Welcome to show 14 and I’m sorry for looking a little shagged or more shagged than usual but just finished a horrible dead lift session.  I wonder who invented dead lifts and for what purpose!

I set you a challenge in last week’s show.  Who remembers it?

I said do something remarkable this week. Something so remarkable that people remark about it.  Did you? What was it?  Tell me!!!  In the comments below, just put a word or sentence sharing what remarkable act you did, so I can read how remarkable you were!

If you missed last week’s show on remarkability, click here to catch up.

In today’s show if you hang around then you’ll see who my special guest is!  And you’ll also hear my rant today over s#*t personal trainers!  This is bound to be controversial and cause some angst with some of you.


I have just one shout out and that is to Precor International.  This week we got the green light from Precor International and the regions for them to come on board as a sponsor of The Fitness Business Podcast.  This is super exciting and I am very grateful.

Thank you Precor and if you are a supplier who wants to talk to fitness business owners and managers watching today we have only 3 spots left for sponsors.  Drop me an email & lets talk.


Each week I am happy to answer any questions you have.  So put them in the comments below, email me, tweet me, Facebook me, LinkedIn me or call me: +612 9484 5501.

This week’s question comes from Richard in Lismore, Australia!  Richard asks:

At the moment I’m trying to tidy up our CRM with a new Membership Manager. We are discussing how and when we communicate with our members via email. Do you have thoughts on best practice?

What an awesome question and let me answer by saying, if you are adding value to the people that receive your email then email every day!  The challenge is ‘adding value.’

Regardless of you business – fitness, real estate, hairdressing, pharmaceutical sales – the key for member and client retention is the on-boarding process of a new client.

Key points for on-boarding are these:

  • Provide a road map of what to expect;
  • Help them get up to speed with your culture;
  • Give them knowledge, habits and mindset to be successful in their community.

So Richard to achieve these goals with new members, this may require emails, texts, phone calls or 1 to 1.  You can certainly automate some of the process – eg Soul Cycle do this brilliantly when you book in for your first ever class, you receive an email immediately explaining what to expect, the culture, and how to get the most from your workout.  It is a brilliant email.  If you would like to this, put ‘Soul Cycle’ in the comments and I’ll share with you a screen shot.

I think the more you can humanize the experience, the better the on boarding will be.  I believe that there should be a human connection made weekly in the first 4 to 6 weeks.  That connection can be on the phone or in person.  It could be with a trainer, a group fitness instructor, the front desk person or the sales person calling.

One great technique to help on board new members or customers is to connect them with a super user.  This mean introduce them to someone who can help them feel comfortable with you.  Your super users are:

  • Loyal and engaged with the brand.
  • Regularly attend;
  • Get value from their membership;
  • Often are the ones who police your culture;
  • The ones who have a genuine desire to help you with feedback and help new members.

What happens when we don’t on-board well . . . new customers can feel awkward, embarrassed and often don’t come back.

I know this a LONG answer to you Richard but I really feel that in designing your touch points with new members you must consider the goal of each touch point – it must be to add value.  If there is no value, then don’t do the touch point!

Just a reminder in your on-boarding of new customers or members:

  • Provide a road map of what to expect;
  • Help them get up to speed with your culture;
  • Give them knowledge, habits and mindset to be successful in their community.

If you think this helped your business please share the video or this post.

My Rant

Here comes my rant . . . Personal trainers are a joke and they are getting worse!

Not all of you but geez in the last 12 months I have been in over 40 big box gyms across the globe and the number of PTs in those boxes that write anything down during a session with clients, I can count on one hand!

Seriously, with back to back clients how can you remember what each client lifted, pushed or moved?  How can you remember anything about that client’s life they may have shared during a session?

People in gyms are watching trainers.  They watch what they do on the gym floor and that is them marketing their PT service level.  Surely trainers have to wonder why the only new clients they are getting are new members who buy PT at point of sale!

And why is it getting worse?  Because new trainers are learning how to be trainers by watching these shit trainers.  They are learning the bad habits!

I have asked several trainers recently, what is the macro cycle you are putting your clients through?  How do these sessions lead into their mini-goals? They look at me blankly.  It’s like I’m talking a different language!

Rant 2

One trainer I am aware of told his client pushing a sled in her two PT sessions a week for 6 minutes was all the cardio training she needed to improve her CV capacity.  She was 55 years old.

I know I am not a PT and not even that smart but really the only CV training someone needs is 12 minutes a week?

My problem is PT’s are not accountable to anyone!

Sure they are accountable to their clients getting results but many relationships between PTs & clients is like an arranged marriage.  A client is not given to the best qualified trainer for their results, it is given to the trainer that has availability.  So the client now feels they have to stay with their trainer, as it is wrong to get divorced. So what happens, the client thinks the only ‘out’ is to quit the gym, in order to break up with the trainer. The result – the client loses as they didn’t get the results they wanted; the gym loses as they lost a member; but the trainer doesn’t care because the gym’s marketing brings in new members every month and they can replace this one that left with a new member.

What’s the solution . . . I have an out there one!!!!  And I’d love anyone watching today NOT from the fitness industry tell me in the comments what you think of this . . .

All PT’s are paid 20 bucks an hour (or whatever the minimum wage is) and they get a bonus from their client at the end of the session.  That is, PTs work for tips – 15, 20, 25% or more as a tip at the end of the session.  I wonder what this form of payment would do to the service level of PT’s delivered?

Now I know not all PT’s are the same.  In fact, I know many PT studios that record EVERYTHING a client does and says. I know there are gym employed PT’s who have to record everything.  So yeah there are some good ones but I think these are becoming the minority and this is NOT helping us get more people active!

Rant over . . .

Let me introduce you to do our special guest today . . . Her name is Chantal from the Fitness Business Podcast and she is here to tell you about a big month for the podcast: #Podtober.

Quote of the Week . . .

“Spend time, energy and even resources to on-board members for long term retention.”

Check out previous shows here:

#JTInTheRaw Show 13: Are your phone calls remarkable? So people talk about your call
#JTInTheRaw Show 12: Quotes from Gary Vaynerchuk, Status Breeds Retention & Membership Growth Tips
#JTInTheRaw Show 11: Science of Gratitude & Anytime Fitness Conference
#JTInTheRaw Show 10: Confessions Of A Small Business Owner
#JTInThe Raw Show 9: Customer Service & Bending The Rules For A Customer; and 6 Tips To Business Success