3 Proven Steps to Improve Retention for Enjoyable Gym Members and Personal Training Clients

Hello Monday morning warriors!

As you go through your day today you are going to be laughing your butt off at guys in your club that fit the role model of these guys in the video.

After spending 18 years in the fitness industry, I think I have acted like each one of these guys at different phases in my life.

I know that is not cool or “guru” like, but it’s honest. And I’m pretty sure if you’re reading this that you have probably went through a few of those phases yourself.

So what is my point?

Your members are people that are living life and are growing personally, financially and emotionally just like you.

In the same way that things aggravate you or disappoint you, your members may find things in your health club or fitness business that aggravate or disappoint them.

Why should you care?

I don’t know…maybe because your members are paying your bills…maybe because it’s your job as a business owner to put your customers first and to find ways to make them happier so that they give you more of their money and continue doing business with you longer.

Call me old fashioned, but I truly believe that, “The customer knows best” and “The customer is always right.”

After working with 100s of fitness professionals across the U.S. I know those statements probably get under your skin. They may even offend you.

The truth is, if you want to grow your fitness business to the level that you will have financial and time freedom, you’re going to need to not only embrace these concepts, but also build a set of values around them.

Let’s be honest. We are in this business to help others and make money in the process, right?

Ok. So let’s get to work with some fundamentals so that we can begin to set your business up for success in 2013.

Here are 3 tasks that you can complete over the next 7 days that will dramatically change your members experience in your club or fitness business.

1. Ask questions.

Over the next 7 days I would like you and your staff to ask every member and client that walks through your front door or comes to your bootcamp, the following question. Ask this question with a big smile on your face and a true heart to hear what your members want and need to be happy.

Here is the question: “If I could change one thing about my business that would make you happier, what would it be?”

Write these answers down in a notebook and review them at the end of the week. From my experience from working as a consultant with gym owners and personal trainers across the U.S. I can guarantee that you are going to have 1-2 very common responses.

Once you’ve determined what your customers need to be happy, here is my suggestion. DO IT IMMEDIATELY! Remember the customer is always right and if 200 of your members tell you that they hate the Heavy Metal at 5pm or they wish the bathrooms were cleaner, then change the music and clean the freaking bathrooms. This is not rocket science.

2. Get involved.

Most gym owners and personal trainers that are running fitness businesses run it from a “throne like” position. Most do this thinking that it will help people to respect them and follow the rules, others do it out of a sense of pride and ego. It doesn’t really matter why it is being done, all that matters is that you can identify that you are doing it and change.

Here is what I would like you to do over the next 7 days to fix this:

If you’re a gym owner:
I would like you to clean the bathrooms, windows, and equipment. Pick up weights and work the front desk. I would like you to do all the tasks that you normally wouldn’t do and do it with excellence. Do it like a champion would do it. Do it like you want your employees to do it. Do it like your life depends on it…because it does. If you can complete this challenge, you will find not only that your employees respect you more, but your members will start conversations with you and see you in a completely different light. Trust me…it works.

If you’re a personal trainer:
Visit 5 clients this week at their place of employment. When you show up at their job, come bearing gifts. You should know by this point some of your clients favorite things such as restaurants, movies, etc. Bring them a gift and (price doesn’t matter) tell them that you appreciate their business and their belief in you as a trainer. Be friendly and funny, upbeat with high energy. DO NOT TRY TO RECRUIT THEIR CO-WORKERS OR EMPLOYEES DURING THIS VISIT. Your goal here is to be super positive and giving and let them know you care. That’s it. Why should you care you ask…because they are paying your bills. Plus, they deserve it. They work hard for their money, just like you do.

3. Shop around.

Gym owners and personal trainers alike need to understand that what you’re offering may not be the best in town.

Here is what I mean by that. It doesn’t matter how great of a trainer you are or all your certifications or how new your gym equipment is. It doesn’t matter how long you have been in business or how many trophies you have in the case. The only thing that matters is atmosphere and customer perspective.

Here is what to do:

If your a gym owner:
Go do a tour at a few gyms around your city. Allow them to do the whole tour. Answer the questions, fill out the guest profile, allow them to present pricing…the whole thing. Do this at at least 3 gyms at your local or surrounding area. After doing so, evaluate how your gym does it and make improvements.

If your a personal trainer:
Find a few bootcamps or personal trainers that are willing to do a free consultation in your area or surrounding areas. Go through the whole process. Answer the questions and the whole nine yards. And then evaluate how you do your orientation sessions and make improvements.

NOTE: DO NOT LIE! When you are doing a 007 spy routine like this, the important thing is not to lose your integrity. Fill free to change your name, the city you live in, your goals, workout history,etc. But if someone recognizes you or calls you out, admit to being there trying to improve your business and customer experience. That honesty is most likely going to help you develop a mutual business relationship and possibly benefit you down the road. It would be advised that if you’re well known in your community, that you drive 45 minutes outside your community so you’re not going to be recognized.

So knowing that you generate your income and feed your family with the dollars provided to you by your trusted members and clients, wouldn’t you agree that finding out how to better serve them and become a better YOU, is important?

If you do, then complete the tasks listed above and get ready for all the positive benefits that will come from it. Not only financially, but personally. Matter of fact, I dare you to complete the 3 tasks, then go to our Facebook Fan Page and leave the results. I will be interested in hearing any feedback you can give me…positive or negative.

If you’re curious on where I would get this type of “out of the box” thinking, well…let’s just say that I’ve been doing it for a long time.

Matter of fact, if you chose to hire us as a consulting firm, this is exactly what we would do once we got off the plane in your city.

We would show up at your club in a 007 mode and figure out what you are doing right…or wrong.

We would then begin going around to all your competitors and finding out what they are doing right or wrong.

We would lastly do an in-club survey for all your members for 7 days to identify how to fix your retention problems, new sales issues, and employment management challenges.

At the end of the 7 day consulting project, we would sit down with you and do a round table discussion to let you know our findings and make any recommendations we deem necessary.

This is what we do and this is what we are known for. So if you feel like your fitness business could benefit by using our model, then we encourage you to go ahead and use it. I didn’t hold anything back and I’ve shared exactly what we do in the industry.

However, if you don’t have the time or desire to do these tasks yourself, please feel free to contact us  and we will be happy to provide this service for you. When contacting us let us know that you want to discuss a 1 week on-site consultation and we will be happy to discuss the details of the package.

Have a successful week and remember…the success or failure of your fitness business is in your hands.

Joshua Fleming
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Joshua Fleming

Coaching Gym Owners at www.HelpMeGetMembers.com
He is a Dad of 3, Marine & Serial Entrepreneur. He has 25+ years of extensive experience in the industry.

He's spearheaded the opening of 100+ gyms and is responsible for selling over 100,000 gym memberships and collecting over 300,000 buddy referrals in his career.

Learn more @ www.JoshuaTFleming.com
Joshua Fleming
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