Increasing Retention, Referrals and Revenue With A Continuous Success Program

Pat Rigsby is the co-owner of several businesses in the fitness industry including the Fitness Consulting Group. He also serves as an industry consultant focusing on the development of profitable personal training departments. To learn how you can improve your club's retention, referrals and profitability, sign up for his free newsletter at Pat can be reached at [email protected]

By Patrick Rigsby

The “Three R’s” are dear to the hearts (and bank accounts) of health club owners. But is there any simple, low-cost way that you can generate more of the “Three R’s”? In a word, yes. The Continuous Success Program (CSP) is a quarterly personalized program design and assessment session with one of your personal trainers that can be presented as an upsell at the initial point of sale. So instead of just renting your members access to your equipment or entry into your group fitness classes, you now are providing them with a clearly defined roadmap to the results that motivated them to join your facility in the first place.
So how can you integrate this program into your current business? Here’s how you can create and maximize your own CSP:

Create an enticing offer. The whole objective is to get as many members as possible to enroll in the CSP. You need to make the program as affordable as possible while still generating a small up-front profit. If you currently offer a complimentary orientation, simply offer the CSP as a deluxe version for new members who are motivated to get results. An example price point might be a one-time investment of $79 or an additional $7 per month on the member’s dues.

Build a program design system. Create a template that incorporates the various components of fitness and develop several example program tracts for members with different goals, fitness levels, time constraints and limitations. Now your trainers have a starting point for each member that they meet with and a roadmap to follow. The trainer can simply modify the pre-designed program to fit the member’s specific needs.

Develop a database and tracking system. By having a database of CSP clients and tracking their measurements and programs, you’ve taken the first step toward developing a relationship with your members instead of just renting them access to your club’s equipment. Now you have a reason to contact them every 12 weeks that they will appreciate instead of ignore. You also have positioned your trainer as the member’s partner in achieving their fitness goals. By tracking the members’ ongoing measurements, you can use their quarterly changes as a tool to help guide them to what additional programs or services would be of most benefit to them.

Create a systematic approach to generating referrals. Use the quarterly sessions as opportunities to encourage referrals by presenting members with complimentary guest passes. The presiding fitness professional can talk to the member about the importance of a social support system for long-term success and encourage the member to motivate their friends, family members and co-workers to enjoy the same successes that your facility has helped them enjoy.

Have pre-created back-end offers. Have pre-designed offers of personal training packages, weight management programs or retail products that are relevant to the member’s goals. The fitness professional delivering the program can offer these to the member during each program design session to create additional revenue for the club, commission for the fitness professional and enhanced results for the member.

Overdeliver. The CSP offers your members an opportunity to build relationships with the club staff. Your trainers can make members feel special and important by being well prepared for the quarterly sessions and genuinely concerned with the member’s success. With the reputation that our industry has for over-promising and underperforming, this approach will give your club an opportunity to separate yourself from the pack.

This program is a wonderful tool to drive additional profit center sales, facilitate referrals from your members and dramatically improve your club’s retention. As an added bonus, you can use this program as a sales tool that separates you from your competition as the club that actually delivers results to their members. So if you want to improve your “Three R’s,” the CSP may be just what you’re looking for.

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