This blog post was written by Oliver Kitchingman, Australian Fitness Network’s editor.
I don’t mean to be rude, but do your clients and members really want to spend time with you? Or are they just there because they feel like they need to be? If it’s the latter then odds are they won’t be training with you for long.
In the Winter issue of Network magazine Australian Fitness Network’s Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Steve Jensen, alludes to the importance of making our clubs, studios and sessions the ‘third place’ for our clients and members. The third place is the place, aside from home and work, where people choose to spend their time because they like to be there.The key word there is ‘like’. Not ‘feel obliged’ or ‘deem it necessary’.
The same sentiment is expressed by Group Fitness team leader Leisl Klaebe, a firm advocate of the pulling power for clubs of great group exercise. Once people have become part of the group ex tribe, they value the experience too much to ever want to miss a class.
Highly esteemed Kiwi fitness pioneer Wendy Sweet also reinforces the importance of treating those who choose to spend time with us as ‘guests’ rather than customers. It’s not enough to show and tell people what they need to do in order to become fitter and healthier – we need to make them want to spend time with us. You can have all the tools in the world to improve people’s lives, but if they don’t want to be with you then it’s all in vain.
If we are to lead the way towards healthier, happier lives for our members and clients then we need to make their time with us enjoyable as well as effective.
If you struggle to retain clients or members, then perhaps it’s time to ask whether you have created that third place, and whether you truly are hosting your guests during the time they spend with you.