The Qualifier


So, there I was in the club jotting down my progress in my Journal (yes, I keep one and have for 20 years!) when a guy comes up to me and asks, “Where did you get your Journal?”

I told him my company actually published them and that if he liked it, he could get one from a local trainer I knew who carried them in his studio.

“Are you Art Rothafel?” he asked.

“Yes,” I replied.  “And do I know you?”

“Heck yes,” he said.  “I’m Mike Tibbets.

I immediately recognized the name, but, I hardly ever meet people in person. (I should get out more!)

“I just want to thank you for producing such a fantastic tool,” he said (as I started to feel a little embarrassed since he was so loud and enthusiastic).

He went on.  “I in-home train throughout Southern California.  I’ve been using your Journals for 10 years and while they’re great for training and for marketing with my logo on them…. here’s something I’ll bet you didn’t know about your journals.”

“What?”  I asked (feeling a little smug… what could I possibly NOT know about something I’ve been producing for 20 years?)

“The Daily Journal is the absolute best qualifier I’ve found when interviewing potential clients.  I  break out a new journal and look potential clients in the eyes and ask them their level of commitment about changing their bodies. 

Then I ask them if they’d be willing to forget about their fitness apps on their phones and instead, fill out the Journal every single day for 12 weeks.  Even the days they’re not working out, but would need to complete the nutrition side.   

Then I ask if they’re willing to pay a $25 non-compliance fee for each day they miss completing their journal.  I would never actually do it, nor could I really monitor any of this, but I ask the question anyway.  If the answer is no, I don’t take on the client.”

“Do you mean to tell me that people actually agree to pay you $25 dollars for each day they miss filling out their journal?”  I asked.

“Well, those who agree to it are relieved to learn that it was only a hypothetical question.  But,  listen, Art, I charge a lot of money for my services and I put a tremendous amount of work into each client.  I am totally judged by their results.  I can’t afford to take on people who are not really motivated and willing to commit.  Like I said the Journal helps me pre-qualify each new prospect.”

Wow, he was right.  This was something I didn’t know about the Journal.  Beyond being an accountability tracker, an information resource and a branded marketing vehicle, it’s also an awesome “qualifier.”

It never ceases to amaze me how much creativity is flourishing among successful fitness professionals.

Keep it up!