You want to truly command the attention of your audience? Make sure they know how much you appreciate and value their attention.
I made a trip to Colorado with my wife during the summer of 2013. While there, we decided that our vacation to-do list needed to include a visit to the Red Rocks Amphitheater to take in a concert at one of the most visually and acoustically impressive live music venues in the world.
A quick Google search told us that Keith Urban would be performing during our stay, so we made our way over to Craig’s List and bought a pair of tickets. While we weren’t the biggest Keith Urban fans in the world, we knew enough of his music to be excited about the experience.
A band named Little Big Town was scheduled to open this show. We were vaguely familiar with their music as well, so we made to sure arrive early.
Before playing a single song, Little Big Town won me over.
“Holy shit…we’re playing Red Rocks…I’m blown away by this moment,” explained one of the band members as he addressed the crowd.
He proceeded to request that the “house lights” be turned on, allowing for the entire crowd to be illuminated. Next, all four of the band members showed us, the audience, their gratitude by pulling out a cell phone and taking a “selfie” with us in the background. They seemed genuinely touched by the opportunity to perform that evening.
Next came Keith Urban…
Instead of showing any form of gratitude himself, Keith showed up late, proceeded to “thank” an opening act that wasn’t even there that evening, and jumped right into his first song so that he could rush through his set (I’m sure Dustin Lynch appreciated the unwarranted shout-out, though).
Guess whose music I left fired up about that night?
While it may not have been their intention, Little Big Town won that audience over with authentic appreciation for the moment, while Keith Urban lost us by disrespecting both our time and the opening act.
How can I apply this lesson in the gym?
As fitness professionals, we are capable of converting more leads, delivering a more engaging training experience, and fostering stronger client relationships by applying the lesson I learned at Red Rocks that evening. The cliché once again holds true: People don’t care how much you know (or how well you play a guitar), until they know how much you care.
The next time you give a sales pitch, tell the prospect that you are aware of the abundance of training options at his finger tips, and appreciate him giving you the opportunity to outline your service offerings.
The next time you find yourself making small talk during a client warm-up, fight the urge to pick apart his breakfast decisions and instead hit him with a simple “thank you” for setting aside some time to work with you on that given day.
And, if by chance you find yourself standing in front of nearly 10,000 people with a guitar in your hands, remember to thank the proper opening act and the people who paid good money to see you.