If you don’t keep people around, you can’t save them.
In this post, I told you about the best practices of gym owners who delivered a lot of value to their clients and earned a lot from each client in return.
But the more important number is length of engagement (LEG).
For the nerds out there: It’s easy to game average revenue per member per month (ARM). All you have to do is sell a high-priced bait-and-switch program on the front end and then let your clients drop off after the program ends.
Of course, we don’t recommend that. You won’t make a difference in clients’ lives, and your gym will probably go bankrupt pretty quickly. But you’ll win the ARM race! Just make sure you have gas in your getaway car.
We had a trainer in Sault Ste. Marie who sold a year-long training program at a huge discount. For only $999, he’d train you three times per week for a full year. He sold a ton of these packages in his first month. In his second month, he’d disappeared into the night. Great ARM, bad business.
On the other hand, if your clients aren’t paying enough, you’ll have high churn and no profit anyway. The key is to find 150 high-value clients and keep them long term.
4 Steps to Incredible LEG
Here’s how the best gyms in the world keep their average client for over two years:
1. They start with a long-form motivational interview—yep, same as the gyms with a large ARM.
2. They don’t take every client. One of the top-retaining gym owners, Kevin Wood, told me he can tell at the intake interview whether a client will last longer than a month. And when they stay longer than a month, they usually stay for three years.
3. They focus on retention more than anything else.
4. They talk 1:1 with every client almost every month.
So why don’t all gyms follow this process?
The most common answer: “I don’t have time to spend one hour on motivational interviewing.”
Two other common answers: “I don’t have time to do goal reviews” and “I don’t have time because I’m too busy coaching.”
But if we didn’t try to chase the 300-client model—a model that doesn’t work—we would have time. We’d stop trying to fill a 10,000-foot gym. We’d stop overspending on equipment. We’d cut our team back to one or two other coaches. We’d simplify our offerings, deliver more online and spend more 1:1 time with every client.
We’d be more profitable with far less marketing. We’d spend less time trying to satisfy the clients who will never be satisfied. And, most importantly, we’d keep the right clients long enough to change their lives.
You don’t have to believe me, but pay attention to the data. Eventually, you’re going to get tired of chasing the worn-out story about getting 300 clients and winning the Games.
When you are, we’ll be ready to help you change your gym.
If you’re ready now, click here.