So, how are all the New Year’s “resolutioners” doing in your club? Are they still there? Typically, these “newbies” join the gym with lots of enthusiasm in January, but by the time spring rolls around, they have gradually faded away — with a few exceptions to the rule.
I think it is important to determine why they joined in the first place, and then try to figure out how and what we could have done to keep them from disappearing! Of course, it is very likely that all that enthusiasm burned out and they might have just run out of gas!
The facts tell us that 85 percent of people who join the gym do so because they want to lose weight. That must be especially true in January after the Holiday season of overeating, over-drinking and sleep deprivation. It would be interesting if we could find out if many of those people have a plan for reaching their goal —this is where we come in.
We have the best opportunity to explore a prospective member’s thinking at the point of sale. This is when they are most likely to take the time to figure things of out, with us as their guide. It seems that most people don’t really know what they will enjoy and will try to do things they don’t even like, just because they think they have to. We need to convince them that a trainer is the best person to help them sort these things out.
It is wise to suggest that the member have a purpose for working out other than just looking good. Improving their health is a much better goal and can help them overcome the potential obstacles they may experience, such as lack of motivation.
But all that doesn’t address the fact that most new members want to lose weight. If we accept the fact that exercise alone doesn’t work when it comes to changing your body composition and that changes in nutrition will make all the difference, we have the option to reach every member — particularly the newest ones.
I would advise having an attractive menu of options for the membership staff to offer as soon as the discussion about losing weight comes up. The membership person doesn’t have to get into all the details about the services, but should be educated enough to know that the solutions are there, and very relevant to the needs of the member. Having nutrition services alone could close the sale, as I have discovered many times.
Members want to lose weight. Having nutrition services available in your club and not at the diet center down the street makes you a one-stop shop, and one step closer to retaining your members and the New Year’s “resolutioners.”
Judith Samuels, M.A. is a certified nutrition and wellness consultant and master personal trainer at Sport&Health Clubs in the Washington D.C. Metro Area. She can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.