Mark Miller, the COO of Merritt Clubs, shares the fitness industry’s golden goose and three recommendations on how to care for it.
What is the best way to lead your clubs to success? What gives you the most in return for your efforts? To illustrate this conundrum, I’d like to turn to the fable “The Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs.”
A man and his wife owned a goose that laid a golden egg every day. They decided they were not getting rich fast enough. They believed the bird must be full of gold and so decided to kill it.
When they cut open their golden goose, they found it was just like any other goose. So, they not only failed to get rich, but they also no longer enjoyed the daily golden eggs.
Because you have heard this story before, you would never think of cutting a goose that laid golden eggs for you. You would take exceptional care of that goose. You would buy it the best food, build it the most comfortable nest and give it the nicest pond available, right?
The truth is, we all own a golden goose. It is our team and our club members.
The challenge we all face today is in keeping them. Retention for years has been the Achilles heel of our industry. We are so focused on and good at selling new members, and yet not so conditioned to take care of them and keep them. As many of us learned during COVID-19, members quit as they did not see us as an essential piece of their lives. The year 2022 has brought on the Great Resignation and challenge of keeping our team members as well as finding new ones.
We must start to think and behave differently if we want to keep our golden eggs. We must care and nurture our golden geese.
The best investment in our business is taking care of our members. We all know the stats that it’s cheaper to keep them then get new ones. So, let’s start making that investment.
Here are three recommendations:
- Invest. First and foremost, we must see our members as an investment. Every month you get them to stay you are compounding success. So don’t just invest in your marketing to get new members. Invest in keeping your current members, too. What gifts can you provide just for being a member? What value can you add? What peak moments can you create? What trainings and services can you enhance or provide? The list is endless.
- Engage. It is proven the more a member feels engaged and connected the longer they stay. So do you truly connect or is it surface? A “hi” and “bye” are surface. A “How is your day?” is surface. A “How did you daughter’s dance recital go?” is deeper. A “Hey I know you enjoy cooking, so here is a new technique known as Sous Vide” is deeper. Get to know what truly drives and inspires your member’s. What is their jobs to be done?
- Care. We have all heard, “they do not care until they know how much you care.” Well, do we really care? Caring means we operate from the heart. Care reflects our behaviors, our attitudes and our actions. Care is felt, not talked about. Care is seen not heard. Look deeply at your behaviors and actions, your language. Do members trust and feel safe? As a leader it is about the care and feeding of our members and team members. They are our golden goose. Make sure you do not miss this one.
These three items are not the only things that matter or make an impact, however they are a great starting point. If you do these things daily, you will start to get daily supply of all the golden eggs you need.