Today, it seems like there is so many fitness options out there that we trainers have to fight for every new client that we get. And once we get them we have to fight just to keep them.
It seems like the only businesses doing well are the ones that run 12 week challenges or have weight loss ‘before and after’ photos. Notice how these businesses rarely show what those clients look like now (or if they even still train with them).
In fact it seems, people just want quick fixes, they aren’t interested in being fit long term.
Or are they?
Let me tell you a story from September last year.
My mind was blown.
I had just spent 3.5 days at a ‘summer camp for thought-leaders and change-makers‘. Between classes in tea fusion and colour wars with speed charades and tug-of-war, my brain was packed full of information from successful entrepreneurs of all walks of life.
Many of them had achieved one awesome thing; their businesses were a reflection of them and what they stood for. There was authors, coaches, tour company founders, gym owners, artists, podcasters, retreat runners and mastermind leaders.
It was here that I met Chris and Katie who are two thirds of the brains behind Heroes Journey, a group fitness (Crossfit based) gym in Parsippany, NJ.
Naturally I had to go check them out and join them for a workout.
Sitting there sweating after our workout while Chris served us lunch in salad bowls I started quizzing them about their business. It was the middle of the day and the gym was dead.
After a little back and forth Chris said, ‘Why don’t you hang out until tonight and you can see for yourself?’
Chris is actually Dr. Chris and is a scar tissue expert. He runs his clinic in a very zen like therapy room that’s located off the entrance to their gym. He had clients, so I planted myself behind the front desk with Katie.
Between calls she took me through the referral system they use to get new clients. They were at 180 clients, most paying $199/month and were adding new members every week.
The first client of the night came in.
‘Heyyyy Ruth!’ said Katie and she stood up, walked around the front desk and embraced Ruth.
Ruth was there for their Crossfit Lite class. A simplified circuit style class that was loved by 50+ women. I’m sure that had nothing to do with the trainer looking like he had just walked off a movie set. He also greeted Ruth with a big hug.
This went on all night as clients came in for the various sessions.
‘What is behind all the hugs?’ I asked.
Katie replied, ‘We combine who we are with the way we do business. We like to hug, so we hug our clients and we have our trainers do it too. Our clients love us.’
That seemed like a simple enough reason to me.
Why on earth did I tell you this story?
Because I know as trainers we face a big conflict.
On the one hand we want a successful fitness business with 8-20 clients per class and on the other hand we want to create something really cool that reflects who we are. We want to make a difference, not just be another fitness biz.
Looking at the big successful fitness businesses it seems like the two goals are mutually exclusive.
Well they’re not.
Heroes Journey has two other thriving Crossfit gyms within 5 minutes drive of them not to mention other gyms and group fitness businesses. Despite the competition they are still increasing their membership.
This may seem to good to be true or that this only applies to Crossfit gyms, but it’s not. I had a very similar philosophy in my business and it gave me steady classes of 8+ clients per session (20+ in my 6am class). I watched three bootcamps start up in the same park as me and fade away. We endured.
This month I’m going to show you the common myths I see trainers believe when trying to market their business and get new clients. I’m also going to show you the four questions that you should be asking and answering instead that will help you fill your group fitness sessions with awesome clients.
Update: Part 2 is out! Read it here.
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