Nutrition Throughout the Intake Process

intake process

It is your initial meeting with a potential member. What do you spend your time talking about? Most likely you ask them about their goals, get to know the person and present them with options to get them to their goal.

This first impression is a crucial step in setting the foundation for their long-term success at your Affiliate. If you promise them results, they will hold you to that. If they don’t see those results, they will walk away thinking you have failed them.

Because of this, the intake process is not one that should be taken lightly.

During the intake process, it is your responsibility to explain the role nutrition plays in their goals. If they walked in your door, they are already sold on fitness. They want to get in shape and understand that piece of the puzzle. What they don’t understand is how nutrition will ultimately be the deciding factor in their results.

Imagine this: A new member meets with you and decides to do a combination of personal training and group classes. They work out five day days a week and are spending $400 on training each month. They did not change their eating habits since they started, because they did not know they needed to. During month three, the scale starts to go up and their clothes are getting tighter. That new member will not stick around paying $400 a month when they are not seeing results.

Instead, the intake process for this client should have looked very different with a strong emphasis on nutrition.

Here is a sample breakdown:

  1. Ask the client what brought them in and their goals.
  2. Have the client outline a typical day, including eating and exercise.
  3. Ask the client to grade their nutrition from A to F.
  4. Discuss what has worked well for them in the past and what has not.
  5. Conduct a scan and discuss the results.
  6. Discuss your prescription to help them achieve their goals.

The topics above should be discussed through a series of questions where the client is doing most of the talking. This is where you learn the most about a client. For example, if they were successful with healthy eating in the past, was it a support-group style plan or did they track their food? Their responses will tell you exactly the type of plan they need.

Overall, about 40 percent of the questions you ask should be related to nutrition or have a nutrition component. Even goal-related and fitness questions can tie back to nutrition. If your fitness questions are not overlapping into nutrition, consider re-evaluating how you are asking your questions.

After the goal discussion, it is important to test biometrics for every client, even if they are not signing up for nutrition right away. For some, seeing the numbers on paper will encourage them to sign up. With those biometrics in hand, you can present the potential member with the various “CrossFit + Nutrition” hybrid options.

Discuss the hybrid options with the potential member, and as the expert, tell them what their best option will be to meet their goals. They are coming to you to tell them what it takes, so be honest about the process.

In working with Affiliates around the world, we have found owners and Coaches are afraid to present hybrid nutrition options because they just want the potential member to join the Affiliate or they don’t feel comfortable talking about nutrition. They are afraid that being honest about the process will lead to a lower sign-up rate.

While we understand that fear, ask yourself:

  • Do you want someone who is not fully committed to the process?
  • Do you want someone who doesn’t understand what it takes to get healthy?
  • Do you want someone who can pay for a month or two but will then leave?

If you answered no to these questions, then you shouldn’t be afraid to discuss nutrition from your first encounter.

While discussing nutrition in the intake process is vital to help your potential new clients achieve their goals, you want to make sure you have a solid nutrition program to offer before selling them on nutrition services.

​Nicole Aucoin is a registered dietitian and founder of Healthy Steps Nutrition, CrossFit HSN, and HSN Mentoring. ​HSN Mentoring i​ s the largest nutrition-business mentoring program in the world. Helping over 2,000 gym owners and Coaches worldwide, HSN provides a turn-key solution to gym owners looking to take their nutrition program and offerings to the next level. Nicole has a podcast, G​ row Your Nutrition Business Podcast​, where each week she interviews fellow thought leaders in the community and provides actionable steps to help you build your business. Healthy Steps Nutrition is releasing a new stand-alone nutrition coaching course, which is a C​rossFit Preferred Course​, Basics of Nutrition Coaching, on August 18.