The Gym Owners Blog/Podcast/Make the Most With the Gym Members You Already Have

Make the Most With the Gym Members You Already Have

Friday, June 23, 2023



people, gym, coach, money, selling, waitlist, semi private, personal, training, group, trainers, work, owners, nutrition, clients, services, run, week, john, hours


  • ​How to make the most out of what you have. (0:00)
  • ​The most common problem with nutrition services. (2:43)
  • ​How do you make more money in fitness? (5:26)
  • ​Cut off your nose to spite your face. (9:51)
  • ​The importance of nutrition for personal training. (14:16)
  • ​Understanding the importance of keeping your staff busy. (19:42)
  • ​How many gym owners are charging too little? (24:02)
  • ​How to implement a specialty program. (29:55)
  • ​The biggest struggle with running a specialty program. (33:27)
  • ​Pricing to fit the demand. (37:25)
  • ​Marketing your personal training business. (43:26)
  • ​Improving your internal processes. (47:53)
  • ​How do you get into first class? (51:40)
  • ​The next piece that gets you up. (54:29)


Tyler 00:00

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to this week's episode of the gym lovers podcast John comes in often and looks like the little Wayne, he hit a lighter flick. And guys, this week in the gym owners podcast we want to go over one of the many thought exercises John and I do with gym owners. And this is one of the things that we use to kind of help people zoom in on what their options are really well and how to make the most out of specific aspects of your business. And this, we kind of like to pursue this all the way to its end. So for today's thoughts exercise, I thought exercise, we're going to walk you through step by step, what we would do, and what we advise a lot of gym owners to do, if let's pretend you got no more new leads, not a single new person came set foot in your gym, how do you make the most out of what you have? Right now, of course, part of the things that we teach, one of the things that we sell and work a lot of gym owners with is getting you more leads and teaching them how to sell and sell better and sell bigger ticket stuff. But we do not do that at the expense of your current members. It's a big issue that John and I have with a lot of these other products that are out there as people want to just staff more people through your system. And then they ignore the people that you have, the people that have been with you and your underserved them, they feel like they've been left behind. And they don't have a chance to reinvest in their fitness. So we're going to zoom in on this for the sake of doing everything you can if you had to survive only on the people you already have within your building. And if you lean into this hard, what that's going to do is it's just going to really shore up that aspect of your business, you're gonna maximize that segment of your business, which is only going to make you even more resilient when you are ramping up your leads. So for today, what to do if nobody walks through your door making the most of what you have. So, before we get started, make sure you follow the show on Instagram that's at the gym owners podcast on Instagram, go to gym owners there, you're going to find all of our stuff, all our products, if you want information on working with John and I directly with your gym, getting on the gear Academy that's gonna be there as well, gym owners you want in on the all of the writings of John and I put out there there's a lot of free services that are free kind of guides and books are was what's the word guides, how to guides and all this jazz that we put out there that is going into the gear Academy, or the gym owners revolution Facebook group that is going to be in your link, you'll find that link in the description here. It's on Facebook, I don't have the software. Alright. Alright guys, let's get right into it. So John, what's the first thing you want to address here? When it comes to? What is this in a gym, if your gym is sitting there people are coming to whatever your gym is, whether it's 24 hour, whether it's group fitness, whatever that is, what's one thing that you think needs to happen in order to make your clients be successful? And you can also use it to make your business a little bit more money? Well,

John Fairbanks 02:43

I think the most consistent thing that we're seeing, not only is from gyms from that we're not working with as well as gyms that we are, is that it's nutrition services, or like being involved in your clients diet, and being a part of that conversation, I think is one of those most missed things right now. And I think it's also because there's a lot of you out there, and we've all been guilty of this where it's, we start a thing. We stay with it for a little bit, and then we just stop talking about that thing. So when I had a conversation, I had a conversation with somebody the other day, and it was, well, they will. I am struggling right now selling my nutrition services, I'm struggling right now selling my whatever, right? Like how are they called? And it was? Okay. Well, the very next question was, well, what are you doing right now? What are you doing? What were you doing to be able to sell it? And or market it? It's like, well, you know, like, I haven't really marketed it. And it's like, okay, well, then we need to stop. Because right now this is a lie that I think there's a lot of different ways that we lie to ourselves about the things we do in our business and, and whether or not it's successful or not, and the lie is that you're doing enough or that you're doing anything with it at all.

Tyler 04:00

Yeah. Also think as the gym owner, as a salesperson, if you're selling on your own staff, like that's the thing you're gonna run into if you're gonna feel like you're talking about it all the time. And you just have to keep your foot on the gas. We talked about this with nutrition coaching with supplement sales with referrals. It's one of those things where people get it up and running, they've designed the product, they get it going to get height, they get a few sold, and then they just sit there and don't stay implemented into the system. And that's a big, big issue that we see. Because then it just kind of dies on the line there. And then you wonder why Oh, not getting anything? Don't you think selling nutrition was a bad idea? It's like, no, no, no, no, no, trust me. And when people get to the point in their fitness journey, where they're getting a little stagnant, the minute they come in, make a bunch of progress, and they start to plateau out. I've watched people who I coach personally, who are no longer paying for nutrition services, who are then like, skating the other direction just because they don't really have a thing that they're working off of, by the way, they could just go off of the plan I gave them six months ago. It was still working, but they're just not in it directly. And I watched him. I see it's good. I see it's good. And I have to toggle them. It's like, yeah, okay, yeah, I gotta get back on that again. And, and so for your people who are in your gym just because they're already in your gym and already making progress does not mean that that's not a product that they're going to want and that they're going to need. It's a big, big thing out there right now guys that like, there's a lot of information coming from a lot of different directions for fitness clients, and you really have the opportunity to provide a lot of clarity for them.

John Fairbanks 05:26

And the biggest piece here is that because a lot of memberships and services are sold in gyms, stereotypically, it's usually just how you make more money. Like if I want to make more money in a stereotypical membership format, that you and I help pull apart and fix and do everything, before we pull it apart and build it into our system, the only way that people really can make more money is if people come more often. So it either goes from one time a week, two or three times a week to Hawaii, we have an unlimited, like we have an unlimited pack like those elements are the only way. So it is the epitome of well if I need to make more money, I need someone to come more and use more of the gym and more and more and more and more. And even though in the back I understand that this is the literal antithesis of what we all know is what's best for humans. Like we know it's and this is an IT problem is it feeds into the market as a whole. Where it's just like you need to work out more. Yeah, the workout more times. And that's the issue. And anyone that's been in this game long enough knows how full of shit that advice really is. But yet you don't change how you try and support your people that you have.

Tyler 06:49

Yeah, there's a lot of like open requests out there for people who are from people who are about ready to get started want to get losing weight and stuff and they go what gym should I go to, and they're choosing between like unquote, gyms, 24 hour gyms and there's though like choosing between one product in which you show up and do it yourself and another product in which you show up and do it yourself unguided as though one is better than the other enough to improve your risk or your likelihood of success. And it's just not the case. And so the whole concept out there, you cannot work a bad diet is the realest shit ever. Guys, you see a lot of people who look at the plateau, the general population and CrossFit gyms. The types that you have your people who really go for it, and really get in really good shape and stay in really good shape. And you have a lot of people. I see a lot of people who are three, four years across IT folks who look the same as they did a year ago, year before. Some of them don't look great either. But they work really hard. Yet well, because you've never actually addressed the input side of things. And there's no that you cannot work a bad diet is the truest statement. In all of these statements. I've heard about fitness for a really long time, and it sinks deeper and deeper every year. And further every year, I'm in this industry every single year. And if I could simply get somebody to eat right, the results will be infinitely better than if I just work them out hard or work them out harder, or work them out more often. Or better. Whatever the fuck better is, let's be honest, like, what's the difference between three hours with me a week and six? Christ just eat less Dude, what are you doing? Like what are you trying to do? And so the importance of this is just, it's the thing that is going to give your clients a chance of success. And when we talk about retention. And when you have no new people in this thought exercise, if what you got is what you already have, you cannot have people walking out your door because they're not getting results, you cannot have people deciding to make by the way, very likely just a sideways move from one gym to the next from one trainer to the next. Because they simply want change because a change will maybe get a little bit of progress. And that's not always the case. So what you need to do is give them that opportunity to reinvest, but don't let them just reinvest in something that's going to spend more money, I'm with it. By the way, I'm with them spending more money, I'm with them by more accountability or more training or committing for, you know, 1216 weeks up front. So let's go. I really want to make this work. But they need to have it actually built for them to succeed, not just for your pocketbook. And if so, if that comes along, they will be successful. And if they're successful, they'll stay you're never going to change somebody's life and have them go from fat to jacked and really change all their habits inside and outside of the gym. And then have them just like bail on Yeah. Because then their goals are realized and then maybe they want to compete or maybe I've never seen somebody who got jacked and goes unchecked enough. I can never do so. So if you're doing it right, they'll feel forever small once they ever see themselves with a significant partner and that's the name of the game.

John Fairbanks 09:51

And I think you nailed it to where it's you're right you're cutting off your nose to spite your face. You're tripping over and tripping over $1 to pick up a nickel, like whatever those phrases are, right? Those idioms exist. Because this is what you end up having happen is that if you look at what your attrition rate is, and how long you can retain clients and customers, if we're saying you cannot fill with anyone new, which means we have to keep people longer. And the fact is, is that if you are stuck in a model, where you want people to just buy more of like your like, workout with you more or get more sessions, get another fucking punch card for your personal trainer, like whatever it is, whatever that format is just more sessions, you are missing out, because it just the nutrition piece is shown time and time again, statistically proven. And anecdotally, if you have someone that's working with you on this side of things, you're helping them on that side of the house, they stay longer. And that will make you infinitely more money in the long run, because if they stay with you longer, the attrition rate goes down. Because we've seen anywhere from where the statistics bounce from, like it's a 20% to 100% increase. If you can just lower your attrition by 5%. Like just it's just not it's so unfathomable how much more money you can make over the long run because someone's just with you longer.

Tyler 11:19

Well, the retention game is critical. Because when you start when your system does grow to the point, and we're outside of the stocks at the thought exercise and you begin paying for leads, you start to understand like, Okay, well, paying for new members does cost money, and god damn keeping them real nice. Keeping them becomes extremely important. They're already in, they've already been on boarded, there's zero resources, extra resources gone into fulfilling their service from one month to the next you need to keep them and the best part about planning trying to keep and retain clients is that that actually very often involves them leveling up their commitment with you, instead of just staying stagnant. It's the biggest retention misconception that I hear from gym owners is they think retention is like, I just keep them and they stay at the same product forever. And that that new retention strategy is to hold them into whatever product they've got now, or maybe down sell at some point, you know, and the truth is when someone is about to leave your gym, that is that that is really just a sign that they want to invest more they want something different, they want change, that's when someone goes from group to adding nutrition or, or group to semi private or or group maybe a custom challenge or group to private personal training or, you know, there's a lot of, they need something to invest their time, money and mental energy into that feels like a commitment to them. Otherwise, they're either going to go to another gym, or they're going to buy some new workout clothes. And neither of those things help you unnecessarily and probably aren't really going to help them be successful either. So this That's your job. By the way, your job here as a gym owner, like the service you provide is selling them success, you're not selling them access, you're not selling them. You are selling them a service, but what they think they're buying is a high likelihood of success. Yeah, what did therefore so

John Fairbanks 13:07

the next piece that I think this really kind of parlays into so talking about the nutrition services, just generally this for everybody. And we've gone even to previous episodes where it's like nutrition services can be your ultimate downside. Yes, right. So where you really can remove like, it's, then you can capture somebody where if you really do have someone that's like, hey, you know, I need to go like, I can't afford this thing, whatever the answers are, where you can always make sure you're you are still involved in their, like their fitness journey, right, you can still be there. But I think it's really important as we look at, Okay, the next step, then not nutrition just generally. But as you think about the personal training that you provide, like you have to have personal training, if you're going to maximize the services that are in your spot, you have to be able to have personal training. That's not just off the backs of like your coaches that you have that coach on the floor, coach your group classes, and then when group classes are done, then they can pick up personal training on those off hours. So that you know what I mean. Like you you're the gyms never empty, like at some weird play that just never seems to quite work out.

Tyler 14:16

Yeah, so I'm stuck

John Fairbanks 14:20

within that personal training piece. The packages need to be built out. So as we talk about packaging a lot and talk about how we can have these offer threaded stack systems to allow people to make choices. And within these choices are packages of services. And that my opinion is and what we see work consistently day in and day out, is that if you provide personal training to your clients, that's and that's above one time, you know, week, nutrition just has to be included. That diet conversation, the nutrition piece has to be included in for your personal training clients, because this has to be a high touch service. This has to be built, and foundationally held up by the results that your people Yeah,

Tyler 15:06

if they have something they're trying to accomplish, it has to be, it just has to be because then essentially it's them working against themselves outside of the time that they're paying you for. And, and that should be the most frustrating if you give a shit about their success or failure, that should be the most frustrating thing that you deal with, as a coach, as a gym owner. So let's move on here to what we have here, John. So for personal training clients, again, can't add more sessions, you need to go nutrition, nutrition, nutrition, nutrition, it's a tremendous upsell, it gets more money per unit, it gives them more success, retention. I think that kind of all sells itself, in my opinion, if you're not doing it, you need to do it. If you don't know what to do, just start doing something, right? Start with somebody and start figuring it out. We have all sorts of stuff back in our backlog here about different options. You can do unfulfilling nutrition services, whether you're doing a monthly constant coaching thing, whether you're just putting together you know, 810 12 week guidelines for them, kind of a plan that they can run with. That's my preferred way I can kind of just do it and then we regroup at the end of that commitment. After they've kind of checked all their boxes have made the progress I can check in with them on the way. So when it comes to personal training, though, we've covered nutrition for their success, when it comes to personal training and making the most money from your personal trainers, like off of their hours. That becomes super important. Okay? Your trainers need to be busy, they really do and when they're not coaching they need to be selling. And when they're not doing one of those things they should probably be working out or resting. That's about all they get. Now I do know that especially when it comes to coaching one on one and coaching with a group I can't manage more than three consecutive back to back to back like back to back to back is the most hours I'll do in a row. For sure. That's kind of my peak. And I need a couple hours off. It's not one of those deals. We're not lawyers where we can just charge 10 billable hours every four hours we work. We don't get to charge an hour for a phone call and things like that. So you do need to know that part. But they need to be busy. When you get them booked. Your trainers may not be full time trainers and that's a Okay, right. But everybody who has a personal trainer is gonna have people who are going to gravitate towards them. So just know that if personal trainer Steve, only coaches three hours a day in the evening. Great. Say Steve just coaches five, six and seven. That's the only spot he has. The moment Steve's hours are full. You announce you promote any market, Steve's full, we have a waitlist if you want to train on one of these hours with Steve getting on this waitlist. Now that waitlist does give you the opportunity to one when Steve's time opens up, then that's perfect. You don't have to have any downtime for Steve when a client drops off, right. The other thing you have is when someone does add themselves to Steve's waitlist, you always get the opportunity. Don't overuse this, but one time to shoot that person a message and say hey, I know Steve's booked. But we do have you know, Jessica, Stephanie, John, Tyler, whoever else with these spots. If you're not partial to see if we're gonna get started sooner, let me know when I can get you in one of these guys calendars. This is a way to just lead. So just flow in by going to the waitlist. I've said this before. And I've every single time we've done this, it is the truth. You will get more inquiries, people clicking through and filling out a form to be added to a waitlist to be on a personal trainer when they're told that they're full, then they will then you will when you post or advertised or whatever saying that you actually have openings. And it's almost three to one. If I make a post saying I'm completely booked, if you want it on my list, I'll get anywhere from four to six people on the waitlist right and will come in and say oh yeah, let me know when you get a spot open. If I say right now I've got a spot open, you can start next week. One or two inquiries about it. So so just know that the waitlist is going to be the key and that also makes sure that you don't have downtime that just like starts to drag on that someone doesn't have you know, someone someone all of a sudden, or you bring in somebody new now you got Hey, we do got a new personal trainer if you'd like 50% off your first session. If you want to try this one, just do a single session to see if you like that we can start to fill them up and you can go off of the other coaches' waitlists because it's your business. You can go off the other coaches waitlist to establish any interest in any other coaches that come in. And if they don't do that very much whenever Steve opens up again, Steve is not going to have that spot open for long, because you cannot have those openings stay open for very long.

John Fairbanks 19:42

No, no. And there's really a psychological play here because there's a couple more steps that we're about to go through. And so it's really important that it's important not just for the business, but for your staff. Your staff has to feel like Dude, I'm Full, I'm busy, because this is great that I'm full and I'm busy, and that I have a waitlist waiting. So I'm not overly concerned, in case I need to fire a client, right clients that come to shit or clients that just don't seem to adhere to are not complying. Right, they're just not doing what they're supposed to be doing. And if you're not full, if you are just absolutely a slave to that individual, it can be a really shitty position. And we've all been stuck there before. So it's really important psychologically to where it will allow your trainers to be better, they will allow the quality that they're providing to the people to be better. But most importantly, there is a psychological switch that happens that if you keep your people busy and full for three months, if you can manage that, a switch happens. And that switches did, I'm busy, I don't have any more available, I don't even have more slots available. But I'm not making the amount of money I wish I was making. Because the fact of the matter is, is that if you've played the personal training game long enough, you realize very quickly, oh, fuck, if I have no more time, and I'm not making as much money as I wish I was, that goes

Tyler 21:18

back to the same thing too. But there's only so many hours a person can FaceTime and do well coaching with people every day. Like if let's make it I'll do it a couple times a week where she'll have like seven hours of coaching seven or eight in a day. That's gangster, right. But it's split up, you know, like three in the morning, like early, and then a few hours off, and then one maybe mid afternoon and then a few in the evening. So but that's rough. Like that's, that's a lot of coaching. It doesn't seem like much. And it's easier to do when you're just coaching and not coaching and running a business. So if you're the gym owner, and you're the trainer very let's make this very clear, you don't get to do that. You can't do that, that's going to break you. Okay. But what happens is, once you get to that point, you start to realize very quickly, oh shit, well, how do I make more money because you always have if you're doing this, you should always there should be an upward trajectory, just know this, you should if you're not, if you're not looking for progress, how to progress from where you are to Up, Up Up next, then you're just you're listening to the wrong podcast here. So wherever you are, once you get to that point, you should go, you should realize very quickly shit, there's nothing else I can do here. I can't do more. I can't. So that leaves you with a couple of options. Right? Once you're maxed out you go waitlist and which is good that the waitlist gives you security, the you know, testimonials, high retention rate that gives you security at where you're at, it means the bottom is not going to fall out, which is very important for some of you guys starting out. But after that Now, where does growth come from? We're out, we pass the survival state, where does growth come? And growth needs to come from more revenue? Well, we can sell more hours. But man, you're gonna break. You're gonna break. You can't do that. What are you gonna do seven days a week? Now? Are you gonna work more hours a day? That does, that's not gonna work.

John Fairbanks 23:00

And remember, our rule is you can't get more people. So we are keeping to the same thought exercise, which is you're not allowed to get more members here. You're dealing with what you have right now. You're

Tyler 23:11

selling internally. Yep, yep. And so with this, then what you're going to need to do is you either A, raise your prices, which by the way, when you're booked, that's the time, that's that is the time, if you're completely full, you need to start thinking maybe this is too affordable, there's a basic supply and demand thing, right? If it's, there's a reason if somebody releases a limited edition of something or other that ends up being kind of damn expensive, right. And so your time is very limited. And if it's full, if it's in demand, then yes, you do need to probably start looking into raising your prices or charging more. And maybe you can grandfather some of your people in and maybe you can slow roll that increase however you want to do or you can pull the band aid off right away. But whatever you're going to do, a price raise is probably a very likely solution if you're only going to stay in that one on one model.

John Fairbanks 24:02

How many people that we work with Tyler that are underpriced, all of them. All of them.

Tyler 24:08

I've never met, I've never worked with a gym owner who's charging enough. Truthfully, like every one of them. And oftentimes, by the way, the ones that are, you know, charging too little, it's like it's to the detriment of the service that they're offering to it. If they would charge more, they'd have the ability to fulfill their services better than having a better facility, they'd have better coaching. Across the board. I've never met a gym owner who's charging too much. I really have, I really have not the ones that we're working with directly. It's always a thing where it's like I don't want to raise the prices. So we do all of these things up in front to get revenue up. And then we get them maxed out. So once you get maxed out, then we can talk about these next two steps. So for John and I because so many gym owners are apprehensive about raising their prices. What we do is fine, we'll get you chock full, we'll maximize everything you'll start selling nutrition coaching, you'll Max Got your PT your marketing level up you can, outside of these thoughts a thought exercise will get you leads. So your schedule is full, boom, boom boom will teach you how to hire staff, you have good staff on their schedules full rate. Wonderful. And now they go, they've got a hint of that progress and they go okay shit. And they realize the only way up is to either raise the price, and this is the thing we're gonna get into. Or the next option is to start to roll out semi private personal training, which is essentially a small group. But there's, there's more to it than that. It's not just a small group, it's everybody's coming in and there are a couple of ways to do this, I guess. But basically, instead of charging 6070 bucks an hour for private personal training, you can charge 30 bucks an hour for semi private personal training? Because the truth is, as a coach, do you really need to if you could manage three people, even if they're doing stuff, totally different stuff, by the way, everyone's kind of doing their own thing. Could you manage it? Absolutely three people at a time in that regard. One person's bench? And do I gotta watch every rep have a bicep curl? Somebody does? No, no. So it's pretty easy to manage. And we use up how people work we're on anywhere from three, three to five, his rate? No more than five, no more than five, you want your two, if it's two, because when people come and go needs to be close to what you would get for a personal training hour. It's usually the way I do it. Yes. So that if there's only two people to begin with, I still make the same as I would normally, but I still have that spot that has earning potential, an increased earning potential for bringing in a third or fourth or fifth versus it just being one on one, which is just a fixed opportunity. But

John Fairbanks 26:41

What do we do when we look at the time? Do we have time to go over what I think is like the three different ways that we talked about how you can start rolling out. Okay, so the first one we've talked about before, and I'll start with it, because it's the easiest one to remember. And it has the most fun name. And this is the alpha, which concept? Yep. So if you have an alpha, right, and this is whether you're a dude or a lady or somewhere in between, but if you have an alpha, that's part of a group that wants to do personal training, and again, they need to beat the idea of of taking advantage of their Alpha status is that it's, they can bring their friends to come train and do a personal training session with you or sessions, for less money, the alpha gets for less money, and then all the friends that come in to train with alpha get less money, and that also does all of it.

Tyler 27:30

Yeah, and that often becomes your that's, that's a great path for somebody who comes in and is doing personal training, and likes it and is getting results and their friends are asking them about it, other members are maybe asking them about it, and they maybe can't afford to or can't afford to doesn't matter, right. But sometimes for people that can't afford three personal training sessions a week forever great, this can be half the price and I can have my friends with me too and then maybe they will your friends weren't coming because the price was a little more than they could float but they can now that it's half price and they get to work out with their friends it becomes very great and you have one person who's the point man on that stuff that you can deal with on scheduling and all that stuff you don't have to really juggle all of them it's this is your time slot you brought your own friends that is what we kind of described as like a while it is semi private personal training, it is actually more like a custom small group. But it still fits in the same category because your pricing strategy is all the same. It is the same product from what you're doing. Though very likely not everybody is on a completely separate program which can kind of be the case sometimes when you're doing true semi private personal training. But that alpha program works really good because that person is the person you got to deal with on renewal that person kind of manages all of the stuff I do it I do it when I coach I coach with kids you know with I have a few like offseason groups that I that I run with I don't deal with everybody's parents I don't do their with schedule. By the way I don't even let everybody pay me i one point man who cuts me the money and then everything they can sort it out with everybody else because you want your for this your kids friends you you handle and it just works easier for me for and and so that is that alpha concept is man is that a jam, because that is your highest value people who already know what you do and what you do well, they save money and they're bringing in their friends it makes it's it's it's a huge win those groups by the way, I have yet to see I run to two groups like that right now. And Megan runs 233. And we have never never seen them fall off at a 100% retention rate over the course of two years. Because it's super easy money and it's great. It's fun. You don't have to worry about being constantly entertained. You're not just sitting there like a dick in the yard with one person who you maybe like or don't like for a whole hour, multiple times a week. It just makes it very, very easy. As a coach you can almost kind of get out of the way and let them have it been shown to work and then you can just be there.

John Fairbanks 29:55

It's a combination of a referral and testimony . All personal like, it's all rolled into one, you there's no selling, they do it all for you. They believe in you. They want you don't I mean, it's awesome. And so that alpha program, I as well have run it with high school athletes also, to where I have one family that is super in, they're all in, they tell their friends and up we go and everybody saves. So that's our alpha, the next strategy. Next strategy for implementing semi privateers is going to be a specialty program. And so this can come from concepts where it's, let's say we're talking about a crossfit box. And let's say everybody wants to do anything with rings, gymnastics, muscle ups, fill in the blank, anything that's a specific movement or a specific goal. This is when you really can start to launch or roll out the semi private model, we've seen this done. So again, staying in the CrossFit model, we've seen this as people are getting ready to go into the open, if you have a pre open window, to where it's, Hey, who wants to be fucking psychos for the open, let's work as like, as it's fine. What you do is you don't have to sell this as a small group. You sell this as we're working on, fill in the blank, whatever your theme, whatever your movement is, whatever that thing is, that's what you're selling. And it happens to be your semi private program. So your mark, and this is where marketing always goes awry. When you market personal training, you market semi private, you market anything, too many people become obsessed with, like the literal thing that it is. This personal training, it's semi pro, no one knows. Nobody cares. Nobody knows what it's taught, nobody cares. Nobody knows what some small group personal training is.

Tyler 31:48

They don't care what you're gonna be doing there. They don't care when it is barely when it is kind of matters. But not until they've decided whether or not they like the idea, right? Don't care about how many times a week it is, it's not it. Open prep, triathlon prep, we're all going to, we're all going to run a half marathon this summer, we're putting together a running block here for the spring. So we can all participate in the marathon this summer, get into our running club program here that we're going to run for the next six weeks, shoot us at home. What does it mean? i What if I can't shut up or want it? And if you don't, if you can't make the time, I'm sure there's ways you can get them to do this stuff outside, but you sell it by what John described as him focusing on all of the things that it is, is it commoditized is it and you don't want your products to be a commodity, it's tough, it is tough, because a lot of times people are thinking in terms of sessions and things like this. And it always still devolves into that a bit past a certain point, which I don't, I don't hate necessarily. But you cannot have people starting with the idea that your services are a commodity because they're not you're selling a service or selling results, you're selling a path from A to B to C to D. And you have to stick really hard to that. And so do not let your services be commoditized. Because it devalues it immediately when people start thinking of oh, what I only come in once a week for this. It's like no, no, no, that ain't what this is do you want to do? Awesome. Doing awesome outdoors and preparing for that is what we're selling here. We're doing awesome, which is a triathlon that we're going to do at the end of the summer, that's what we're selling here or, or being prepared for football season. That's what we're selling here.

John Fairbanks 33:18

Yep. There's another specialty concept that I really like using this for. And this is on ramp. This is when you have someone when you and this is oftentimes the complaint that I'll hear. So I'll ask, I was talking to a coach, again, this a coach, this time, not an owner, talking to a coach this past week and talking specifically about semi private personal training here. Do you offer it? Yeah, I do. Okay. And it's what's the biggest struggle you've had with it so far, because it was obvious that you were struggling a bit. And it was, I have a hard time trying to figure out how to group people in the times and keep people together that are similar with similar goals. So there's a lot of things that we unpack to help break that down. But that's a real thing that people worry about, especially as you are as a gym owner, if you're thinking about rolling this out for the first time, and nobody in your area is kind of doing it. So you don't have an example. Now, this is the reason why you belong in our fucking group. And we'll explain and be able to go over these things. You listen to the podcast. But an easy way to start to implement this. As far as this specialty program model that we've been talking about the last few minutes. Is anyone that's new, you don't know who they are, you don't know what their skill set is. You need to be able to get them taught and brought up to where if you do that in a personal training format, it's so inefficient, and it's very expensive. Yeah. So move instead, as you have people that are new to the gym, or want to be able to be like a foundation group. You have these people roll in and that's the first six weeks that they do with you. Yeah, like that's the stars

Tyler 34:54

on ramp if they want to. They can choose to jump into your group if they want to as well if they Hey, you want me thrown to the wolves Oh four, you want to you want a softer landing, like we've got that for you too. And that's the only time since we have available for this, but this is how that's the ticket, there is a take it or leave it aspect to some of that stuff. Right? When it comes to what you want to do. I think in terms of the actual specialty program, let's say you're doing an open prep, I have no concern because it's a similar goal. Everyone has similar goals when we're talking about a target. But the other one that is actually more interesting to me is that dilemma that you're describing is actually in running, just ongoing, semi private. That's where that dilemma really is. How do I batch these people together? How do I do this? And I'll tell you the best way that I've seen this executed, I'm sure there's many ways to do it, is stop trying to treat your semi private personal training like group classes, you fucking idiots. They want semi private, personal, they want personal training, and they want it to not have to be so expensive. That's why they're there. So how do you do that? When I get personal training, each of my people is doing their own workout. First off, like every person has different needs. So what you do is you come up with essentially work for them supposed to do, you're not all your people doing the exact same programming. It's the fucking laziest shit I hear about. It's the worst thing I hate about CrossFit stuff. We're all doing the same goddamn programming, regardless of needing just somebody using different tools? Well, this person is not in your CrossFit class or semi private shit. So fucking quit worrying about writing one thing on the whiteboard and making everybody fucking do it, because you're fucking lazy finger, that shit makes me insane. So the thing you need to do is no, because you have three people with three different needs, they're gonna do different things, which means they're not sitting there rah rah and high fiving each other the whole time this is a different product. So the way I address these things, by the way, Tyler writer does this very great at torque, strength and conditioning with everything everybody comes in. And while there are some people that have similar targets, right, they're often done in different ways. Some are doing have different things changed, some things have, some people have implements and exercises swapped out, everybody has their own program, most of them have it in their hand on their phone, here's the work you're doing today. Now, there's plenty of apps you can use to get that out to your clients to scale that out with, you know, trainer eyes, and one of the other coaching, what's the other coaching ones, you can simply do it via email, if you're doing it a small scale anyways, just shoot a video, here's what we're gonna do today. So they know they can see it before, that's a good system to build anyways, because it makes all your stuff scalable as you get going. But if I get four people coming in, that's everybody's gonna have their own thing. And I'm going to coach them through the main stuff they like, maybe I'll catch them all through a group warmup, and I'm going to get them all started and I'm going to be bouncing around to where they are. And they're not going to need to if you think that you got to be standing there watching every rep, you're deluding yourself, they don't really want that if they wanted that they'd pay it twice as much money and go private personal training. So give them a little space to do some work. They don't need to be coached after they don't need to be told after every set what was wrong either they want a little bit less of that they want a little bit of room on their own and give that to them. And that makes our semi-private stuff very easy to fulfill. Now do you have to do a little bit of prep on the front end? Yes. But that little bit of prep on the front end is the reason you're able to make two and a half times as much money per hour as you can off of your already most premium service. So fucking, it's probably worth it dude. And if your coaches don't think it's worth that, for the cut that they're getting of that have a good talk with them about where they fit in this fucking world. And fucking especially within your business. And this is

John Fairbanks 38:25

this is where I alluded to earlier, the reason the importance of if we're going to move into this final example, right, of constant semi private, open, like you just you just described the importance of step one, if your rollout constant like this, and you're ready for it, you have to max out your trainers time and have that waitlist, it's mandatory, because now mentally, they will come to this conclusion on their own, that they are not making enough money, and then like fucking magic, you are going to provide them a solution. And the solution is we're going to make personal training 20% more expensive. And now the old personal training rate is now going to be your semi-private rate. And we're going to trim the fat from the folks that either truly do want the absolute absolutely most premium option, which is the most expensive option and personal training one on one, or those people during those premium time slots will then just move into those open semi private windows that now get opened because you will trim the fat a little bit.

Tyler 39:38

Yeah. And so that can coincide with the price increase on your personal training stuff. Everything kind of starts to flow together here now where you start to actually balance your demand, you're pricing to service you're offering your services you're offering towards like a more optimized situation again, that gives everybody a chance to actually succeed. And that's a you can't can't sleep on that now. But the thing about the semi private thing is for those of you that haven't done it, haven't rolled it out just you get to a point where an hour's full, just try to make one hour work. And you can start with this, if you've only listened, maybe you don't have the members, maybe you don't have a bunch of people chomping at the bit for John, I have described step by step where you got to go to this, you can start with just one, just one of your personal training clients take that alpha approach. There's nothing wrong with using all three of these approaches at the same time. But like that, the alpha approach is very easy. Because if someone says oh, by the way, it's how you. This is how I do it. I just have a down sell of people that just can't afford me forever, and they maybe want eight or 12 weeks. And I still prefer that, by the way, I'd prefer 812 weeks and be gone. Go for me, right? Because that's my full time. Right. And so I don't, I don't, frankly, I just don't, it's tough for me to respect somebody, if I got a few, they're fine. The only reason you're showing up to the gym, right? So I do think that I need to empower you to stand on your own. But if you want to down sell, we can go less times a week. But boy, what if you become less successful, right. And so another downside, if they can't afford it, they can't afford it to run in perpetuity, what they can do is spend a little bit less money. So that's what I say, if someone says I just can't afford it, I'm gonna go back to just a 24 hour gym, you've helped me a ton, I've learned a bunch, I said, Hey, that's awesome. That's exactly what I'm here to do to get you to stand on your feet. If you want to save a little more money, and you want to keep going, you want to like we can kind of down scale this down a little bit, bring a friend and bring a friend, usually then if I do it, if it starts with just two people, what I usually try to do is I try to make about 20%, beyond 20 to 25% beyond what my normal hourly rate is. So I basically coach each of them 60% of my one on one rate. And then there's two of them to start, they bring a friend, but then I keep that number across the board when there's three, and that's another 60%. And then if you get four, you know, and then at that point you're running, you know, you basically make it two and a half times your traditional hourly rate. But it's great, everybody wins, hey, we'll have more fun if you bring your friends in. But the thing that I've noticed about this from a coaching standpoint, it's easier, it's more fun. People are more invested, they have a better our oftentimes when they do have friends that they've brought in, that is a little different with unpaired, semi private personal training, of course, this alpha concept for you to take a nice easy start with that someone starts talking to you about how you know it's gotta we gotta wrap up, it's a little expensive or whatever, like, down, sell them into that offer that well, hey, if you want to bring a friend, and you'll both save some money, you know, bring a friend, here's what I'll charge each. And then we can do this or do that you guys can have some good friends, bring two friends, here's what we'll do, let's put something together. And as long as they know that you can do that. They'll find it eventually. But most of you guys are worrying about how I transition to semi personal semi private personal training. And your clients have no awareness that this is even a possibility. They've never been told the different ways it can play out. How often is there like a group of people that are going on you oftentimes in your gym, you'll have a few three, four or five people, couples or whatever they're going to some big vacation couple times a year. Sure. Get them all in and let's get your beach ready, let's put together your own group, your husband separate, no live separate and boom, you're rolling. I can just do that for 812 weeks. You don't have to do this forever. I'm okay with turning and burning. And one of those things already in my group, they're already in my program to do other stuff. Let's level you up for a little bit, let's send you off to the holiday Jacqueline tan and let's go.

John Fairbanks 43:26

And it becomes where it's not a forever proposition for them or for you, as you're starting to feel out how this thing is going to work. Again, if you're too nervous to raise your prices right out the gate and go into a constant format. If you've been listening to any of the stuff we've been talking about when it comes to marketing, your personal trainers, you already should be thinking about what are the niche downs and what are the specialties that your trainers have? Are they gymnastic specific? Are they powerlifting? Specific? Are they baseball specific or football? Whatever it is? Well, then that's super easy. That's a super, super easy way to help transition those people, those trainers into a semi private group that is a specialty group, you don't have to become obsessed with what you're calling it. And it's just that they have that specialty group. Because understand as owners, it's your trainers, you cannot or you should not be paying them enough without this. Like it's because then you are overpaying them for stuff that's not bringing enough value to the gym. It needs to be that they're still hungry and because this is how you truly can allow them to make real money and you make and you benefit massive amounts from the masses. Sorry,

Tyler 44:45

good. So as a result of this thought exercise, we've got to the point now where you should be selling a lot of nutrition coaching out to all the people that are interested or stale or plateaued. People should be making progress if they're being held accountable. That should create a lot of momentum. A lot of external hype even though Let's say your doors are locked and you're not getting anybody new and right no new leads. The hype is out there, people are walking around, they're looking great. They're making big progress, people are asking them, you got personal trainers that are killing it, helping people stay injury free, getting very customized stuff towards their knees, which means those people are absolutely meeting their goals, whether it's strength goals, physique, goals, whatever, especially paired with your nutrition stuff, your clients have a maximum chance of success. It's fully maximized right now, right? Then you roll out this either the price adjustment and or the semi private personal training, that combined with your waiting list, as part of that launch strategy, you now have a gym that is peaked, right in this thing we always talk about since the very beginning, John, I think some of our first episodes, we just leverage over, we just repeat it over and over and over again, you don't need more members, you want more money, right? Correct, I'll put you in a situation to make the most money with what you have. Which means now every time somebody new comes in, and they're coming into a very, very high value situation to you. Combine that now when new people do start coming in, with the offer stack with the opportunity to choose from any one of these products that's available, choosing from group fitness that also can maybe include nutrition coaching, this that boom, boom, across the board, a 12 week commitment or guaranteed results, whatever it is, you have people willing to spend money for big ticket stuff right up front as well as being able to fall into their own buying habits. Now your gym that already is able to be successful with what you have, you start introducing new members, new clients, new blood to that water, and you guys are going to absolutely kill it. And that's the groundwork that that's the foundation that you need to have aside from, of course, staffing and culture and vibe, a lot of stuff we've covered in the past that we're gonna get into in the future here. That is the foundation of your success. If you worry more about piling new people in and constantly new needs new I need new John, we see this all the time, we've done a ton of restricted market research, everybody has what? How do I get new leads? I need new leads, I need new leads that need new leads, it's like, well, it just seems like you're not doing very well with what you have. Because you're either losing too many of them, or you're not making enough money off. So do you think just introducing more leads is going to solve that problem, you're just bailing out your ship with a cup, while there's water just flowing in through the hole here. So you gotta fix this, you gotta fix this, get yourself profitable, you can do this at the same time as getting new leads. By the way, this was the point of this exercise, we separated these two concepts, but you need to address both of these things. Because you do not want to keep stuffing new people through an unprofitable system, it will break you, you become the McDonald's dollar menu, which is like oh shit, all we do is keep attracting more people that we can't fulfill our services very well. And that sucks more people that we don't make enough money on more people that tax our system, more people that are occupying time from our coaches and shit we're not making enough on and our coaches think they're not making it, what do you think happens if you just turn up the volume on all that it sucks. That's bizarre,

John Fairbanks 47:53

you fuck yourself, the more people you have come into that broken system. And this is a little bit behind the curtain, right, the secret sauce of what we do inside of the gear Academy because it's you don't address, you get more leads by improving your internal processes, you get more leads, and you make more money that allows you to get off the floor and makes it to where you can actually start making more money at the end of the month and start paying yourself proper as a gym owner for the very first time. And you no longer have to do all the coaching. Because internally with what you already have, we call this it's an inside out approach. Anything new that you're going to roll that you want to do internally first, this is why this thought exercise lives so strongly with us. Everything that we've talked about, can totally be fucked. By kind of like two main things, in my opinion. Everything we've just described, the first way you can totally fuck yourself on trying to roll any of this out is going to be that if you make the mistake of trying to roll out personal training, semi private personal training any of this stuff and you try to do it when it's not in the premium hours of when people want it. You will kill this thing before it even gets off the floor. And this is where we hear most common because you're nervous you're nervous about doing something new, you're nervous about rolling it out, but you kind of have done it the problem is you've done it and you only allow your trainers to provide the semi private or private personal training between the hours of 11 and three yep and surprise surprise you can't they're really struggling filling those time slots

Tyler 49:37

yeah if you can't have personal training going on while group classes going on or several you either then your space is such a limiting factor then you need to rethink your model your pricing for the other stuff that you're doing that absolutely if you can't manage it, so we've worked out to do things where that gym before where they can't manage having one personal trainer like a you know 8000 square foot facility they just can't seem to manage having A personal trainer and a couple of clients going on during a group. Because you got to have what you gotta have the music so loud, or you got to have no, we all want to clang and bang, and we want to spread and occupy, it's like, you're you don't need to let the what's the word, you don't let the inmates run the asylum to let your clients decide just how this is going to go this your business, you need to get them to the point where people know there's a personal training group going on over there. There's another private personal training person working with the clients over here. And here we have our functional fitness class. And then over there, we got a person on a 24 hour program like, like multiple things should be going on in your gym at the same time, especially during the busiest hours. It's insane for it not to be you want to, like you want to do like, it's like going to a restaurant and buying out the whole restaurant on a Saturday night, they'd really prefer that you not, you know what I mean? They really would prefer that you not, we'll give you a corner and we'll shut the door. But we got to do business with people because this is the time to be getting it done. This is when everybody wants it, let everybody have it at the same time you have to. We've done this in the past, John, we said your gym should be busy. should be There should be a lot of stuff going on at once. There should be many people getting help in different ways. And one of the aspects that that helps a lot by having this stuff going on concurrently, is that your people that are in a lower level, lower value product, we'll see that oh, you're seeing that people are buying personal training, you're watching they're watching people have fun in a group, not with a group of people they don't like but a bunch of people that they've kind of hand picked to work with his coach. And that starts to create a little fear of missing out, it starts to create at least awareness that those products exist, and social proof that it has value and has value to those people, people they know.

John Fairbanks 51:40

You have to utilize this from a marketing perspective and how you run and operate. Because it's everywhere. It's all around you. My wife and I, my wife doesn't fly a lot, I fly more than she does. And so she flew with us because we went on vacation. She flew for the first time in a number of years. And by the time we had taken the fourth flight because we had connections, whatever. Now we're going back home, before we get ready for the fourth flight she goes, how do we get into first class? How does that happen? And the reason why that pops into our mind before it just was like, well, she doesn't understand that it's $4,000 to take it or whatever it is right? No concept with prices. But why is that in her head, because she watches these motherfuckers board before us not have to stress whether or not their overhead is going to be able to be taken or not taken

Tyler 52:29

champagne in their hand. You have to walk

John Fairbanks 52:32

by them. You have to fucking walk by them. And it's just like you PRex all of you. I hate all of you. And it's really I want to be you. And that is so fundamental.

Tyler 52:45

Yeah, that's the thing we've talked about a lot. And actually, I think we use the first class analogy a lot too, which is like the point is not that everybody buys it. Same thing with your top premium options that you're selling them anyway. It's not that everyone buys it, because not everyone can afford it. The point is that they all should want it and they should all know that. It's fucking awesome. And there's no doubt in your mind when you get aboard a flight, especially international Christ. Oh, you didn't meet my size, you guys. I'm six, six, about 300 pounds, I get on and I gotta walk past delta one. And I get to walk past all the pods and everybody's sprawled out. When Megan used to work for the airline, I'd score some food and score some first class international flights every once in a while. And that was nice. But now I gotta walk past that. And these people got shrimp cocktails and booze. And you know, and like, a nice warm towel. And I'm walking back to the screaming baby fart section. I mean, no, thanks. Yeah, but it works. You walk by it. You want everyone on that plane to go, wish I was sitting there. Okay. And that's important. That's it. It's an aspect that a ton of people miss by like burying their personal training sessions out away from other people and at different times when, and I'm all about giving people who want a 10am slot at 10am slot. Great, it gives me That's great. Normally, I'd be making $0 on that time. Exactly. For sure. For sure. But if that's the only time you're trying to sell personal training and trying to put these other groups together as outside of your most popular hours, what are you doing? Your most popular hours are the most popular for a reason because that's the time that most human beings can make it outside of work. And so it's just a huge mistake that I see people trying to do like that. Let's roll all these new products out and we're gonna do it at 10: 30 in the morning and, and 2pm on a Tuesday. It's like well, you're gonna

John Fairbanks 54:29

eat shit, get the next piece that gets you will fuck you up from the start is if you do not have the staffing to do this. And this can be a mental thing too, to where it needs to be. We're not saying you have to have full time staff. You just need more parts. You need more part timers, because what you can't happen and I alluded to it in the very beginning of the episode, which is you cannot have that your main group coach is the only person that can fulfill your Personal Training or semi private personal training when they're not large group coaching, like they, you have to have and most importantly, then you have to get the people that are the are the best, if they've been there the longest and have the greatest report, whatever, they have to be able to provide that highest premium service, which is your going to be, honestly your semi private blog in the most prime time of the day. So whatever, that's your, your, your 536 30 Those time slots in the morning and at night. That's when your ACE needs to be doing semi private personal training. You need to have rookies or you need to have people that are newer that aren't up to that level that are capable of handling your group. Yeah.

Tyler 55:47

But younger, if you don't have the horses can't do it. Right. Put your best people in that place where you're making the most money. It just makes it attractive. Alright guys, that's got us wrapped up, I gotta bail. I have to run and coach semi private personal training. So thanks for listening, go to the link in the description. Get into the gym owners revolution, Facebook group, all sorts of good resources, and there's a good community of people. I'll try to do awesome shit and make money while doing right for their clients. Follow the show at the gym owners podcast and Instagram. Follow me at Tyler effing stone go to gym owners That's where you're gonna find the blog. The podcast also lives there as well. And you can also get into the gear Academy there if you'd like. If you want to work with us directly, have us take your business to the next level. Go through all the steps that we talked about today and actually walk you through step by step make sure you do it this week, the next week, the next week, and that your business is in much better standing by the time you're all said and done. Every month you'll be better than you were the month before. That's a promise we make in the gear Academy. So if you want in on that go to gym owners Follow John at Jay banks NFL on Instagram. So we gotta get out there, John. That is it. All right. Go Gators.

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