The Five Pillars of Retention: Are Your Clients Getting Results?

A closeup of five pillars on Chicago City Hall.

The key to long-term business success isn’t cramming huge numbers of people into your building or signing them up fast.

The real key is keeping clients for years.

First, you can’t save lives if clients quit after a few months. Long-term adoption of exercise and nutrition strategies requires at least two years of consistent attendance. Sadly, the industry average for retention is under eight months, even in coaching businesses.

Second, you can’t build a sustainable business with high churn. If you’re constantly losing members, you’ll spend all your time marketing—and eventually you’ll just run out of audience, unless you’re in a wild market with high overhead.

Third, your staff members want to work with the best possible clients—not always beginners who are learning the basics.

So what actually keeps clients around long term? I’ve been reviewing data on this for a decade.

Here are the Five Pillars of Retention:

A graphic showing the 5 pillars of retention: results, fame, compatibility, consistency and referrals.

Pillar 1: Results

Let’s start with results.

Are your clients getting results they care about?

A client’s goal is never to “exercise more” or “work harder.” Your method is the tool that will help the client achieve a specific goal—it is not the goal itself.

Solution: Use the Prescriptive Model. Find out what the client wants to achieve. Measure the starting point. Make a prescription that takes the client from the starting point to the goal. Measure progress. Refine the prescription. Repeat. This will keep you and the client focused on getting the right results.

If clients aren’t getting the results they came in to get, they’ll quit. And they’re right to quit.

Free resource: “The Prescriptive Model: The Key to Revenue and Retention in Microgyms”

Two-Brain clients: For step-by-step instructions, tools, guides and more, click here.

In the next post in this series, I’ll walk you through the other four pillars of retention: fame, compatibility, consistency and referrals.

Other Media in This Series

“The Five Pillars of Retention: Do You Make the Right People Famous?”
“The Five Pillars of Retention: Consistency and Referrals”


One more thing!

Did you know gym owners can earn $100,000 a year with no more than 150 clients? We wrote a guide showing you exactly how.