Free Gym Trials Are 2015. Here’s How to Get High-Value Clients Now.

Free Gym Trials Are 2015. Here’s How to Get High-Value Clients Now.

Mike Warkentin: (00:01)
Free consultations or free trials at gyms. Which one is better? Chris Cooper has the definitive, data-backed answer. This is Run a Profitable Gym. Please subscribe for more episodes. Now, here’s Coop.

Chris Cooper: (00:14)
Hey, I’m the founder of Two-Brain Business, Chris Cooper, and today I’m gonna talk about why a free consultation always beats a free trial in any gym business. It’s really, really popular now to talk about just coming in and having people do free trials. And in some franchises or a group setting that’s mostly choreographed, like spin class or Introduction to Karate or Jazzercise, a free trial can work just fine, but it doesn’t work in a coaching environment. And the reason is that you need to set yourself aside as a professional, and that starts with a consultative process. When a client comes in the gym, you need to talk about their goals so that you can frame your program as what’s gonna get them there instead of just letting them come in, try it and try to figure out on their own. Like, is this the thing that’s gonna help me lose weight or give me more energy or get some strength back or help feeling sore all the time?

Chris Cooper: (01:10)
They don’t know that. And so it’s our job as professionals to tell them exactly how that’s going to work. The big problem with the free trial-type stuff in a coaching business is churn. Now, even if you’re in a big metropolitan area like New York City or London, eventually you’re going to run out of the early adopters who just want to try your service once and fall in love forever. Even though that was the case for me, and probably for you if you own a gym. Now, it’s not the case for most people, right? We’re early adopters. They’re not. Generally, the people who come in through a free trial just don’t stick around as long. Here’s the data on that. The average length of engagement, the average time that a client sticks around if they come in through a free trial is just under eight months.

Chris Cooper: (01:59)
Not great. That’s not enough to build a coaching business on, and more importantly, it’s not enough time to change their life. You can’t instill a meaningful, lifelong love of fitness and nutrition in eight months. For us, after we teach people how to install a consultative process like the No-Sweat Intro, that leg immediately jumps by over five months to 13. Now, there are other things that we teach in Two-Brain too, but most professionals, if you think about it, have a consultative process. My chiropractor is not running a free trial back adjustment because they know that not every single thing that they do is appropriate for every possible client, and that’s the way that it is in a coaching business. So the, the consultative process at intake is the first thing that we teach a lot of gym owners who come into Two-Brain, whether they change their pricing, whether they change their offering or not, they need to have a conversation with their client and be able to say, here’s how I’m going to help you.

Chris Cooper: (02:57)
Okay? Every professional does this. They might call it motivational interviewing, they might call it something else, but the reality is a No-Sweat Intro is just a short-form consultative process that helps you make the correct prescription for your client. And for a lot of your clients, that prescription is not the same group training that everybody else is doing. All right, now let’s talk about client value. The average client value for gyms coming into Two-Brain is just under a hundred dollars a month. That’s really, really low for a professional service. After they institute a No-Sweat Intro, the average ARM- average revenue per member- goes up to 185. So imagine if every member at your gym paid you $85 more per month, and were happy to do it because they were getting better results and they stuck around for almost twice as long.

Chris Cooper: (03:45)
Right? The No-Sweat Intro literally doubles and sometimes quadruples the value of every single client that you get, because it doubles what they’re willing to pay, and it doubles their lifespan too. If you really wanna make a difference in people’s lives, you have to start by asking them what they want to achieve and then using your expertise as a coach to tell them how to get there, not just let them wander in, try something, try not to hurt them, and then let them figure it out on their own. Some people will say that a No-Sweat Intro is a barrier to entry. It’s not a barrier to entry, it’s a barrier to exit. The No-Sweat Intro and a consultative process, a free conversation at intake helps keep people around the gym by telling them exactly how you’re going to help them. That’s why it’s so important.

Chris Cooper: (04:36)
So I’ll say it again. The NSI isn’t a barrier to entry, it’s a barrier to premature exit. It stops churn in gyms, and if you’ve been around the gym field long enough, you know that the big problem is not really getting more clients. It’s keeping clients. If you’ve got a good solid retention plan, you’ll keep clients long enough to change their lives, induce meaningful health gains into their lifestyle and also build a better business. You also know that the gyms who say that they’ve got 300 or 500 clients are either replacing 30 to 50 clients every single month, or they’re just not sticking around at those numbers for long. You can start by making an amazing gym with 150 members and then scaling up from there after you’ve got your processes dialed. The key to that, though, is good retention. And good retention starts with a consultative process called the No-Sweat Intro.

Chris Cooper: (05:31)
People who are saying, you just need to do a free trial, who want to drag us backward 10 years, they just don’t have the data that we have, and so they just don’t know any better. And so what I’d love to see is everybody acting on data. And the data says, use a No-Sweat Intro at intake, but don’t take my word for it. Ask any GM in Two-Brain Business. There are well over 800 worldwide. There are 1700 alumni. You can ask them, did a No-Sweat Intro improve their business or not? And they will tell you unequivocally yes. We created the Gym Owners United Facebook group to help you run a profitable gym. Thousands of gym owners just like you have already joined. In the group, we share sound advice about the business of fitness every day. I answer questions, I run free webinars, and I give away all kinds of great resources to help you grow your gym. I’d love to have you in the group. It’s Gym Owners United on Facebook, or go to to join. Do it today.

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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.