The Gym Owners Blog/Podcast/Not All Attrition Is Equal

Not All Attrition Is Equal

Friday, October 27, 2023



gym, attrition, business, talking, person, align, attrition rate, leads, owners, fix, data, referral, work, product, type, marketing, important, clients


  • Fitness attrition and its impact on gym businesses. (0:00)
  • Marketing and expectations for martial arts studios. (4:47)
  • Business growth and customer retention. (11:33)
  • Fitness marketing strategies and referrals. (15:22)
  • Gym owner attrition rates and data analysis. (22:19)
  • Building a successful nutrition coaching business. (26:35)
  • Fitness coaching diversity and attracting new clients. (29:47)
  • Fitness marketing and branding. (34:51)
  • Fixing gym attrition rates through data analysis. (42:13)
  • Fitness business strategies and nutrition. (47:21)


Tyler 00:00

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to this week's episode of the gym owners podcast. I'm your host, Tyler Stone over there, John Fairbanks. How are you doing, John?

John Fairbanks 00:06

I'm doing excellent.

Tyler 00:07

So I was listening to a podcast the other day about martial arts studios, and the guy was talking about how he's like we don't, I don't think we really have that bad of attrition, you know, and he, they were using the term attrition. And I think he made a good point. And this is what I want to elaborate on today is not all attrition data, in your gym and fitness centers. And whatever it is that you're doing in your fitness business, is the same. And I think this guy, he made a good point, this was on the chew jitsu podcast, but it was kind of talking about the backroom of him running his business. And that like, he doesn't view people coming in and trying the thing and it not being for them. Like, he just doesn't view that as attrition. Now, let's be real statistically, that is right, statistically, that's a person who came in as a person who joined and as a person who your stuff just wasn't for them. and convert them Tyler, kind of is what attrition is. But when we talked about last week, like that pushy, shitty sales stuff, where you're just everybody must be fully the right person for your system. And if they don't sign up for you with you, then they suck and you suck as a salesman. It's just not the fucking reality of the situation. Yeah, so I don't like it when gym owners tend to want to ignore it ignoring attrition. Problem number one, it's a huge problem. Keeping your head in the sand about that issue is not going to make it any better. I really guarantee that. But I think that it's also important that you not beat yourself up over it. And it'd be put in the right context. So today, that's what we're going to talk about today, kind of the difference in nutrition and kind of elaborate into some larger concepts that I cannot live by. When I'm setting up a gym, fitness center, personal trainer, whatever it is that you're doing, how you align with a person's overall lifetime fitness journey is the key to interpreting your intent, your attrition data and figuring out what actually to do about it. Because otherwise, you're just taking a number and you're equating Good, good versus bad to it and just ain't shit. So, before we get started, make sure you follow the show on Instagram. That is at the gym owners podcast on Instagram, we have a Facebook group for gym owners. This is also where we dropped some of our long form content, wanting to get caught up on all this stuff we've ever done. Get in the gym owners revolution Facebook group that is in the description to this episode. If you want to work with us directly, go to gym owners If you're motorist Go there was where we had the gear Academy, we also have a few other kind of entry points for gyms to get started with if you want to work with us, and we can work with you on any number of projects, but we have some where we come in, we get started right away if you start producing immediately. And then we work with you and start developing your business over the course of the long haul. So we do things very differently than the other guys because we actually give a shit about your business being your business, and your clients get what they came to you to get. So if you're still working with us, that's where it's going to start or you can message us at the dudes at accurate or message me or John directly on Instagram, if you want to get started. So John, let's talk about attrition. I've mentioned this in the past when it comes to converting sales to say something like martial arts studio jiu jitsu, MMA, boxing, kickboxing, whatever it is you're doing in that specific segment of the fitness industry. As such, not for everybody, it's not what everybody does forever, right? It's just it's not going to be getting punched in the face isn't for everybody. Cardio boxing or cardio kickboxing style stuff is going to be a very different type of boxing than someone who wants to come in and maybe take an amateur fight or or become competitive, it's just it's different. Those are different things. So you can't really be what's the word you cannot be as compelled to act when someone comes in and just says assistant for me. And so those numbers are going to worsen your ability to close sales in my opinion. If you're just attracting a bunch of people from the general population and they're coming into your gym and they're going to try a thing your ability to close well you're dealing with a harder to close product in my opinion right once you get somebody in and they started if it's not for them it's not going to be with to have said this but jiu jitsu me sweating in your mouth. See people crawling all around the closeness to it, the proximity, the physicality of it, it's not going to be for everybody. I've always said this, it can be for anybody, but it's not for everybody. But I think it's important if you're in the fitness market, if you're in general fitness. That is for everybody. Everybody needs some form of exercise they may not just need or want right now your specific type. And that's an important difference to understand.

John Fairbanks 04:47

When it comes down to it, whenever your niche is right for you. The more niche down you get. You're going to it's another layer of difficulty, right? It's another barrier to entry, and that can be good and that can be bad. out. But it doesn't mean that and I think what we're trying to do is, is get a little bit more specific in the conversation of not all metrics are created equal, especially as we start to niche down into specifics because you could look at Jim A, and if you just look at their statistics, just like just raw statistics, without knowing anything about A, B, or C, you could make some false assumptions. If you just don't know what their style of gym is, what the model is. This makes no mistake, right? This has nothing to do with the market. You and I hear a lot of times, right, we'll hear excuses get made by gym owners, where the market will be blamed. It will, whether it's COVID, whether we are in recession, whether someone's at war, whether the dollar has dropped, whatever those things are, people around here don't like that. And that and that, ultimately, is bullshit. And honestly one of the MMA gyms that we have worked with and adjacent to for now over what a year over a year, is in a market that they have no business being successful in at all. In all fairness, right, the smaller community is like, no one wants to just learn how to fight and be punched in the face and do all these but it's like, but yet, but it does, like you still can keep something open and still do what you want to do. But these levels are barriers of entry. And like you said, whether it's at sales, whether it's attrition, any of those statistics, it's just not black and white.

Tyler 06:38

If I'm selling bare knuckle, Kuma tape, wrap your hands, dip them in resin and then dip them in broken glass fighting classes. Right? If that's my program, either here's here's the here's the to this, let's take this thought experiment through two extremes. Right? Yeah. So either, I kind of gloss over what it really is in my marketing. And I do what most people do, and I get leads, guys, everyone's trying to get you fucking leads, I get leads, I get tons of people knocking on my door, because I say, it's fun, it's fit, you're gonna learn a little bit of self defense, Ba ba ba ba ba. And that's what we do differently. New people come in and you start dipping your hands and broken glass and it starts to flood everywhere. And all of a sudden, guess what, guess what data you're gonna really struggle with, maybe you were able to get a lot of leads that data you did good job, good job, and you caused a lot of sales because you fucking lied to these people. Right? Then they get in and they start seeing there's a little more blood and stitches and brutality to this and I thought it was gonna be and then these drop off after one class or after about 45 seconds, whatever. Your attrition data is terrible, terrible. But all these other metrics, you've performed tremendously yet. Yeah, hey, so this is where this is about. And it's the thing John, and I talk about getting every system has to be about expectations, expectations, setting the right expectations for your clients, for their overall experience for your product is for just everything has to be woven into this system from the beginning. And that starts with your marketing. So I don't believe that you should betray the reality of what your business is, for the sake of getting more leads, because you will lose that you're just getting short, short term money off of somebody, and your attrition will just pop off. So that's why I don't encourage these martial arts studios. I think if you are welcoming to people, and you have a pathway and actual pathway, and it's a part of your business, that a normal person will be able to come in and still learn some self defense to do this. And then yes, that is a piece you should talk about. But know that if that is the only expectation that you're putting out there, then someone who wants to come in and get real fucking good at fighting and maybe wants to make a run at a career or something like that, now, is not going to go to your place because they think it's YMCA, Kickboxing shit. So you have to understand the difference between this and that starts with expectations. If your expectations are misaligned, from the beginning, you're going to you're going to view some things as wins that are really just wasting your fucking time. And having that high attrition rate due to things like misleading people in the beginning with whatever your offer is, or kind of glossing over the reality of what your product is. That high attrition rate of people going there and going ooh, no. Well, now those are all people that start to speak in your community. They talk to people, they have family, their friends, they have colleagues, co workers, and they're gonna say things like, yeah, I went there and it FOC no Walkman, like anytime you were taught the topic of your business comes up, someone's gonna have something to say about it. If they've entered through your doors and done business with you, and then left, whether it's on good terms or not, they're gonna say something about it. If they've been there, somebody knows something they're going to talk about and you really have to be careful about chasing any piece of data. So I encourage you on the other side of that, right? If I only say, come on down here, we are just going to beat the living shit out of each other. And that's what we do here. But I will let well know this, the people who make it through who that net first filter of your marketing. And when they come in, hopefully unless they're just psychos, which apparently you are and your gym is. But if that's the type of thing you're putting out there, and those people come in, guess what, you're gonna get much lower amounts of leads, but you're probably going to close a higher percentage of those sales, right? Because it's all there's alignment there. And then probably, if you deliver as expected, everyone beats the shit out of each other, and it's a bloodbath. Now, that person, I got what I came here to get. And so I don't, that does not mean you need to be that level of specific, but you do need to understand where you fit in somebody's lifetime fitness journey. Know that a person does that. They may also if a person joins a martial arts gym, and maybe they just want to like, learn a little bit of self defense and have fun, maybe not be super competitive, because they also go to a fitness center. They also do some running, you know, they also have other hobbies. And so you got to know where you fit. And that is what you need to speak to in your marketing. And that becomes now the client journey, another customer avatar that you can start to speak to, from your marketing, and all of a sudden, everything starts to make more sense when you view things like this. Nobody does anything forever. It's very rare. That's very,

John Fairbanks 11:33

and because you've set those expectations up correctly, whether it's through your marketing through that sales process, you then initially get them in, everything stays aligned. Now we can have an accurate conversation on what that attrition looks like. Because if you and that's where a lot of I think a lot of people will ignore where I only want to look at attrition of an EFT. Right. So I think that this is convenient, because the other guys will say so in EFT, right? It's recurring, someone who's recurring payments, hopefully it's coming out of their bank account, you're saving fees, right? Like if you're getting recurring payment, if you're getting an off of a credit card, it's whatever, try and get them over to a bank account. But either way, a lot of times when they're like, Well, I only want to see how many payments you're getting every single month that's coming out of your bank account. based off of how many of those recurring payments are month a month, what it looks like from month one to then month two, that tells me Well, what was the drop off? What was your attrition rate? And now that's what we're talking about. But it's really convenient, because what the other guys will do is they will sell a bait and switch kind of shitty thing up front. And they're not going to look at what that metric looks like, from people that didn't make it through that, like you said through that initial experience. And yeah,

Tyler 13:02

you can pad the drop off with an influx of new leads, who are then going to still drop off and you keep bringing in new leads now that's fine. But for you, that's fine because you're selling and then people are dropping it is what it is , you're filling the gaps. The problem is for your business to grow, we need to be adding a layer upon layer upon layer of recurring revenue. Right pillars of revenue a new stream altogether, we do the same thing. I want to start a new thing and get people in and I need more people to stay than fucking quit dude. Like I don't I just and I think that that is one that's the problem with what goes on in a lot of business business consulting. And with a lot of the business products that are out there. It's either about software, which guys, I know you care about software, nobody gives a fuck though it all sucks in a different way. Just whatever your software is the best. The next guy is the best at other things, it does not matter. But they're only gonna address software and leads. And I just don't I don't care. I just, I really don't give a shit about those things that much because they're just, they're just a cog in the machine. Like, listen, the guy that cleans your toilets is important to write, the person that takes out your garbage in your gym is important too. But Jesus Christ, let's not make that the centerpiece of the business. Like it's just fucking operations, your software changing. There's nothing I hate more than a gym owner coming to us and is excited to switch software. Like fuck What the hell out? What does this help is they're excited because like we're gonna get a bunch more leads when you haven't really addressed any of these other issues, chasing leads and chasing and stuff. It's just another thing, man. It's just you got a flashy Japanese toilet in your bathroom now, like cool. Really cool. I'm sure glad you paid a consultant to help you have just one silly little feature of your business out. That is just not that important in the grand scheme of things. Leads Leads matter. But the quality of those leads matter and where they're folded into the larger scope of your business. And your clients lifetime fitness journey is what really matters otherwise. You see This shit hot get 150 leads this month so we're just gonna break your fucking gym and deal with a bunches of people, you're gonna get a quick lump of cash, you get bunches of people, they're never gonna stick around, because you had to make it so accessible. And so general that it's just it's going to not align with their expectations at some point. And they're gonna go quick, it's all it's all a scam but all sucks

John Fairbanks 15:22

well in because leads are what is easy to sell. So at the end of the day, right, you're being sold that you need more leads, and then you get distracted by that. And that is one of the pieces where the reality is every new person that you have come in, it's so much harder to go find someone new than just to keep someone that you already have for longer. And you already have everything that you need as a gym owner, you have all of the pieces are just right now your shits just not streamlined. It's not systemized, it's not put into a process that allows those things to work for you. So we just continue to get sold more and more and more and more, we got to shove more into this shit. And that becomes the problem at the end of the day, it's you're just getting distracted by something shiny, and by someone saying, Well, you need something new, you need something more, instead of just stepping back and being like, what can I fix? What can I fix inside my spot right now, that then allows me to what Tyler I mean, we're seeing 30% increase in revenue, just by making a few tweaks and then building that into the overall structure that doesn't involve new software that doesn't involve you now having a bunch of people sending shit out. You living on Instagram, fucking DMing every goddamn person that interacts with your ad or likes your shit, or whatever it is. And now you just got to live in that world where it's like, I will send 10 messages a day and I will follow up with people and I will have conversations and it's like, Dude, you are fishing for people that are the people that comment on your ads, and like your shit are the people that are sitting around on fucking Facebook, just being like, huh, I like that, I'm gonna do this, I'm gonna do that, like they're not your people, you will waste so much goddamn time talking to some guy that's never come into

Tyler 17:25

the type of person that fills out a form on Facebook, and Facebook advertising and matters and all this stuff. I agree that Facebook is your best formula while forgetting local reach much more so than Instagram. Because Instagram, you're only getting people that already follow you at least with Facebook, someone can share some shade, or somebody can see some shifted to just pop on some feeds. But I really am not a fan of chasing that because that is just one type of person. How many good productive members of society are out there that don't have their nose and Facebook? Or if they do they don't interact with lots of guys, lots. Matter of fact, my Ken, Jesus would have saved four of my five, top paying to me, clients regarding personal training, never post anything or engage in any never seen a light from anything in them on Facebook at all. Because you have to understand my just chasing these Facebook ad leads, you're still getting a certain type of individual. What's the word? It's a survivorship bias. We talked about this a while back, right? Is that like, but in this case very specifically. It's like when they say we surveyed a bunch of people and what they thought about this new election is like, okay, and 70% of them voted in favor of this and said okay, but that's 70% of people who won the phone just rings out the answer. And that's 70% of the people then that when they hear somebody they don't know who says hey, we got to do we're gonna do a survey about this thing. That's that of those people. That's people that agreed to say yes to that. And I can tell you this knee and boy, most of the people that I know, like and love are going to not answer their goddamn phone when it rings. And it's a number they don't know. And we're certainly not going to just answer some goddamn survey because some guys are asking it, so that data is bullshit. So you have to understand that when you're doing this, your Facebook gives you great reach, and that's wonderful, but you're only reaching a specific type of person. So you still need to be a bit more thorough in your marketing, you need to be a bit more thorough with your referrals. I think that one of the keys here is referrals from people who are already within your system. You need to know that people like the people within your gym who already like your facility, whether it's martial arts, whether it's an extreme hardcore gym, or whether it's a very approachable fit Health and Fitness Center. The people that are already in your gym are the best people because they've already survived your ever growing ever evolving marketing strategies and your ever evolving sales strategies. And in the midst of all of that, while you weren't very good at that, hopefully you're getting better now. Now, they're still there, because they do like your product. And they waded through whatever it was, it was in front of them, whether you made it easy or hard, and they're there. So you need to let them reach more people, which means you need to start making referral requests. You gotta start, whatever that is, right. But people say referral. And we've talked about this before John referral is another piece of data that is not as good as people think. Because people think when someone just walks in off the street, if you get just a new general lead, someone comes in and says, Yeah, I'm interested in signing up. And it's gonna get classified as a referral, because they know somebody like a gym owner. So often, all my business referrals, like no, no, I think you're confusing. Like a person who knows somebody in your gym, from somebody in your gym actually referring to them as you, it's a very different thing. It's not the same as a true referral asked versus like, why are you here? Oh, I know, I know, a guy that's knowing a guy that comes here just puts the gym on your radar, that's not a referral, it really isn't a referral, really, I believe is a bit more formal. And it allows you to more accurately recruit the people who are within your gym to mobilize them in a slimy way. But they have reached and they have reached people that are like that. And that's really important to do. Now, John, what do you think, though, is to be learned from these like, very high attrition rates, but like in SEO martial arts inside jiu jitsu gym, right? There's high attrition rates and those but it's acceptable, right? It just is acceptable. Now, I think assuming that you are still a welcoming facility, and not the most hardcore extreme, you need to make sure you're speaking about being welcoming. And if you do all of that, and you actually deliver on the back end, and you are welcoming, and your people are friendly, and your coach does introduce you by name, and everything's fun and smiles, and they have a good positive first few experiences. Still, the thing that you're offering may not be for them. It just might not be. And there are some inherent factors in that attrition. That's like it 's just going to be there. And but but what is it ? What is to be learned from this? Like what in every gym has something like this in one way or another?

John Fairbanks 22:19

Well, like you keep calling out, right? Like the context of what we're talking about. That's, that's where it all sits. Right? What we're talking about specifically, it's what is to be learned is, what is your attrition rate. And the way you start to learn this is you start to be able to get an idea of who is like me. And this is one of the things that I think the benefit that I always wanted to be able to bring to this community of gym owners is to give you an actual community of gym owners, where you can actually be able to speak with and interact with other gym owners that are doing similar things as you let's use we've been using the MMA gyms as the example here or jiu jitsu gyms. But let's look at Team facilities, we have a lot of gyms that are in our world that specialize in teen athletes performance type training, that's what they do. Well, my God, if you look at the difference between their numbers during the summer, when say collegiate athletes come back home, and they're at home for the summer. numbers go up by like, a fifth, you're talking like 20 to 30% increase over those months. And then as soon as you get stereotypically, between August, September, October, it goes off a fucking cliff. Like it just plummets. If you are not talking to other gym owners, if you've not been in business for, say, a decade, where you just know what those natural ebbs and flows are within the business. You could be fuckin freaking out. You're freaking out because you have such a loss. And the reality is, you don't have that loss. The reality is, that's standard when we do business with people for a long period of time. And we've been consulting with a gym for the past 12 months. It's starting to get really interesting and really fun in a really nerdy way. But you get to start to look at where we were this time last year, that becomes a really important piece of data for you as you start to look at this, which is what was our attrition last year at this exact same time period. And where are we this year? Doesn't match? Are we up? Are we down? That starts to become more interesting, in my opinion, because now you're playing the game against yourself. And if you have enough people that are in your community that have similar gyms as you in different markets away from you, because none of you are going to network with other gym owners that are in your immediate area, because you all wrongfully think that you each other are hunting the same humans, which you're not. Right, there's enough pie to go around for everybody. But yeah, at least now you have that open to you. And so for me that's a really, really big piece to start to look at.

Tyler 25:12

And I would say, I think it's a really good point, John, what I would say too, is you need to start separating the state a little bit as well. So your overall attrition is not a piece of data that I kind of give a shit about, like in a vacuum, necessarily, I need to know what the attrition rate is, between programs between products, you do different things. How long do people stick with those different things, how long like, like how long your team's program is not going to have the same follow up rate, essentially, it's, there's not, they're not going to stick around for the year, all of a sudden, that number is gonna look really bad, your personal training, attrition is going to be different, right? Well, your group classes are going to have a different attrition rate than the other end, sorry, my ship blew up, you hear that? You say, it's just in my ear, then you're if you have 24/7 access, it's gonna be very different attrition data than anything else. And I think that they need to be separated so that they can troubleshoot if they're wrong. What's gonna happen is one of those is going to really boost your impression of how things are going, and then one of them is going to really drag your shit down. What's going to happen is you're just going to kind of live in the middle and think things are okay. You have to understand that not all attrition numbers are equal, not just from business to business, but from product to product, your nutrition coaching, by the way, here's the truth. My nutrition coaching, I go 12 weeks, 16 weeks, but it's a one time package. Very few people read up on why? Because I teach them things, and they learn things. And so I don't view that as the fact that like, only 15% of people will re-up after the end of that period. It's like, No, they've got a plan. I got them into a routine, they have the tools, they have the momentum and other going. Yeah, but if I take that product's attrition rate and Jesus Christ, how do I get people? Well, I'm going to water down the product and make it a dependency product. That's what's out there a lot with a lot of things that make you dependent on me. And that's how it works. Well, that product sucks. And it doesn't help people. But Daniel, no, go ahead.

John Fairbanks 27:19

Well, I was what I really liked about this, though, is that if you if you do that the right way, which is that I want to talk to you about nutrition, you can build a recurring renewable revenue stream off of a one time service like that, which is now let's talk about supplements because now you're talking about nutrition. Now. Now it's something that's more but it's being built into it, which is you're crafting the product correctly, and that service correctly, to do better by the person you're supposed to be serving. Because make no mistakes. We're, we're learning a lot about some data and these important pieces and how to look at it. But it always has to come back down to what you are doing. And the services you're providing. And the products you were putting in front of your people have to allow your clients to be successful.

Tyler 28:08

Correct. Now. thing you should be saying, again, one, where do you fit within your market? What are you doing? What is so you're in extreme powerlifting? Gym? Good, that's awesome. You got enough if there's enough people in your area to do it, or whatever it is, if if if you have occupy that specific space, you better be singing that song really well, you better get a lot of referrals from the people who are in who have people who kind of are like them, because you're not going to get my mom's right, her friends and her co workers and you're not going to get frankly, none of the people that I personally trained. Right? Go to the powerlifting gym to mass phenomics where I go, none of them do that, because it's just not on their thing. But like, I'm the guy that does that type of lifting. Why, right, but like if that's my business, okay, I gotta make sure that I can start to attract those people. But if your business is a bit more generalized, I want you to start to think and that's the thing if you're very niche down No, you got to align expectations from the beginning, or you're just going to really trash your reputation pretty quick. And then you're going to make a already struggling segment a small struggle segments of your market your you're going to make that even more difficult by getting a bunch of people out in your in your community kind of talking about a bad experience they had with your gym because their expectations weren't aligned and that's going to trash your reputation for people that are maybe would be interested in going out and just the rumblings or that sucks or whatever. Those guys are dicks. So where do you fit, right? And how can you prolong the amount of time that someone spends with you? So what is someone's overall fitness journey? Right? Sometimes they're gonna come in, they come in CrossFit and then they decide to specialize and they do a little bit of powerlifting and then they do a little this and then they want to get into bodybuilding and then their shit hurts too bad. So then they just run or they're runners first, they run and then they want to lift weights, and then they go to personal training, then they run and then they do 24 hours until they get too bored. And then they fall off. And they come back to personal training, and take up paddleboarding when it gets into riding bicycles. And so, but that's it, people do lots of things. And if you're in the business, John and I are, frankly, we're in this business to try to have a decent impact on the health, the actual health of the people in this country and in our local communities, then you need to know that, like, if you're good at what you do, and you can help people, how do I collect a little bit more? What's the word? How do I help people spend a little bit more time on these things now? If they're riding bicycles out, and I can't, I'm not going to go to a bicycling gym, there's nothing I'm gonna do about that. If I have a 24 hour spot. It's just not it. But what if I just encourage that for my members as well? Like, hey, if there is a cycling club, I want to facilitate so my existing members say, Hey, guys, did you know that they're doing this thing, I'm gonna go there, I'm gonna go to that. I'm going to be seen doing that, because that's fun. And that people are gonna be like, Oh, this guy's cool is that, yeah, he's got this gym in town as well. So some of them will come when they make it, you need to be present in all of these things, so that you can just become an attractive place. Now, the other piece that I really like about this is how to occupy more space in somebody's overall fitness journey, because nobody does anything forever, it's very rare, and is having diverse trainer backgrounds. And diversity is really important. I can do a lot of things, John, but if you want to get fucking jacked, and just do like brutal to fail, your bodybuilding style shit was my pretty safe, like, that's the pocket I do like living in, it really is. And I do, I can do that type of training, we toned it down a little bit with some nutrition focus for weight loss. And then sports performance, which is kind of a combination of those two things to be honest with you, especially for high school students. And we just got to fix your small, not too worried about doing a bunch of silly fucking ladder drills and bullshit, like, let's just fix your small fix your skinny and we'll be fine. But that stuff, that's a pocket I sit in very well. Right. Got a female coach here who does just kind of weight loss in general exercise. She's also done some specifically performance focused personal training for people who are going to compete in powerlifting. If you're a bodybuilding specialist, and you want to have females gonna do physique shows, and guy is going to do his first you know, boardshorts fucking transformation or junior level and entry level stage stuff like, perfect. What if you have a running specialist? What if you have someone who does? Like fluffy cardio shit, that's fun. You know what I mean? This is just not extreme, but it's really approachable. Like, yeah, if you have you don't want all your this the thing that I think a lot of gym owners who have a coaching preference, like the way that they need to teach things, I think they're fucking idiots. When you try your struggle, here's the deal, if you're struggling to hire a coach, and the answer is, well, I mean, you got to know how to do things, the way that we do things, I have a very specific way to do things. You're a fucking idiot. What a fucking waste. You're going to clone yourself. And they're going to teach exactly the way you teach, which is going to attract no more people than the people you've already attracted. And they're going to do the same thing that you already do with nougat and granted, great gets you off the floor. But what are you going to do, that's not a growth plan. That's a plug in the hole. So it says, Don't you if you got somebody who has a different opinion on how to approach things, and has maybe some different ideas and a different training style perfect, especially if you have group classes 24 hour stuff, and you want to attract some people to level up to do personal training, semi private or otherwise. If everybody is like me, only people who want to work with me are going to be leveling up their spending. If somebody is so different from me, perfect, because all those people waiting in the wings were like, I'm not dealing with Tyler's bullshit, they're going to be attracted to this other person. It's, it's, you really fuck up by thinking that your way is the only way and letting your coat you need to trust them as coaches. You don't have to fully like being bought in on their system. You just don't need to. I see lots of people get great exercise. Really great exercise out there, especially people that are just starting. Just want to move some Jazzercise shit, man, it's moving, you're gonna sweat, it's fine. It's a perfectly fine starting point because it fits where it fits. It doesn't have to take on the whole, your whole gym doesn't need to take on that identity. It's everyone's fucked up so much by thinking that and I think it's, I think if you learn to have some diverse trainer backgrounds and let them run with their thing a little bit, they got to attract their own people. But the fact that it's a little bit different from what this other guy's doing, makes more people buy personal trainers.

John Fairbanks 34:51

The reality is, if you've been doing this long enough, if there were people that were going to train with you, based on your style He would already be training with you, they would already know, you're around, maybe they'll come around. But the reality is, if you do this long enough, if your gym is a certain way, or all that you have available as a certain thing, it's the people that want that thing they know about it. They're either there, they've been there before. They're not there anymore, whatever. Like it's, you continue to stay isolated in that one little pocket again, which is fine. But if you are desiring growth, if you're desiring something new, it's either you continue to stay in that echo chamber. Or the most common thing when I sit down, and I talk to people specifically about marketing services, right, they want to be able to do some form of marketing. And I sit down and say, Why do you want to? Why are you here? Why are we talking about marketing? 100% of the time? The answer is, we want to be able to reach out and connect with markets or connect with people that are outside of our already existing pool of clients. Like we want to attract people that are outside of our norm, who do not know we exist yet. And it's like, perfect, then that's what we can do. We can very specifically and strategically support whatever initiatives that you want to do, and then expand that marketing reach. And the easiest way I like you said is if you've got people, one, you got to get people to you got to make sure like you said that they're not carbon copies of you, because this is where you walk into some of those anytime. fitnesses You walk into some of these, these 24 hour box type gyms that are franchises, and it's every they might as well all be the same human. Yeah, every dude's got gel in his hair, or has evolved. Like it's just they're all five foot four.

Tyler 36:50

It's a bunch of issues, a bunch of Barbie and Ken shit, but that's exactly what it is. It is. And so but then their issue is if you're in a facility like that, and you want to get frickin jacked, I don't. I'm not. I'm not taking advice on how to get big and strong from a little small person. Can I'm sorry? Okay, how much do they know or how much they went to school? I don't, I'm not going to look at a man smaller, weaker than me who carries less muscle, then I'm going to look him in the eye and go, Okay, oh, whatever you say, buddy. Like, get the fuck out of here with that. And sorry. So you got to have different coaches with some diverse specialties and then let them run with it. Dell will attract their people and let them do it.

John Fairbanks 37:27

Right. Yeah, same way, you're not going to come to you or I and be like, I want to be a long distance runner.

Tyler 37:34

I'll tell you what, one one or two work gyms, one or two gym sessions you can do but I'm gonna leave you running the same thing I do. When I do sports performance coaching. For sure I stay out of all of it. I don't I don't listen to what you do, the sport thing is yours. I'm just here to fix your skin or fix your fat. So we're here to do it, make sure you don't get hurt in the process and teach us some things. Now, there's one piece of caution, I want to make sure that you when we talk about trying to maybe adapt a little bit or I don't like always just adding necessarily but figuring out again how to occupy more space in your clients. Lifetime Fitness journey, right? It still needs to align with your overall brand value. And I think that's the filter you need to look through meaning a true beautiful, nice, clean, super nice facility. And people know that just premium you do premium stuff. You can't have somebody who's like you can't bring in the edgy, extreme face tattooed, muscle bound, cursing spitting slobbering person to come in and sit in that you know what I mean? Like, you can't bring that guy into coach, even though maybe people would like that guy to give me a huge salary if I'm here. But if you're at an equinox, that's not going to be, it's not going to work. That's going to start to damage your brain, which means you can't, you cannot be everything. Don't try to be everything. What you are where you sit in your market is more more than just the type of fitness that you do. It is like, where do you rank on the scale of most premium to? What's the word? Least sophisticated? Right? Sure. What do you rank on that spectrum, right? And that, I think, is something you really need to align with. Because you can't bring a bunch of low value stuff into your business. There's a reason airlines only fly first class, like you go international fly International, you're not going to get upgraded to first class. You won't, it's not going to happen. They'll do that domestically, but they're not going to because they really need to preserve that five to $7,000 price ticket and it's just not going to nobody's worth it. If they know that like wow, there's like a 70% chance I'll get upgraded anyways because I got the status and all that shit. But they don't do that on international flights because they really did rather send it empty. Send that seat empty then preserve and still preserve the actual value of the overall product. And you really have to do that because again, just stuff your nice big ticket gym with a bunch of low ticket bait and switch bullshit and a bunch of low quality leads. Just On Off a Facebook, whatever schmuck will fill out a frickin Facebook form, right? Just do that and see what that does to your brand's perception. See all excited your big ticket sophisticated clients who have been with you for a long time, see how excited they are when you get a bunch of people and offer some, quote unquote, free or $1 offer, right? All of a sudden, your brand sucks, you betrayed the people who really pay you the most money for the longest. And you could have just maybe encouraged them to bring more people like them to you. Sure. So protecting your brand. And all this is important. So you can't be everything to everybody. And I think that's an important thing to differentiate between here and there, but still nobody does anything forever. Where do you fit? What are you going to, and therein lies the cure to your attrition. And attrition is to see too much of an oversimplification we see so often John, it's just membership got new member loss new member, that is attrition that has data that doesn't really, if you should be offering the thing we talked about those, the biggest fix for this is offer stacks, having your offer stack, to the point where people can choose different pathways to your business and through your business and in and around your business at different times to fit their budgets, buying habits needs and goals whatsoever, whatever. And so some people may come in at your 24 hour membership, and then they may make their way to personal training. And then maybe they'll add a nutrition coach or maybe they do them all at once right away. Right. But that data where people are there and where they move from, where they start from within your offer stack and where they kind of bounce around over the course of their lifetime. That is infinitely more important to me than just troubleshooting people in the door. And then people stop paying that just the binary on off member not member data. It matters a little bit not near as much as if you fix this on the office X stuff get aligned with the X, X use that aligns all the expectations on your marketing sales process when people are communicating with people before they come in. And when they sit down with you. All that is aligned with what's going on on your offer stack which is aligned with client success, them being successful, giving them all the best chances at them being successful, you're going to be just fucking fine.

John Fairbanks 42:13

The odds are if you are playing this game to the level where you even are thinking about attrition, right? That you're not just trying to do all the other things or being distracted, it's if you're playing the game, you're not in the you're in the business of doing fitness shit, you're not in the business of coming up with new ideas, or how to be able to how to be able to fix these things. If you knew how to fix it, then you would have done it already. And so if this is something where you step back, you hear this and you and you realize, well, what are my numbers? Right? Do I know what it is just generically? Do I know where we were last year? Do I know what I'm looking at? We just described all of the things that we would come in on the back end and be able to tweak and change and update to be able to then build a process and build a system inside of your business. But that's how you fix the issue. Most of the time, people are just like, well, I get, we kind of just stay the same, I get a few I lose a few or and what you will do.

Tyler 43:18

The right like this is an element in there. When we're troubleshooting attrition rates to this is why that data kind of sucks, like, one they're gonna lie to you about exit interviews are bullshit. They're all gonna lie to you, we talked about this Midwest nice, everybody's Well, you know, just, you know, got a new job and a little bit of money's a little tighter and soccer, it's like, but now it's like, really, they didn't see the value of that they didn't like it, they weren't using whatever it is, but that that statement doesn't mean anything. And then also you have just life that takes people away. So one falls in love far away, somebody moves, somebody's job moves them. Yeah. And in a month, truthfully, in a month, you could have 100% of the people that the memberships that drop off in one month 100% to be legitimately, there's nothing you could do or they could do about it. They love that they would stay there 100% If this one thing wasn't changing in their life. And that's why troubleshooting that they're fucking good is that data? If you're not able to see past that, like what is like, No, we've lost, we lost 15 people this month, but truthfully, none of them were salvageable. And none of them are. But what does that mean? You did? Is there anything you need to do? Or do you need to start trying to get new members now that the decision you're going to make now is to try to get new members. So a little fucking late for that. So you should always be trying, I don't understand you're going to so that data doesn't mean anything at that point. It just doesn't know you should always know it. But there's not always it's not always able to be interpreted as something actionable. Because what you're just going to panic then and start trying to get new map something you should have been doing a long time ago,

John Fairbanks 44:48

because data is not good or bad. Data is data. Right? It just is what it is that you can do with that. But the problem is, if you are now going to multiple instances, more Trouble months where you are losing people, I'm going to tell you right now 100% of them are not not fixable or could have been prevented. And that's kind of where we took you all the way to the very beginning of like, well, you guys have these things, make sure that it aligns, establish those expectations, all the offers that you have are stacked and their buildings or like that is taking you directly to the cure to fix a problem that's not directly related to it. Because it's attrition. Oh, how do you fix attrition rate? We'll do an exit interview, we'll go fuck yourself. That does No, that's, that's like a band aid. You know what I mean? Is it the launch the exit

Tyler 45:34

exit interview, aka, desperate homerun, Hail Mary resale pitch, like come on,

John Fairbanks 45:41

like, respect what that is. But that's the problem is oh, well, that's the fix. And it's like, is it but there are so and this is why it's it is there are so many little things that are more in line. And they're more aligned with how someone feels they're doing at your gym. And it takes us back to our clients success ratio. Is this data where if you are losing people, the odds are you started losing them six months ago. Yeah. So it's too it's, it's you're already it's boom, done. It's almost like you're looking at the past. So what's happening now is indicative of what has already happened. And that's where coming in and getting us in are starting to make the right fixes, doing the right things so that you do not have those missed opportunities, because the missed opportunities today will show they're asked to you six months from now. Yeah. And that is why it's so important. And

Tyler 46:41

good to ship. Right.

John Fairbanks 46:42

Yeah. And that's and that is where for us is being able to call it where it is. Lots of folks are going to put your attention on Well, it's a fucking disaster over here. And it's like, yes, it is. But that's old news.

Tyler 46:58

There are two major flaws to be had with attrition is putting too much faith in the data. Right, first off, putting way too much faith and being very reactionary about geez, we're losing these members. What's this, it's that it's this. The other thing is ignoring it and doing what the other consultants are going to tell you to do, which is just line up leads, sell, sell, sell, sell, sell, and you're just turn and burn. You don't. Don't fix your processes. Don't fix your marketing, don't fix the way you're setting expectations. Don't fix the fact that your products don't align at all in a way that makes people highly likely to be successful. Don't fix any of that shit. So that you just align people up through your business you guys should maybe have some staffing issues, reliability problems, clients not getting results. They thought it was something it's not. And now they're dropping off. Don't fix any of that. Just line more people up to go through that system as a full representation of your business. You fucking idiots don't do it. That stuff, then you'll make money until he stops , that's what I'm saying. You will make money until it stops and then you do not have the ability to salvage that reputation. You don't not if you're not if you are a local micro gym, essentially not if you're if you're just a local brick and mortar spot, you're fucked. That stuff gets out of hand and you are blocked so don't do it. Don't play those games. It's the biggest thing I hate is just any home anymore members like everything and your shits fucking broken, dude, what are you doing? Everything's broken. So start where it matters, and work your way backwards. But you can't ignore attrition completely, because that's what they want you to we're going to ignore it, we're just going to fix it by continuing to put more and more and more people through it. But you also can't go get all bent out of shape about it. Because like we said, there are going to be people that are going to go through and they're going to give it the best shot by the way, they got into with good intentions and liked your product and liked you. And it's just not it. You know, maybe mentally they're just not ready to make an actual change. Maybe they're not really ready to commit. They did commit, they did the thing. People are in their own way. When it comes to health and fitness in the United States of America. They are there in their own way. So they gave it a shot. And then they're backed up to where they get. So that stuff is going to happen. And that's not always your fault. As a jeweler, it's not always your fault, but you should be prepared that the nature of this business is that people are in their own way. So you need to facilitate that and make it a little bit easier. But no, listen, if you're a boxing gym and people come in and try a couple of classes for a month or two and they just don't really do boxing's not the thing that I'm going to do. That's okay. And you can't get obsessed over what that number is, but you do need to pay attention to what's happening. So don't overreact to any of this data. But don't put your head in the sand either.

John Fairbanks 49:46

There's a thing I read the other day was called the focusing illusion. And the focusing illusion essentially breaks down to where it's nothing in life is as important as you think it is. You When you were thinking about it, so all of a sudden, we may have raised awareness to some of these things immediately that puts it on your radar. And now, you could get panicky about this. And now because you're focusing on it, you are now being tricked into thinking that this is the most important thing that's going on right now. Yeah, and that is where it's no you need to be able to have this is where we come in, you're able to step back and say, Stop fucking doing that. Stop getting distracted or Yeah, smack your Pap and say stop it back up and focus on these things over here because this is actually what matters, think about you all doing this with your own people. What you've taught nutrition

Tyler 50:48

Listen, the if the first day someone's got 100 pounds isn't the first day that I saw brown rice or white rice like stopped drinking fucking pop dude. Yep, start there. What the fuck kind of question stop. We're not dealing with that yet. Okay, I saw you in the store with a cart full of god damn Coca Cola. No. Okay, that goes away first. Before all the shirts Tyler.

John Fairbanks 51:10

My wife she puts all the shit in the kitchen she has it in the house

Tyler 51:14

and Buckingham does it to fix the problem right so I think that's got us wrapped up for today guys. I think there's a solid episode here of good nutrition stuff. Well listen to this one again. I think this is worth a listen so make sure you watch this one if you've heard this one and you want to catch our beautiful faces spewing this horrible foul language you can do that at the gym owners revolution Facebook Group link is in the description. Make sure you follow the show at the gym owners podcast on Instagram. Follow me at Tyler Elphinstone, this Tyler eff ironstone and John Fairbanks can be found over there at Jay banks FL on Instagram. Hey, big announcements, getting the gear Academy guys, what are we doing? We got a few different ways we can start getting there. You want to just get in and pay monthly, you want to come and pay a big sum, a big chunk and get started right away. We're gonna start moving some things very quickly here in a 12 week span. For we move into something a little more reasonable for there's plenty of pathways to work with us. There's plenty of pathways for us to work with you. So if you want to get started you want to see if these ideas make sense to you. And you don't want to do what the other guys are doing all the things we've described. Shoot me or John a message or the official podcast message on Instagram. So thanks for listening to everybody. We will see you next week.

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