Commitment Starts with Trust


Building trust within your community is important when it comes to creating a successful business. It is easy to set up booths at local 5Ks or reach out to the fitness community, but how can you build that trust with the rest of the community not involved in fitness? Is there a way to reach out to them other than general marketing?

Carol Beliveau and Jesse Hilmandolar, the co-owners of Trebel Wellness in Blacksburg, Virginia, have found one way to answer these questions. They reach out to employers of athletes at the gym and community organizations not involved in fitness to see if they would be interested in setting up a seminar on learning what CrossFit is and what exactly they do.

“We might have a business owner training with us, and they will ask how we can bring our message to their employees and potentially their family members,” said Hilmandolar. “We will do a 30 to 45-minute session, letting people ask questions or make comments. It’s going to give you a bit more credibility than just us sitting behind a desk hoping someone walks in the door.”

Sometimes the seminars or workshops will lead into an introductory CrossFit course where Beliveau and Hilmandolar will lead participants through a few movements. They also are open to incorporating CrossFit into more specific needs to reach different populations.

Beliveau used a recent occurrence of this as an example. Trebel Wellness was invited to come to a university’s garden area to teach retirees the proper techniques needed in order to squat and pull weeds, push wheelbarrows, move heavy equipment, and other gardening techniques.

“If you can get a retiree to learn how to squat down and understand the mechanics rather than bending at the waist and lifting, it’s a success,” said Beliveau. “From there, we had about two or three people interested in our training that had no idea we did that sort of thing.”

Sometimes all it takes is a conversation and examples of how CrossFit can be used in everyday tasks in order to convince someone to join. Hilmandolar explained they have found that trust is a better teacher than even a fundamentals course in terms of longevity.

“The best way to teach doesn’t have to be a super structured thing,” said Hilmandolar. “It can be organic and just start with building trust with clients so they get to know you. Developing that trust starts before you even create that beginner workshop or seminar is so important.”

Kaitlyn is a staff writer for Peake Media. Contact her at