I told my wife quite some time ago that sometimes I would rather not tell people I meet that I own a gym or that I’m a trainer because it completely changes the conversations I have. I find that people want to talk way more about my job in health and fitness than they do the accountant or the sales rep next to me. They also immediately assume I only drink water and eat chicken, rice, and broccoli all day, everyday. A couple of months ago I was out with my wife and we ended up running into some old friends. These friends had friends, and of course, the fact that I owned a gym came up. And again, the assumptions and questions began. As I was having a conversation with one of these new acquaintances, they asked me if I would come to their house and train them. I simply said, “we don’t do that.” They countered with a clarification about how much money they would be willing to pay me to do so, and my reply was still, “we don’t do that, but we would be happy to train you at our facility if you would be interested in pursuing that.” Again, they addressed how much money they had to pay me for this service with the assumption that maybe I didn’t catch that before. At that point, I had a nice internal chuckle and found a way out of that conversation and moved on with my evening.
Now this person had no clue about the business I ran, my core values, or my mission. They weren’t trying to offend me or my business. They just assumed that like many others in this world, everyone has a price, and any customer is better than no customer at all.
I tell you this little story above because a similar concept was assumed after our first COVID lockdown. First of all, let me just state, this pandemic has changed mine and my family’s lives, my business, and my clients’ lives forever. And I, like many others, didn’t foresee this coming nor had much control over the impact it would make on our world. Our business had to make some major adjustments just to stay “open” during a nationwide shutdown and even more so to survive the last two years. Just like many others, we have had to make very difficult decisions that we never planned on having to make. But all in all, I believe we have made the best out of a pretty tough situation.
Now, back to my point.
After the first few months of COVID lockdown a question started to get asked of me. “Would you just sell me your programming for cheaper and then I’ll just do the workouts on my own?” This has continued to be asked for the last 18 months by people who no longer desired or had the ability to attend the gym due to various reasons or changes after the pandemic. Much like my answer to my “new friend” above about in home training, I simply have answered, “We don’t do that”. This answer was a little harder to deliver though because these were my current clients. I had relationships with these people. And in my business, relationships are important.
Relationships are the key ingredient to what we do. It’s why we don’t sell programming, we sell coaching.
Because programming is just a workout, coaching is a relationship.
Programming doesn’t talk back to you.
You can’t text your programming to tell it you operated on patients until midnight the day before and you’re exhausted and might need to take that into consideration during your session today.
You can’t ask your programming to tell you what to do because your knee hurts today for no apparent reason other than you got out of bed. (if you’re over 30, I know you’ve been there)
Programming isn’t personal and that’s why we don’t do it.
Whether you participate in our group classes, personal training, nutrition coaching, or one of our online coaching programs, what we offer will always revolve around a personal relationship.
It’s why I sit down with EVERY new person who wants to join our gym. Joining our gym starts with a personal conversation. We want to know how we can help you, and if we’re the right fit, design a plan to do so.
It’s also why we do quarterly check-ins with all of our clients. As their personal goals change, we adjust their plan to fit. These are some of my most favorite conversations because I hear about all the successes these clients are having both in and out of the gym, and we get to make a plan together for the next challenge they’re facing.
Our mission is to help our people live better lives through better health and fitness. We believe we accomplish that mission best through personal coaching relationships, not programming.
While the pandemic has made us evaluate how we do business, what programs and offerings we provide, and who we serve, it’s also taught us to lean on our core values as an organization and our overall mission to guide us.
If you’re someone who just wants a workout, there are some great “programming” companies out there who provide just that. But if you’re someone who wants more than a workout and more from your fitness, I’d love the opportunity to build a relationship with you so we can know how to COACH you.
Stay healthy my friends,