Revenue Double-Up: How Eric Conner Did It Without Running Ads

Revenue Double-Up: How Eric Conner Did It Without Running Ads

Mike Warkentin (00:02):
Eric Conner’s gym near Los Angeles grosses more than $50,000 a month, and he’s increased gross revenue more than 100% since 2016. In 2022-2023, he added 20% to his revenue. He’s done all of this without running ads. He’s going to tell you how he accomplished all of it on this episode of “Run a Profitable Gym.” My name is Mike Warkentin; I’m your host. I’m asking you right now to hit “Subscribe” wherever you’re watching or listening. I literally have gym owners come on here, and they give away the cheat codes to running a profitable fitness business every month. You do not want to miss it. So hit “Subscribe” right now before you forget. Now, Eric, we’ve got some great stats to talk about. Welcome to “Run a Profitable Gym.”

Eric Conner (00:41):
Thanks, Mike. It’s my pleasure to be here.

Mike Warkentin (00:43):
I can’t wait to dig into this, so I’m just going to go right to it. You are grossing over $50,000 a month, U.S, in a really tough market. Los Angeles, California, San Diego: That whole area is saturated with gyms like yours—CrossFit gyms, functional fitness gyms. What is the number one reason you’re able to grow so much in that tough market?

Eric Conner (01:00):
That’s a great question, and it’s difficult to narrow it down to just one thing, but I guess the biggest thing I could say, looking from the outside perspective, would just be multiple different revenue streams. That would be the biggest one. But also, within that, really the mind shift of treating it like a business is really what has to happen.

Mike Warkentin (01:16):
Okay. So those are two huge ones. When I started my gym, I treated it like a hobby. The revenue looked like it was a hobby, and we only had one revenue stream. It was—guess what? Group training. That’s the common one for everybody. I didn’t realize there could be other revenue streams. When we started doing that—Two-Brain taught us how to treat it like a business and add revenue streams—things got better. So, we’re going to dig into your answers. I’m going to get into deep detail so that people know exactly how you generated this revenue. But first and foremost, give me the 411 on your business. What are you selling? What do you do? How much space do you have? Like give me the 60-second summary of what your business is all about.

Eric Conner (01:50):
Yeah, yeah, of course. So, we are—I am a CrossFit gym. We have a CrossFit gym. We’ve been open just over 10 years now. We have a 5,300-square-foot facility where we run group training, personal training, nutrition coaching, youth training. A majority of that is group training at the current moment. But we do have a breakdown of those different offerings. We have an onsite sports chiropractor who subleases two rooms from us, and he’s been involved with me since I helped open a CrossFit gym before ours. So, he’s been with me for about 13 years. And so, we have multiple offerings all over for all different levels of people and age ranges, demographics, and needs, to be fair.

Mike Warkentin (02:26):
Is your rent in that space pretty gnarly? I know that the real estate out there is pricey.

Eric Conner (02:31):
Yeah, that’s our biggest hurdle, to be fair. So, to be very honest, we just had another rent hike, which really happens every year, but a bigger one because of a new lease. And this next calendar year will be $200,000 of rent that we’ll pay in the whole year.

Mike Warkentin (02:47):
Whoa. So that’s, what are we looking at? I’m not good at math. Was that 15, 16,000 a month? Something like that?

Eric Conner (02:52):
Yeah, yeah. It’s just over 16. It’s about 16 and a half. And it’s going to kind of alter with different reconciliations, things of that sort.

Mike Warkentin (02:59):
Okay. And you’ve got some, I think—is it two full-time staff members who actually have a benefits plan and so forth? Is that correct?

Eric Conner (03:05):
I do currently, and I have one other one that’s actually growing in right now. So, we just literally kind of brought him on, and we’re filling his calendar as of as of right now. So, in the next month or so, he should be fully full-time.

Mike Warkentin (03:17):
Wow. So, you’re running—I mean this is like—it’s a small business, but it’s an actual business, and the reason I draw a distinction there is my business was a small business, but it was a small hobby to be really accurate. You’ve got a business that’s got like a huge rent commitment. You’ve got staff members; these are people who are building careers, and they’ve got retirement plans and benefits and so forth. And you are running this thing as a CEO. I know you also are getting into real estate investing on the side at the Tinker level, which is our upper-level gym owners. You’ve got a ton of stuff going on, but you’ve got a real live business here generating tons of revenue and thriving and paying you a lot of money, which you deserve for being the owner.

Mike Warkentin (03:50):
So, I want to dig into that, and I want to help you help listeners figure out how they can do this too. So, 2016: You increased revenue—you said a 100%. And ARM increased—I think it was, the stats I looked at ahead of time were like 50% ARM increase. PT revenue increased like 500%. What are the steps that you did to start making these improvements? Like what were the first things you did to start formalizing from being a hobby or, you know, not professional to a professional real business that thrives?

Eric Conner (04:17):

Yeah, I mean there’s a lot of steps there. I would say the first and foremost—kind of like I brought up in an answer before—is really it was a mindset shift first and foremost, and that was the biggest, biggest thing. Then it’s just literally putting the feet to the floor of learning how to apply everything to get there.

Mike Warkentin (04:32):

What caused the mindset shift? Like what caused that? What made you just flip the switch?

Eric Conner (04:36):
So, to be fair, in 2017 is when my son came. So we were working to get pregnant, trying to have children. I already have two step kids as well, but we were trying to have some of our own as well together—me and my wife. And I knew that if I really wanted to keep the gym, I’d have to really buckle down and make it a real business. We were coming up on our first lease renewal at that time as well. And then, so I knew that that was going to be a big hurdle because it’s always going up really, and it’s not going to get any cheaper out here. So, it was really kind of like a “crap or get off the pot” type thing, where we had to just buckle down. That was—and to be fair, in 2016 was when I started following Chris Cooper and a lot of his ways. I tried to do it on my own for a couple years and really realized I didn’t know what steps to take at what times anymore. And that was really when I started up—when I got myself a mentor. I started with Coop; I did my intro call with Coop and everything, and it was amazing. Yeah, I never looked back from there.

Mike Warkentin (05:35):
So, 2016: Real life comes calling, and you realize you can’t play with housemen anymore. You got kids coming in the whole thing, and you’ve got to start buckling down in a big rent environment. You start following Two-Brain; you start picking up all the free stuff we give out and then realize, “I’d like to go further faster.” So, you call Chris himself who was still doing those intro calls at the time, and you start taking action. So, like what were some of the first steps? Because the thing we pride ourselves in mentorship—and you are now a Two-Brain mentor, I should tell our listeners—is telling gym owners what to do when. The exact right one thing to do right now to grow your business. Then the next thing. What did Coop tell you to do, and what kind of steps did you take to start making these changes?

Eric Conner (06:13):
Yeah, that was—I mean, Coop really was the one that got me started on. Then “here’s your mentor.” My mentor at the time was Josh Price, who’s an amazing, amazing person and a part of my journey and growth. But really it was just buckling down. It was learning. It was—a lot of things that really helped us was what we consider in the Two-Brain world, the “prescriptive model” and really understanding that. And so, like the intake process was before—and it’s very common I feel like in a lot of our gyms, is that we kind of project what we think people want or what they’ll pay for, right? And so, understanding that not everybody wants group training. Not everybody’s okay with that. Not everybody’s as comfy as we are coming into a group or with fitness or anything like that. And so, learning how to sit down, talk to people, really get to know them, and really help recommend the right thing for them was profound in our growth and development of the business.

Mike Warkentin (07:01):
Listeners, the prescriptive model—very simple summary—is you sit down with a prospective client, you get them to tell you what they want to accomplish. You tell them the exact fastest, best plan to accomplish that, and you tell them the price, and they’ll probably say yes. And if they don’t, you maybe drop an option and say, “Okay, maybe we don’t do nutrition coaching and personal training. Maybe we just do personal training to start. How does that price sound? Good? Let’s go.” And you do that kind of thing. In the model, group training is not your first option, which I thought it was for me. I tried to sell just group training at $150 a month. I should have started with personal training because some of my clients wanted that more, and I didn’t know it because I didn’t ask the question. The prescriptive model, when you implement it, will raise your revenue. We know this because of the data that we’ve collected. It raises revenue and improves retention. So that’s my question Eric: When you started doing this, did you automatically start seeing average revenue per member (ARM) increase and retention get better?

Eric Conner (07:56):
Significantly. Yep. Yep. We significantly did. We saw about a 25% boost immediately in both.

Mike Warkentin (08:02):
Right away? Hey, wow. So again, listeners, we talked about the cheat coats, gym ownership. If you’re listing right now, the prescriptive model, if you start doing this with new clients, you can expect a revenue jump. Eric saw 25, other people see 30, and it just gets better and better. I’ll put a link in the show notes to the article that will tell you exactly how to use that. Talk to me a little bit about some of the other steps. So prescriptive model is a huge one, and it’s honestly not that hard to do. You just have to commit, practice, and then do it regularly. What else did you do?

Eric Conner (08:31):
So, back in 2018—so, essentially, I grew my leadership skills, which is a big thing for me. You know, so we had some staff, but I wasn’t really fully prepared to lead them well, to be very completely honest. You start to learn, too, which people are the right fit currently and which might be the right fit long term. And there’s nothing really wrong with that either way, to be fair. But it helped me learn how to lead my team as well. Because once you get big enough—which we weren’t huge, but we weren’t small at the time—was like a lot of them were delivering our product as well. Then, how do I delegate it correctly to them? How do I show them what I need and want? Are they the right people in the right seat? So, a lot of it was learning that for the first couple years—placing people correctly, fitting it in right, and setting ourselves up for growth. And then with me, along with that, is me growing up what they call like the “value ladder.” So not me doing the cleaning as often, as I can get someone else to do that to open up my time to help grow the business and lead our team.

Mike Warkentin (09:28):
The value ladder, listeners—the simple summary of that is you make a list of every single job that you do in your gym. You put a price tag beside each one, and you take the lowest one on the ladder. It’s usually cleaning, but it can be something else. And you say, “If I offload this four-hour-a-week cleaning job for $60, can I make more than $60 in the four hours that I would’ve spent on cleaning?” You do that, and you keep doing it all the way up the ladder until you’re the CEO. Eric is doing this interview at home because he can’t be at his gym because it’s freaking crazy there right now. So, he actually had to find space somewhere else that’s quiet because his gym is thriving, and he’s not there. He’s talking to me; I’m taking up his time, but his gym is still operating in the background, which is what a Tinker-level gym owner—that’s our upper-level gym owners—can do. They’re still making money while they’re yakking with me. So, you can learn how to do that in our Tinker program. I think it was 500%, the stat was, that you increased PT, so that’s going to be a huge, huge boost to your ARM. But was it just as simple as just starting to offer PT in your prescriptive model? No Sweat Intros?

Eric Conner (10:27):
To an extent, yeah. So, we didn’t—again, we assumed at the time everybody wanted a group. So, we had some personal training that would go into group—not many and not priced correctly and all that kind of stuff—so we were starting that foundation. We had that awareness there. And really, I had one personal training client prior to understanding the whole Two-Brain method, and he had not attended ever any group classes. And then he came to me, and was like, “Do you guys offer personal training?” I was like, “Sure.” Right. And so, we brought him on. Little did I know that later, once I learned all the Two-Brain ways and kind of like looking into it, was a lot of these people don’t thrive in group trainings.

Eric Conner (11:04):
They won’t attend; they need accountability. They don’t want to do exactly what a group’s doing—all these kinds of things. And then so once we learned how to, then yes. In our No Sweat Intro—our intro when we meet the people and talk to them—we literally say, “Would you prefer training in a group or one-on-one training with someone or training in a group?” And then that helped—that question changed our whole landscape because half of the people I thought that would like group were like, “Well, I prefer one-on-one.” Or maybe it starts with a one-on-one for a lot longer. And that just completely changed how our PT offerings went.

Mike Warkentin (11:36):
I think you said it almost word for word the way Chris has written about it. And it’s just saying to a client, “Would you feel more comfortable training in a group or one-on-one with me?” And if the answer is one-on-one in a group, that is a high value client who’s going to pay not $150 for a group membership, probably $70 to $90 for a PT session or whatever your prices are. I recommend higher than $40; I’ll put it that way. It’s incredible. And just saying that, Eric, when you started saying that—the first time you said it, did it make you feel squidgy as you sat there?

Eric Conner (12:04):
Yeah, yeah. Completely. You know, you feel a little funny, right? You’re a little nervous; you’re a little skeptical if people are going to even buy what you’re—not even selling; you’re really just trying to help really is what this is. It’s not really even a sale. It’s a sales process, but it’s really not because you know you can help them, and we’re asking them, “What will help you best with how you are?” So once a few of them are just like, “Yeah, I’d really prefer individual training.” And stuff like that. And we were like, “Alright, we’ve got it. Here, let’s do it this way.” And, and then people, those people—like we were talking about with length of engagement and revenue per average revenue per member goes up. But our personal training clients are our best length of engagement. Those people stay. There’s so much high touch point; there’s so much accountability for them. There’s results, and they’re there because they’re paying for a lot of that to help them fast track where they need to go.

Mike Warkentin (12:54):
When a client says, “I would prefer this service,” it doesn’t feel as difficult to close a sale, right? Because you’re not ramming something on them that they don’t want. They’ve literally told you, “I want this high value service.” You’re like, “Okay, credit card.” You know, and it’s an easy deal. Whereas for me, I was like, “Oh, I’m assuming they want group training,” so I’m just going to, “Oh, do you want to do personal training?” And then I feel horrible about it. Many of them wanted that. When I started telling our clients “We offer personal training,” our group clients, they were like, “Really? I could get help with double-unders?” I’m like, “Yes, you can.” It was mind blowing and groundbreaking for everything. And revenue changed dramatically. So, listeners, couple of things right off the bat here: We’ve got prescriptive model—that’s asking people what they want and then telling them the solution to their problems. Got leveling up as a leader—that’s a big concept we’ve dealt with in other shows. I won’t dwell on it here, but you will have to do that as an upper-level gym owner. And then the other one is revenue streams—different stuff, offering different things. So, Eric, you mentioned a couple things that you’ve got going on there, give me like a little bit more info. You’ve got PT, group, nutrition coaching. I’m guessing you have kids’ programs. Like what other revenue streams contribute to this giant number that you’ve got?

Eric Conner (13:58):
Yeah, so 70% of our revenue right now is through group training—adult group training. We have eight to 10 classes a day. So, we do have a good amount of classes per day. So that’s a big part of it. And we tend to facilitate that well. We do a good job at a class for about eight to 15 people on average. So that’s definitely our natural bread and butter. Our personal training is about 20% of our revenue currently on average. So that’s some one-on-ones for the On-Ramps. We have different On-Ramp tiers for people to kind of move through those. And that’s one of those long-term personal training clients as well. And then we have nutrition coaching, which is not one of our higher revenue streams by any means right now. That’s our biggest opportunity for sure.

Eric Conner (14:41):
We do a great job with it. We have an amazing nutrition coach. It’s just marketing it correctly or communicating it as well as possible. So, we’re working to improve that immediately. And our youth training—we do a good job with youth training. We’ve always had a solid youth program. I personally have always loved youth training. I used to coach it in the past but just can’t anymore. And then we’re in a very family-oriented demographic in the suburbs that we live in. So, no one else is really doing this type of training. That is a huge opportunity for us. The biggest limitation we have currently is our space for that. So sometimes they have to go on at the same time as adult classes, but we have a pretty consistent youth training, which is about one to 2% also consistently across the board.

Mike Warkentin (15:22):
Hey, and that’s interesting because Chris has often said, “Don’t do all the things. Do a few things really, really well.” You need maybe three, maybe four revenue streams, something like that. You don’t need 20, right? Like 20 is probably where you start spinning plates and things fall down. But like Chris has exact models for like three solid revenue streams, and it’s usually like group PT and nutrition coaching or maybe kids or something like that. But you can put all that stuff together, which you’ve obviously done, and you’ve seen some opportunities there. For example, nutrition coaching—the best part about it: It doesn’t require a ton of space in the extra costly California market, right? So, you could—like your nutrition office—just put more people through that 100 square feet or whatever, right?

Eric Conner (15:59):
Yeah. Completely. Even Zoom calls—those have gone really well for our nutrition coach. She also has side nutrition coaching from a whole other digital business. So yeah, it really doesn’t take up much space, but it’s a significant low hanging fruit—no pun intended, really—to get people the best result quickly.

Mike Warkentin (16:15):
It would be better for you to maximize out there three revenue streams and make them really strong than to try and get 10 going that are all struggling. Right? Focus on—nurture them, right. Eric is living proof of that. I want to ask you specifically about 2022-2023: You added about 20%. And this is after like years of mentorship and a lot of work. As an experienced gym owner, how did you get such a sizable bump in revenue in that period?

Eric Conner (16:39):
You know, that’s really funny. That’s partially also what was in my head, to be fair. What I’ve learned is that I work better under pressure. So, for example, like we talk about the rent being high, having a kid coming, all those kinds of things, right? When I start to have pressure points, that’s when I push. I don’t get—I can get more comfortable at times, and that’s why I am in the Tinker program because Jeff Smith pushes me like crazy and being around the other people—

Mike Warkentin (17:07):
Jeff does that? Sounds weird.

Eric Conner (17:09):
Yeah. Yeah. He’s quite good at it, and he’s exactly what I need. And so really what had helped me with that was I knew that we were at like a pivoting point of where, you know, if we really want to buckle down, if I really want to have this business forever—which I absolutely love what I do. I look forward to waking up and doing what I do. We change lives on the daily. I love our team. Like if I really want to keep doing this, we need to make it sustainable. We need to make it. So, I was realizing with our cost going up again, and all these kinds of things, that in January when we were at our last Tinker meetup, I was like: You know, at the end of the day, we just need to make more.

Eric Conner (17:44):
I can complain about high rent all I want, whatever it is. I absolutely love our payroll pie because it gets our team taken care of, but we still got to cover it. And at the end of the day, I’m like: We just need to make more. We have so many opportunities. So, one thing I realized—I noticed that we were understaffed for growth. So, if we had got five more new personal training clients, a couple of those would need to go to me. And then I get pulled back too much. I still coach some, but in my own head I was still the one that helped fill in, and I needed to start to shift that. We needed to grow the team a little bit more to be able to have the infrastructure to be able to grow. And so, we brought on another team member, and I started delegating a few other tasks with my leadership team—essentially my head coach and my office manager. And we started working all of those components together. And since then, we’ve seen sizable growth and consistency and growth as well.

Mike Warkentin (18:39):
So would it be correct in saying that, you know, some form of accountability is kind of what motivates you to take action?

Eric Conner (18:44):
Yeah, completely. Whether it’s back against the wall of some sort or it’s anything else of that manner. Yeah, it’s—sometimes it can be financial; sometimes it can be other life stresses that may be coming on. But yeah, whatever shifts my mind to be able to be like, “Okay, I need to take time, buckle down, figure out where we’re going to grow and how we’re going to grow. Set us up for that checks and balances as we go along, and then we keep analyzing it and moving forward from there.”

Mike Warkentin (19:10):
So have you found that a mentor is the thing that provides that for you? And, obviously when you have financial stuff, like when you have a kid coming, that’s the motivation, but have you found that a mentor will keep you honest along the way in other places when you might have a tendency to be complacent?

Eric Conner (19:23):
Yeah, completely. I think the hardest part for me before having a mentor was I thought that they were all going to be like hard-nosed, head down, like never—almost like cutthroat-type idea and just worried about sales. And really, it’s almost like the people that have been through that same experience or know others that have been through the experience and can help give perspective and outside awareness to what’s going on and solutions to that. So that has helped me like crazy because it’s kind of like with us with our clients—kind of like therapists to an extent, right? Sometimes you can talk about the stresses going on and all those kinds of things, but then help provide a neutral perspective as to how to move it forward correctly.

Mike Warkentin (20:05):
And as a mentor yourself now, that’s something you can certainly offer to clients. And all our mentors—I think it’s like 50 or 60 now, scattered around the world—they have different styles. There are some that are a little more direct; there are some that are a little more coaxing—everything in between. And the idea is to get you to see the thing that you need to do right now to grow your business. If that’s something you’re interested in, book a call—link is in the show notes—and you can talk to someone about exactly how a mentor can help you grow your business. Now I want to ask you this: You are not running ads yet. Your business has been growing by astronomical numbers. So where are you acquiring it? How are you getting these high value clients into your gym without ads?

Eric Conner (20:38):
Yeah, that’s a really good question. To be fair, we haven’t done it because we’re stubborn. We just really—I had never learned it before, and it wasn’t the thing that was fully needed yet. We are setting ourselves up to be able to utilize them correctly. But about 50% of our people come from affinity marketing, which is essentially from our closest people in the gym: friends, family, referrals from within. So, we’ve been in our same spot in our location and our city for just over 10 years, like I said. So, we do have a sound reputation. We’re known generally, or we’re fairly a small city for our area; we have about 150,000 people. So, we tend to know people. We’ve probably interacted with someone’s parents, or their kid, or their spouses, or their cousin, or something like that.

Eric Conner (21:21):
There’s a bit of word of mouth in some of that, and people that have had positive experiences in our place, whether they can stay or not. The other is really 50% come from the outside—a few walk-ins, not a lot. We are a retail space area to an extent, but it’s not a lot of walk-ins. A lot of it is just inquiries via our website, which is a GLM website and other trackings there. So, people may be searching for local CrossFit gyms in that manner, but we’re working on tracking that even better for us.

Mike Warkentin (21:48):
So a benefit for you is that you’ve got 10 years of history in an area, and you’ve obviously established a really great reputation in the community, which is fantastic, but let’s not forget that like in that California community there are dozens and dozens and dozens of gyms. I’ve seen maps where they’re just clustered like seven within five blocks and things like that. Like it’s insane, so even just having—you know, you’ve got change of reputation, but you had to build that up, and you had to find a way to stand out from the crowd. So that’s something you’ve definitely done. You mentioned affinity marketing. That is not a passive process, listeners. That’s not where you just like sit back, and you’re like, “Ah, my clients will refer their friends.” Doesn’t happen like that. It is an actual program where you are encouraging people to bring in their friends and partners. So, what’s some of the things that you’ve done through affinity marketing that have really moved the needle? Because some listeners will say, “Oh, referrals will just happen.” What have you done to make them happen?

Eric Conner (22:34):
Really, it’s via conversation. I’m naturally very—I’m very good with conversation. I’m very good with the relationships. That’s just one thing I enjoy. It’s natural to me. And it’s not just me that’s running this; obviously my team is running this as well, but we’ve always done—which is not a huge one—but we’ve always done before a “Bring a Friend” day once a month.

Eric Conner (22:52):
We changed that more recently, and we’ve seen good effects to a “Bring a Friend” week once a quarter. It makes it a little bit more—they can understand kind of our people and get to know our people more than just one day. We had some referrals that would come from that, but not as many as we needed. And then we do athlete check-ins. Some people call them goal reviews. We do those with our people formally where we do ask, “Is there anybody else that we can help?” But also, we do those fairly naturally as well just in the class before or after class being around. Part of my role at times is to be just floating around the gym floor before and after classes just to talk to our people. It helps retain them. I enjoy the people, and we also can—it opens up the conversations to them being like, “Oh, hey, my friend’s been kind of struggling with this.” “We’d be happy to chat with them. We’ll see if we can help in some way, whether it’s their training here; we give them tips for themselves, whatever that is.” So, it’s really just opening up conversation, but it’s also being aware of kind of what things are coming in in that conversation. Are they talking about a friend? Are they talking about a spouse? And then, what steps can I do to help connect with those people to help them get where they want to go or see if we can be the ones to help them there?

Mike Warkentin (23:58):
One of the best places to have these conversations is in a goal review session, which you mentioned; you call them athlete check-ins. Do these quarterly with your clients. If you do, you will sell more stuff guaranteed. I think the upgrade rate is something like 34% of people upgrade by about 30%. It’s something like that because they don’t know about the services you’re offering, and you can tell them more stuff, change the prescriptions, make things better, solve problems, and you’ll retain more members. But in those conversations, there’s actual playbooks that Two-Brain has to tell you exactly how to ask, “Who else can I help?” And this is not like a pushy kind of slimy thing. It’s like, “Oh man, your partner is super stressed, and I know it’s affecting you. Is there any way that we could help your partner?”

Mike Warkentin (24:37):
And they say, “Well, yeah, you know, what if we did two-on-one personal training? What if we tried that?” There are scripts for this. We actually lay it out where you can, beforehand, lay out the parts of your client’s life. Who do they work with? Who do they live with? Who do they hang out with? What are they doing in their spare time? Start making these lists. There’s an actual chart that Chris Cooper has created. You start looking at it when these things pop up in the goal review sessions; it’s just a natural thing where you’re saying, “Oh man, the people on your hockey team are all just like struggling with their conditioning. What if we ran a program for them for six weeks to get them into shape?” It’s easy stuff like that. If you start doing this stuff, things will happen. It’s not a passive process, and you’re growing your gym. High value clients. Eric, when your high value clients bring in a friend, probably a high value client is going to stay. Am I wrong?

Eric Conner (25:22):
Yeah, it’s very likely.

Mike Warkentin (25:24):
Yeah, it’s a win. It’s a huge win across the board. So, I’m not going to keep you for much longer, but I want to ask you this: You’re now a mentor, so congratulations on that. We’ve talked about some different stuff here. What can a listener do? And again, you don’t know the exact circumstance, but what are some things that a lister can do tomorrow morning to start generating more revenue? What are like two things that you would give them to think about and try?

Eric Conner (25:45):
That’s a good question. The biggest thing that I would say is if you’ve been in business at all for a little bit—a short period of time or long period time, whatever it is. I contact five to 10 former members a day—depends on how many you’ve lost. You know, these are people that you’ve had relationships with before. They obviously—ideally positive relationships is the important one there. But they are people that have bought from you before but also had relationships with you before life changes—for the bad, for the good, right? So sometimes they leave because X, Y, or Z, but they may want to come back, and they’ve been looking to come back, or they need more help, or you have a new service offering that can actually help them now that you couldn’t before.

Eric Conner (26:24):
So reaching back out to these old people, even just to have open conversations with them. I think the biggest thing is having more conversations to be fair—strategic ones. But if you’re genuine, and you actually care, and you reach out from not just a salesy perspective, but actually caring about these people, they’ll open up to you, and they will let you know if they need help. And you can ask if there’s anyone else you need to help. So easy answer to that. Contact five to 10 people. I’d say five people a day if that makes it easier. But if you can bulk them all at once, that’s great. So, you can get 15 calls or 15 texts or whatever it is. And if you get a few responses, then get a few responses. The other—

Mike Warkentin (27:01):
I’m going to stop you there, and I’m just going to tell you one thing, listeners. What should you say when you contact these people? Here it is: “How are you doing?” Send. Try. And then take the conversation from there because you’re a great person; you know how to interact with people. What’s your second thing, Eric?

Eric Conner (27:13):
Yeah, I was going to say, sometimes we call it like a “5130 post,” which is essentially just being very active, being aware of saying, “Hey, I’m looking for five busy moms who are looking to lose weight the next 30 days,” or whatever timeframe it is, right. Whatever kind of people you can help best. And the more clear and straightforward you can speak to these people, the more they can see themselves there. And then it just opens conversations again. So, to be fair, that’s just starting a conversation, but it’s where you take the conversation. So, if you can just kind of get a few of those framings of how I can help people and know that you can and be confident you can, there’s no—the sky’s the limit as to how you can grow.

Mike Warkentin (27:50):
I need X people to do one thing over X period. Five people, lose weight, 30 days. 5130—whatever you want to call it like that. I’ve seen gym owners put these posts up, and I’ve seen the reports behind the scenes when they see what happened. They win every time. Put it up, see what happens. When people comment, message them, and start a conversation. You’ll probably sell something, and you can do this stuff for free. It doesn’t take anything but about two minutes on social media. Eric, thank you so much for offering those two steps. Congrats again on being a mentor and on the incredible stuff that you’ve done with your gym. Really appreciate your time for sharing everything with our audience here on “Run a Profitable Gym.”

Eric Conner (28:26):
Awesome. Thank you so much, Mike. I really appreciate it.

Mike Warkentin (28:28):
We will check in with you again to see if you can double your revenue yet again. That was revenue leader, Eric Conner. This is “Run a Profitable Gym,” and I’m your host Mike Warkentin. And thank you so much for listening. Again, cheat codes for gym ownership come out every month on the show. Please hit “Subscribe” wherever you are watching or listening. And now, here’s Chris Cooper with a final word.

Chris Cooper (28:46):
Hey, it’s Two-Brain founder, Chris Cooper, with a quick note. 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 that group. It’s Gym Owners United on Facebook, or go to to join. Do it today.

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