. The last thing you want to do is get a new client and then immediately annoy them.
Keep the questions important and short. I promise you'll still get the answers you need.
We asked one of our trainers, Demi-Rose Allaway, how she handled her questionnaire - here was her response.
I always ask my clients A LOT of questions before they get started. I cover everything from Current Training, Current Nutritional habits, Past history with nutrition, Goals (obvious one), Past struggles with achieving those goals, Job/Hours per week. I mostly coach women so lots of specific questions around their menstrual cycle, Stress levels, Average sleep per week, Mindset towards themselves, and finally WHY they want to achieve their goals.
3. Create multiple versions of your questionnaires
We talk a lot on this blog about appealing to the right audience and finding your niche. With that being said, even once you've found a niche, not every client is going to be the same.
Let's say you train athletes. Great.
You definitely need to add a "what sport do you play?" but if you're constantly interviewing, let's say, Basketball and Football athletes... maybe you should have one Basketball questionnaire and one Football questionnaire.
Each one could be almost identical. The Football one would ask specific questions about drills the client does, 40-yard dash time, etc.; whereas, the Basketball would could ask questions about down & backs, dribbling drills, and 3-Point %.
It's best to start with just one questionnaire, and as you start to get more clients beginning adding additional versions of it.
Questions you need on your questionnaire
- Experience level - You need to get a good idea of what type of training they've done in the past, how long they've trained, and what exercises/movements they're used to.
- Current & Past medical history
- Equipment they have access to
- What location they'll be training in (at home, private gym, Crossfit gym, etc.)
- Their goals (short - medium - long term)
- How often they drink, get fast food, go out to eat
- How many days they exercise Vs. how many days they're willing to - You can also ask 'What days' they're willing to. This can help when you're making their schedule each week.
One of our trainers, Toni Moore, stated that she ALWAYS asks these 2 questions no matter what when she's bringing on a new client.
1. Are you experiencing any stresses or motivational problems?
2. What are your expectations of me as your Personal Trainer?
You don't technically need an onboarding questionnaire, but it will save you a ton of time and helps keep you organized so we HIGHLY recommend it.
Make sure your questions are relevant and to the point and, in time, create multiple questionnaires. Please make sure your questions are also professional and properly represent you + your business. You never know who will read them so try to avoid profanity.
Feel free and copy the questions above to use as your template! Sign-up for WeStrive to have most of these questions already added to a questionnaire and then you can easily add your own.
However you do it, just make sure you put your best foot forward!