Motivation is a most elusive beast. Given sufficient motivation, anyone can achieve the sort of fitness results that they might wish to attain, but relatively few do. The motivation qualification is one of those optical illusions that gets harder to find the closer it gets.

As the owner of a gym, boutique studio, or fitness club, you obviously want to motivate your members to turn up and work out; you want to motivate them to get involved and purchase premium products and services. Most of all, you want to drive them to get results, which will do more than keep them coming back and become your brand ambassadors.

Two Of The Most Important Words In Fitness

Finding untapped motivation is what drives people to join your gym in the first place. However, the most important issue for you, connected with membership motivation is retention. When you can inspire motivation among your members it will lead directly to better retention because happy customers don’t cancel memberships, they turn up to work out, they join the classes you offer and invite their friends to become members too.

So, there’s a lot of overlap between the retention methods that I have often written about and motivational techniques that are in focus here. If you’re a trainer or gym owner, you already know quite a lot of the skills for motivation. Working with clients and prospects to motivate them to become members requires sales skills, but that is right at the heart of motivation too, right?

How To Motivate Your Clientshard-work

There’s a host of things that you can do to get some motivation going in your gym; I’m sure you know the fundamentals already, so, I won’t cover them all here. These are just a few reminders:

  • Make sure that you are open during the hours your members want to workout
  • Keep the vibe positive and the music playing
  • Actively encourage your staff and trainers to smile at the members and engage with them in a friendly way
  • Keep all member accessible areas clean and in good repair
  • Have group sessions and invite members to participate, give incentives and prizes
  • Use the Gym Insight Member Management tools to follow up with members who show signs of quitting

Above all, use your many skills to consciously keep the motivation levels up, both as an atmosphere and during direct dealings with the members.

A more digital way to motivate members is to grab hold of the current fads on the Internet. Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge? How about the Harlem Shake? OK, so that one might seem a little corny in hindsight, but there is always something going around that can get you some free publicity, just by joining in.

Motivating As Opposed To Selling

Club Solutions Magazine has a good list of different ways to motivate your members. The ideas include satisfying multiple needs and being a guide to new discoveries. The post makes a good common sense point that you should avoid the cliché ideas of motivating people, which bears some thought; customers know they’re getting the basic sales pitches when it hits them.

American culture is full of jokes about the stereotypical pushy sales rep that uses manipulations to get a transactional result. So, we need to rely on more empathy and leadership skills. The key to empathy is just listening attentively and being open to the needs of the customer in front of you.

Relationship building and motivation by understanding are so important it’s hard to overstate; in any sales situation, you need to listen and understand what the prospect or customer wants. It also requires that you be present in the moment; not thinking about phone calls you have to make or bills you have to pay, be present and focused on what your member is saying.

Motivation That Gives Back To You

Generating motivation is the key to winning in business; you just have to hang in there and fake it until you make it. I’ve been lagging a little lately and writing this is a great reminder that all the above is something that I should self-apply.

Having an atmosphere of positivity and a slight edge of urgency is also a benefit to you as an entrepreneur. It helps to have a buzz of active people, who smile, with energetic music playing to set the mood. An environment that supports and drives motivation can help you to do one of the toughest things that there is to do and that is starting a business. You will feel better to keep it bright, and the customer retention will follow along too.

Bibliography

Contributiong Author. Eight Mysteries to Motivating Members. December 2, 2014. http://clubsolutionsmagazine.com/2014/12/eight-mysteries-motivating-members/ (accessed November 14, 2016).

Ekstrom, Richard. Member Motivation = Member Retention. November 20, 2015. http://www.retentionmanagement.com/member-motivation-member-retention/ (accessed November 14, 2016).

Fagan, Lawrence. 3 Key Elements In Retaining New Gym Members. October 10, 2013. http://blog.gyminsight.com/2013/10/3-key-elements-in-retaining-new-gym-members/ (accessed November 14, 2016).

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