How to Keep Your Clients Beyond New Year’s Resolutions
By Stella Hartmann
The rate of interest in health and wellness continues to rise on the list of New Year’s resolutions. In fact, in 2017, the most common New Year’s resolution was fitness-related, as revealed by a study by the Statistic Brain Research Institute which showed that around 50 million Americans wanted to increase activity and lose weight.
Most business owners in the fitness and/or wellness industry know that there is a specific spike of traffic when a new year starts. Motivation is strong, eyes are bright and determined, people are ready with headphones pumping to work toward healthier lifestyles. It goes without saying: this is a huge opportunity to lock in recurring clientele.
Small numbers, big opportunity
The optimal time to lock in this clientele is now, during the new year. Why? Because the reality behind how long people commit to their resolutions is abysmal. Only 8% of Americans keep their resolutions and other 92% start to drop off in February.
While those drop-off numbers may be disappointing, don’t let them discourage you. If you take a look at what is currently the fastest-growing fitness franchise in the world, they work off of three key components: the physical, the intellectual, and the emotional. Leveraging the holiday season is an easy way to get a positive advantage on the emotional aspect and is arguably the best time of year to do so.
Powerful branding leads to powerful impacts
Get potential clients to ask themselves the following:
- Do they have the desire to invest in themselves?
- Are they feeling that there is room for improvement?
- How are they looking out for themselves in the future?
Train your staff on how to communicate with those future customers so that they can draw out their emotional motivation. Frame your marketing efforts around those very human components so that there is authenticity in your message. If your overall brand messaging can do that, you’ll be much more likely to initiate a response.
Once you’ve been able to get individuals to emotionally respond to your brand, the next step is to engage them by adhering to their intellectualism. Anyone can step into a fitness facility, but if they are not mentally stimulated, what is going to compel them to come back? Mental preparation is half the battle here, and your business needs to be able to support that for these fitness seekers. What is your business offering that is keeping your brand in their mind? What do you bring to the table that will make them think to come back?
At Peerfit, we have the unique position to hear what both fitness locations and our users want and we do our best to adhere to those needs. Personally, I’ve witnessed numerous examples of users who are new clients to a location and reach out to share with us their great first experiences with our partners. I can tell you that one easy place to start is through social interaction, whether that be through competition or through other forms of social engagement.
Leverage social engagement
When it comes to social engagement, platforms like ours are built on the crux of community. Building a sense of community is something that, in our experience of talking to thousands of facilities, is a very common struggle for business owners. The beauty about working with a corporate wellness program like ours is that we bring the community aspect to you by consistently getting our users to share in their wellness experience together.
Another way to go about social engagement is through competition. In 2016, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania found that contests showed higher participation rates than individual efforts. In an 11-week study of nearly 800 people, the individuals motivated by competitive classes exercised 90% more than those sweating it out alone.
The ironic thing about all of this is that the physical aspect comes last when it comes to holding client retention. This is not always where owners keep their focus. However, the physical aspect is going to be where the results show for the client and what your facility is already equipped for, so use what you have and keep it fun! Small details make a big difference. A 2016 study showed that when compared to a “no fun” control group, people in the alternative group who were smiling and laughing during their exercises were more likely to stick with their exercise program.
Also, take advantage of your surroundings. A change of scenery is another great way to challenge a workout and provide a new experience to clients. Put in an outdoor exercise category under your “Services and Pricing” section and schedule a class that takes your clients out the door, but of course with the ultimate intention of bringing them back in again (and again).
Drawing potential clients to your brand, keeping them stimulated, getting them physically active and getting them to stay are the end goals here and it should be an effort that spans year round in order to avoid the dreaded February slump.