Surveys are out. Real conversations are in. It’s Two-Brain Radio. And Chris Cooper is here to tell you exactly what will happen if you pick up the phone today and call three of your members. Listen, then start dialing.
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Hey, it’s Chris Cooper. And I want to give you a really simple task today. This sounds really, really easy. It sounds simple. Like why would I even do that?
But the results that you get from this are so important that they’re profound. So here’s the task: call three members personally today and ask how they’re doing. Now. I want to talk about why we’re doing it this way, why you’re calling these members personally. The first thing that this exercise will make you do is determine which of your members are actually the most important. So you need to do the seed client exercise to figure out who they are, who are the clients who pay me the most money, who are the clients who actually make me the happiness, who are the clients that I wish I could copy over and over, who are the clients that I wish every client could be. That will make you, first of all, understand who your best clients are and who you should cater to. Second, it will make you understand who your best clients are not.
And who’s pleadings, beggings cries out, you should maybe just kind of ignore. Then when you call these people, the first thing that’s going to happen is you’re going to strengthen your personal bond with them. They’re going to know and remember that you care about them as a client. If you’ve never done this before, you might surprise the client. When you reach out to them and just call them out of the blue, they might think something is wrong or that you actually want something from them. So just calling them, establishes that relationship without creating this fear that you’re going to ask them for more money or do something that’s going to negatively affect them. The next thing that you’re going to find out is their true perspective on your gym. Now, a few years ago, gym owners like to use surveys. And what they would do is they would send out this survey to everybody in their gym and everybody would get kind of an equal vote.
And the people who are the squeakiest wheels would say, I want you to change this. I don’t like this coach. And so the gym owner wouldn’t really know who to pay attention to the most. And so they would have this canary in the coal mine problem, right? The squeakiest wheels would get the grease and they’d be guided toward those squeaky wheels desires. And they’d often be led into mistake like, Oh, we need more open gym hours. Oh, we need 20 more classes a day. You know, we need two more class times per week. And so the gym owner would implement these changes and say, OK, well I’m running these extra classes. Nobody’s showing up. I’m spending more time. I’m not making more money. This was a mistake. Or the gym owner would recognize like, wow, that is really bad advice. And they wouldn’t make the changes, but the clients who said on the survey form like, Oh, you need to make these changes would say my opinion doesn’t matter.
Chris asked for my opinion and he didn’t take it. So surveys are a bad idea, but talking to your best clients is a great idea. So I would call them and say, how are you doing? How are you coping after the global pandemic? Are you making progress toward your fitness goals? That’s a really important question to ask too, because I think you’d be surprised to find out that your clients have goals. Hopefully that’s not a surprise, but also that nobody’s ever asked them that before. And if they’re not making progress toward your goals, no matter how amazing your community is, no matter how shiny your equipment is, no matter how COVID free your gym is they are going to leave. Because the reason they joined in the first place is to get to their goals. And if you’re not getting to your goals, all the certifications, all the best coaching, the size of your facility, none of that matters.
So you need to know, are you getting toward your goals? And if they’re not, then you have to ask yourself a very serious question about the business that you’re in. Am I selling access to group fitness classes or am I coaching people to get to their goals? If they are getting toward their goals? Congratulations, you’ve got a good fitness business. You can work on the rest of it. If they’re not getting toward their goal, though, you have to ask yourself, am I not giving them the right prescription to get them to their goals, or is the service that I’m selling the wrong service? More on that in just a minute. Arbox is a leading gym management system offering a full suite of tools and features. Arbox provides gym owners with a dashboard that includes quick access to Two-Brain Business metrics that are key to optimizing your business. With a glance, you can usually review length of client engagement, average, monthly revenue, new versus lost members, and so much more. Visit arbox app.com /TBB to schedule a demo and learn how you can take your gym to the next level. For Two-Brain Radio listeners, Arbox is offering a special deal where you can save 50% off your first three months using the platform.
Also, if you call and ask them how they’re doing and they tell you not great, they’re going to give you some other signals, some other signs, some flags I’m doing pretty well, except for this nagging shoulder pain. Well, you know, maybe the prescription needs to change where maybe the programming needs to change, or maybe this client needs one-on-one care or maybe the client should seek outside help. Maybe they’ll say loving the workouts feeling great. Still haven’t lost this 15 pounds and you’ll know I need to add nutrition coaching to my service.
What I hope you’re starting to understand from this exercise is that calling these clients to ask how they’re doing is important for two reasons. Number one, to build your relationship with them. It’s an apathetic exercise. It shows you emotionally intelligent and it will make you more emotionally intelligent just by having these conversations. Number two, it will show you what you can improve in your business. Now I’m going to tell you something here that I’ve been guilty of in the past, especially during times of crisis or when things weren’t going well. When I wasn’t really making much money, I didn’t want to hear feedback about my business. I did not want a client to say Chris, the coaching at 6:00 AM is really not that great because I didn’t want to add one more thing to my plate. I didn’t want to feel like I was on shifting sand or that the whole thing was wrong because I knew that if somebody complained about my business and I had all these other things to fix, I would just feel like I give up or burn it to the ground and start over or fire that client.
I would make excuses like, Oh, that client’s a bad fit. They just complain. When really the client was trying to help me. So I avoided asking for feedback the way I avoided checking my bank account. I just didn’t want to know the answer. However you need to understand that feedback is priceless. One client telling you one thing that you can take action on and improve is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to you. For example, if a client says, Hey, Chris, you know, I got to tell you every time I try to go to the bathroom before my workout, you’re out of toilet paper. That’s not just a client complaining you can’t roll your eyes and just be like, OK, that’s not important. Coaching’s important because the bottom line is, if somebody can’t use your bathroom, then they can’t come to your gym.
And by giving you that feedback, they are saving you a hundred clients, a hundred clients who would have otherwise quit. If you didn’t receive that feedback, I am not good at receiving feedback. And I had to really cultivate the ability to take feedback. But this was what really made me turn the corner on accepting feedback was the knowledge that every time I take feedback, especially if it seemed negative and thought about it and made an improvement. Based on that feedback, it would make me at least a hundred thousand dollars because it would solve problems that other clients are having and not telling me about. So call three members personally today, ask them how they’re doing, ask them about their progress, ask them if they’re happy, ask them what else is going on in your life. And look for ways to help there that will expand your business.
It will expand your knowledge of your client. It will keep your client around longer and it will make you a better entrepreneur. I also want to add one final note here. Not all the feedback that you get is going to be negative over time, less and less of it will be, but you need to also act on positive feedback for a couple of reasons. And when you call your best clients, don’t be surprised if they have really positive things to say, first of all, you want to write those positive things down because there’s gonna come a time personally, when you need to hear those positive things, you’re going to be struggling with something you’re going to be derailed by something negative. That’s happening. Somebody is going to post a negative review on Facebook, and you’re going to need that positivity. So literally write down the positive feedback, put it in a notebook and flip to that notebook.
When you need to hear it. Second, these key clients are probably going to give you some positive feedback about your staff. Take that feedback and make sure that you pass it on to the staff, comment on it, commend them for it. I’m not really great at this. I’ll be honest. Sometimes I’ll hear great feedback. And I won’t say, Oh, who’s that person’s mentor again. I should tell her how great a job she’s doing. I’ll just kind of like miss that step. And that’s bad. I should not be doing that. You need to pass on positive feedback to the specific staff person involved or to your whole team. So if the client says something like, wow, your gym is always so clean. I just left a gym. That’s not clean. I love your gym because it’s so clean. Then you need to comment to your cleaner.
You need to pass that on to them or your general manager or the coach that does the cleaning share it, share the love around. And finally, if they give you amazing feedback, say, can I quote you on that? So I’ll give you an example. I was visiting this gym in Minneapolis one time and they said, Oh, we’re having trouble telling client stories. Nobody wants to fill out our questionnaire about stories. Nobody wants to get interviewed. And as one owner of the gym was telling me this trainer was leading a client out of the gym. And I said, who’s that client? And the owner said, Oh, she’s amazing. She’s a doctor. She refers patients here. She’s lost 30 pounds. You know, she’s just such a joy to be around. And so I walked out of the waiting room and met the, met the client, introduced myself and said, tell me your story.
And she told me her whole story. And after about six minutes, I said, I’m sorry to interrupt you. This is so amazing that I feel like your story has the power to inspire somebody else to change their life. Can I record it? And she was flattered. Maybe he was a little bit embarrassed, but she said, OK. So I pull up my phone, I hit record. And I said, tell me your story again. And she was a little more succinct this time, but it was still very heartfelt. You’re not looking for testimonials. When you call these clients, you’re looking for things that you can improve. You’re looking for ways to help them. You’re also for positive feedback, but as a special bonus, the cherry on top is if they give you something that will empower somebody else to change their life, ask them for permission to use it.
Putting your best clients on the stage is never a bad idea. There’s probably nobody else in their life. That’s making them famous, but you have the power to do that. You have a platform, you have media you’re on the internet. And to most of your clients, that’s like being on TV was like in the eighties, they don’t know how to get on the internet. They don’t know how to be the star of social media today. You can help them when Instagram, that’s a super power that you have because you’ve got this big platform. So calling your clients can not only help you, but it can also make them feel amazing. And I hope you can do that today. That was Chris Cooper, and this is to rain Radio. Don’t hesitate, hit stop on this podcast and then use your phone to call three members. Don’t do anything else. Make those calls now three, two, one go.