Sharing Local Stories With Your Clients

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I don’t know Albert, a fifty-two-year-old marketing specialist and father of two, but I know he lost fifty pounds at my gym. How do I know? The gym posted a video on Facebook of him telling his story. Last month there was one of Maria, a stay-at-home mother of three who faced dangerous health conditions because of obesity. She hadn’t yet lost much weight, but she talked about her commitment to doing so. And recently, in a blog on the gym’s website, there was a first-person narrative by a twenty-five-year-old man who was confined to a wheelchair for eight months because of a car accident. When he was finally able to walk again, he realized that he’d gained thirty pounds while wheelchair-bound. Even though using his legs was still difficult and painful, he set a goal of losing a pound a week, and, taking it slowly and steadily, he’d already lost ten.

Now, I’m not the type of person who randomly clicks on website links and reads strangers’ stories. I never follow the path to those articles with headlines like, “How Did This Middle-Aged Mom Lose Fifteen Pounds in Two Weeks?” or “Amazing Story of Determination and Success!” But I do follow my gym on Facebook, and when I see that the gym has posted stories about fellow members, I happily read those stories. There’s something about the fearlessness of ordinary people describing their struggles, triumphs, and failures to others — and not just any ordinary people, but ordinary people who do the same things I do, who have similar goals, who maybe even live in my neighborhood.

We’re hardwired to pay attention to stories that are local. It starts in childhood: When you tuck your kids in at night and they ask you for an adventure story, they’re not looking for Lord of the Rings — they want a tale that stars them and their friends, one that takes place in their own backyards. And they want those stories — need them, really — because the stories teach them what is possible in their own small worlds; they teach them what they are capable of achieving. It’s the same for grown-ups. We need stories that come from close to home to show us what we can do. If Albert and Maria and the twenty-five-year-old go to my gym and they can do it, then I’m much more likely to believe that I can do it myself.

Are you sharing local stories with your clients? Are you letting them inspire each other to push themselves further, to hold on to their gym memberships even if they’re tempted to quit, to transform themselves through what your facility has to offer? If not, it’s time. Social media makes it easy, whether you blog, email, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, or do something else. Talk to your members about their stories; ask them to share; post those stories widely, and trust that they’ll reach the people who need to be reached.

I should add that I saw Albert at the gym the other day. He was on the elliptical next to mine. I recognized him from the video.

Finding Inspiration to Achieve Your Goals

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I recently set a goal for myself: an hour of yoga everyday. It sounds achievable enough, but with work, child-rearing, and millions of other demands on my time (okay, maybe only thousands. Hundreds? Dozens? I don’t know, but it all seems like too much), I’ve failed miserably. I always seem to find some convincing excuse not to do it.

Then I heard about Augie Nieto. Of course, Nieto is a big name in this industry, well known as the chairman of the board of Octane Fitness and the founder of the fitness equipment company Life Fitness — and as a man who, eight years ago, at the age of 47, was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Lou Gehrig’s is a devastating illness. Causing damage to motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord, it shrinks muscles and renders them weak, gradually leading to total, or near total, paralysis. About half of people with the illness die within three years of being diagnosed; 20 percent die within five years. It’s worth noting, though, that Stephen Hawking, the most prominent sufferer of the disease, has lived with it for fifty years.

It looks like Nieto is following in Hawking’s footsteps. He set a goal to last for a long time. And not only to last, but also to help find a cure for Lou Gehrig’s disease — and to keep himself as fit as possible. Thus, even though he uses a wheelchair, relies on a breathing machine, and is unable to speak, Nieto regularly works out. (This in addition to making appearances at events like the IHRSA International Convention and Trade Show, where a benefit event drew 700 people and raised money for Augie’s Quest, the nonprofit research foundation Nieto founded with the Muscular Dystrophy Association.)

How does he work out? Last year, he began training on a custom-made Life Fitness leg press machine. Now, every other day, he performs three sets of 20 reps at 120 pounds on the machine. He also uses a custom xRide bike from Octane Fitness. With it, a motor moves leg and arm pedals to get him started, but he eventually overpowers the motor and pushes the pedals himself. (At the IHRSA convention, he did so in front of a large crowd at Octane’s exhibit booth — for twenty minutes!)

Did I mention that Nieto’s foundation has raised $37 million dollars for research into cures for Lou Gehrig’s disease? And that, since his diagnosis, he’s written two books? Suffice it to say that Nieto is an inspiration, and not only for those of us who are lucky enough to have relatively good health and yet still find excuses not to do yoga everyday, or not to meet other goals we might set for ourselves. He is a man whose determination to achieve his goals never ceases, and who therefore, simply put, achieves them.

So what are your goals, personally or for your gym or fitness facility? What are your excuses for not achieving them? I’ll leave you ponder the answers to those questions while I go unroll my yoga mat….

Using Member Triumphs to Boost Your Success

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As many of our clients may have noticed, we’ve been doing a big push around securing testimonials and success stories from our customers. There’s really no better way of showing potential clients that we provide an excellent product than having a happy client say it!

That being said, we’re going to pass along some tips on how to get the right testimonials from your members for your club or facility. One or two sentences from a satisfied member can go a long way to improving your company’s image.

  • Reach out to members that have gone out of their way to give you a compliment in the past. The likelihood of them being open to giving you a positive review is high and therefore should be taken advantage of.
  • Ask members to use different resources to give comments or reviews. A few examples can include your company Facebook page, Google reviews, or industry sources. These are areas where potential members will be looking to see what others are saying about your club or facility. Set up your member so that they can easily find whatever resource you want them to post a review on. For example, if there is a specific industry source that you would like for them to comment on, send them the link in the email for quick and easy access.
  • Make extra use of these same testimonials by placing them in their own section on your company website; the first place people will look to get information. By finding testimonials and success stories easily on your website, potential clients will have little reason to look for them elsewhere.
  • Finally, go the extra mile to get a video testimonial. Maybe you’ve helped a member achieve their goal or attain a noteworthy result, take advantage of their hard work and your own hard work by asking them to do a video of their story. Your management software should allow you to keep track of member results; access them for reference in determining who may be a good fit for a success story. This will give you great content to put on your website or should you have it, your YouTube channel.

The process of searching for the right members for customer testimonials should be easy if your club or facility is in good running order. Starting off with those that have come to you and let you know that they love what you’ve done for them is the simplest. From there it should be easy to reach out to them with a quick email.
Thanks for reading and come back soon for more tips and ideas!

Customer Success Story: Gold’s Gym of Regina

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Skye Kaiss, owner of two Gold’s Gym locations in Regina, Saskatchewan and an EZFacility customer, spoke with EZFacility about the success he has had using EZFacility management software to streamline his personal training program, increase client & staff retention while generating savings of over $8OK/year.
Over the last few years, Gold’s Gym in Regina has been actively selling $200,000 of personal training between its two locations on a monthly basis. Members could choose to pay for the personal training in full, or take advantage of a multi-level financing plan offered by the club. With plan lengths of three, six and twelve months, members were provided with purchase flexibility while taking steps towards achieving better health.
Of the $2.4 million in annual personal training sales, 75% were purchased using one of the available financing packages. Of these financed annual sales, 15% were never used and the payments were subsequently defaulted on by the member. Since Gold’s Gym paid out commissions on these sales in the payroll period immediately following the sale, they were experiencing an overall loss of revenue due to the fact that commissions were paid in-full on these sales once completed. Initially, Gold’s attempted to institute a policy of taking back commissions on defaulted sales, but this was not a popular policy with the sales staff in the least.


Although not using the full power of EZFacility, the Regina Gold’s Gym locations did implement EZFacility to manage the Personal Training program in both locations from a scheduling and session-management stand-point. Utilizing the feature-rich EZFacility architecture, Skye was able to institute a policy where salesperson and trainer commissions would be paid out as each session was conducted and completed. As each session was logged as completed in the software, both the salesperson and the personal trainer would receive a commission for that session. If the personal trainer was also the salesperson then they would receive two commissions.


Initially, the most noticeable benefit is a savings of 10% in payroll expenditures on a monthly basis due to linking the payment of commissions directly to session’s completion. And while this did not immediately eliminate the fact that 10-15% of sessions get paid for but never used (which usually results in those members not renewing their membership or referring family, friends or colleagues to the gym), it did offer a significant customer service benefit. As a result of the salesperson and personal trainer only receiving commissions based on sessions completed, both began to maintain contact with the members to provide support and encouragement to keep the member committed to the training plan. Additionally, as the salespeople were accumulating a bank of as yet unused sessions, the attrition rate of sales staff was also reduced as the unused sessions represented unrealized commissions that kept them tied to the club for a longer period.
Combining all three benefits, Skye Kaiss and his Gold’s Gym facilities realized an estimated savings of $70-80K annually between both clubs, based on an estimated $1 million annual operational revenue from personal training services.

Listen to the full interview:

How to Succeed with EZFacility

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We know time is tight and your goal is to see the benefits of EZFacility right away. So here are a few best practices to help accelerate your company’s success.
Even before you login, you will want to focus on 3 key areas:

  1. Identifying a business champion
  2. Defining clear goals to start with
  3. Committing to good habits in alignment with these goals

Let’s explore each of these, and see where to lean more:

Identifying a business champion

A champion can be anyone in your business – and since your’re reading this, it might be you. As a champion, you will help your company adopt EZFacility successfully. You don’t need strong technical skills; you just need to be able to communicate effectively. You will need to communicate with management to understand their needs, communicate with staff to show how EZFacility will help them, and communicate about the quick wins you achieve once you start using EZFacility daily. Celebrating these quick wins is a great way to help everyone in your organization see the benefits of this amazing new system.

Defining clear goals right from the start

While EZFacility offers hundreds of features, our most successful customers start with a simple goal – such as increasing customer service or reducing phone calls using Online Registrations. Trying to solve every challenge at once can lead to being overwhelmed and slowing down your implementation. So start by writing down your top 1 or 2 key business goals.

You then need to create a simple process map, as it is very helpful to define this before you begin using and customizing EZFacility. If for example, your goal is a decrease in phone calls, you will want to map out the process that will get you there.

Once you define your process, it becomes easy to customize EZFacility to help you achieve those goals. After EZFacility helps you reach your initial goal, you will be able to implement more sophisticated processes that save time, money, increase sales, and create happier customers.

EZFacility allows you grow over time, versus having to solve everything up front. So simply repeat the steps of setting a goal, defining your process, and then building the solution – and you’ll continue to celebrate quick wins regularly.

Committing to good habits in alignment with these goals

As you grow, you’ll want to make sure your staff enters their info consistently in the system and keeps it up to date as well. EZFacility helps keep track of the day-to-day elements that are important to your business, and the quality of this information is critical to a successful program. Good habits begin when all your users agree to the terms that are used to describe your process. Be sure to train your staff, not only on how to use EZFacility, but also on your pre-defined process and terminology.

Integrating EZFacility into day-to-day operations using scheduling, billing, and customer management is a great way to keep information up to date. The more staff that “live” inside of EZFacility, the more it becomes a trusted source of “go to” information. To help everyone see the importance of keeping your information up to date, run your departmental and company meetings based on EZFacility reports and dashboards. For example, a weekly sales review can run like clockwork if your sales managers used the Revenue report from within the system. Our most successful customers remember this maxim – “If it isn’t in EZFacility, it doesn’t exist”.

Ensuring your success

We are committed to ensuring your success, so we make it easy to find the resources that will help you succeed. The single place to go whenever you are trying something new is Here, you will find how-to videos, user guides, F.A.Q’s., best practices and more. And don’t forget, you can always search our entire knowledge base and reach-out to our support team by clicking the Help & Training link located at the top of the page directly within your EZFacility system.
Thank you for choosing EZFacility! We hope this overview will accelerate your success with our system.
Check back often for best practices and new ideas.