This is part 2 of a two-part case study with the executive team at OPEX Fitness. In the first part, James Fitzgerald, OPEX Fitness founder, discussed his assessment-focused approach to coaching and how InBody became a tool that helps him achieve that. In this case study, Crowell expands on why he recommends InBody to his licensees and shared strategies that have helped them convert, retain, and delight their clients.
It’s a common story for many owners: you are sick of your dead-end job and decide to turn your passion into a business by opening your own facility. The place has just the bare essentials and only offers group training classes. But the model works. You aren’t rich, but you’re able to keep the lights on.
This may have been good enough before, but things are rapidly evolving in the group fitness space. Today, there is more competition than ever. Your core offering may have been enough to get people through the door, but it’s getting harder and harder to get them to stay. Remember how easy it was to open your own facility? Now there are three similar facilities that opened on your street.
Most owners start their facility because they want to coach–not necessarily because they think it is a great business opportunity. But to keep doing that, owners must rethink their business model in a changing industry. That’s why OPEX Fitness started their coaching education platform and facility licensing program. Their mission is to become the go-to resource for fitness coaching and business education. They want to help the owner/coach who has a strong passion for coaching but may not have all the necessary skills and knowledge. As part of their program, coaches can learn or improve the skills they need to successfully run a facility, from consultation and program design to marketing and business strategies.
Jim Crowell, CEO of OPEX Fitness, personally mentors individuals in the business of coaching and gives them the framework to build a fulfilling, successful career. Coaching is the foundation for any successful facility, but Crowell understands that it can be difficult to communicate that value. That is why he recommends that licensees incorporate InBody to provide validation to their programming and coaching.
“We are really excited about how we use the InBody with our licensees because it allows them to actually take a piece of tangible material, a piece of paper and give it to a potential client, or one of their own clients and say, ‘This is where you are.'”
That starting point helps a coach turn a potential lead into a long-term client.
A Conversation Starter
If you ask a coach about the benefits of a clean and press, he or she will have no issues convincing you to incorporate this workout into your routine. But ask a coach for their elevator pitch on why you should sign up for membership, and they may come off a little bit awkward.
“For coaches who aren’t natural salespeople, InBody is really beneficial because it helps them start the conversation, and they are great once they have conversations about health and wellness.”
InBody has been such a great recruitment tool that some of Crowell’s licensees have taken their InBody out to the community. They find that once they can get one person testing on the device, it starts attracting other’s people attention and creates a crowd.
Crowell shares a story about Carl, a licensee, who took his InBody out with his team to a local organic supermarket and an athletic apparel store. Just in a couple of hours, they were able to get more than 20 consultation requests. Of those 20 clients, they were able to close 10 memberships. This success wasn’t unique to just Carl. Crowell has seen multiple licensees achieve the same success with this strategy.
They found that their InBody device dramatically helps coaches because the coaches don’t have to “sell”. They can just have a conversation about a potential client’s unique needs based on what the coach sees on the InBody Result Sheet. The conversation will then organically flow to what the coach can do for that client and what the client’s next step should be – whether it be a follow-up phone call or hopefully coming in and touring the facility.
Trust and Credibility Create Retention
Once the coaches get their clients in the facility, the coaches can then begin to work their specialty. Following OPEX’s methodology, coaches can show clients how they can design an individualized program that encompasses both fitness and nutrition.
During the program, coaches continually monitor and track client progress to show improvement through body composition data, not opinion. The ability to give tangible data regarding a person’s health is what really helps OPEX Fitness and their licensees stand out from other facilities.
Sample InBody 570 Result Sheet of an overweight individual
The other benefit is that a fitness record is formed, and it helps coaches spot factors that may be impeding progress, in and out of the gym. For even the most committed fitness clients, the amount of time spent outside the gym is ten times more than time spent in the gym. To ignore how life may affect fitness is to ignore a significant factor when it comes to program design. For example, say a client is going through a very stressful six-month period. With regular testing, the client and coach can actually see the impact that stress had on their body composition. The coach can then make adjustments to respond to that stress and help the client get back on the path to reaching their fitness goals.
“This is a tool that actually gives them more credibility with each of their clients, which actually helps the longevity of retention. It’s a great tool from an ongoing basis”
Deliver More Value, Receive More Revenue
Building trust and credibility and go hand-in-hand with InBody testing. Every individual’s body responds differently. Clients can see that the program you designed for them is improving their body composition (even if they can see it visually) and understand how their body responds to different programs. Together, coach and client can start exploring new areas to improve and set new goals.
“From a marketing standpoint, that’s invaluable to a coach because all of a sudden, you take all of the emotion out of it and you give somebody truth. When people start to get aware about where they really are, they are much more willing to have a conversation about how they might be able to improve.”
In the beginning, the focus may have been generic like losing body fat or gaining more muscle mass. As the relationship grows, the conversation can grow more advanced into improving structural balance, expanding mobility, and increasing work capacity,
Each licensee may use the InBody slightly differently, but in general, Crowell wants coaches to use the device to deliver more value to their clients and ultimately generate more revenue.
“What we want is quality in coaching and longevity in the coaches in these facilities… Essentially, at the end of the day, we want the coach, the client and the owner to win. That’s the mantra of the entire program.”
Truth in Measurement is the Recipe for a Successful Business
Whether its program design or client retention, the overall philosophy for OPEX Fitness is truth in measurement. Accurate measurements create accountability for the owner, coach, and client. Coaches receive the feedback they need to adjust a program to make sure clients are always trending in the right direction. Clients receive that constant touchpoint so they leave confident after every session that the work and effort they are putting in is translating to results.
While measurement can be a positive tool, Crowell knows that it’s easy for clients to become obsessed with numbers. It’s the coaches job’s to make sure that the client doesn’t stress themselves out and become overwhelmed. When an owner can create an environment where individuals can use body composition measurements like InBody results to positively impact their lives both in and outside the facility is when you have the recipe for a successful, long-lasting business.
“InBody is a tool that allows that consistent truth for those clients who ultimately want to live more successful lives, in and outside of the gym. Once clients get into that sweet spot, it’s about maintenance and finding other goals that they can enjoy just as much as the health and wellness markers. That, to me, is real coaching.”