­­Part Two: How the First Month Will Make or Break Your Box Business?

How are you connecting new members in your Box?Editor’s note: This is the second of a three-part blog series by Ben Isabella.

In part one, we visited how to handle the initial inquiry of a potential athlete. They had the chance to collaborate with you through email and in person. Your promptness in responding to their inquiry was much appreciated. Your thoroughness during the introduction session was informative, useful, empowering and left more to be desired.

Immediately after the introductory session, athletes are excited about the workouts to come. It is vital to discuss what the next steps are towards membership. If you are a Box that has an on-ramp/fundamentals program, then this is your time to get them to buy into the importance of a safe and progressive introduction to CrossFit.  If you do not have a solidified program, it may be time to examine whether your methods are empowering new athletes. Are your new members leaving confident, more knowledgeable, encouraged and injury free?

The crawl before you walk mentality holds true when talking about CrossFit and the movements we expect “normal” people to execute with proficiency. The introduction session is not only the venue to educate members about CrossFit, but it is a great time to discuss goals and engage them with questions that are beyond CrossFit. Learn a little bit about this individual’s life outside of fitness. CrossFit has this unique way of bringing people together beyond the sweat and bloody hands. People join CrossFit in hopes of looking like the athletes on TV, but they stick with CrossFit because of the bonds forged along the way.

A certain way of making sure they come back is to get them signed up before leaving. We know CrossFit will be perfect for them. Lead them to the contract without pushing the limits. The more laid back you are about them starting, the more time it will take for them to commit. There is no better time to sell your athletes on joining than now.

Follow up the introduction session with a text/email thanking them for coming regardless of the outcome. The content of this message will depend, however, on what the conclusion of the baseline was. If they are signed up and ready to go, provide them with an email detailing how to stay connected with the Box and what your website has to offer that will allow for a smooth transition. Whether that be a link to videos, movement standards, FAQs or the like, something needs to be sent so athletes can feel they are being provided with the information to be successful.

Up to this point, the potential member has received prompt emails to their inquiry that contain information regarding the introduction session, a thorough baseline session, personal connectedness and follow up emails/text messages. The athlete feels welcomed, excited and at ease after what has only been a few days of communication. Hopefully, the next two weeks are dedicated to acclimating this new athlete to CrossFit through an on-ramp program.

Your long-term success rate with this athlete and others like them will be determined within their first month. No doubt that there are members that leave because of other life reasons, but we do not want to lose a member within their first month because we did not take the proper steps. This shows that there is something fundamentally wrong, pun intended, with your on-ramp or fundamentals program. This program needs to be all encompassing. Athletes will fear entering the normal classes, but at the very least, they need to be well equipped.

Part III will detail the how in handling new athletes from foundations until the end of their first month.

In 2009, Ben Isabella received his C.S.C.S from the National Strength and Conditioning Association. As well as being a strength and conditioning specialist, bootcamp instructor, and CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, he is a physical education teacher at Sayreville High School. Keep up to date with current fitness and nutrition info by following him on Instagram @Ben_Isabella.