Saving the New Year’s Resolutioners From Themselves

Everyone knows and expects the first of January to bring a crowd of new people that have made new year resolutions find their way to your facility. According to research, only about 8% of those making resolutions, keep them.

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My personal belief is that people make big, general resolutions without and real plan. “I’m going to eat healthy!” What does eating healthy even mean? Where do they start? “I’m going to join a gym!” To do what? Weights? Cardio? Yoga? These generalities make it difficult, if not impossible, to succeed. People come in, they flounder, they fail, they quit.  How can we keep these new members and clients, help them reach their goals and sustain them?

My suggestion (and I know many of you know this), is to catch them early and get them started right. Every new member should receive a complimentary consultation, or strategy session, or whatever you’d like to call it. We need a chance to listen to what they hope to accomplish, help them clarify their goals and set priorities, discover strategies to overcome past obstacles, and help them decide on the best first step.

I know. I hear the naysayers in the back (sometimes in the front) say that we should be charging for this, that it is a service of value. You’re not wrong. It is a service of value, BUT… a fee is a barrier to taking advantage of it. If half of the new members or clients don’t take part because they think they can go it alone and don’t need to pay for the guidance, we are losing out on their potential long-term business, not to mention condemning them to probable failure (remember, only 8% stick with their resolutions). Nobody wins. Whereas, offering a complimentary consultation is likely to get them in our office to have that discussion. It helps put them onto the path to success and buys us the trust and loyalty that we hope to have with all of our members and clients.

So, don’t let them slip in unnoticed or uncared for. Offer all of those resolutioners an opportunity to find the success they are looking for. Make time to sit down with them and help them discover the next, best step in their journey to better health.

Have a healthy, happy, and prosperous new year!

Should You Offer a Free Consultation?

Some clubs give free workouts with a personal trainer. I’ve seen as many as 8 sessions given away to new club members. Of course, the idea behind that is that the client will see the value and continue to train beyond that. I also see clubs and personal trainers that don’t believe in giving away anything for fear that it devalues the training. I have to admit that I fall into that category.

We, at Jiva Fitness, don’t discount anything. I do believe that it does, indeed, devalue the product. However, we do give free, 30 minute consultations. I know that seems counter to what I just said and I know that many fitness professionals will be quick to disagree with that policy, but let me explain.

People that are not fitness enthusiasts (and let’s face it, that most people) can be unsure about signing up for a gym, let alone personal training. The idea of paying a lot of money (the common perception) for a membership or training can be daunting. This is a barrier to entry, a barrier to signing up and getting started. The idea behind offering a free consultation is to remove that barrier. We want to allow them to feel that they can come in, sit down with a qualified professional, be heard and have their questions answered.

Our consultations consist of going through their medical health history, lifestyle questionnaire, and goal clarification and setting. Then, after gathering all of that information, we can make an informed recommendation as to what their next, best course of action should be. Maybe that’s one of our programs, maybe it’s not. Who knows going into this if we are the right fit for their needs?

Now, some may say that if you answer their questions they may just take that advice and go do it on their own. That’s possible, but not common. Usually, when you take that time and they feel that you have really listened to them, they feel special and that the recommendation that you make is made just for them. However, even if they don’t sign up with you, you have given them a great experience and they will tell others about it. (It’s still a win.)

Consider the free consultation and whether it may be right for you. If you are not getting enough new potential clients through your doors, it might be they are feeling that barrier to entry and a free consultation is one way to lower it.