Chris Cooper (00:00):
Does being the best gym in town really matter or does it all really come down to who’s the best at marketing and selling? I’m Chris Cooper. This is “Run a Profitable Gym,” and today I’m gonna tell you why being the best gym has exponential value over being second best. I’m gonna give you three different reasons why that’s true and why you should work hard to have the best gym. Being the best of course sounds great, right? It pleases our ego. We wanna be the one to say “yeah, we got the best gym in town” and really mean it, really believe it. But the truth is that it’s worth pursuing being the best gym. I don’t just mean having the most knowledge or seeking the most certified trainers but actually running the best business. And there are several reasons why. The first is exponential value. The second is ascension value.
Chris Cooper (00:49):
And the third is that being the best at what matters matters more than anything else. Alright, so here we go. Let’s start with the exponential value of being the best gym over the second best gym. Exponential growth means that you’re no longer getting one client at a time. That’s incremental growth. Exponential growth means that the clients that you have refer more clients in. Okay? Incremental growth. You’re advertising, you’re bringing one person through the funnel, you’re meeting with them, you’re signing them up. You’re plus one. Exponential growth: You’re bringing a client in, they love the program. That’s plus one. They love it so much they’re recruiting other people. That’s plus two, plus three—without your direct involvement, without putting each one of those people through their own funnel. That is exponential growth. And if you’re the best gym, you will get exponential growth because being the best has compounding value over time.
Chris Cooper (01:46):
Here’s why: Your best clients will stick around longer. Your best clients will. Not every client will stick around longer. Some clients are gonna chase price, convenience, different flavor or whatever. But your best clients will stick around longer, and they are the ones who bring you the next best clients, who will stick around longer, right? The people who don’t have a problem affording your service, the people who are generally just happy in life, the people who are making great progress and happy with their progress, those are the people who are going to bring you others who can afford it, who are generally happy in life, who aren’t complainers, who are just happy to make consistent progress, right? Best finds best. So your best clients will stay. That’s the first way that this compounds. The second is that some of your clients who leave will come back if you are the best.
Chris Cooper (02:35):
This has happened to me so many times: Somebody has been a client at Catalyst, at my gym, for like three years, and they’re like, “’You know what? I like this, but I’m ready to see what else is out there.” We all find that sometimes, right? Like there’s a meme about it. And so they go away, and they do personal training, and two or three months later, I get this call: “Coop. It’s not the same, man. Like, what’s it take to come back?” And I say, “All it takes is you showing up on Monday. We’ll pick a package and you’ll be in the group in three minutes. No problem.” So when you are the best, people will come back. When you’re not the best, the same thing will happen. People will be in your gym for three years, whatever: “This is good, but I’m gonna see what’s out there.”
Chris Cooper (03:15):
And then they go to someplace better—and “this is better. Why would I ever go back?” And, even worse, if they’ve got a lot of friends at your gym and now they’re getting a better experience, they’re probably gonna tell those other people, okay? So being the best has compounding value. It has exponential value because your best clients will stay longer and the clients who leave will come back. The other thing is that some clients who come into your service, they don’t sign up. They’re just not ready to be your best clients yet. They haven’t started their fitness track. They need to try some other things. They need to ascend to you, which is my second point. Okay? So the second reason that it’s so important to be the best—it’s 10 times better to be the best than to be second best—is ascension value.
Chris Cooper (04:04):
Okay? So what happens with ascension value is that all the other gyms in town, they recruit people, they introduce people to fitness. The people fall in love with fitness. And then those people who are now committed to the fitness path, they wanna find the best fitness experience. So if there’s five CrossFit gyms in your town and there’s a low-priced option, then that’s maybe a good intro option for a lot of people. You know: “I don’t know if I’m gonna like CrossFit. I’m gonna go to this gym. I’m gonna try it out. It’s 90 bucks a month. The other guys are one 50.” And so they go to that gym and maybe they’re not onboarded very well. Maybe, you know, they don’t get a lot of attention in class, but they still really like CrossFit. And they get hooked, and they do the Open and they watch the CrossFit Games, and then they hear about another CrossFit gym in town where everybody’s having an amazing experience, and they say, “Hey, I deserve that. I’ve been doing CrossFit for two years now. I should see what else is out there.” And then they come to your gym if you’re the best. And they stay there because if you are the best, everybody else will ascend their clients to you. Remember what I said: Your future best clients might not be your best clients right now. That’s because they just haven’t ascended up to you yet. They haven’t convinced themselves that they love it enough to deserve going to the best. And so ascension value is something that you gain only by being the best. Nobody seeks out the second-best baseball training gym in town, okay? Nobody seeks out the second-best yoga experience. If somebody’s passionate, they want the best experience, and those are the people that you want the most. Okay? So the good gyms eventually ascend people to you when they are ready to be your best client and they’re already convinced about the product that you’re selling.
Chris Cooper (05:55):
The next reason why it’s so important to be the best is that you have to be the best at what actually matters. Okay? So subjectively, we all have our favorites. And my favorite might be different from yours, right? Like, I don’t like pineapple on a pizza. I don’t like fruit and a salad. You might like both of those things, and that’s fine, right? We can still be friends. It just means that you wanna be the best to the people that you care the most about. You want them to say, “Chris is the best. Catalyst is the best gym. There are always going to be people who prefer something else. The key is that you wanna be the best to the best clients. The best must find the best. So if you wanna serve people who are my demographic—45 to 50 years old-ish, two growing kids, financially stable, you know, pretty happy in life, doesn’t need to be doing competitions—then you might not be the best fit for somebody who’s 20 years old and looking to pick up the opposite sex at the gym for the weekend. And maybe they’ll do a throwdown three times a year, four times a year, right? Maybe they’re going to really care about the programming. Like those people are not the best for you. So the most important thing is that you are the best for the clients that you want. Okay? Here’s my recap: It is exponentially valuable to be the best for three reasons. Number 1, the exponential value of having the best people stay and other people come back. Number 2, the ascension value of all the other gyms eventually just building their clients up to love your service and them coming to you. And then third, subjective, you are the best to the best demographic. Which means that if I am a 45-year-old dude, I’m fairly well off, and my wife and I go to your gym but we notice everybody else is 20 and that gym over there has a bunch of 45-year-old people who are, you know, financially stable, they’re into families, they’re not into partying, and swiping right all weekend, like we’re probably gonna go to that other gym, right? You wanna be the best for the people that who fit you—the best for your target demographic. Look, if you’re gonna do one thing after this, it’s figure out who you wanna be the best gym for. Do the “pumpkin-plan exercise.” Figure out who your best clients are. Take them out one by one for coffee. Ask them what brought them to your gym. Ask them what turned them off about other gyms. Ask them what their biggest challenges outside the gym are and work to actually solve that with them. When you do that, you will decide who your best clients are. You’ll figure out how to ascend other people like those best clients to you, and you’ll figure out how to get the clients back that you maybe blew it with earlier. I hope that helps. This is “Run a Profitable Gym.” I’d love to have you in our free Facebook group. It’s called Gym Owners United. There are almost 7,000 of us in there—the fitness industry’s best people. And you can join it for free. I’m in there. I do webinars. I give out free tips. We have discussions about this stuff all the time. Gymownersunited.com. Hope to see you in there!