Are you going after the right clients?

In front of a group of 125-plus gym owners and coaches from around the world, sales guru Greg Mack took the stage with a commanding presence at the MadLab Group business summit in Las Vegas in June.

“The quality of baby boomers’ lives are deteriorating daily because of physical decline. Who needs you most? Baby boomers or millenials?” he asked rhetorically.  

greg mack

Greg Mack

Breaking Muscle CEO Omid Rahmat echoed Mack’s thoughts:

“Millenials: They don’t spend money. They don’t commit to anything,” Rahmat said.

“It’s not that they’re bad people. They just have different tools,” he added.

Together, Rahmat and Mack have multiple decades of experience in the fitness, health and wellness industry. Their statements resonated with the crowd of gym owners and coaches, causing them to ask themselves these questions:

• What is the average age of my clients?

• Who is most likely to pay $300 to $600 a month more for a professional coach for life to manage their health and wellness? A 20 year-old or a 55 year-old?

• Does my brand currently look more attractive to 20 to 25 year-olds or baby boomers?

• What, if anything, am I doing to cater to clients in their 40s, 50s, 60s and even 70s?

SilverFit with Carol Beliveau

Carol Beliveau of CrossFit Blacksburg in Virginia is one owner who is going out of her way to cater to the 50-plus crowd.

Her experience with older clients has been incredibly rewarding, she said. And it has helped her realize she needs to be more than just a group class instructor to her clients. She needs to be what she calls “a life coach.”

carol and dave

Beliveau and Dave Picardy at the MLG Summit

A recent experience she had only solidified this realization:

A 65-year-old woman approached Beliveau with some physical concerns.

“She noticed she couldn’t get out of her car anymore,” Beliveau said. After some persistence, Beliveau convinced the woman to come to the gym just to chat.

On the first day, Beliveau sat down with the 65-year-old woman in a safe, one-on-one environment.

The two didn’t talk about money, or group classes, or how much the gym would cost the woman if she paid for a year up-front membership.

“It wasn’t salesey at all,” Beliveau said. “We talked about her pain points. Things like how going up stairs had become hard for her, and how this has been affecting her emotionally,” Beliveau said.

Instead of focusing on money, or the movements and workouts the woman would have to do, Beliveau focused on how she would help the woman regain her independence before it was too late. She focused on how she could help the potential client with her physical and emotional pain.

By the end of the session, the new client paid for 20 personal training sessions without hesitation.

That was a few months ago now. Today, Beliveau’s prized 65-year-old pupil attends SilverFit at her gym, a program Beliveau started for athletes over the age of 45.

“She can’t believe how strong she is now,” Beliveau said with a smile.

Beliveau’s website explains her SilverFit program gives older adults the opportunity to join a group class with others of their same demographic, but also requires them to continue to work in a one-on-one environment with their personal coach for life. At minimum, SilverFit clients continue to re-connect with their coach  in a one-on-one setting once every two months.

The combination of the group atmosphere with continued personal training is the key for older people especially, Beliveau said. Group classes provide the community-driven, competitive, social atmosphere, while the one-on-one training allows the coach to individualize a heath and wellness plan for his clients to ensure they get what they need.

“The individual attention is important to the keep clients there longterm,” she said.

MadLab Group’s 4th Law of Gymmin details exactly what Beliveau has created with her SilverFit program:

Law #4—Hybrid Gym Membership—Says this:

When clients who do a combination of group classes and personal training:

New clients are more successful: (measured by being more prepared for group classes, having a better understanding of the movements, and having an individual fitness plan catered to the client’s specific needs).

Veteran clients are more successful: (measured by continued physical improvements (less likely to plateau when you get to work on specific weaknesses and skills in a one-on-one environment), more motivation and increased commitment, due to continued improvement and close relationship with their coach).

Coaches are more successful: (measured increased satisfaction—as they’re able to help their clients reach specific, individual goals better than group classes allow—more enjoyable group classes—since classes run smoothly as everyone is more prepared/educated—increased revenue/coach pay).

• The business is more successful: (measured by greater client retention, happier coaches and increased financial profit).

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