I am never the person to “discover” the next great book. In fact, the collection of works sitting on my bookshelf includes a handful that were gifted to me, and many that I purchased after hearing dozens of times that I “HAVE to read” (insert book name here).
You’re probably familiar with the collection of supposed must-reads I speak of: The Obstacle Is The Way. Essentialism. Start With Why. Good To Great. The E-Myth. The list goes on and on.
Every one of them was shoved down my throat via constant recommendations from the same circle of opinion leaders we all seem to follow. Some I loved, while others didn’t quite resonate with me. Two such books that fell into the latter category recently were The Power of Habit, and Rework. I finished both, and each time walked away thinking: “What’s the big deal?”
Neither compelled me at that moment in time.
Fast forward a year or so, and these two books made their way onto my radar once again. Rework was the selected text for a new month of CSP Book Club, and I decided to give The Power of Habit another go after loving Charles Duhig’s Smarter Faster Better. And what do you know...I thoroughly enjoyed each. Concepts and quotes jumped off the page after having barely inspired a second thought the first time around.
The lesson I learned was that certain material may not resonate with me at this very moment in time, but circumstances change. With each passing day, week and month, I accumulate new professional experiences as I manage the day-to-day at Cressey Sports Performance which ultimately shape the way I consume and process new material. What left me uninspired a year ago just may spawn a handful of great blog ideas today.
How does this apply to gym owners?
You spend your days brainstorming how to drive bodies into your gym, right? You conjure up transformation challenges, create referral contests, and post one new Facebook advertisement after another, all with the intention of generating leads.
I’m here to tell you that some of the best leads you’ll ever find are sitting on your metaphorical bookshelf right this moment. Much like I was able to revisit my old stack of texts to find some under appreciated gold, you already have access to a list of potential clients sitting right at your fingertips.
Try this ever-so-simple experiment today…
Open up your Mindbody account, your google calendar, or whatever platform it is that you use for scheduling new evaluations and toggle back exactly 52 weeks. Look at the names of the people who got their first taste of your services one calendar year ago. After you’ve come to terms with the fact that your retention figures are far less impressive than you’d previously thought, I want you to draft up an email that looks a little bit like this:
I was just flipping through our 2016 calendar and noticed that you started up with us a year ago this week. It’s amazing how quickly the time has passed.
Anyway, I figured I’d shoot you an email to see how you’re doing, and ask how your training has been going? I know it’s been awhile since we last saw you, but I wanted to let you know that our doors are always open if you’d like to make a return.
Please let me know if I can help in any way.
Next, go ahead and fire a version of this message off to the former clients who fell off the map somewhere along the way. The worst thing that can happen is that your email goes unnoticed. If that’s the case, remember that it cost you nothing to send. The best case scenario is that a handful of former clients respond with a request to get back in the mix.
You’ll probably be surprised by how many people say “I’ve been meaning to get back in with you guys for a while now.”
You never know what is going on in your client’s lives outside of the gym. A variety of circumstances outside of your control may have led them to step away from your services, but that doesn’t mean that they’ve quit you forever. Maybe they just need the same nudge to return that I encountered with Rework and The Power of Habit.
Do you enjoy my spin on fitness business concepts?
I publish my “Friday Four” newsletter at the end of each week featuring links to useful articles and insights on applying concepts from each to your own fitness business endeavors. Check it out here.