At Stratum Fitness, it begins with getting to know the client.
Blake Bender, a co-owner of the Box in Solana Beach, California, explained each new member that walks into the gym is put through an intro consultation. “I think first and foremost the consultation is a means for us to ensure that the service that we provide and that the relationship we create with our clientele is consistent with wanting to make sure it’s based on a relationship,” said Bender.
When a new client walks in, they will sit down for a 15 to 20 minute discussion. Bender explained they talk about the member and what Stratum Fitness’ program entails. He looks to find the answer to several questions, including what their lifestyle looks like, who they are as a person, what motivated them to come in to the Box today, why the gym is a good fit, etc.
“At the end of the day, we are a business and we want to make sure that the problems they have in their lives — our service is here to help them solve some of those problems, at least on the health and fitness side of things — and so we want to make sure we know why it is that they are motivated to work with us,” said Bender.
After posing his questions, Bender will give a tour of the facility, including a look at equipment new members have probably never seen before. And then he will put them through an abbreviated training session.
Bender said his goal is to assess more than anything else. He hopes to gain a general sense of how the client responds to training, like are they aware of their fitness level or are they apprehensive about CrossFit. It’s kept easy and light, all surrounding the goal of further building the foundations of a relationship with the client.
In terms of the overall impact of the intro session, Bender said having a consultation with all new clients outperforms any other method Stratum Fitness has tried in keeping prospective members. He explained it’s a chance for a potential client to be educated on the value of the Box. “From a business perspective, without a doubt for us it’s been much more effective, as far as getting that prospective individual to sign up for a fundamentals program or sign up for a group training membership,” said Bender.
After the intro consultation and a confirmation the member is ready to begin, Bender will get them going with one-on-one programming. It’s been through this process that some of the best relationships of the business have come.
More than anything, however, Bender said an intro session takes a step in the right direction of building lasting relationships. “It can be a very powerful tool, because it’s a really good opportunity to connect with your clients in a way that you simply can’t if you’re trying to cater to the needs of an entire class at the same time,” said Bender.