Retaining customers takes more than a sales pitch.
Gym member retention boils down to a decision, a choice dependent on constantly changing factors that often are outside the control or influence of your gym. Some members will leave your gym regardless of what you do or don’t do. One example is employment. There’s nothing your gym can do to retain members who leave your city to find jobs.
Gym member retention is a psychological process encompassing a wide range of changing variables. There is no single factor that guarantees gym member retention. And there is no single factor that prevents retention. But there are a number of powerful factors that dramatically affect retention. One factor is training on purpose.
Training on purpose has a dual meaning – training for a purpose that activates the inner compulsion to work out and training at your gym to achieve that purpose. Purpose is not created equal. All training is motivated by some degree of purpose but strength of purpose varies significantly. Strength of purpose is one of the main factors that determine whether members decide to stay at your gym or leave. The key is to build purpose and build an environment that allows that purpose to be achieved.
Strength of purpose is directly connected to achieving dreams. One example of a purpose guaranteed to be strong enough to retain your gym members is professional purpose. The best example I have experienced is achieving the dream of high-risk professions – the dream of turning pro in contact sports and the dream of turning pro in emergency services including law enforcement. My experience as a football coach and college law enforcement professor taught me the power of professional purpose. Students who committed to reaching the next level in football or law enforcement trained for a higher purpose. The concept of higher purpose activates the all-important inner compulsion to workout, an internal force that is stronger than any external motivation. The inner compulsion to work out is matter of life and death survival, the man element of any high-risk profession or activity. Without activating the inner compulsion to workout, retention won’t happen. The deactivation of the inner compulsion to workout is the number one cause of failed gym member retention. Nothing will work out when a gym member cannot turn on the switch. Without activating the inner compulsion to work out, gym members are temporary tenants. They will never become permanent residents of your gym. They will eventually quit working out and leave you gym for good, or bad, depending on perspective.
The number one element of high-performance coaching is the ability to build higher purpose. Higher purpose, higher performance. There is a direct relationship between strength of purpose and strength of performance. The higher your purpose, the higher your performance. This applies to individuals and teams. How to build strength of purpose isn’t easy. It requires a process composed of structured learning outcomes that go beyond the scope of this article. Strength of purpose doesn’t just happen. Nothing just happens. Nothing happens randomly, accidentally, or overnight.
Blessings & all good things.