A client intake form for health coaches, this is a blank client intake form in both word and pdf format to help you start a health coach business as well as an explanation of why the form is useful.
This is a new topic from me. I thought I’d share my “Client Intake Form” for Health Coaches. This is a PDF document I created to help my health coaching clients. It includes all of the areas that a health coach may need to provide information about, so that clients can be better prepared to take the steps forward to improve their health.
The best nutrition, fitness and health coaches will tell you: …..
The way customers are received is crucial.
Because, as the saying goes, if you don’t appreciate it, appreciate it.
And guessing what your customer wants and needs can leave you both frustrated.
For example, people who struggle with their weight are more likely to overeat. But guessing at the cause of overeating is usually futile.
This may be due to a lack of sleep.
Or his stress level.
Or their family environment.
It may even be a combination of the three.
Take Riley, for example, who turned to super trainer Jeremy Fernandes, PN2, in an attempt to lose weight.
After answering several stress-related questions on the questionnaire, Riley told Coach Jeremy:
I knew my life was full of stress, but I had never seen it in black and white. Wow.
This new perspective allowed Coach Jeremy to identify Riley’s most pressing coaching needs – and start with them.
In the first few weeks, Riley experimented with different methods to relieve stress. Eventually, these practices became the key to Riley’s interest in nutrition and fitness.
And Coach Jeremy wouldn’t have thought of starting stress reduction without doing a thorough examination of his clients.
That’s why we devoted an entire article to the customer onboarding process.
Here’s what you’ll learn:
How using a client intake form can make you a better coach
questions you really need in the customer intake form.
▶ How and when to use the admission form to get the best results.
FREE intake form for health coaches!
Download and use our FREE customer welcome form, fill it out and print it out. Here is the form we created for our Level 1 certification students.
Use it as it is or as a starting point to make your own.
Do you want it now? Download it here.
5 ways to use the intake form to become a better health or nutrition consultant
In addition to identifying immediate coaching needs, a strategic intake form and coaching interview can enhance your coaching practice in several ways. Here’s how.
1 : Emphasize the strengths you can build on.
You can see what customers are already doing well and build on that. Make sure you communicate to your customers what you think they have already mastered.
#2: Identify the limiting factors that can hold your customers back.
Let’s say a client tells you he wants to be in the best shape of his life. But on admission, you see they’re taking care of an infant. They also take evening classes. And work full time. Obviously, their time is limited.
If you don’t take the time to diet and exercise together, you probably won’t be in the best shape of your life, no matter what brilliant program you put together.
#3: Spread the word.
You can use the answers from the customer intake questionnaire to find ways to build a relationship. Be curious, ask questions and create a bond between the trainer and the client.
#4: Smooth transition to sensitive topics.
Imagine a client who thinks the key to weight loss is eating bananas. Just bananas. They are frustrated because they are not making progress.
If you look at their consumption, you will see that this person only sleeps four hours a night.
Now you can redirect the conversation without convincing them that their banana-only approach won’t help them. Instead, you could say something like:
I noticed you don’t sleep much. How do you think this will affect your eating habits?
#5 : Overcoming the so-called repositioning reflex.
In motivational interviewing, there is a concept known as the corrective reflex. (If you have your level 2 certificate, you may already know this).
The corrective reflex is the tendency of a trainer to intervene and steer his clients in a predetermined good direction.
But even when the right direction seems obvious (we all need more vegetarians, right?), it creates a dynamic where you’re advocating for one thing (vegetarians!) and your client is opposing you (I can’t eat more vegetarians because…).
(That’s okay, we’ve all been there).
A well-designed technique will help you overcome this reflex by encouraging you to ask follow-up questions. Hospitality, by its very nature, is not a matter of regulations and corrections. It’s about listening and learning.
Questions to be included in each admission form
Intake questionnaires are not just about statistics, goals and food. Ideally, they will give you a complete picture of your client’s health and life.
Therefore, the best admission questionnaires include questions about:
Objectives and desired results: Does your client want to increase their energy levels? A better physical condition? Different body composition?
▶ Current nutrition and lifestyle practices: What are their eating habits, food preferences, exercise habits and sleep patterns?
Knowledge of nutrition and lifestyle: What has been their experience with weight loss or gain in the past? How long have they been practicing?
Body composition and measurements: How big and heavy are they now? How big is their circumference?
Social support and environment: Who do they live with? Who’s cooking for them? What is their support system?
Health needs and restrictions: Do they have serious health problems? Food allergies? Are you taking any medications?
Function and physical characteristics: Are they suffering? How’s his athletic performance?
Psychological condition and state of mind: How ready are they for change? What are their feelings right now?
The welcome form is also a good place to note preferences and communication style.
It is also possible to add a medical waiver to this form, which requires the client to give their consent to their doctor for any new fitness or dietary changes.
(See section of our FREE download above for a complete client intake template).
Offer an intake form after your client accepts coaching.
This is the question many new nutrition, fitness and health coaches are asking: Should I offer an introductory meeting as a marketing tool? You know, a free service to get a new customer?
Our opinion: No.
You really need to charge for the time spent on this review.
This is because approval is a lengthy process. It takes a lot of time for the client to commit or not.
So, instead of a free appointment, you can offer a free phone call to clarify the situation. Think of this conversation as speed dating. You use it to see if you and the client are compatible.
Then ask them to fill out an acceptance form after the sale is completed.
How to talk to clients about the intake form
It doesn’t have to be complicated. To address the problem with new customers, you might say:
I am sending you a detailed initial review because I want to get to know you better. I want to know more about your history, your goals, what you’ve done in the past. This will give me a 360 degree view of you.
You may be wondering: Is it better to do the admission together? Or ask the customer to fill out a registration form?
In general, clients say more about themselves when they fill out an intake form themselves.
The homework assignment gives them time to think about the questions. They can also be more honest about negative feelings like shame, anger and guilt without having to look you in the eye.
But this is not true for everyone. You will encounter clients who refuse to fill out the admission form. In that case, you can spend one of the first sessions filling out an intake form orally, almost like an interview.
You can also spend about 10 minutes during the first few sessions going over one or more aspects of the intake form, to build a relationship with the client over time.
What should I do if a customer has not filled in everything?
It happens, and it’s normal.
You can say it: I noticed that you did not answer this question in your questionnaire. Can you tell me more?
Some customers will tell you they are overwhelmed. Or that there were too many questions in the questionnaire to answer. In that case, go through the rest of the questions in the next session and fill in the answers yourself.
Other customers may say: I’m not ready to talk about that right now. This may mean that the problems have caused trauma, stress or tension that they do not yet feel safe enough to talk about.
In that case, back off by saying something like: Well, we can postpone that for now. Let’s focus on something else.
What to do after the client gives you the admission form
You don’t have to answer all the information at once. This would be unbearable for you and your client. So consider the admission form as a living document that you will complete over time.
If your client sends you a form:
- Confirm that you have received it, make sure you touch one of their answers. For example, you might say: I see that you have tried many diets in the past and want this to be your last. I’m here to help you. Let’s go!
- Set the time for the start meeting. Then go through the form, ask any questions and discuss how you will proceed.
- Analyse their answers during the kick-off meeting. If necessary, ask clarifying questions by saying: Tell me more about… or I’ll see that you work the shifts. How does this affect your sleep?
- Don’t forget to mention the positive aspects. You can say it: Let us build on your strengths. What do you think you already have that will help you on this journey?
You will also want to mention anything your client has shared that is particularly sensitive or vulnerable. This is true even if the client has disclosed information that takes you out of your coaching career.
For example, a client may tell you about a difficult divorce or how they were abused as a child.
Unless you are a mental health expert, you are not there to solve these problems. At the same time, remaining silent about such a revelation can come across as chilly or mean that you don’t feel comfortable talking about serious matters.
To get back on the coaching path smoothly, you might say: I appreciate you being so honest and sharing so openly.
Then move on to your specialty – nutrition and health.
You can start with something like : Tell me, how does that manifest itself in your eating habits today?
(For other ninja conversation techniques for staying in focus, see: I’m a coach, not a therapist.)
What to do after the kick-off meeting
Once you have gone through the intake form and have a clear picture of the client’s context, you can set priorities together. Use what you learned during the intake process to help the client identify specific, clear, and concrete goals that address their underlying motivations.
You should know them well enough by now.
If you are a trainer or want to become one….
Learning how to educate clients, patients, friends or family members about healthy eating and lifestyle changes that fit their bodies, preferences and circumstances is both an art and a science.
If you want to learn more about both, consider Level 1 certification.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do health coaches get clients?
Health coaches typically get clients through referrals from other health coaches, friends, family members, and people they meet in their community.
What is a client intake form?
A client intake form is a document that asks for information about the client’s history, current situation, and goals.
How do you introduce yourself as a health coach?
Hi, I’m _____ and I’m a health coach. I help people make healthy choices and live a healthier lifestyle.
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