Yesterday was my birthday.

And, as birthdays go, it was a really good one. It was full of texts, calls, messages, etc. of wonderful people taking time out of their day to shower me with love. With every new wish, I found myself getting my tank filled just a little bit more. Every wish was special, but some wishes definitely stood out more than others. It was obvious these people put a little more thought into their words. They chose their words, carefully, to make me feel special and known. And, I have to say, it worked.

This got me thinking about how we run our businesses.

If asked today, would your members and staff say they are “known” by you?

Do you take purposeful time out of your day to enter into theirs? Do you recognize special days or events in their lives? Do you celebrate when they are celebrating?
The majority of gyms pride themselves on their “community feel”. But, what does that actually mean?
Does every member feel this community, or is it just a core crew that is really connected? Do you have special things in place that make people, all your members, feel like they belong to something greater and bigger than themselves?

In our annual survey, 691 of 866 respondents said what their members valued most is community.

More than coaches and their expertise, almost two times as much as programming, and six times as much as low membership fees. So, if this is so important to your members, what is your strategy for making sure good, true community is happening for every person who walks through your door?

There are four levels of engagement we can tap into when dealing with people who cross our path, whether it be our staff or members:

No engagement – Just let them find their own way. The “if we build it, they will come” mentality. Birthday? Have no idea when it even is. Not super common in the CrossFit world.

Automated engagement– Not personal at all, but the thought is there. In a world where way too much is automated, people want/hope for more. Let the CRM handle the birthday wishes, where everyone gets the same “CrossFit xyz wishes you a happy birthday”.

Personal engagement– You know everyone by name. You generally remember things that matter. Your birthday wish is hand-written, but it’s simply “Happy Birthday, Mary!”

Intimate engagement– Your door is always open. You are approachable. You remember details about important events. You take the time to tell individuals exactly why you appreciate them and make specific moves to invest in their success. Your birthday wish lists out the reasons why you are thankful they are on this planet and how their life makes a difference in yours.

Which level would you want if you were on the receiving end? I can tell you, the ones who gave me level 4 engagement yesterday were the ones who made the biggest difference in my day.

Where does your gym land in how you are engaging on a daily basis?

Sure, it’s a lot of work to constantly land in the levels of #3 and #4, but the investment of your time and care will pay dividends.

Here are a couple of examples of gym owners going the extra mile to create a place where folks belong:
Matt Scanlon’s CrossFit Memorial Hill’s has set up a system that has enabled his Joy Girl to create a Trainer/Member board where they have a featured athlete of the month and people can leave encouragement. Their people love it.

Ashley Bascu of CrossFit 317 has scheduled individual goal setting sessions with each of her members. It has given her one-on-one time to get to know each member a little bit better. Because she listens to their desires, needs and concerns, she is able to recommend additional specialty services- nutrition, skill session, Oly, etc. –  that can help them reach their goals. In her gym, they have a goals board and the individuals aren’t able to write their goals on it until they sit down for a session. A win-win for everyone.

We challenge you to use these examples to motivate your thinking of how you can create an even more engaging environment. People want to get fit, but what they really want is someone to notice and care. You have the unique privilege to be that person today in your staff and members lives.

The people who go the extra mile are the ones who are remembered.

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Join us at our next weekend business seminar in Kansas City, June 11/12, 2016 for weekend packed with advice to take your gym to the next level and reach your goals.

[divider line_type=”Full Width Line” custom_height=”40″][/vc_column_text][vc_column_text][divider line_type=”Full Width Line” custom_height=”30″]aboutusJulie

Article by: Julie Weldon | 321Go Brand Ambassador/Relationship Manager

Julie’s diverse background includes being a cake designer, coaching basketball, traveling to 13 different developing countries to do volunteer work on a year long trip, working in the not-for-profit world for 10 years, starting two businesses, working as a People & Change consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers, taking a product to market (and “failing”, only to get back up and do it a second time), and working as a business coach/consultant to small businesses.

Julie has found home in beautiful Charleston, SC. She gets super fired up when helping individuals and small businesses take their success to the next level, and when she gets to hear people’s stories. In her free time, she can be found in the boat or on the beach, hanging out with her Golden Retriever, dreaming up another business idea with her partner, Stacey, or geeking out on yet another leadership book.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]