The Trade Deadline

What if you could trade your five worst clients for five more of your BEST clients?
If you’ve been listening in 2017, you’ve heard me talk about your “SEED” clients: how to identify and serve the best clients best.
Mike Michalowicz’ book on the topic, The Pumpkin Plan, formed the strategy we teach in the Incubator. We tailor it for gyms, of course. But when Michalowicz was on our podcast,  he also talked about what do with your WORST clients.
If you’re like me, that phrase (“worst clients”) sent a shiver up your spine.
The client is always right–aren’t they? Don’t we need to latch onto every client we can possibly get?
What if you could trade your worst clients for better ones? Who would you swap?
There’s value in knowing who your best clients are–and who they’re not. Because when we identify where best clients come from, what they want, and why they stay, we attract more like them. And when we identify the same characteristics of our worst clients, we avoid painful mistakes in the future.
Let’s start our top secret list with this exercise (the inverse of the “Seed Client” exercise, so let’s call these “Weed clients”.
Make two lists:
List #1 – the people who pay the least for your coaching. Calculate this by dividing their monthly rate by their average visits. No judgment here; we just want to know who pays the least per visit.
List #2 – who complains most? Who makes your energy drop when they walk through the door?
Now compare the two lists. Which names appear on both?
Michalowicz would have you fire those people immediately. (Here’s how to do it.) But if that’s uncomfortable for you, no problem; when you start improving your gym, they’ll probably leave anyway.
Ask yourself what these “weed” clients have in common.

  • Where did they come from?
  • How much do they pay?
  • What are their requests?
  • How are these answers different from your seed clients?

If all of your “worst clients” came from six-week challenges, consider forgoing more six-week challenges.
If all of your “squeaky wheels” are currently paying at a discounted rate, consider eliminating discounts.
If your most disruptive clients are likely to quit if you raise your rates, consider making the same money with less people. Then raise your rates.
Every client is a good client–until they’re not.
And a person can be a great person without being a great client. They can even be your FRIEND without being a great client.
You don’t need everyone. If you ask yourself, “How did I get this client?” for both your SEEDS and your WEEDs, you can start trading worst for best by modifying your own behaviors.
Stop doing the things that grow weeds, and start planting more seeds. Your deadline to start making those “trades” is December 31. What’s your plan?
(We teach the process step-by-step in our Affinity Marketing Plan. It’s part of the Incubator and Growth stages.)


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.