Gym Owner Musings - Installment #16

Every month or so the “content ideas” page in my iPhone notes app begins to fill up with topics that aren’t quite beefy enough to justify an entire blog, but also a little too bulky to cram into a Tweet or Instagram post. I’ve once again hit that point, meaning it’s time to unload a couple of quick-hitter discussion topics that have been kicking around in my head (and notes app).

Here’s your August edition of Gym Owner Musings:

1. Pricing strategy is about more than just numbers.

There are multiple ways to sell the same thing, at essentially the same price. Allow me to illustrate this point with a pair of selling scenarios.

Pitch #1 - “We’re excited to have you this summer. I’d imagine you would benefit from a combination of our service offerings in the next twelve weeks. Your unlimited supervised training will cost $400/month. Additionally, the weekly pitching lessons will be $60/session, the weekly manual therapy appointments will be $60/session, and a pair of $50 nutrition consultations is suggested over the course of the time you are here.”

Athlete response - “Sounds like those costs will pile up quickly. Let’s just sign me up for the initial month of strength training and I’ll mix in some of the other stuff where I see fit.”

Pitch #2 - “You should definitely consider securing a spot in our comprehensive summer program. The cost will be $2,750 and it will cover everything, including daily supervised training, weekly manual therapy and throwing lessons, and a pair of nutrition consultations. We’ll handle all of the logistics and all you have to do is show up and put in the hard work. We’re only going to be enrolling 20 athletes in this year’s program due to the high level of planning involved to make sure you have an exceptional experience.”

Athlete response - “How do I put down a deposit?”

The lesson here is that selling is as much about positioning as it is about the numbers involved. In fact, the second scenario I’ve outlined is the exact same service offering, except for the fact that it is actually $10 more expensive than that which I suggested in pitch number one. In my experience, the latter approach closes a considerable amount more business than the former.


2. Your voice may not jive with your brand…

My buddy Zack runs an consulting firm catering to insurance providers around the country. I’ve casually followed (and admired) his brand from afar for a while now, and recently spotted a pivot of sorts in the messaging. More specifically, I noticed that he and his business partner had shifted their whimsical and humorous branding strategy to something a little more deliberately buttoned up, for lack of a better term.

I know Zack well enough to realize that a change of that magnitude doesn’t happen by mistake, or as a result of impulse, so I asked him what’s up…

“You ever see Rolex build humor into one of their advertisements?”

With that one simple question, it all became crystal clear to me. He’d realized that he aspired to deliver a service that is so elite that it serves as a signaling tool, but his messaging wasn’t telling the same story. Humor is great, but it doesn’t serve the overarching purpose attached to his growing brand. As a result, the jokes had to go.

This lesson is of the utmost importance to the gym owner who delivers a premium priced personal training service, or even the business guru offering a top-dollar mentorship service. As much as you like to humanize your business and brand with humor in your social media strategy, you should know that it may be contradicting the branding strategy you’ve put in place.

Positively impact the resumes that leave your operation…

Positively impact the resumes that leave your operation…

3. Improve your gym’s reputation with one simple habit.

We’ve put a new policy in place for outgoing interns here at CSP. If you want to be eligible to receive a letter of recommendation from us as you transition out of the program, you need to submit a resume for review during your last week with us.

We then review the material, make specific suggested modifications that will allow the coach to stand out in future applicant pools, and all but guarantee that the people who come out of our program reflect well upon us moving forward. Everybody wins.

So, assuming you have out-going interns or employees who are moving on (hopefully on the best of terms), it would be in everyone’s best interest for you to assist them in effectively navigating the job search process that lies ahead. If you don’t, you just may find that your business is inaccurately depicted time and time again without you even realizing it.


My business partner Eric and I are going to spend Monday, September 23rd digging deep into everything from lead generation, to pricing strategy, gym design, and everything in between. If you’re interested in learning exactly how we’ve attacked building and maintaining the model we’ve had in action since 2007, this packed day of information is for you.

*** Take note that this registration includes complimentary attendance to the CSP Fall Seminar which is set to take place during the two days before our mentorship event. This one will be a good bang for your buck continuing education opportunity.

Check out all of the details HERE, and make sure to shoot me an email ( if you have follow-up questions.