3 Frameworks to Freshen Up Your Client On-Boarding

3 min read
Jun 7, 2023

Sometimes as gym owners, it’s easy to go nose-deaf. We lose sight of those small, tiny details that we take for granted since we’re so comfortable in a gym environment. The new client experience won't allow you to keep every client, but it can set you up to lose every client. Nailing the on-boarding process is a massive step in the right direction towards creating a sustainable business and changing as many lives as possible. My goal in this blog is to provide frameworks to view your on-boarding process through and help you create members for life.

Framework #1: Being a beginner is scary. 

If you’re anything like I was, you basically live in your facility. When you’re in your facility for that long, you get comfortable and easily forget how nerve-racking it is to walk into a new gym. Everything is an obstacle: where to park, who do you need to speak with, are they wearing the right clothes, EVERYTHING! If you haven’t started something new recently, this will be hard exercise for you, but try and put yourself in their shoes. Try to recall all the anxieties and the questions you had. If the person that was leading you through the process made you feel at ease, what did they do to help? Make a note of what they did that made you feel at ease and see if it can apply to your on-boarding process. All of these things will help you bulletproof your first impression with a new client.  

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Framework #2: Early and consistent wins are key.

Harping back on being a beginner, starting a new hobby can be equal parts fulfilling and defeating. If your new client doesn’t see some early wins, they will likely lose that fire that brought them in the doors in the first place. Now this isn’t an invitation to blow smoke up their rear end, but rather a challenge for you to rethink what a “win” is. Maybe this person hasn’t worked out in 3 years and the fact that they showed up twice in one week is a HUGE win for them. Celebrate that. Maybe you gave them a coaching cue on the floor and they crushed it. Celebrate that. Find small, but real victories that you can celebrate with your clients to help them feel the momentum turn in their favor. Another huge part of this is a follow-up schedule. Create some kind of touch point schedule where you make deliberate contact via email or phone to check on them and get an assessment of how they’re feeling. Automation isn’t the enemy here, but keep in mind that you people can smell a template email from a mile away. If you use something like MailChimp, set up a template that you can use as a starting point and then add in some customization and personal touches!

Framework #3: Connection will keep them coming back more than your programming ever will. 

This has two avenues I’d encourage you to explore: coach-to-client and client-to-client. If you’re not creating a connection as a coach to a client, then you’re probably bleeding members anyways. This is a pretty natural part of a coach’s personality, but it can always be done better. Take a true interest in their lives and get to know them. But the real magic is finding a fellow client you can connect a new client with. Let’s face it: as a coach you’re basically the parent. You’re cool, but you don’t get it (insert teenage angst). Connecting them with a client that has a similar background, goals, or kids that go to the same school is where the real magic happens. Before you know it, the client is coming to the gym to see their friends and spill the tea with the added bonus of getting to workout and feel better. 

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