If you do CrossFit, you talk about CrossFit. Probably more than your family or friends would like.
Adam Eidson, the co-Affiliate of CrossFit RARE in Fredericksburg, Virginia, decided those family and friends should be given an opportunity to jump on the CrossFit bandwagon as well.
Once a quarter, CrossFit RARE hosts a Bring a Friend day, where current members can invite a friend to try a CrossFit workout with them. He’s found that these days not only turned into more memberships, but it empowers the guests to try a test of fitness.
Eric Connor, the Affiliate of CrossFit Reform in Santa Margarita, California, explained his gym has always been “insanely anal on quality of movement,” so having members bring a friend on days with Olympic lifts was not working. He started monthly Bring a Friend days, usually holding them on the Thursday before his Box’s on-ramp class starts.
“Obviously people who are doing CrossFit want their friends to do it because they talk about it all the time,” said Connor.
The keys, he said, are to let members know ahead of time when the day is, and to have the day around the same time each month. “They commit to it if you have a specific day or time or something for something like that, other than just kind of open-ended,” said Connor. If the guest can’t make it one month, they know to keep the third Thursday of the next month open.
Because Bring a Friend days can bring in more members than a typical WOD, Eidson not only asks more Coaches to come to the workout, but he also employs the members as ambassadors of their own guest. “If you were to bring a friend into our place, you’d be their ambassador. It’s not like hand-holding, but you’re there with them the whole time,” explained Eidson. The Coaches wear Coach’s shirts, setting them apart from general members in case guests have questions.
Both Affiliates typically program partner WODs for Bring a Friend days and steer away from complicated movements. But in no way, explained Connor, does that mean the workout is easy.
“Originally when we brought up the idea of Bring a Friend day, some members were kind of stoked on it and then other members were kind of [like] ‘Ehh, just an easy day at the gym.’ No, it’s still a workout. We’re just not Snatching today or we’re not doing crazy, super high complex things,” said Connor. “It’s still a really challenging. It’s a normal class. It’s just not highly skilled.”
After the class is finished, Connor will mention the upcoming on-ramp, but he doesn’t try to sell it to the guest.
Eidson, however, covers three points of contact with the guests. Before they leave, he or his Coaches will ask each guest how their experience was. The following day, they’ll call or send an email inviting them to ask any follow-up questions. A few days later, he or his Coaches will call again. “Some convert, some don’t. And if not, we keep them in our database and at some point down the road, if we ever have a seminar or an event, we send them out an email. And if they decide to unsubscribe, it’s fine,” said Eidson.
While Bring a Friend day is not the main source of revenue for either Box, each year both Affiliates have experienced 10 to 15 members joining because of the class.
“So, we try to actually celebrate it. Not just, ‘Hey, bring your friend in,’” said Eidson. “We want to celebrate that and empower those people.”