Secrets of Semi-Private Training and Monster Average Revenue Per Member

A large green orc in armor with the words "Secrets of Monster Revenue."

Mike Warkentin: (00:02)

Our May leader board for average revenue per member was lit. We had gyms from $340 to $522 US on there. Brian Bott of Aspire Fitness made that list. And he’s here to tell you exactly how he did it. Teaser: Brian’s business is not your run of the mill micro gym. So keep listening to find out all about it. Before we get to Brian, do me a favor, hit subscribe. If you’re listening to our podcast, I’d also love a five star review that would really help us reach more people just like you. If you’re on YouTube, please ring that notifications bell and subscribe. Don’t do it for me. Do it for Chris Cooper. He’s here with tips, tactics, and actionable advice. And every week it’s gonna help you grow your gym. Now, Brian, welcome. You’re all the way in New Jersey, how’s Jersey doing today?

Brian Bott: (00:44)

Jersey, the weather is beautiful for now.

Mike Warkentin: (00:46)

I’ve only been there once and it was the airport, but I visited many times in my mind through the music of Bon Jovi. So I appreciate the great state.

Brian Bott: (00:54)

That’s a better representation. Yeah.

Mike Warkentin: (00:56)

There you go. I appreciate it. So we’re gonna dig in here and you had average revenue per member last month of $426, which is huge. And you’re doing it- we dug a little bit into some of the background- you’re doing it in a very different way. So I’m gonna just ask a bunch of questions to help gym owners get some ideas. Sound good?

Brian Bott: (01:14)


Mike Warkentin: (01:15)

All right, here we go. Tell me about your business model. Like I’m looking for the pillars of your business. Like how many clients are you looking for? What are your main offerings? What is the structure that you’ve got going on over there in your two locations?

Brian Bott: (01:26)

Okay, so I’ll kind of unpack each of those. We have three main service offerings. We have private one-on-one sessions which most people are familiar with, we have group classes and then we have semi-private training. The semi-private training makes up for about over 80, 85% of our business. A majority of our clients are doing semi-private. So we that’s kind of how we’ve always done it. That’s what we’ve always kind of specialized in doing. And that’s what we tend to focus on. And it kind of fits well for the demographic of people that we work with in this area of New Jersey, in terms of number of members, Chris’s article of 150 hits it right on the head. We’ve had more, we’ve had less, we find that 150 is kind of the manageable number, specifically in terms of capping it out with semi-private because then you run out of spaces, you run out of slots. People can’t necessarily book when it’s most convenient for them. And then you have to kind of start focusing on, alright, now I have to start filling up group classes because it’s the only times that I have available. But for us 150, both of our facilities are around 3000 square feet. If we had more space, we could probably do more than 150, but for that size facility, 150 has been the number.

Mike Warkentin: (02:45)

Okay. So 150 people. And do you have, like, your average revenue is $426, so that’s stellar, right? So there’s a lot of people out there like, “Ah, it’s impossible. You can’t make a living on 150 clients.” You’re showing that it actually works. So you’re doing a very nice job of it. I wanna know more ’cause we’ve got group training. Lemme ask you this. Your group classes, your general ones, are they large in that seven to 12 kind of range? Or what’s the number in there?

Brian Bott: (03:10)

Yep. So, I mean, in terms of how we would define it, it’s anytime there’s gonna be more than four. But yeah, they tend to be in that seven to 12 range. Sometimes our weekend classes, like a Saturday morning might have 15, 20, but in general, the ones during the week float around that number.

Mike Warkentin: (03:25)

So we’ll call that the standard group training model where you’ve got classes of seven to 20, usually in that smaller seven to 12 range that Chris Cooper is talking about is really good for retention, but you get some bubbles where you get some big groups. And then we all know what personal one-on-one training is. Now I’m really curious about the semi-private because this is something that we don’t hear about unless we’re in a hospital most of the time. So tell me about this.

Brian Bott: (03:45)

So semi-private, and I think it’s important to start with how we do it because a lot of the questions that we get really seem to stem from not understanding what the difference between semi-private and small group is. So small group you could still do- semi-private for us is anywhere between two and four clients per coach. You could call that small group if you want. But the differentiation that we make is that semi-private, and the reason that we keep the word private in there, is that everybody is still on an individual program.

Mike Warkentin: (04:16)

Ah, that’s a big one. Yeah. That’s a big one. I’m just gonna lay that out for people. That’s like, instead of everyone coming in and doing the workout of the day in a smaller group, you’re actually individualizing the programs for these people and delivering it in a semi-private format.

Brian Bott: (04:29)

Correct. And all that work and stuff is done ahead of time. What we would differentiate between small group would be like, “Hey, here’s the workout that we’re coaching everybody that does small group through today”. If someone’s got a shoulder issue, cool, we’ll change it, but it’s not documented somewhere. What is Mike’s program for his workout? And in a semi-private environment, I could have somebody doing, you know, I could have an advanced client doing heavy deadlifts and weighted chin-ups, and I could have someone who, maybe it’s their first day and their program has a kettlebell deadlift and an incline pushup. Right. I’m just kinda, at that point, I’m standing back and coaching them at the same time. Not necessarily saying, “Here’s the workout guys, and I’m gonna modify for you as we go.” We would label that small group, which is something that we don’t do. We either do large group, or semi-private.

Mike Warkentin: (05:18)

Okay. So that’s a key definition because you often think about group training as personal training in a group environment. But it really isn’t, right? In a large group of seven to 12 or 20 people, you’re contacting each client as you go around the room, maybe, I don’t know, 60 seconds, two minutes kind of thing. Like you’re not spending a ton of time with them. You’re leading the group and you are giving people personal attention, but it’s divided in many ways. And it’s much lower level. In this small group setting where you’re talking two to four people, or semi-private, pardon me, two to four people. You’re able to then devote a large amount of attention to each client and actually help them through individualized programming in that format. And I’m guessing this works very, very well for a skilled coach, is that correct?

Brian Bott: (05:58)

Yep. And the last part is what you hit on the head. It’s not easier, right? I would say it’s better. That doesn’t mean it’s easier. It’d be much easier to have four people come in and I’m just modifying it kinda on the fly, but what’s better for the, at least what we believe is better for the client is if they have something that’s individualized for them, right? Because if you go back to why most people, at some point would choose one-on-one training, if you asked them what they liked about it, it’s usually not like, “Well, I like to talk to Brian for an hour.” Right? They like that there’s something, “Well, I know that it’s personalized for me. I know that these things are being tracked and the program’s appropriate and the coach knows me.” All those variables.

Brian Bott: (06:36)

We can still keep the same in the semi-private environment. It just makes the schedule infinitely easier. It makes it easier on the client, the schedule, it’s more profitable once you grow it to that point. So we just find it to be a much better system. We do still offer one-on-one. There are some people that are insistent that they wanna do one-on-one, or perhaps, maybe they just got discharged from physical therapy or something where we really think they should have some more eyes on ’em, or they have a specific skill that they wanna work on with a coach for one thing. But like I said, over 80, 85% of our membership is semi-private.

Mike Warkentin: (07:10)

Wow. Okay. So you actually answered the question I was gonna ask you. So 85% works in these small groups of two to four?

Brian Bott: (07:17)

Mm-hmm. Yes.

Mike Warkentin: (07:18)

Okay. Now give me some idea about how many times a week people like that would train and what kind of rates are they paying for? Something like that.

Brian Bott: (07:26)

So if you were to go through, we have memberships where people, our memberships include up to a certain amount of sessions per week. So we have memberships that are up to once a week, up to two, or three, right? Okay. Most of our sweet spots, so if you were to take 80% of that 80%, are probably doing twice a week. So they’ll do two coach sessions a week with a coach, and they will supplement that with classes. So we do it as a tier. So if you’re a semi-private training member, like, our conditioning classes are included for you, and all the way down. So same thing if you were a private training membership, that would include your classes as well. So most of our members will do the two semi-private training sessions a week with a coach.

Brian Bott: (08:11)

Most of our clients will have a program that is a day A and a day B, and they’ll rotate back and forth between those workouts. A majority of our clients are “Look better, feel better” clients. So they’re usually doing full body workouts. So Monday they’ll do day A with their coach, Tuesday, maybe they’ll jump in a conditioning class, Wednesday will be an off recovery day, Thursday, they’ll come in with a coach and do their day B strengths program. And then maybe Friday, they do class again, which is a conditioning class. It’s also important to note that any of those memberships include open access to facility. But it’s open access if you’re following the programming that we wrote out for you. So it’s not open access like you just come in and like, “Hey, I’m gonna do some of these today”. I mean, listen, if someone was with us for three years and they were like, “Hey, Brian, I just wanna get a quick 20 minute.

Brian Bott: (08:59)

I’m just gonna do a couple things.” Fine, right. But we don’t market that as what we’re doing. Cause we’re still gonna use a prescription approach. Right. Like if someone comes in and is like, “Hey, listen, I would like to lose 50 pounds. I’m just making something up”. I can’t in good faith be like, well maybe, perhaps you can only afford one semi-private session per week. And then best of luck on the rest of days on your own, right? There’s levels. Right. They can do that with a coach and then come in and follow their program on their own on the other days there in the week. So we can get creative with how they use those sessions. But predominantly that’s what that looks like.

Mike Warkentin: (09:39)

OK. So like when you said, no, go ahead.

Brian Bott: (09:41)

Oh, sorry. I forgot about the pricing. So that ranges for one semi-private session per week, which is really, we put it as one per week because when I’m going through a No-Sweat Intro with someone that makes sense in their mind, but it’s really five sessions a month. ‘Cause we’ll have some clients that when they get a new program, they’ll book out five sessions, three the first week, two the second week. Cool. I understand what I’m doing. I’ll do the rest of the month on my own. And then we have other clients who like that schedule and they book reoccurring Tuesday and Thursday at 9:00 AM. Right. And it’s just, they’ll change ’em if they need them. And then twice a week, I believe right now is, is $399 and three times a week would be $499. OK. So just kinda scales straight up from there.

Mike Warkentin: (10:23)

How does that rate, is that rate different from what it would be for personal training?

Brian Bott: (10:29)

Yes. Oh, for one-on-one? Yeah. The way that we usually recommend, if someone’s getting started with semi-private training is, it’s a lot harder than it sounds, right? If you’re used to one-on-one training and then you go, okay, now I got four people and they’re all on different programs and they all have different weights that I’m trying to keep track of. That can be overwhelming, right? Now we do four, but we only switched to four within the last like year and a half. For a while there, it was one to three per coach. So what we usually recommend in terms of setting the price is just double your one-on-one rate and then divide it by the number of people that you’re- cause the goal would be, “Hey, I wanna make twice as much as I’m making per hour.” Right? So just double it and then divide by- at the time we were using three. And that’s how we got that rate. And then we just multiplied it out by the number of times per week. And that became our monthly rates.

Mike Warkentin: (11:24)

Yeah. And that’s really interesting because, you know, just as a point for listeners, this is not the model of group training where you just, you know, it was described in CrossFit originally. And a lot of people don’t know this, but you know, Greg Glassman would train people one-on-one. And then he started adding more people to his plan and giving them a rate reduction from personal sessions. But he was still making more per hour. That’s not this. It’s similar, but the difference is that you have personalized programming for these people. So you could have, like you said, maybe someone’s out and he’s a marathon guy and he’s doing 400 meter intervals on the street or something. And he’s coming in, you’re checking his time and then you’ve got another guy or a girl who’s doing like powerlifting-type stuff, deadlifts because they wanna get stronger, build the glutes or whatever. So that kind of stuff would happen in your sessions. Correct?

Brian Bott: (12:10)

Absolutely. Yeah. And that’s kind of the reason for it is that if I have someone who maybe is more thin than they would like to be, and they wanna put on muscle, well, their program’s gonna look a little bit different in the terms of volume and sets and things like that, that they need to use. As opposed to someone who just had their second kid and is looking to get back in shape, right? Like, their programs are gonna look distinctly different, but I can still coach you both at the same time. Right? 

Mike Warkentin: (12:35)

So yeah, exactly. But it takes a skilled coach. You’ve gotta have someone who understands this person maybe is on this exact plan, like the post pregnancy plan. And she needs maybe a more caring delivery. Whereas this person over here is on a strength plan, might need a little bit of yelling and a different style of encouragement. So this coach has to have all this stuff upstairs in the head, not just “The workout today is Fran. And I’m just gonna modify it for each of these people.” It’s like four different train tracks running in those classes, I’m guessing.

Brian Bott: (13:02)

Yeah. And you brought up a good point that I didn’t even necessarily consider, but it’s addressing the different personalities in that group as well, right. You might have two people that love to train together and love to get after it and you can kind of push them and be a little bit more motivating. And then you might have someone who’s a little bit more introverted and reserved that you can kind of kneel down next to and be like, “Hey, listen, these are the next two things that we got. We’re gonna work on them”, and do it in a more deliberate coaching way. I’m not gonna, you know, yell at that woman who might be kind of intimidated by that. But yeah. The good thing is that everybody in the gym knows that’s the, like, it’s not a surprise to anybody, right? When they come in and they do their No-Sweat Intro, we’re always recommending semi-private unless they have X, Y, or Z issue that might require it, or they really insist upon it.

Mike Warkentin: (13:56)

When you mentioned open gym or clients coming in to do their own thing, I got a little queasy in my stomach, ’cause that was the thing that almost ruined me: people coming in. The problem that I had was one that you solved, and you told me what it was, is that they’re only doing the programming that you assigned for them. Because what I had was an open gym where people would come in and the intention was for them to make up workouts earlier in the week or work on some things that they wanted to, like double unders or snatches or muscle-ups. What inevitably happened though, was outside competition programming started dropping in, and all of a sudden I’ve got four different people doing some other programming from some other coach in some other country. And it ruined the atmosphere and the vibe and it was not what I was selling. It actually divided my service. So I’m really glad that you made that distinction there where you’re coaching.

Brian Bott: (14:36)

Yeah. I would certainly make sure, ’cause people will ask when they join and do the intros as well, “Oh, can I come on the other days and just do whatever I want?” And the way I answer it is like, “Look, you’re investing, you’re paying us $500 a month for coaching. And you want a specific result. So rather than doing random things, for a specific result, let’s have a specific plan and let’s follow this.” If there’s, if you say, “Hey Brian, I would like to incorporate more of these things.” Then that’s my job as a coach, right? To make the program something that you want to do, right. Within reason. But in general, like if you want, you know, guys wanna throw more arm stuff at the end, women wanna train, do more glutes stuff.

Brian Bott: (15:20)

Like it’s typical stuff. And you’ll get better at knowing that and doing the programming. ‘Cause we update those programs every four weeks, right? If someone’s coming in and training three times a week, not necessarily with a coach, but if they’re doing their workout three times a week, it gets updated every four weeks and we’ll just touch base. Like, “Hey, what’d you like, what didn’t you like?” You know, everyone doesn’t like split squats. Like we don’t let them just take whatever they want out. But in general, we can figure out, “Hey, you know, are we coloring within the lines?” Right? They might wanna use a different color, but we’re gonna stay within these lines to make sure that we’re all on the same page.

Mike Warkentin: (15:56)

That is a great analogy. I’m gonna dig into how you find these clients and onboard them. But I gotta ask you a question first that relates to all the things you’re talking about. How do you train coaches and staff members to deliver this? Because you can’t just have your, like, I would not have been able to deliver this when I was a very new coach and I should have probably started with one-on-one training, which would be much easier. I started with groups and they grew into large groups and I found that very tough. Eventually I got better at it, but four personal training tracks in one session is a challenge for a coach. So how do you develop these people and make sure they’re delivering to your standards?

Brian Bott: (16:26)

Well, you just go in the opposite, right? So our newest coaches will, ’cause you would think from the traditional standpoint, oh, the best coaches are gonna do the one-on-one clients. And it’s like, actually our newest coaches can focus on the one-on-one clients because all they have to watch this person do is a front squat and that’s it. And they have to stand right there, count to eight or 10, you know, give a couple cues and then move on, run the timer and make sure that they’re getting a great workout. They don’t have to learn how to position themselves. So if I have someone deadlifting and someone else is just doing, I’m just using overly simple examples. If I have someone doing hang snatches and then someone over there is just doing a goblet squat, I’m probably gonna stand next to the person that’s doing hang snatches and keep my eye on the person who’s goblet-squatting in the background rather than the reverse. Right? So whatever the most coaching technical thing is, I’m gonna kind of keep myself centered near that and then coach outward from there. But you have to have the progressions and regressions nailed down and all agreed upon before you start. Right? Because what happens if not, let’s just use an example. When we first bought this other gym, they only had dumbbells up to a certain weight before we got in and started kind of revamping things. So it’s like, all right, what’s the next exercise once someone can goblet squat the 75 for 10 reps? If Mike does overhead squats, but Brian does front squats, then we’re delivering a different experience to every client. Right? So it’s important to know. I actually wasn’t familiar with the Level method until I was out at the conference a month ago.

Brian Bott: (18:05)

But we kind of have like our own like, “Hey, once you do this, then you progress to that. Once you can deadlift this ketlebell for 15 reps, we move you to a trap bar. Once you can do that, if you have the prerequisites, you go to a straight bar.” And we kind of just progress on that way. But this way, you know, like, “Hey Mike, was that easy? Cool. Alright, for the next one, I need you to grab X”. And then you know for the next phase where you can kind of progress. But this way you have all those progressions and regressions agreed upon between the staff and they’re all trained up on ’em so that whether Susie comes in and trains with you at 8:00 PM or she trains with me at 6:00 AM, her program’s her program. It’s not like, “Oh, I went with Mike and he totally changed the whole program.” Like our coaches are allowed to regress and progress it as long as those things were met, right? Because sometimes you might program something for a client and have the best of intentions and maybe it still wasn’t the greatest choice. Our coaches always allowed to be like, “Hey, let’s go back to this one for now.” But they don’t move it forward unless we check those boxes first. So that’s the biggest one is having those things nailed down.

Mike Warkentin: (19:10)

What I’m hearing here is systems. Systems, documentation, training plans. And I’m guessing that your coaches have a training plan. You hinted at it there where they start with one-on-one, but you obviously have a staff training system in place. Am I right?

Brian Bott: (19:24)

Yes we do. We do weekly meetings. Yeah. And then when we onboard a new coach, it’s a little bit more intensive where they’re kind of gonna go through, they spend their first couple weeks really just assisting whoever the head coach in that location is. So if Sean’s our head coach in Rumson, when the plan is to bring on a new coach, they have separate times where it’s actual instruction. I’ll usually lead those, but then another few hours during their onboarding time is just spent on the floor with a coach because teaching someone how to coach someone in a goblet squat is relatively easy. Right? We can teach that, but Hey, how does- when you have four members and they all have four different exercises, where to put them in the gym, how to set it up and how to have it all ready. ‘Cause on one-on-one you’re used to, like, how can I deliver great service?

Brian Bott: (20:15)

And sometimes great service becomes, “I’ll grab your dumbbells for you. I’ll lay the towel out for you. And don’t worry, I’ll set the bench up.” And with four people, you can’t do that. It has to be, “Hey Mike, you got your next set. We got goblet squat and dumbbell incline. Right? So I’m gonna put you right here, grab the 55’s. I’m gonna set John up and then I’ll come back and we’ll get rolling. And it has to be like that, because if you try to bring all the stuff over, you’re just gonna be running around for an hour. It really has to be stressed. And the clients, it’s on whoever does the sales as well to make sure that’s clearly communicated. Because if someone’s used to training on one-on-one, that’s the person that is standing there with their program like this, just waiting like, ‘All right, well, where’s my coach?” So as the coach gets better, not necessarily with the, with technique, with queuing, all that other stuff, it adds another element of knowing, like, it’s a performance, right?

Brian Bott: (21:12)

Like, “Hey, how did that go?” Right? I got no doubts in your ability to coach this exercise, but you kind of forgot about Mike over there because you were doing such a good job coaching this person, and all that stuff. It takes time. If you’re gonna transition right from one-on-one to semi-private, my best advice would be to start with only three per coach and just know that you’re gonna stink at it in the beginning. And it’s like anything else, It’s a new skill. Like I said, it’s better, but it’s not easier.

Mike Warkentin: (21:46)

OK. I could talk to you about coach development all day, but I’ll stop myself ’cause I wanna get onto marketing. The one thing I’ll ask is how many coaches do you have? Full-time and part-time.

Brian Bott: (21:55)

Total, or like you wanna do it per gym?

Mike Warkentin: (21:58)

Ah, whatever’s easiest for you to break down.

Brian Bott: (22:00)

Yeah. So we have 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, currently have eight coaches spread basically between.

Mike Warkentin: (22:08)

And all full time? Mm-hmm Okay. So that’s good. So you basically have career coaches who are, I’m guessing they’re highly skilled. If they can deliver this style of programming, they’re quite good.

Brian Bott: (22:16)

Yes. Our head coach in Colts Neck, in the office that I’m sitting in now has been with us for five years.

Mike Warkentin: (22:26)

So we’re talking careers.

Brian Bott: (22:27)

Yeah. Our head coach in Rumson has been coaching with me since before I owned the business. So these are people that we, you know, I guess where we’re going with this is they still get 44%. So you can do the math. If we’re getting $50 per semi-private session and they got four of ’em, it’s a pretty good hour for them at 44%.

Mike Warkentin: (22:49)

Okay. So guys, we’re not gonna dig into that because that is a whole, the 4/9ths Model is an incredibly powerful thing. I’m just gonna direct you. We’re gonna put a link in the show notes to something that you can get into that basically is what Brian said. 44% of a fee goes to the coach. 33% is profit for the gym. 22% goes to cover fixed costs. And if you do that in this model that Brian’s talking about, your coaches can make significant hourly wages that then mean they don’t have to coach 40 hours per week, like a zombie. They can make a good salary working less and providing better service. So I am gonna put a link in there so you guys can check that out if it’s interesting to you, and I recommend that you do. But Brian, I’m not gonna make everyone listen to me go through fractions here for you. I need to know about onboarding. How do you bring- you had mentioned this already- so you’re bringing clients into the business. Talk to me about how you do that so that they’re set up for success and they understand how semi-private training works and all that. And then I also wanna know about what you’re doing in terms of length of membership commitments and so forth.

Brian Bott: (23:47)

All right. So let’s start with onboarding. We follow, you know, we do a No-Sweat Intro, right? So, most of our leads will come from referral or from our website. And they book that session initially with myself or one of the other coaches. And we sit with down with them and the first question we always ask is how can I help? You know? And that’s where we start. Like, that’s the pitch, is how can I help? Right. And we just try to listen and figure out what their needs are and where they’re at. We have an Inbody. So we do an initial body, you know, like most people they’re looking to lose a little fat, build a little muscle, feel better.

Brian Bott: (24:27)

Right? So we start with trying to figure out where they’re at now, help them see what a realistic time frame or plan would kind of look like. We’ll do a movement screening with them to see where they’re at so we have a good idea because that first program is gonna be designed by whoever did the initial strategy session. Right. We use different language, but we call it a strategy session. But same thing. So whoever does that first one is gonna be responsible with designing their first program and making sure that they’re in the right spot, right? So if we go through a movement screening and you know, their knees are hurting with certain things, then obviously we’re gonna omit certain exercises or put certain mobility drills in and try to really make sure that that first workout when they come in, like, okay, this is for me. Right. Because if you have a generic, like, and we have a template that will adjust, right. But if someone mentioned that in their first session, and then the coach that does their first session with them doesn’t seem to be aware of that. It doesn’t really sell what you’re kind of talking about in the beginning. Right. It’s like, have you read the book “Never Lose a Customer Again”?

Mike Warkentin: (25:46)

No. And it’s on my reading list ’cause Chris Cooper talks about it all the time.

Brian Bott: (25:48)

Yeah. So that’s a good example, right? He fills out all the information, then when he gets to the office, it’s already filled out, the receptionist knows and he is like, wow, this place is good. Right? So their initial, program’s gonna say, Mike has some left knee pain, right. Shoulder surgery four years ago. And then this way the coach can kinda communicate in the beginning. “Hey, you know, we’re gonna take a little bit easier with the shoulder today. See how that feels. And I’m gonna show you some foam rolling and stuff that I want you to do before your workouts that’s gonna help maybe take some pressure off your knee.”

Mike Warkentin: (26:19)

And so the coach that’s delivering this program might not be the one that created it.

Brian Bott: (26:22)

Correct. Yeah. Because,

Mike Warkentin: (26:23)

Okay. So listeners, systems. You gotta just remember that what Brian is talking about here is concise systems that ensure communication within the business to deliver A1 customer service. If you don’t have that, this will not work. Keep going Brian.

Brian Bott: (26:33)

Right. Because the idea would be, maybe someone wants to do their strategy session when they get off work at 6:00 PM with me. But then they’re like, “Hey, you know, the best time for me to train is really 6:00 AM and I’m not here at 6:00 AM.” All right. Well, that’s the whole point of the system, right? The whole point of the way that this semi-private training and having the coaches that are employees and work together is, it doesn’t matter, right? Like, okay, cool. So you’ll be with Mike Tuesday morning and you’ll be with Sean on Thursday morning. Cause Mike doesn’t work Tuesday morning and,

Mike Warkentin: (27:04)

Wow, and you’ve solved the icon problem here too, where not everyone wants. So you’re right. Like it’s not just, I have to work with Brian. You’ve got these amazing coaches and no one is attached to that. That’s just brilliant. You’ve solved a huge problem right there.

Brian Bott: (27:15)

Yeah. It’s worked really well for us and clients like it. Right. And we’ll try to rotate every once in a while to kind of keep it fresh because just like any other relationship, right? Like you’re coaching the same person for a year, two years, you’re kinda like, “Eh, Mike’s knee kind of always just goes in a little bit like that when he squats”, you know, you get that kind of comfortability and it’s good because-

Mike Warkentin: (27:37)

I’m gonna jump in there. I just have to give you this. Like the other thing that you’ve solved from a management perspective is that if a staff member leaves, it’s no big deal because you solved that problem. The relationship is with the brand and the training system and the coaching, rather than just with that one person. So sorry to interrupt. But that is a huge thing that we struggle with in the micro gym industry. And you’ve gotta plan there, so well done.

Brian Bott: (27:58)

No, absolutely. That’s a huge part of it because, you know, part of my goal with Aspire Fitness was having career coaches and having people that could coach for a living and not feel like, well, that means I must be here from 5:30 in the morning till 8:00 at night, or there’s no way that I can make it, right. So we want our coaches to take vacations, right? We want our coaches to do these things. And if I’m on vacation for a week, or if a coach is on vacation for a week, people shouldn’t miss their workouts, they just come in, whoever’s covering the shift and they’re not doing something different. They’re not like, oh, I really liked when Mike took over the program for that week.

Brian Bott: (28:41)

And it’s like, no, if you had bench press and kettlebell swings, that’s what you’re doing today. Cause that’s what the program says and that’s where we’re going. So it makes that a lot easier. But yes, to circle back to where we started there, the person who does the initial meeting might not be their coach. They might not ever coach them. They might just be the person that met them and got them started. And that happens to be what their schedule allowed.

Mike Warkentin: (29:07)

Such a big deal of what you’ve got here is, you’ve created relations with your clients, to your brand and your coaching service, not to certain people. And that’s just such a big deal. And it’s much the same as- I won’t use like the McDonald’s analogy. It’s more like a steakhouse where you have this meal that is gonna be delivered by any server. And what that allows you to do is really make your business anti-fragile where if you had a coach leave, it’s unlikely that coach is gonna take 60 of your members in their cult of personality down the street. And it also allows- and this is huge- is holidays, downtime, new coaches, fresh faces, all that stuff that keeps training fresh. So this is like, listeners. If you’ve got a situation where your client can only train with you, you might wanna look at trying to develop something like this, because if that’s the case, you can never take holidays unless you want to make less. Right. Cause they’re not gonna train when you’re gone. So don’t misunderstand how important this one is, Brian. That’s really good.

Brian Bott: (30:02)

And you do it just how you describe in a step-by-step process. It’s like, “Hey, we wanna try doing the semi-private thing. We’re gonna do it for a period of time. Let’s see.” We’ve never had anybody, I wanna say ever, I’m sure I could be wrong, but we’ve never had anyone who was a little bit unsure do semi-private and then be like, nah, that sucked, like I don’t wanna do that. Like they either knew that right from the beginning and wouldn’t ever even agree to do it. They were just like, “I just wanna do one-on-one. I’m happy to pay the premium for it.” Which is awesome. We’re thankful to have that too. But anybody who’s like, “All right, you know what? I’ll give it a shot.” Like as long as they come in and they know what the expectations are, that’s fine.

Brian Bott: (30:43)

And we will try if, let’s say it’s someone who’s never worked out before and they’re just getting started. It’s our general manager’s job. She knows, Hey, don’t put that person at 9:00 AM when there’s 12 other people training. If they can’t, if that’s the only time that they do well, then we gotta up our game. That’s on us. It’s not on them. But we’ll say like, “Hey, listen. For your first couple, Mike actually doesn’t have anybody at 11. Is there any way you can slide back and maybe do that a little bit later? We’d like to get your first couple when it’s not as busy.” And most people, we don’t charge them extra for it. Like, the coach doesn’t mind. ‘Cause if they didn’t have anybody, now they’re getting paid more. Right. So it’s one of the few things that’s actually a win-win. They’re getting a more private session, at least to learn in the beginning. And then after they’ve been through it, the training wheels come off and they’re good to go.

Mike Warkentin: (31:32)

So you have a client journey, obviously you have a plan for integrating clients, right grom the get go.

Brian Bott: (31:36)

Yeah. Like, because the sooner that they can get used to it, the better, because they’ll get used to, they have their program in their hand. And then you almost have to interject sometimes. They’re like, no, I got it. I’m setting it up. And you’re like, all right, cool. Like, thanks. You know? And,

Mike Warkentin: (31:52)

What I need is I need a gong here and I need to hit it every time you say something that indicates you have a system and a structure built that governs everything that happens at your gym, because most listeners, myself included back in the day, I would not have had that.

Brian Bott: (32:04)

Yeah. In terms of training stuff, that that’s how we roll with that. And I think your other question was, what do we do with actual memberships?

Mike Warkentin: (32:13)

Yeah. What are your terms and conditions? Not terms and conditions, but what are your membership terms and options and so forth? Like are we talking monthly, weekly, that kinda thing.

Brian Bott: (32:20)

We do both. Well, we don’t do weekly, but we either do annual or month to month.

Mike Warkentin: (32:27)

Okay. Tell me more about that.

Brian Bott: (32:29)

And to do month to month, it’s a three month minimum. So you have to do three months and then it can transition to month to month. For anybody who’s nervous about doing that, I’ve actually found the better closing rate with that, because then it shows you’re serious. If I’ll let you just do it for a month and then stop for a month and then do it, and your goal is to get your life back in order. Then as a coach, I’m not prescribing what I actually- I’m just taking your money and not actually giving you something that I think would work. So I never have a problem looking at someone during a session. And we’ll make exceptions, If they’re like, “Hey, I’m moving for Rome in three weeks.” All right. Well, you don’t have to be like, “Oh, you can’t join.” You just write it and you document it out. But in general, we’re saying, “Hey, listen, if your goal is lose 30 pounds at a minimum, we gotta be at this for three months.” Right? And they’re like, no, I totally understand. So if you’re unsure about getting started for a year, we can get you signed up for month to month. And at three months you can kind of decide if you wanna switch over to an annual or let it run month to month.

Mike Warkentin: (33:31)

That’s brilliant because you can get results. Yeah. You can get results. Like my wife does the same thing in her nutrition business. Three months is the minimum required to get like, you can get okay results in a month, but it’s not anywhere near what it should be. Three months is a reasonable timeline for someone to actually see progress. And that’s gonna be part of a retention strategy where you can actually show them progress. Whereas after a week it’s or a month, it’s like, I didn’t lose any weight. It’s like, you’re not gonna lose 20 pounds in a month. It’s not gonna happen.

Brian Bott: (33:55)

Yeah. And if you think about it, a lot of that’s why we got rid of doing like 21 day kickstart type programs in lieu of this. Because if you think about it, if you’re not working out and training, what do you feel like after three weeks worth of training? You feel like crap. You’re sore. You’re not eating your favorite foods anymore. It sucks. And you’re like, so do you wanna join for a year? Like . And it’s precisely at the worst time that you could. Like, this person’s tired. They haven’t really adjusted yet for the most part. Right? They’re sore from their workouts. They’re still not used to cleaning up their nutrition. And then you’re like, this is great, right?

Brian Bott: (34:38)

It’s not like when you buy a new car and it smells good and you’re driving fast. And you’re like, oh, this was definitely worth it. It’s like the opposite with fitness. The feedback loop is so in reverse. And there’s not that instant gratification of like, I made the right decision in purchasing this. So we totally get if someone doesn’t wanna just walk in sight unseen and sign up for a year. More people sign up annually than they do for month to month, but we have that option. And then it’s very easy to backtrack if that’s the main concern. If we make our prescription, like, “Hey, listen, let’s get you started with twice a week. We do annual agreements.” “You know what? I’m not really sure with annual.” “Perfect, we have this month to month option. It’s a little bit more expensive, but this way you can kind of give it a shot. And listen, if after your first month you’re you’re hooked and you wanna switch, you can switch it over and we’ll get you started with an annual. So this way you don’t feel like you have to run out these three months before switching.”

Mike Warkentin: (35:31)

So annual is obviously the best thing, because you’re getting a year of a client’s commitment, but you can also down, I’ll use the word downsell, but it’s not really a down sell in the sense that it’s a lesser thing. You’re offering them a different option for a three month commitment and then month to month, but it costs more. So that’s a key thing that people should look at. Give me a few details on the annual commitment. Like first of all, what’s your ratio of people on annual versus month to month? Would you have an idea?

Brian Bott: (35:54)

Oh, I’d be like over 90% are on annuals. Yeah.

Mike Warkentin: (35:58)

Okay. So now I need to know more about this. Tell me the details of how this works, because a lot of gyms, like, I never sold anything more than six months ever. How does this work for you? The whole structure?

Brian Bott: (36:08)

It sounds like- those rates that I gave you earlier, those are our annual rates. So Hey, you come in, we do your strategy session. You’re looking for this goal. We don’t have a fancy sheet. It’s literally a white sheet that says one session per week, two session per week, three session per week. Okay. And we’re prescriptive, and it comes down to the analogy that I use. And again, we do have a high average revenue, but it really comes down to sincerely only selling someone something that you think that they need. If someone came to me and was like, Hey, Brian, I’ve been doing- you know, we’re not a CrossFit affiliate, but I’ll just use that- Now. I’ve been doing CrossFit for 10 years. I really enjoyed just having a program to follow with a little guidance.

Brian Bott: (36:50)

I’m pretty good at, you know, I feel like I’ve been doing this for a while and I can see that because I did their evaluation. Like don’t recommend three times a week for that person. Like, oh, I think you should really get started with three times a week. I’ll say, listen, you know, you’re crushing it. I think the biggest value that I can offer you is my programming. So our lowest entry point for that is one time a week with a coach, so that’s what I would recommend for you. If you feel like you need more, more than welcome to, but I think the biggest value add for you is going to be in the programming. So what I would recommend for you is, it’s once a week with a coach, it’s $299, it’s an annual agreement. All I need to know is when you’d like to get started.

Mike Warkentin: (37:34)

Billed monthly?

Brian Bott: (37:35)

Correct. Yep. Billed monthly. So let’s say you came in for your evaluation on the 1st, we would collect the first billing that day and then all your other billing dates coincide with your first session. Right? Cause let’s say someone joins on Thursday. They wanna get started on Monday. We would do their first billing on Thursday to collect payment and then all the other billings would be on whatever that date was that they do their first session.

Mike Warkentin: (38:03)

So how do you avoid? Cause we’ve heard about gyms that’ll sell annual stuff and then they just, you know, clients just vanish and they disappear and don’t pay. How do you make sure that that annual client stays and keeps paying? And then re-ups, what’s the plan?

Brian Bott: (38:16)

So a lot of it is done in the first month. So I don’t remember if it was Strava or Nike, but they did a study when they were using their app that, and they have a lot more data than we have, that if users got to, I think it was like, the number that we use is eight. If they did eight runs in 30 days, that person used the app, like 100 X times longer than the person that didn’t get eight runs. So we’re trying to book that person’s first eight workouts that day when they sit down. Now it’s not always feasible with everybody, but after I do the strategy session, they’ll go to Lauren, Who’s kind of our customer service manager at the gym and she’ll work on that with their schedule. 

Brian Bott: (38:57)

We wanna try to get your first eight appointments in the first 30 days set up. And that doesn’t matter whether they’re doing one session with a coach or three sessions with a coach. If they signed up for three times a week training, it’s relatively easy, right. They’re gonna book three points of like, but what you don’t wanna be doing- Yes. Yeah. And we’re just trying to get them, Hey, let’s get you on a recurring schedule. You can always change it. Right. But what are two days a week that you can bank at what time you can train? And then we’re gonna start from there because if you do two times a week for four weeks, that’s eight visits. And it’s her job to monitor if- we use Mindbody as our CRM type stuff, you can run a report if someone hasn’t checked in in the last X number of days.

Brian Bott: (39:42)

So she runs that report almost every day. If someone hasn’t checked in within the last three days, then she’s going to send a quick little text, a reminder through Gymly machine and say like, “Hey Mike, I noticed you haven’t been in yet this week. And I don’t see an appointment on the schedule. When can we get you in?” So you can’t, the easy tendency would be like, well, Mike signed up for a year, so we don’t have to worry about him. And from a lot of the things I’ve seen, people are making that buying decision on whether they’re gonna renew there or not within their first 30 days of being at the gym. Right. And you can usually get a pretty good vibe. Like, we just keep at the gym, a plus minus total rather than getting it.

Brian Bott: (40:29)

I mean, we track number of leads, all those things too. But in general, we’re looking at plus minus every month, so meaning if two people quit, if we get 10 people that joined, that’s plus eight, and as long as we’re hanging positive numbers, we know in general things are going in the right direction. And for the most part in this system, we can almost with in crazy accuracy, look ahead and say, yeah, I don’t think Mike’s coming back. Even though we’ve tried, we haven’t been able to get him in. And then look at the other ones and be like, no, I’m pretty sure that they’re all renewing, you know? And so it’s really important that you have someone whose job it is. It can’t be the coach’s job, right. Because if I’m one coach and I work six hours a day, let’s just say, and my schedule’s full.

Brian Bott: (41:16)

I have 24 clients just that one day. Right. And now I’m back tomorrow. And I’m assuming it’s different clients because it’s two days in a row. So now I’m at 48, it’s hard for them to manage. So having a separate person do that has been awesome because they can block out an hour of their day and basically get to everybody. Right. Cause all 150 members aren’t gonna be on that report. If they’re cranking along then we’re good to go. If they’re not, then that’s gonna come up on that report for her. And it’s her job to kinda follow up and try to get in.

Mike Warkentin: (41:48)

So I could have just rang the gong like five times again for the systems that you just laid out. But what you’ve got, just to bullet point this for listeners, is you have an intake system and a client journey in which you know that the better job you do in the first eight sessions- or call it a month, whatever you wanna call it- better job you do there, the longer people are gonna stay. And I’ve heard this time and again, from successful gym owners, the better your onboarding process is, the longer, the more intense- intense is the wrong word, but the more involved, sure. The touch points, the better the relationship that you build early, it almost always equals better retention and higher average revenue per member. That’s something we hear relentlessly from gym owners who have great revenue. So guys, if your onboarding system is like, I signed up for a year and see you later, that is a bad plan. You need to work to create a relationship, habit forming with these people. If you do that, it’s very likely they’re gonna keep going. And then you’ve got the retention backup of, or during the other 11 months, great personalized programming with updated programs. I’m guessing you’ve got goal reviews built in there as well. Am I right?

Brian Bott: (42:51)

Yeah. We’ll usually do that like the session before they’re due a new program.

Mike Warkentin: (42:56)

There you go. So they’re happening all the time, because you’re doing personalized programming. You have to know what the results are. So you’ve got that built into the plan. All of this, guys, is a retention system that will keep people happy on a year long plan and then have them reup without even thinking about it, which is great. And the thing that I love is you are scheduling their first session. So trying to give everyone that first experience, that is exactly the same. Not the same workouts, obviously, but the same thing. We’re gonna get you laid out for eight sessions because we know that’s going to get you on track. If you just said, okay, well, you know, book your first Onramp session. And this is what I did back on the day. We’ll book your second session after the first session, what happens? All of a sudden that Onramp that could have taken five, seven days, whatever you wanna call it, is now a month later, this person hasn’t built a habit, isn’t getting any results. And I’m like, Hey, you wanna buy a membership? And they’re like, no.

Brian Bott: (43:44)

Yeah. Or it’s like, if your next touchpoint, ’cause if you think about it too, like with a month to month, yeah. It’ll continue on. But at that point you’re asking your, just from a percentage standpoint, every month you have to ask for money. Again, every single month it’s asking, it’s asking, it’s asking and I can see the flip side of it. Cuz then it’s gonna make sure that you’re on top of your game, right? Like you can’t, I can’t take away that aspect of it. Right. If someone was only buying X amount of sessions from me and I had to, it would in one way make sure that you were performing at a high level. ‘Cause you know, Hey, they’re gonna re-up again. But that doesn’t outweigh the benefits of the system and for the business of doing it the other way. It’s just on you for letting that part kick in and be like, ah, Mike’s good.

Mike Warkentin: (44:36)

Now I could eat your entire day with this podcast, but I’m gonna ask you sort of the final summary, big question here. Where do you find these people? So you have great clients who are willing to sign up at high rates for a year. How do you find these people? Do you spend a ton of money on marketing or where do they come from?

Brian Bott: (44:53)

We used to, so our gym in Colts Neck was open pre-COVID. So in 2015 and then took a hit through COVID obviously. And back to get to that number, there was a time where we would spend a hundred dollars a day on Facebook ads. And it’s great for lead development. It’s not necessarily great at, and I’m sure there’s people that are infinitely better than what I was doing, and this is just our experience with it. It wasn’t great at getting qualified leads into the door, because I can’t pitch you on a year’s membership and hang a price tag of, try us for $79 for 21 days. It’s too much of a disconnect. I’m gonna come in for this $79 trial.

Brian Bott: (45:42)

And then you hit me with $400 a month as my bill. Why did I do this? And maybe some of those people can fit into a group program, but it depends because we would always try to bring our best service to those programs and it would include semi-private training. And that’s, you know, $400, $500 a month, so it’d be a disconnect. And the time, the effort, the strain on our team on servicing, when you get 30 new people that are starting and go through that process that I just started, if not just like, well, these are Facebook leads. We won’t do that process with them. Like we had to do that, 30 new programs. And then don’t forget about all your other members.

Brian Bott: (46:24)

We just found that when we were looking at the plus or minuses, it never really- and maybe it says something about how we operate as well- but for our system, it was much better to focus on doing a really good job with the people that are here, earning referrals, and letting people who are already kind of being referred to us, come to us. Our marketing budget right now in Rumson is zero. Since we opened, haven’t spent a dollar. Now we’ve done like community events and had banners. So I don’t wanna say it’s zero. But in terms of a direct, like, Hey, we’re gonna do this direct piece in this magazine or on Facebook or on Instagram, we’ve done zero. We’ve done our own posting on Instagram.

Brian Bott: (47:13)

Now the caveat is that it’s a small town, it’s a very affluent town. And we are right on the main street in town that every single person walks down every day, the high school is right behind us. So all the kids that walk by go there and then they train with us when school’s done. So I’m not gonna say that if you have a warehouse facility off the beaten path and you’re paying rent, that’s fair for that location. Well then maybe you need to redirect dollars into some other avenue because how are people gonna find you? But for us, being in that location has done very, very well. And then because we’ve been able to focus on that, we’ve done a great job with referrals, with people just bringing their family members, bringing a friend, and things like that. That’s really been the core. And the good thing is that when you get referrals that way, they stay longer. Right. So when we look at our, we call it lifetime client value, but in Two-Brain, it would be like the LEG. 

Mike Warkentin: (48:15)

Long term value, lifetime value.

Brian Bott: (48:17)

Right. So we

Mike Warkentin: (48:18)

LTV. Yeah, yeah.

Brian Bott: (48:18)

So take that $400. Right. And that was for one month, I think that we hope that that continues, but it wasn’t always that way. But the one thing that’s always been pretty consistent is that we keep people for three and a half years on average, right. Because they’re signing up for an annual membership once they renew. If they renew that second one, I’d actually have to find a way to tease out that statistic. Like if they renew one year, it’s probably similar to the Strava data. Like if you can make it one year and you renew, the odds that they’re gonna just cancel in year three is very slim. We have some members that have been with us since we opened in 2015, which is great. And they’re doing semi-private training. It’s not like they’re just at our lowest point

Mike Warkentin: (48:59)

Affinity marketing. That is what Brian is talking about here. That is using your current clients to find more people just like them. If you want to get a guide on that, go to, click on free tools. You will find that guide in there. It is life changing and gym changing. I wanna know- just the last thing I’ll ask you- a VIP card. I’ve heard something about this thing. It sounds super cool. What is it?

Brian Bott: (49:19)

That’s why I’m looking around. Give me one second. I’ll grab one.

Mike Warkentin: (49:22)

Yeah. OK. Yeah. Yeah. Grab one. While Brian grabs that, just know that with a system, you can find members who are connected to your current members. Ooh. Now that does not look like a flimsy thing.

Brian Bott: (49:35)

Correct. It’s like a credit-card thickness.

Mike Warkentin: (49:39)

Looks like my Visa, except mine’s not black.

Brian Bott: (49:41)

Yeah. And that’s intentional, right. If I have a flimsy, like, Hey, if you know anybody, just here, take it. It has to be like, Hey, listen, when anybody ever gets started, we give them one of these. If there’s anybody that you know in your family or friend that you think would like to be doing this with you, just let me know. I’ll assign their name to this. It’s for 30 days at our twice a week semi-private membership, as your guest, right. 

Mike Warkentin: (50:13)

Whoa! So you can just tag along?

Brian Bott: (50:14)

Just tag along. Yeah. It’s legit. No cost. And you know, when we first started doing it, my hesitation was like, well, my friend gets to do it for free? Like, I just paid you. My friend gets to do it for free. But no one, honestly, they get it. It’s a gift. They know that we’re trying to grow our business. Like, can you just be transparent about it? We’d love to have more people just like you. And we’ve found that the best way to get more people like you is to have you invite people that you would enjoy working out with. But it can’t just be like, whoever you want, just give this to ’em whenever. And like, do you have anybody in mind? Not right now.

Brian Bott: (50:52)

Okay. Well, when you do have someone in mind, I’m gonna keep this in your file. Let me know. I will give it to you then. Because if I just give it to you then, they know it’s useless. I know it’s useless. It’s just some made up card. Right. I didn’t assign any value to it. But that strip, it doesn’t do anything. It’s just on there. Right. But what that strip does, is it conveys value, like, Hey, all right, Mike. Oh yeah. This would be great for my wife. Great. What’s your wife’s name? Lisa. All right. Perfect. I’m gonna have this assigned to Lisa. And then I just make a note, I give it to you, just have her bring this back and then, Hey, Mike, just do me a favor since we have limited these. If she’s not gonna use it.

Brian Bott: (51:29)

Totally no pressure. Don’t worry about it. Just bring it back to me so that I have it and I can assign it to someone else, right. This way it’s not just like this: Well, we just hand these out and they just go all over the place and you can get one whenever you want, which you can. Right? If someone was like, I actually need five of them. I would do it, right? because the cost of this is whatever we charge for a semi-private session, times however many sessions that they do, right? The acquisition cost for that of running a hundred dollars of Facebook ads a day is always gonna be more than that. And then I have to deal with all the other stuff of, a lot of like, people who are just there to try it out or all they do is go from gym, to gym, to gym and try the 21-day thing.

Brian Bott: (52:15)

It’s a slower burn, but much, much less churned. Right. What we would find is like, oh, great. We had 15 people sign up that month, but then our retention numbers would be lower. And it’s like, guys, we’re still just getting back to hanging a plus three every month. So it’s just easier to do it this way. Right. Like, you know, so if you did plus five, every single month, like net, not just add five members, but five quit. Like that’s slow, it’s slower. But if they’re also staying at that rate then you’re always hanging a plus. And that’s why the plus minus system works really well for us, because it doesn’t let us forget that, like, Hey, we gotta take care of our ongoing members too. Right. And I, ’cause the board’s right in front of me. So if I just look at the first, however many months, it’s like, plus three, plus three, plus two, plus six, plus two, nothing crazy. But when that’s $300, $400 a month, you know what I mean? It’s worked for us anyway. I should say.

Mike Warkentin: (53:16)

Yeah. Retention and acquisition of high value members over time, if you do it slowly, and you’re always in the pluses, you’re gonna win- and I’m using the hockey analogy here- but you’re gonna win the Stanley Cup with that one.

Brian Bott: (53:25)

Once we switched to that and it became what everybody was able to focus on, rather than like, well, we gotta get 30 leads and out of those 30 leads, we gotta have this many, and we still keep an eye on that. But we know at the end of the day, our report card is that.

Mike Warkentin: (53:42)

Wow. So what you’ve got is this high value physical object that feels cool. Like it’s not just like a coupon that you can kind of tear out and stuff in your wallet and then forget about when you’re cleaning it out. This, you would actually have to physically make some effort to get rid of this thing, because it’s like a credit card. Like, no one throws these things away. Right. So it’s like, I remember. So that’s the first thing. The second thing is that this thing has huge value attached to it. Like, let’s be real. This is a huge value that you could give away to someone if that person shows up. The third thing is that you’re using this only with people who are already attached to your business. Like they come in, they see your value and you’re asking them for someone just like them. So this is like affinity marketing supercharged, where you’re basically screening out clients you don’t want. Finding people that are highly likely the hottest leads you could find, like spouses of current members, kids, and family, and so forth. And you’re finding these people and bringing them into your business. Let me ask you this as a final thing. What is your process for then closing these people? Like, when you’ve given someone one of these cards, how do you then get them to sign up when the card expires?

Brian Bott: (54:47)

Well, we still do that same, like, so whether you came in with this or you came in from another source, the process is all the same. So we still go through that goal setting period. We still go through all that. We’ve had people just come in and sign up and just use it like, use this for their first month and they just do it. Right. That’s not always the case, but a lot of times, we just do it in that second session. And whenever their next goal review is, right. So whenever they were gonna get followed up with, ’cause that’s the point I was gonna add. The other great time to hand these out is when someone has just an awesome goal review. So, let’s say it was a fat loss client. They come in, they do their Inbody, they’re down X amount of percentage body fat. They’re just ecstatic. I’ve never been able to do this. You guys are great. Perfect, cool, here, while you’re having at it and you’re ready to sing our praises, if there’s anybody else that struggled like you have and hasn’t been able to make it work, you know, I’d like you to be able to give this to them so they can get started.

Mike Warkentin: (55:50)

And those people, do they almost invariably sign up? Like, do you have a statistic by any chance?

Brian Bott: (55:54)

Yep. I don’t have one on that specific one, but they’re lumped into all of our other closing rate percentages. And it hasn’t been negative. Like, I would say it’s whatever our closing rate is for other leads. It’s the same, if not higher.

Mike Warkentin: (56:09)

Yeah. So basically what you’re saying is that this card works and it does bring in high value clients for you almost invariably.

Brian Bott: (56:15)

Yeah. Because it’s such a strong filter that if people get through that filter, they probably wanna be there. Right. Like, if someone gives this to you, you know it’s a month, right. You know it’s personalized, you know it’s whatever. The person who referred you knows what we cost. Right? Like they know what the investment is with the trainer. So they’re not gonna be like, oh yeah, I’m gonna give this to my friend who like, he’s really down hard on his luck right now, but I think it’d be great if he worked with you guys. That’s never happened. It’s always, you know, it’s the people that hang around with each other. Right. So it’s worked well for us. I wouldn’t see why it wouldn’t work well for others, but those little things that we touched on, it’s how you do it. Right. If you just leave a pile of ’em up at the front and it’s like, Hey guys, we started using these VIP cards and there’s a bucket of them up there. Right? Like that’s not the same.

Mike Warkentin: (57:14)

There’s no bucket of VIP cards. It feels like a VIP card. Right?

Brian Bott: (57:17)


Mike Warkentin: (57:17)

Yeah. Like exactly what you’re saying. This is like a prized thing. It’s a gift. It’s got huge value. And there’s a little bit of risk on your part obviously, but you’ve got the systems in place to back that up. And it works for you. Guys, this is really, if you read the affinity marketing guide that Two-Brain has put out, you will see where Brian’s tactic fits in there. Right? You are using your current amazing clients to find people that are right close to them. And you’re not gonna have to sort through 500 Facebook leads. You’re going to talk to someone who is hugely inclined to sign up. Check that guide out. I can’t emphasize that enough, Brian, I’m not gonna ask any more questions about this. That is a ton of info. And I think people are probably gonna be pretty shocked by it. I wish I had spoken to you maybe 10 years ago when I was setting my gym up and I think I would’ve, well, I would have a black Visa right now. thank you very much for sorting all of that out for us. And I really wanna probably have you back, I think to talk some more about this. Would you be interested in that?

Brian Bott: (58:14)

My pleasure whenever, whenever you need it. Yeah.

Mike Warkentin: (58:16)

Thank you so much. That was Brian Bott on Two-Brain Radio. Thanks for listening. Please hit subscribe on the way out, wherever you’re watching or listening. Now here’s Chris Cooper with a final message.

Chris Cooper: (58:28)

Hey, it’s Two-Brain founder Chris Cooper with a quick note. The Gym Owners United Facebook group has more than 5,600 members and it’s growing daily. If you aren’t benefiting from the free tips and tactics and resources that I post daily in that group, what are you waiting for? Get in there and grow your business. That’s Gym Owners United on Facebook or Join today!

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