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O.K. the results are in.

 

From our survey, you let me know what’s important to you and your weight-management program.

 

Plus, I interviewed several weight-management administrators in both fitness and medical to help me understand specific challenges.

 

The two biggest issues that affect you are the same two issues that have affected weight-management programs in the fitness industry for more than 25 years!  (Yikes…! I’ve been doing this a long time)!

 

So let’s talk about them just a little….

 

#1.) How to promote and attract members and non-members to my weight-management program:

 

The highest priority for respondents (37.9%) is marketing, promotion and how to get people signed-up.  There’s no surprise here since this is what represents “money” and increased revenue.

 

Interestingly, this challenge is also the easiest to address and solve.  As with all things “marketing” it takes some upfront work and planning.  And quite frankly, this is where most fitness professionals fall down.

 

Whether you are a club owner or a one-man studio, your day is so busy multi-tasking between members, clients, staff, running the business, equipment, getting new business… it’s crazy... And, that’s even with a system in place!

 

Look, I “get it.” 

 

But here’s a little secret — that none of the fitness marketing gurus ever talk about.  With a weight-management program, you only need to sit down and create a comprehensive marketing plan once.  From then on, you can use the exact same marketing template over again. Month after month…. year after year… and you’ll have a huge enrollment every single time. 

 

Here’s why….

 

Weight-management never goes away.  It has more longevity than a stationary bike.  It is more predictable than your next lease payment.  And if we’re talking cash flow, weight-management is far more sexy than your next Zumba class!    Seriously… weight-management is “never-ending.”  In fact, it’s still growing as consumers are constantly seeking out credible weight-management programs.

 

#2.) How to keep participants motivated for 8 to 12 weeks of the program:

 

Based on most of my phone calls, I thought this would be the highest priority.  Nonetheless, 29.3% of you see this as your biggest challenge.   You’re right. It’s a HUGE CHALLENGE— especially the 12-week programs.

 

Three months is a long time to keep someone motivated. 

 

And, if people become demotivated… they do not blame themselves.  

 

They blame the program.  Or the person running the program.  Or the club.  Or anybody or anything other than themselves.  

 

To be fair they are partly correct.

 

Half of the people who become demotivated were not ready to enroll in the first place.  The other half didn’t really think they’d actually have to work out or modify their eating behavior. 

 

They were under the impression that you would wave the “magic wand” and wonderful things would just happen…!   Sounds familiar… right?

 

Client motivation is a two-part proposition. 

 

First, is qualifying the client.  I have a whole list of qualifying questions I would ask a potential client before “allowing” him or her to enroll in a comprehensive weight-management class or program. 

 

But, after weeding through the “wannabes” you’ll end up with a highly qualified and highly motivated group.  As a result, you’ll find it is the most exciting program you’ll ever run.  And, the enthusiasm will spread throughout your facility.

 

Second is understanding your own role. 

 

YOU ARE NOT A SHRINK! 

 

Way too many fitness pros get caught in the “touchy-feely” trap where clients simply use the time to vent and unload all their negative feelings

 

It’s your job to ensure that this does NOT happen.  Your program is not the time or place for this conversation.  And your clients need to know this up front!   (Hint:  Smart fit pros maintain a list of therapists with whom they cross refer clients).

 

Your job is that of a COACH!  More specifically, you should liken yourself to the type of coach who can convince a team that it can WIN… even though “the ball” is on its own 20 yard line, down by 6 points, a minute left in the game. 

 

Yes..  they can absolutely WIN!  And, as a coach, you have the winning game plan!  It is the job of your participants to “execute!”  Your role is that of a Coach/Teacher/Motivator.  

 

You will be absolutely amazed at the results at just these basics.  There are dozens of ways to keep participants motivated through incentives, recognition, validation, contests and even a graduation ceremony! 

 

 3.) How to simultaneously run several different programs at different price points:

I get no  greater pleasure than to see the light bulb “click on” when a fitness partner realizes how easy it is to create 6 to 8 different weight-management programs at different price points.   It’s way beyond “good-better-best.”

 

A multiple price-point strategy allows you to offer a weight-management program for every motivated member or clientregardless of their budget.

 

For example, several of my exclusive fitness marketing clients run an 8-week nutrition ONLY program for $149.  It includes a 1-hour initial evaluation with 7 follow-up sessions of 15-minutes each –  for a total of 2.75 hours.  Then, they add a 3-pack of personal training to raise the price point to the next level.  Then, a six-pack and a 12-pack and so on.

 

Another strategy is group classroom sessions.  Some with additional training packages.   Some without training.    And, that’s just the beginning.  It’s really unlimited.

 

4.) How to efficiently use the tools:

 

Well, of course, I’m going to promote our own web-based educational tools.  I know… it’s a shameless pitch! 

 

But, we’re really proud of them and grateful to the advanced health and fitness professionals who use  ONBOARD 101, including professional sports teams, prestigious medical facilities, colleges and, of course, some of the top fitness professionals in the world — maybe you! 

 

Meanwhile…I hope you find these few bits of information to be useful.