The First 90 Days: Turn off Autopilot and Review Client Progress

A young athlete in a gym reviews his progress toward goals with a trainer who is holding a laptop.

To succeed as a gym owner, you must create deep relationships that keep clients around longer.

Deeper conversations—and more of them—lead to deeper relationships.

A short conversation at intake and then months of silence? That relationship is going to end.

Anyone can follow any program for three months, and too many trainers “set it and forget it.”

Earlier in this series, I told you that you must find out a new client’s goals, prescribe a plan to help them accomplish those goals, and schedule a Goal Review Session within 90 days.

Your job as a coach—a true fitness professional—is to guide a client to the right program for the right amount of time and maximize success with that program, then adjust it to ensure continued progress. Coaching is all about evaluation and optimization, and you can’t do that without quarterly meetings with every client.

Our data shows that the best gyms review goals at least four times a year. This regular system of feedback, analysis and new prescriptions is a huge separator, and it creates value for clients, who will see progress toward goals and long lists of accomplishments.

The value to the gym is obvious: Happy, satisfied clients with deep ties to the business are unlikely to leave.

Read on to find out exactly how to conduct a Goal Review Session.

Goal Reviews: Step by Step

Start the Goal Review Session with Bright Spots: What are they most proud of achieving?

Follow with this question: “Are you happy with the progress you’ve made so far?”

If they say “yes”: Move to the Affinity Marketing process.

If they say “no”: Work on a new prescription to get the client to the goal faster.

Example: “You’ve done a great job working out in our group classes. To make swifter progress toward your goal of losing 20 lb., let’s work together one on one so you get a personalized plan complete with nutrition coaching.”

Another example: “I understand you’re frustrated because you travel so often and can’t get to the gym. To ensure you’re moving toward your goals, let’s create an on-the-road training plan you can implement in a hotel gym or even in your room. I can provide accountability by texting you to ensure you work out.”

Words and Actions

If you claim to care about clients but never ask how they’re doing, your actions and your words don’t match.

If you ask how they’re doing but never change their plans, your actions and words don’t match.

If you ask them for referrals but don’t optimize their plans, you’re begging for favors. If you ask how you can help the people in their environment after proving that you can do it, you’re helping everyone.

Meet with clients regularly. Celebrate their wins, ask if they’re happy and adjust their plans to optimize progress. Get to know them, and show how much you care by putting them on podiums and solving more of their problems faster.

Even if you just meet with each client for 15 minutes to talk about anything, your relationship will improve. But if you meet with them and follow a precise plan to give them the best service possible, you’ll create strong bonds that will endure for years.

Design, deliver, refine constantly and build a relationship that lasts.

Other Media in This Series

“The First 90 Days: What If You Knew Every Client’s Why?”
“The First 90 Days: You Sell Solutions, Not Workouts”


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.