Killing The Canary

by Two-Brain Mentors Brian Alexander and Chris Cooper

Even when things are amazing, it’s very easy to focus on the “problem areas.”

Our brains are wired to detect flaws. But we often get “false positives”: cues or feedback that seems to knock all the good stuff off the table. We fixate on negative feedback even when it doesn’t represent the average client. And when someone says they don’t like a class time on our client surveys…well, we want to smash the whole puzzle and start from scratch! Right?

Brian just shared a fantastic message with his coaches (he oversees 30 of them between two gyms, and relies on his strong leadership style to inspire them to take the right action when they’re out of his sight).

Brian’s crew was starting to report that “some of the members” had problems with “some of the services” or “some of the class times”. These are always hard to pin down (WHICH members? What EXACTLY did they say?) but Brian has been through this before.

Over a year ago, the rates at CrossFit Illumine rose. A small–but very vocal–minority of clients quit to make a point about the prices. Most have since come back, but at the time, Brian had to fight the temptation to back down from his core values and cave in to keep them.

This is how he got through it, and the lesson he shared with his staff today:

There will always be a small minority of people who complain about everything. For example, not including Spark in Unlimited memberships, or charging extra for speciality programs, or charging for nutrition advice, not having enough classes, CrossFit being too expensive etc… while we listen to everyone, we act according to our vision for the gym and don’t let the “Loud Minority” sway us because we understand that they don’t see the big picture we do.

When I hear, “Everyone is complaining, or “Everyone thinks this….” I know that “everyone” is not “everyone” and it is just the “Loud minority”. That loud minority, while welcome at Illumine, aren’t our perfect clients. If we waivered on our position for every little complaint, we would have no direction. We’d have 100 different programs at 100 different prices and 100 concessions for each one.

We don’t do that. We deliver an amazing service and experience. For those who appreciate that will stay, and the “loud minority” will leave eventually. It’s a simple filter.

My personal Mission Statement is:

Relentless with your vision
Stoic in your actions
-Empathetic in your interactions.

What Brian and I have learned is that following the minority is a disservice to the majority. Just as it’s important to train your strengths, it’s important to focus on your happy clients most of the time.

Let me give you another example:

The new Facebook Page Video cover looks really cool (you can see ours here. Turn on the sound for the full effect.) Most people will love it. Gyms that use it will have a tiny bit more sway over gyms that don’t. Facebook has data showing higher conversions on pages using a video cover. You can turn it into an ad, then a custom audience for viewers, and then a retargeting campaign…the possibilities abound.

But two or three people on my Facebook feed say, “I hate it when videos autoplay on my phone.”
They can turn autoplay off, but probably don’t know it. And frankly, some of these people invite me to play Candy Crush on a daily basis. But still…it’s tempting to stop a massive action because a tiny minority says so.

Perfect is the enemy of good. Not everyone will like everything you do. That’s fine. Your best clients will thank you for your consistency…and giving them what THEY love.
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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.