Changing How Gyms Work
A couple of weeks ago I signed up for a quick 14 days for 14 dollars deal at a local gym right near where I live. Actually I even wrote a post here about it. Although I do work out at my workplace in the company gym, I was trying this out so that I can have a gym close to my house.
I was excited and I have worked out there a few times including a killer spinning class that I did on Sunday. My membership has ended and although I would be interested in joining permanently but I am disappointed that there has been no follow through.
Problems with Gym Follow Up
Initially I filled out a bit of a questionnaire and the girl that showed me around the gym tried to do a hard sell to get me to sign up right away but she did back down and let me go through my 14 day tryout of the gym.
The trouble is I never heard anything back. No Email, no phone calls, no way to close me on a membership. I simply came to the gym a few times and worked out and left. The staff was great and friendly but frankly they did not move me toward a decision to join the gym.
So what should have happened instead?
Well, as a person walking into the gym the staff there should have my motivation in mind. The questionaire tells them what I am looking to do and they should have been leading my along so that I could accomplish a few easy goals in my first two weeks. I can imagine that in the initial meeting when I did the questionaire they could have taken a snapshot of me and put me on a wall of fame. This wall of fame would include all new gym folk and would be great for everyone. It creates a sense of community, it helps the old timers recognize the newbies, and most importantly it gives the staff a chance to help out the new people in any way that they can.
I am very self reliant when it comes to being in a gym. I have belonged to a lot of gyms over the years and I have always seen this sense of community missing. I think that if a new person came to a gym and didn’t figure out things quickly enough they would never show up and over the years every February we have seen people do this. Just quit.
Stop Charging for Trainers!
One of the things that the gym was pushing me on initially was three sessions with a trainer for $250 or so. As a new person I think the gym should give some initial free trainer time to get the new people moving in the right direction.
Another thing the gym could have done is assigned a trainer to me that could see me for a few minutes before every workout, give me an idea of what to do so that I would make gains. They had my phone number and email so a trainer or a staff member could coordinate times and days and when I came in I would have some kind of workout plan.
I am not sure if it is fair but I always look at the guys that are selling you on gym memberships as being closers and not trainers. I think that these guys should be marketers too and help all those people with a spark of motivation and a half a plan to get to their goals. Not only would this raise the image of the gym but over a very short time these gyms could rely on referrals from their own members instead of the ads and hard sell they need to do today.
Are there any gym owners or managers out there that do this? What about you when joining a gym? What were your experiences?