3 Things You’ll Never Find in Struggling Gyms

On a blue background, three white puzzle pieces fit together perfectly.

Excellence and consistency create incredible value in a gym—but they aren’t enough.

To become world class and earn a spot on our leaderboard for the value you deliver to gym clients, you need three more elements:

  • Empathy.
  • Attention.
  • Appreciation.

These things are absent in gyms that can’t hold onto clients or sell high-value services. They’re glaringly obvious in gyms that thrive.

“You Get Me!”

Empathy means you can understand the client’s perspective. You can put yourself in the client’s shoes.

Empathy creates value because you can share experience. You’ve been where they are, and you know what it’s like. Or you have the rare skill of being able to understand exactly where they are and what they need to move forward.

Few people can put themselves in another person’s shoes.

Take, for example, the young, fit coach who can’t understand why a 55-year-old client doesn’t enjoy barbell shoulder presses.

“Presses are essential for upper-body strength, and the client should suck it up,” the coach thinks.

Fast-forward 20 years and the young coach develops nagging shoulder pain. Barbell presses aggravate her shoulder, so she starts to avoid them in favor of other movements that don’t hurt. She suddenly has a flash of insight: “That’s why the client hated presses all those years ago.”

Empathy allows you to have that insight right now, when it’s really needed.

Can you set aside your own experience and thoughts to truly understand your clients?

If you can, you have empathy—and it’s extremely valuable.

“You Notice Everything!”

If people simply sign up and attend, you don’t have a relationship with them. You’re easily replaced by the gym down the street. And your services aren’t worth as much.

But if you pay attention to everything and build strong relationships, no one can replace you. And clients will pay more to work with you.

Attention is both individual and institutional. You must pay attention to everything in every client interaction personally, but your business and its staff must do the same thing.

Do you or your staff members forget birthdays? Do you say “I’ll send you an article on that” and forget to follow up? Do you ignore a client who winces in warm-up in hopes that some issue will just go away?

Or do you remember that Cindy likes the squat rack in the corner because she’s shy and not ready to be in the middle of the gym? And that Tom has a vacation coming and might appreciate a set of hotel workouts to keep him on track? Does your client success manager check in with a client who just seems a little down this week?

Everyone is busy, and it’s easy to run on autopilot or get caught up in yourself.

But attention is valuable. If you can give individual clients a lot of it, they’ll be happy to pay for it—and they’ll stay for years.

“You Appreciate Me!”

Have you ever gotten a message like this?

“I can’t thank you enough for what you did today. It made a huge difference. I appreciate you!”

If you have, you’ll understand the value of appreciation.

I have some amazing people around me who show their appreciation regularly, and it’s life changing. I literally have some of their notes on my wall. Their words are that important to me—and your actions will be just as important to your clients.

Appreciation closes the loop on value. There are some obvious ways to show appreciation:

  • Saying “thank you.”
  • Giving out high-fives.
  • Sending handwritten notes.
  • Shooting out quick texts.

Do this stuff regularly. But you can go further.

If you know your clients’ goals—you must—you should reveal their progress toward those goals regularly. Remember: Clients don’t always see changes. It’s up to you to highlight these changes and celebrate them.

What if your clients didn’t just leave after a workout? What if you celebrated the day’s accomplishment in a genuine way? And what if you highlighted and celebrated long-term progress in Goal Review Sessions every 90 days? What if you made each client feel like a superstar through social-media features and thoughtful gifts?

All of those actions let clients know that they are appreciated. Think of a time you’ve felt underappreciated or taken for granted. It’s brutal, right?

Do everything you can to ensure clients never feel that way.

Put it all Together

Here are the five elements of value:

  • Excellence.
  • Consistency.
  • Empathy.
  • Attention.
  • Appreciation.

Together, these elements create incredible value. They’re defining characteristics of every gym that has a high average revenue per member.

Audit your business today. Is each element obvious?

If not, or if you want to learn what you can do to amplify each element, book a call with us here.


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.