It was over coffee, and a gym owner was excited to share his recent success. I love success stories, so I leaned in.

He walked me through a conversation with a client. He hated seeing her quit, so what could he lose if he didn’t probe the circumstances?

“I will cancel your membership and give you back your money. But first, do you mind coming in to answer a few questions?”

She obliged, and they met a few days later. It turned out that while she wanted to get healthier, she could not explain her motivation. That led to her coming in less frequently. When she came in less, those who worked out at the same time tended to be no longer as engaged with her. So, it became a cycle, and she was ready to drop.

“I tell you what. If we can come up with a few goals together, and you are willing to come in twice a week for the next four weeks, I will help you. Then, if after that, you are still not where you want to be, you can cancel, and I will give you your money back. Can we try that?”

She said yes.

What we learned

I asked him how he got there and how this time would differ. Before they met, he looked at her gym sign-ins for the time of day and frequency. He observed her downward trend and what other clients came at the same time. Based on the personality of this group, he could do something special for all of them to make it worthwhile. 

He also knew the importance of having motivation, goals, and accountability. It’s one thing for someone to say they want to lose weight, but it’s more compelling if they have a reason why, along with someone or something keeping them committed to the objective. He knew he could help her with a process and had the means to keep her engaged. That included personal texts to her from one of his coaches.

How we improved

As we talked about this case, I asked how often it happens and how he could mitigate it in the future. He shared that it happens more often than he would like. Prospective members come in with an idea of how they will get fit, but often, their expectations do not align with their experience or progress. He has run his gym long enough to know the types of people who will be successful and those who will struggle. He just needed a better way to connect their aspirations to his model for their success.

Over the next few meetings, we developed a mapping from how prospective clients see their fitness journey to how he, his team, and their gym space have been successful. That mapping led to an online assessment to understand goals, motivations, and contributing factors to personal success. After clients take the assessment, a coach reviews the personalized results with them. Now the introductory session uses the insights from the client to align expectations with support and a plan for them to achieve their fitness goals.

Getting Started

As with this client, your client base has specific needs and expectations. You already know the factors that contribute to client success. We work with coaches and gym owners like you to connect those two aspects to improve client retention. Are you dealing with a similar challenge to better know your clients and keep them longer?

Let’s see if we can help. 

Subscribe to our blog

Stay up to date with the latest news and articles