Two-Brain Radio: Partnerships With Ashkan Amirsoleymani

Gym owner Ashkan Amirsoleymani swings a kettlebell overhead outside CrossFit Rittenhouse.

Mateo: 00:02 – Hey, it’s Mateo of Two-Brain Marketing. On this edition of the Two-Brain Marketing podcast, I’m talking with my business partner Ashkan Amirsoleymani from CrossFit Rittenhouse in Philadelphia. We co-own the gym together so you’ll learn all about our partnership and how we market and sell in a big-city competitive market. You’ll also learn about how Ash approaches sales when we have a competing CrossFit gym eight feet away from our doors, so you don’t want to miss this. Make sure to subscribe to Two-Brain Radio for more marketing tips and secrets each week.

Greg: 00:33 – Two-Brain Radio is brought to you by Two-Brain Business. We make gyms profitable. We’re going to bring you the very best tips, tactics interviews in the business world each week. To find out how we can help you create your Perfect Day, book a free call with a mentor at twobrainbusiness.com.

Greg: 00:51 – We’d like to thank another one of our amazing partners, Level Method. As a CrossFit gym owner, I know retention is key to keeping my business going for years to come. Retention is not easy, though. People want to see success, and if you don’t show them early, they’ll find a place that does. This is where Level Method comes in. With Level Method, you are now able to guide your members through an amazing structure that’ll give them a path to success. Once you have success, you instantly have motivation for them to continue, which will now be delivered to your members. Start systemizing the creation of powerful moments for your members today. Go to levelmethod.com to book a free call.

Mateo: 01:29 – Welcome to the Two-Brain Marketing podcast. I’m your host, Mateo Lopez. And today we’ve got a very, very, very special guest. We’ve got Ashkan Amirsoleymanimir. Ash is the owner of CrossFit Rittenhouse. I also have a hat on that says CrossFit Rittenhouse because I also am a part owner in CrossFit Rittenhouse. So we both are the owners of CrossFit Rittenhouse. So I’m really excited to bring him on today. We’re going to talk about marketing, but I do most of that stuff. So having interviewing Ash for that the marketing side of things doesn’t make a ton of sense ’cause I do that, so I can tell you about it. But here’s the thing. I created the course using a lot of the Rittenhouse backend as the example. So you guys know all about what goes on in CrossFit Rittenhouse. So, we’ll talk a little bit about that. But I’m also excited to bring Ash on talk about operations, talk about partnerships, talk about life, you know.

Ash: 02:41 – Well put. I’m excited too.

Mateo: 02:44 – Great.

Ash: 02:45 – You got me excited.

Mateo: 02:47 – Well you get me excited, so it’s perfect. For those who are listening. Who are you? Where are you from? Tell us a little bit about your business.

Ash: 03:02 – All right, well I don’t know where to start. There’s just so much to tell.

Mateo: 03:11 – Let’s give them the brush strokes first and then I’ll—

Ash: 03:16 – John Franklin over in Hoboken and Ashley Mak actually. Whoa. That team. And then from there started coaching, started managing, started learning how to run a gym. Fast forward a few years, 2017, meet you and John, decided to take over CrossFit Rittenhouse. I believe that’s when we started with Two-Brain as well. John started with them originally and then you and then brought me on a little bit too. So I’ve been and part owner of CrossFit Rittenhouse for like what is it, two and a half, a little over two and a half years since then. Now it is me and you running the show at CrossFit Rittenhouse and yeah, that’s a broad stroke.

Mateo: 03:56 – Ash, tell me a little bit about you and your fitness background and how you got into CrossFit.

Ash: 04:04 – It’s probably a similar story to a lot of other people. I played football and basketball and a bunch of other sports growing up. I carried that through into football in my high school and college years. And then afterwards was kind of looking to fill the void. I was doing your regular gym stuff going into the YMCA, playing basketball, doing my bis and tris on Fridays, get that pump for the weekend. And then I think I just stumbled across the gym when I was looking for good workouts to train for a Tough Mudder, is what I believe I Googled, and came across CrossFit and found a gym that was close to my parents’ house at the time, went, and started working out and fell in love with it and kind of left everything else behind. And that was back in 2012 and then after that, that’s when I moved from my parents’ house, went to Hoboken found another gym met John and everything else is kinda history,

Mateo: 05:02 – So you met Ashley Mak and John at a park workout?

Ash: 05:07 – A free park workout, a meet-up park workout. The information was relayed to me by another friend at a gym and she basically told me that some guy was running a CrossFit-style workout in the park and I should go check it out and see what it was about. That’s where I met John. And as soon as he finished, I had gotten my Level 1 maybe a few months before that or that maybe like five months before that. And I was just looking to get into coaching and shadowing and learning about how to coach. So it was kind of just one of those things that right place, right time. He finished the class and I walked right up to him and he mentioned that he was opening up a gym in a few months I was kind of like, I am down to do whatever. I just want to learn. I’d love to be a part of whatever you’re growing. And he took me under his wing. I apprenticed under him. And then the following year was when I was brought on as like, I guess you could call it an operations manager. I helped them open up Bowery CrossFit, which is where you were at for so many years.

Mateo: 06:10 – That’s where I was born.

Ash: 06:13 – That’s essentially where I was born too. And then you know, running Bowery and Hudson River, coaching at both of them back and forth. Ultimately turning into me just staying at Hudson River full time.

Mateo: 06:24 – That’s something that we haven’t talked about on here with either Ashley or anyone or John or me was the meet-up stuff. I totally forgot about that, but that’s a pretty interesting a way to get people. We should probably talk about that for a second.

Ash: 06:42 – I was thinking about it, you know, and thinking about the podcast today, I was thinking about just some of the history, right? It was coming up in my brain about the story of our past and how we all came to be and yet John found me and Ashley in a meet-up workout and I believe yours was a online, like hire post? Was it a Craigslist post?

Mateo: 07:04 – No. Someone had mentioned it to me at the quote unquote “gym” I was working at. He was like, yeah, gyms are opening up everywhere, CrossFit’s in Manhattan. Like, did you hear about Bowery CrossFit? They’re looking for coaches. And then Googled it and then I found the job post on the site, I think.

Ash: 07:20 – Gotcha. Yeah, I mean with me and Ashley it was just chance, right? It was that free work. And I’m sure Ashley could tell you a story about how he came to be there, but it’s pretty funny and yeah, it just happened to be by chance that the three of us met at that first meet-up workout that John ran. That was I think a year before you had come on. And then we had opened Hudson River, opened up Bowery and then slowly went through like the hiring process and that’s when we lucked out and found you. And you joined the squad.

Mateo: 07:52 – But let’s talk about, so for those of you don’t know the meetup.com, it’s still a thing and basically you can create your own group and the group, and when you do that you can create your own meet-up events. So like if you’re into hacky sack, yeah, you can start a meet-up group and then you can basically create your own event in a park or somewhere to like go do hacky sack or whatever. Or like I’m looking at it right now, the site is a lot more robust than when we were using it. But like there’s one on here where it’s like after-work murder mystery party for N
ew York singles and professionals. So basically the strategy here was we created, John had created this meet-up group and I think it was every week or every other week we would host a free CrossFit workout in the park and we’d do a meet-up group for that.

Mateo: 08:44 – And then, because it was free, you get a lot of people in the community coming through. And then from there you could use that as an opportunity to recruit new members to the gym. And what’s cool about this, is like it’s free for you to do basically, like free to create, but because of the platform, your reach, it’s pretty targeted in that sense. And it’s a cool thing too, because at a certain point, we had an existing members go on to participate. They basically start to sell it for you. And yeah, I guess like if you are still in that Founder Phase and you’re trying to generate new members, the meet-up route is a pretty interesting one. And I think y’all should try it. Maybe we’ll do another podcast just about that.

Ash: 09:29 – Yeah, we did them in different parks too. Got different parts of the city. Yeah. From there, like you said, like it’s basically targeted advertising for people in the area. If you do a park that’s by the gym then you know they live in the area so you can take them through a workout and then at the end you kind of give them your pitch and kind of like, I guess you can call that a type of No-Sweat Intro for like a group, right? You hit like whatever 10, 15 people at a time.

Mateo: 09:53 – And because of the platform, people leave reviews on the event. So like if you put on a dope park workout, people will leave positive reviews and it’s like its own little mini kind of recruiting site essentially for new members. I’m looking at one right now. I just pulled up free outdoor yoga class at seaport. All levels welcome. New York City outdoor yoga and it looks like, oh, this is happening today, and it looks like this group has some regular attendees. And then you can link to your site or you can link to your Instagram. Anyway, meetup.com. Check it out. If you’re wanting to do some free events to recruit some new blood while you’re in the Founder Phase. It’s a pretty awesome technique. It worked for us in the beginning for a while. Early days you found CrossFit, you found the flip side crew. That’s what we used to call ourselves. I guess. What were some of the lessons learned in those early days that you were able to take with you as you went into shifting from coach to owner of your own affiliate?

Ash: 10:59 – Well, you know, the newer stuff is the marketing stuff that, you know, you do. I never was involved in that in the old regime, in you know, the Hoboken and Bowery days. So I think mainly what I learned in those days was, you know, how to grow a community, how to, you know, give more than just the hour of coaching. Right. And I learned really how to be an operator and a manager, you know, and everything that goes into it, right? Wearing the different hats, and how many different roles and positions there are. At that time I was doing a lot of them because that was simply my job, I wasn’t trying to be a CEO. I was in that role. So I was just trying to get really good and really efficient at running a gym.

Mateo: 11:53 – Let’s talk a little bit about that. What does that mean to create a good community? Because you know, we recently shot some testimonial videos for members that are in house and almost everyone said like, the best part about it is the community. How do you create something that is different and unique, especially when, you know, we’re in a really big city in Philly. And on top of that, we’re not the only CrossFit gym. And on top of that, there is a CrossFit gym, I guess you could say a competing gym literally eight feet away from our gym. You can almost touch the two doors.

Ash: 12:33 – If you stretch out your arms. If you’re a tall guy, you can touch both doors.

Mateo: 12:36 – So how do you create an offering that’s unique when you have so many other, I guess you could say similar or competing businesses?

Ash: 12:49 – Well, I have a few different outlooks on this. If you asked me this a few years ago, you know, when I was at Hudson River, it probably would’ve been a different answer, right? And that’s because you were asking me as a coach and like a manager, right? So it was putting as much time into the gym and like making the classes awesome and developing relationships with everyone, right. Knowing that it’s not just the time in the gym, but doing things outside of the gym, whether it’s different events or fundraisers, right. And just gaining the trust of everyone in the gym so that you can start with a core group and then build it from there because obviously members help build the community. And that’s like a very simplified answer, right? But as a coach, that’s what I was looking at it as, was just be myself, be likable, build relationships and grow it from there. As an owner, and I was thinking about this a lot more recently, I think there’s a little different of a perspective there, right? And so I think it comes down to two things. One, I think it’s—and I think Coop actually wrote blog posts about both of them within the past couple of months, and they like resonated with me and I think that’s why, one of them was the vision and values chart. And so I think as an owner, it starts with that, right? Getting all your employees aligned with that because if you can, then they’re helping you grow the community, right? It can’t be you all the time, 100%.

Ash: 14:26 – Starts with you sharing your vision and then the employees, the coaches, the staff have to carry that out as well. And that’s gonna, you know, carry a lot of positivity within them as well. Cause the people who don’t align up will either self select or you have to make the hard decision of parting ways with them. But essentially you want to keep people who share the same vision and can help you grow the business. And then from there, I think the other aspect of it comes back down to what I had mentioned before, right? You need to be able to trust the people that you work with to help you grow the community. So they need to go out on their own and spread their wings and be able to build relationships with people in the gym themselves. So I think, like I said, there’s the different perspectives, right? As an owner, it’s more making sure that everyone’s in line with what you want to do because that in and of itself will make sure that there’s like a positive vibe within the business, within the gym. And then from there you can start thinking more about like growing the community with the members and doing fun stuff. But I tried to attack it from my perspective as a coach, as an owner. And it didn’t really work out right. I was always thinking like if I just spend more time at the gym and do more events and try and hang out with as many people as I can, and I kind of left the other part in the back of my mind and you know, I might’ve hired some people who were good coaches, but we didn’t have the same vision or same values. And so I wasn’t able to grow it and it seemed like I was just stuck in the mud cause I was continuing to do all the legwork. And I was still able to build a good community, but I wasn’t able to remove myself from that position. So that’s what I think will essentially separate—and I know that’s not like a—I didn’t give like you know, “oh you have to do like this type of class or offer this many programs.” I don’t think it comes down to that. You know.

Ash: 16:35 – How many of us can say, you know, you’ve been in a place or you’ve seeing people who are die-hard members and the coaching wasn’t that great or like the workout wasn’t that great. Right. Cause people don’t really know what good or bad coaching is unless they’ve had both. Or know what good or bad programming is unless they’ve had both. So I really don’t think it comes down to like, you know, using that as your ploy of like, oh we have the best coaches or we do comp program and we do this. I think it comes back to the procedural st
uff, right, of making sure that you’re building a good business and sharing your vision with everyone and making sure everyone’s aligned. Because then everyone can be on the same path and that’ll carry through to the members.

Mateo: 17:22 – How has—well, there’s a couple of things I want to talk about there. Let’s talk about what happens when someone comes through the pipeline that isn’t a good fit. You’ve had a good amount of experience firing some members and I know that people, when they first start with the Incubator and they’re thinking about shifting their offer or narrowing in on who they want to actually help, maybe even just raising the rates, you know, what advice do you have for people who have to say, hey, you know what, actually this might not be the right fit for you, even if they’ve been a member for two, three years or a coach. Same idea, you know, what advice do you have for someone who’s got to make that hard choice of like, hey, we gotta we gotta part ways with a member.

Ash: 18:12 – I will say this, I’ve been blessed where, you know, having to make those decisions, although are always tough, I’ve been lucky enough where, you know, the gyms I’ve been a part of have always been doing well, right? We’ve been profitable gyms, we have good procedures, we have good people in place. So starting with like firing a member, right? Getting rid of someone who’s either just a problem member or doesn’t fit. Again, coming back to your vision, doesn’t fit your vision of what you’re trying to do. They either are disruptful in class or they complain. It came down to if it affected the employees and then in turn started to affect me, I knew that I had to have that hard conversation and it wasn’t like a one-strike policy. You know, I would sit down and have a goal-setting session, ask them what they were trying to do and accomplish and what they wanted out of the gym.

Ash: 19:06 – And then after listening to what they want, I would, you know, explain how we can help them with that. You know? And so in my experience with people who are far gone, too far gone, that’s like a BandAid. It’ll be good for a point in time. And then after a month or two, you’ll notice that that same person is unhappy or causing the same types of issues. I don’t think you can ultimately just like, you know, go up to a person and like fire them as a member unless you know, you have a way of delivering it where it’s like, you’re not getting your goals met, essentially. You know, and again, coming back to that, I think I have it a little bit luckier than others. We have that other gym that’s eight feet away that does comp programming. So that’s kind of my out that I used, was hey, you want to do more competition-style programming. That’s what they have. I think they’d be a better fit. I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I just don’t think we’re really helping you reach your goals. Right. When you put it on yourself, then that kind of takes the bad taste out of the member’s mouth. Hopefully. Right. That’s the goal. The last thing you wanna do is get like a bad review or you know, burn a bridge. So you want to bring it back to yourself and be like, you know, I apologize we couldn’t deliver. It just seems like we can’t help you reach your goals. After looking at other gyms, I found that this gym, this gym, this gym, they do whatever type of programming you want. I think they’d be a good fit. And then you can bridge the gap too, right? You can say you’ll reach out to the owner and you’ll make an—like send them an email telling them they’ve done fundamentals. They’ve been part of your gym for a while and they’d be a good fit to have at that gym.

Chris: 20:45 – Hello my friends. It is Chris Cooper here. Since 2009 I have been writing daily blog posts, producing podcasts, videos, all kinds of stuff on social media with one mission in mind: to make gyms profitable. I came to that mission because I was an unprofitable gym owner. It almost ruined my finances and almost ruined my career, my marriage, everything. And since that day, since I made my recovery, I have wanted to help other gym owners become profitable, too. It’s part of my mission to the world because if you’re profitable, you’ll be here changing lives of thousands of your clients for the next 30 years. I think together we can have a tremendous impact. When we started mentorship, I did every single call myself. I was doing up to a thousand free calls a year and I was doing 10 calls with people who signed up for our early mentorship program, but the Incubator has been updated and improved a dozen times since then. Now the Incubator is really the sum of all of our experiences with over 800 gyms worldwide. In the Two-Brain mentorship program, we can now learn from everybody. We can collate data, we can see what’s working where and when and what the new gold standards are as they emerge. When somebody has a great idea, we can test it objectively and say, “Will this work for everyone or will it work for people on the West Coast or on the East Coast?” We can do that with little things like Facebook ads. We can also do that with operations and opening times and playbooks. All the questions that you have about the gym, we can answer them with data and with proof now. That’s the Incubator. It’s more than what I wrote about. It’s more than my experience. It is the best standard in the fitness industry, period. And I hope to see you in there.

Ash: 22:26 – Something else that I’ve recently had to deal with is someone called that cancer in the locker room, right? Someone who’s maybe just causing drama or lot of like gossip behind the scenes, talking in the gym, kind of cliquey, that type of thing I think needs to be handled right away, right? Because that’s something that will affect your community and it will affect it harshly. So that’s something that you should be willing to take a hit in, even if it’s like one person or two people, right? You should be willing to take the hit and like that little bit of a profit margin because ultimately, you know that is a huge monkey off your back and that will help you get to the next level and grow and have like a positive gym versus having that mentality of, ooh, I need to get more members to break even or make more money.

Ash: 23:17 – Right? So I need to save every last person that I can. That might be the person that you don’t want to do that with. So that one, I would say try and cut ties as quickly as possible. And again, you don’t have to like, shit on the person, it comes back to a conversation of you can have like a goal-setting conversation with them and then maybe explain to them that we’re not the best place for you to reach these goals. And again, I’ll help you find another gym. That would be how I would handle it with a member. With a coach, going back to what I had mentioned previously with the vision and values chart that Coop sent the blog post about, that’s kinda been my go-to in the past couple months. Cause we have had a little bit of a transition at the gym.

Ash: 24:01 – I’ve hired a few new people. I parted ways with a few older coaches and that’s what I think it comes down to. It doesn’t have to be like a personal vendetta thing where like, you know, everyone hates each other. It’s just you come down to that vision and values goal and explain why they’re not lining up. If it’s someone you think that you can salvage, then maybe you talk to them about it and explain to them where you’re coming from, see where they’re coming from, see if you can meet in the middle. But if it’s someone that you know is going to be reluctant or you’re not going to be able to bring over to your side of things, then it would be easier to cut ties. Right. Bring it back it’s a business decision. It’s not a personal thing.

Ash: 24:48 – Hopefully, most of the time. And you know, you can only control how you deliver it and how you take it. You can’t control how they take it. I’ve experienced people taking it really well and you know, hugging at the end of the conversation where we know this is the end of the journey together an
d we’re still friends and I still talk to them. I’ve also had it where it didn’t end well and like I went for a hug and they went in for a handshake and it was like, Ooh, that was weird. But afterwards, I’m pretty sure I either spoke to you or it might’ve been Ashley afterwards. I was like, oh, it was like a sigh of relief. It was this monkey on my back that I didn’t know I had. Right. It was stress that was eating at me every day that once I got rid of it, I was able to focus on so many other things.

Ash: 25:33 – It’s hard to look at that and know in the moment like, oh, that’s the reason why. But if you do have these hard conversations with whoever, members or employees and you notice like, Oh wow, I’m stressed a lot less, then I think that opens you up to being able to have more of these conversations. Because you know, this was me like a year ago, two years ago, I’m also reluctant to do it, but now that I know I’ve done it and I know how to deliver it, it makes it a lot easier to do if I need to do it again.

Mateo: 26:05 – Was your mentor involved in helping you coach—coach you through the vision values part and how to have some of these conversations?

Ash: 26:11 – Yes. So I got the blog post, you know, I forget when it was, it had to have been maybe two or three months ago and I brought it up with my mentor and I’ve mentioned the situation with, you know, multiple people. It wasn’t—it actually happened with like three people within the span of a month. Right. Employees that I knew I needed to have this conversation with, and I was dreading it and I was putting it off and yeah, when I did speak to my mentor, they were telling me, you know, that’s just, like you have to do it, you know, if you continue to push it off and not have that conversation, that stops you from being able to hire new people. Right. Bringing on new good talent, right. Bringing people who do share your vision and values. And so he was exactly right. Right. As soon as I had that conversation and it opened up space and not only did I find someone else to come in and fill that spot but I was able to do what I needed to do, because again, I wasn’t focused on that portion of it. I got rid of that out of my capacity and my daily stress that I was going through and I was able to apply it to other aspects.

Mateo: 27:20 – Awesome. I want to shift gears a little bit now and talk about marketing, and normally I ask at this point, walk us through your paid advertising system. How does it work? But if you’re listening, you can just watch all the Two-Brain Marketing videos and I walk you through the exact advertising system that we have at CrossFit Rittenhouse a lot of the time; you’re looking at the Rittenhouse ads manager, but you know, I want to—what?

Ash: 27:54 – You’re welcome.

Mateo: 27:55 – You’re welcome. Yeah. Rittenhouse is the Guinea pig. Instead, then, I want to just mention really quickly, so we spend about a thousand dollars a month on ads online and we generate on average $6,000 in front-end sales. So put a dollar in, you get six out, and Ash doesn’t do a ton of the calling and the lead nurture. We just happen to be in a very lucky market where we have enough inquiries coming through a cheap enough price where the math just works. But what I do want to ask you about is, can you walk us a little bit through your sales process. You know, the lead comes in, they book an appointment, what happens for you?

Ash: 28:42 – Sure. Like you said, I’m working on that piece of the lead nurture. I haven’t been—that’s something that is still lacking, so hopefully when I add that, that one to six ratio should go up a ton, actually. Right now the process is if they go through our website, you know, I get an email through the CrossFit Rittenhouse email and I have a canned response and I kind of in that canned response, send them to the acuity link to set up a No-Sweat Intro. If they don’t go through the website, they go through our ad. If they go through all the steps and set up a No-Sweat Intro, I will follow up with them the day before and the day of to confirm their appointment. I mean, I guess you can call that pretty minimalistic. I know there’s a few people out there who are—they have not only lead nurture, but they have a lot more touches on people who set up those appointments, which is great and I want to get there. Right. That’s my goal is to get to those that point where I have, you know, eight to 10 touches for lead nurture and then like three to five touches, just confirming appointments. But right now as far as what I do, it’s one to two touches confirming people who have already gone through all the steps and set up their No-Sweat Intro on their own. And then when they come into their No-Sweat Intro, we go through the sales process. And with that, you know, with still having room to improve on, our numbers are still pretty good as far as how many people we’re signing up versus how many leaves we’re getting through the paid advertising.

Mateo: 30:20 – And so they walk into the door, what happens?

Ash: 30:23 – They walk in through the door. We have an office that we kind of made separate from the gym. Right. And you kind of want an area that’s not loud and barbells banging and you know, people walking in and out. You want somewhere where you can actually focus on the person. They can focus on you. Again, my space, I’m lucky enough where we have like a little off-shoot room that we turned into that office. If anyone that’s listening can make that, I highly, highly recommend. I think just doing that helps my conversion rate double in that lake the first month that we got the office. So they come in, I bring them in, I sit them down on our couch, I offer them a drink and then from there I kind of go through our sales process. Right. And for me sales looks like building a relationship. I don’t know if you want me to go into the whole sales process, but that’s what it looks like as they’re coming in. If they walk into the gym, the coach will bring them into the office to me. And then that way, like same thing, right. I’ll put them down, ask them how their day’s going, ask them if they’ve ever done CrossFit before. Offer them some water. And then I get started on that No-Sweat Intro.

Mateo: 31:27 – Yeah. Tell me a little bit about how do you talk them up? How do ya break the ice? How do you get them into the fold?

Ash: 31:35 – Well, like I said, I think for me it’s been all about what I’ve found works is it’s all about building relationships. I’ve gone off of the paper on the clipboard and writing down answers. I’ve gone freehand. I’ve tried to like, you know, make the hard sell and tell people like, this is how we’re going to help you get your goals. I think above all what helps me feel the most confident and sell the best without feeling like, you know, like people don’t want to feel like a salesman, which is fine. You don’t have to, it’s just trying to build a relationship, right? Complimenting them on their shoes. On their shirt. Right? Finding a point that you share with them, you know, like whether it’s where they grew up or where they went to school. Right. So I’ll do all these probing questions.

Ash: 32:21 – So it’s more about organic conversation. Then, hey, have you done CrossFit before? Great. This is our program. What are your goals? This is how we can help you reach your goals, you know, so immediately just asking them how their day is going, how their day has been, I think is a huge starting point. Right. If they say not too good, then you start there, right? Oh, why? Hopefully we can make it better now. If they say great, like that’s awesome. Like mine too. I love that positivity. Right? But for me, what that No-Sweat Intro process is just all about trying to build that connection and you know, build a relationship from there. I do go through the other steps, right? I ask them what their goals are. I ask them what they’re currently doing, if anything. I asked them if they’d like seen or tried CrossFit before.

Ash: 33:13 – I explain our program and how we can help them ba
sed off of the goals they just gave me. I give them a question breakdown of, you know, the five one-on-one sessions going into a month of membership, the pricing breakdown. And then we start going into nutrition a little bit if that’s something they’re interested in and it looks like you know, they want that little bit. I’ll keep pushing and we’ll talk more about the individual nutrition components. It’s something that they don’t look like they’re quite ready yet, even though we all know they should be. I don’t try and push too hard there because I know just coming in through the door and doing one-on-one and coming to classes is a pretty big step for a lot of people. So I don’t want to seem too pushy, but I do at least like, poke at the nutrition component a little bit.

Ash: 33:59 – We have a nutrition board at the gym, so I make sure that if someone doesn’t sign up for nutrition, I bring them there and you know, show them how like we want to build habits and start there, if you have any other questions, this is the email; reach out to that email and we’ll talk more about it. After I give them a breakdown of the six-week program, you know, I kind of ask them if they have any questions. I ask them when they prefer to work out. Right. Morning, midday, evening. That’s kind of my, I guess you can call it another segue into asking do you want to sign up, right? Instead of just saying, hey, so are you ready to sign up? I said, are you more of a morning, midday or evening person? When do you like to work out? And then when they say whatever time, let’s say they say morning, I’m like, cool. I can take a look at the schedule right now. Finishing up with my current group of people. This Friday if you want, we can start this Monday or if you prefer the a week in between we can start next Monday. Right? So I give them options so that they don’t feel like it’s a yes or no response. And then from there we’ll go in and set up the five one-on-one sessions. I’ll give them a tour of the gym and that’s it. If they have any other questions, I let them know to reach out to me before the one-on-one session wheter it’s email, a phone call, a text, and that’s basically the whole process.

Mateo: 35:13 – I mean, I think what’s really helpful there is the theme of this whole kind of chat has just been, yeah, getting to know them and building that relationship and starting it off on the right foot. And when you do that, it bleeds into the rest of their experience. It sets the tone for the rest of their experience and they understand that, hey, they’re following from your example, from the visions and values that you’re kind of setting and embodying. And it carries throughout their experience there and into the community. And it’s how you’re able to establish that, you do it from day one and it just kind of bleeds into the rest of their experience and into the gym as a whole. So we’re running out of time here, but, you know, you’ve been able to be a part of building and growing successful gyms in some of the busiest, most competitive places in the United States, and now you’re the owner of a really profitable gym in another very busy and competitive city. What do you think has been the key to success so far?

Ash: 36:15 – That’s a great question. There’s a lot of angles, a lot of different things. I think to start off right, you have to be willing to put in time. We all know that in starting any business, it’s gonna take time and you’re going to have to make sacrifices as you go onto the different stages that Chris talks about, I think it comes to finding the right people, right? Surrounding yourself with the right people. And it’s really easy to hire, make a quick hire so that you can remove yourself from the day-to-day stuff. But I would say keep yourself on the stuff that you like doing so that you can hire people for the right positions. For those of you who don’t read Chris’ that he sends out, you should start because I’ve found a ton of, just like things that you think you know, but then you read it in a way that he phrases it like a light bulb goes off.

Ash: 37:07 – And the one for me that I’m referring to right now is hiring positions that you don’t like doing. That’s what I’ve been focusing on for the past, I think, six months is, I like coaching, right? So I’m not—you know, our first thing is like we got to get coaches, we got to hire coaches. And after I read that, it was like, well, I’m willing to coach and do that. I don’t like doing admin work. I don’t like, you know, doing like lead nurture and some of the other jobs and social media. So I took the time to hire those positions and get people in the right position so that they were a good fit and it wasn’t, you know, like pulling hairs trying to get them to do their job. They actually enjoy it and it’s easy for them, just like it is with a lot of us for coaching, right? It’s not a stressful thing. Coaching is when we can kind of shut our brains off and go. So that’s what I think more recently is my key, is find the right people, have patience in your hiring process, right? Everyone wants to level up and get to that next level and it’s really easy to do. But if you do it with the wrong people, then you’re going to find yourself having to level down and take a step back at some point. But if you take your time and find the right people doing things that you don’t want to do and then later hiring people to do things that you can take yourself out of the day to day and as they say, start working on the business instead of in the business, that’s what I think is like the main key to success.

Mateo: 38:36 – Ash, this has been wonderful. If people want to talk to you more or drop in CrossFit Rittenhouse, where can they find you?

Ash: 38:41 – They can find us in Rittenhouse, Philadelphia. They can email me at info@crossfitrittenhouse.net. We’re getting our new website from John and Heather set up, so it’ll be super easy. Contact info is right up on there. If you’re in the area, 23rd and Chestnut, come and check us out. But yeah, feel free to anytime you guys want, you can shoot me an email at info@crossfitrittenhouse.net and I’d be happy to chat with anyone.

Mateo: 39:15 – Thanks, Ash.

Greg: 39:27 – Thank you for listening to Two-Brain Radio. Make sure to subscribe to receive the most up-to-date episodes wherever you get your podcasts from. To find out how we can help create your Perfect Day, book a free call with a mentor at twobrainbusiness.com.

Thanks for listening!

On Monday, Two-Brain Radio presents marketing tips and success stories. Chris Cooper delivers the best of the business world on Two-Brain Radio every Thursday. 

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