Complementary Client Programming For Fitness Club Owners

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  • Complementary Client Programming For Fitness Club Owners

Categories for client programming must align to sales goals and be complementary to one another. After all, the most fundamental activity in any business is selling. In a people-business like fitness, it’s as true as ever; gym business owners have to do some selling to survive.

Fortunately, you don’t have to start again from scratch to get every sale. The secret is that, as your gym members come to you on a regular basis you have a warm and receptive audience for your products and services.

Your Client Programming And Sales Audit

If you have never done such an exercise, now might be the perfect time to audit your client programming. You can brainstorm ways to make everything you offer work together, and then develop your program to sell it.

Once you can get people in the front door and signed up as new members, you’ve done the easy part. It’s the first step in the battle to maximize revenue and out-compete your competitors across the street.

Now you have to follow up, prove your value and build a relationship with them. In marketing speak, once you attract customers, you must engage with and delight them.

Find Alignments And Get Congruent

It is the programming that you offer that makes the difference to your club members. Your resources set your programming, and the programming you intend to provide defines your shopping list for the resources in which you must invest.

You can’t sell activities to customers until they buy into your gym and become members. Once they subscribe, you can begin to promote classes, training, and other advanced offerings that turn members into enthusiasts and evangelists.

Think of your collection of programming categories as a progressive framework. Adding on some great new programming only really helps if it aligns with all of your other offerings. Finding alignments means, in this case, that your new additions fit into categories that appeal to your customers.

Flywheel Marketing for Small Gym Business Owners

There is a new concept in marketing that seems to be changing everything. I’ve written about constructing marketing and sales funnels in the past. Now, there’s the flywheel, a new way of thinking that Hubspot has begun using to talk about marketing and sales. A flywheel captures momentum, and its number-one enemy is friction.

This metaphor for your marketing says that you’re in a cycle that forever revolves around your customers. You have to attract, engage and delight your members over and over again.

Investing in a continuous combination of marketing and sales will help you retain your membership, make them happy to purchase programming from you, and that will maximize the revenue you earn in return, by doing so you build momentum and reduce friction.

Putting on The Gloves And Lacing Them Up

I like the metaphor of putting on the boxing gloves and lacing them up. It’s a comparison to a tightly run operation. The same is true of gym shoes; you put them on, tie the laces, and work out. When you get warmed up, you have to lace them again.

You retie the laces on your gloves and shoes periodically to optimize your performance. The same applies, I think, to client programming. It’s a constant refinement that becomes the basis of selling premium services to your club membership.

You choose your programming to build on the experience and abilities of the members who join your club. Over time, you have to enhance your offerings and refine your programming to improve the results.

Transforming Metaphors Into Action

Both of these metaphors apply to sales in the practical way that small business owners sell and learn. You set your programs and then adapt based on the responses that you get. Whether you upgrade your programs, the categories that you group them in, or the way that you sell them. Always be flexible and look for opportunities to sell more.

Selling services like client programming works best when the laces are tied up tight and fit-to-purpose. I also love the idea of the marketing flywheel. In both cases, improvements come from a cycle of doing work, learning the lessons, and deciding how to do it better the next time around, i.e., the cycle of attract, engage, and delight.

As I’ve said many times before it’s the premium products that make gyms successful. Once you’ve aligned all of your client-programming categories, you can get on with the business of building your gym by selling all of that great stuff to your membership.


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Fagan, Lawrence. How Client Acquisition Is Like Client Programming For Marketing. January 22, 2018. (accessed September 6, 2018).

-. What The Top Fitness Clubs Say About The Gym Industry. May 22, 2017. (accessed September 6, 2018).

Zabonick, Rachel, Emily Harbourne, and Selena Alexander. 102 Health Club Industry Tips, Tricks & Ideas. May 4, 2017. (accessed September 6, 2018).