One of the key metrics we track in TwoBrain is LEG: Length of Engagement.

The average LEG of gyms when they start the Incubator is 13.1 months (that’s going down, by the way, thanks to 6-week challenges and “free trial” entry points.)


If we can increase LEG to 15 months–every client in your gym stays an extra two months–that could easily mean an extra $45,000 per year for your gym ($150 x 150 clients x 2 months.)


Yeah, retention is kinda important.


Long-term retention is really long-term behavior change. If attending your gym becomes part of a client’s life, you’ll keep them longer. If they struggle to make a lifestyle change, you’ll always be the negotiable part of their day. That means you’ll be the first thing cut from their schedule, or their budget, when they have limited resources.


In this episode, I share how to change long-term client behaviors using the B-MAT model of behavioral modification. The original comes from BJ Fogg at Stanford University, and I’ll give specific examples and explanations in this episode.


When we planned our marketing year at Catalyst, we didn’t start with Facebook ads or SEO or Adwords. We didn’t even start with goal reviews. We started by going back through every process we have, so that we were ready to take more clients. Retention is more important than anything else at Catalyst. Here’s how we do it.


(We teach you EXACTLY what to do, step-by-step, in the Incubator and Growth Phases.)

B-MAT stands for Behavior = Motivation, Ability, Triggers

Motivation has three elements, each with a ‘light side’ and a ‘dark side’:

  • Sensation (pleasure/pain)
  • Anticipation (hope/fear)
  • Belonging (acceptance/rejection)

Ability has two elements, according to Fogg:

  • Simplicity (they have a clear path to success, one step at a time)
  • Overcoming the limiting factor or resource

I’ll add another: appropriate challenge. A client MUST feel as if workouts and diets are tough, but that they can definitely succeed. This is based on research by Duckworth and Dweck, primarily.

And Triggers require you to fill one of three roles for your client:

  • Facilitator (clients with high motivation but low skill)
  • Signal (clients with high motivation and high skill – rare now)
  • Spark (clients with high skill but low motivation – toughest group)

I DON’T talk about clients with low skill and low motivation, because these folks are so tough that they’re extremely hard to motivate, and will probably ruin the experience for your other clients (or yourself.)



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