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2010 Resolution: Gaining and Keeping New Clients After the New Year’s Resolutions Fade

by Portia Page
As seen in the Winter 2010 Balanced Pilates COREterly

The New Year is the perfect time to bring new members to the Pilates studio in a club, or retain current ones. With the New Year comes the desire to start over and become that wonderful, productive, healthy, happy person we’ve always wanted to be. The trouble is, the enthusiasm to make changes, especially with exercise, tends to fade once we realize we can’t change overnight. So how do you bring in new members and maintain your current ones past the “resolution phase” of the New Year and into the rest of the year?

Sell the Benefits of Pilates

In order to attract them and keep them coming to studio, a club needs to develop relationships with new members (addressing their attitudes), and establish patterns to ultimately retain them (offering real-life values) and steer them towards the Pilates way. The key to obtaining value on both ends (for the club management and the new member) is really the same – attitude. Most people trying to keep resolutions fail because of outlook or attitude; they sabotage the outcome by setting themselves up for failure. Recognizing this situation and addressing it in simple terms are key to acquiring them as members and then retaining them in the Pilates studio.

Educate them about the benefits of Pilates so they will see it as a valuable asset to their overall health and wellness, versus just another expense. The perfect way to do that is by selling prospective and current members on the value of a regular Pilates routine: better posture, weight loss, feeling and looking better, increased energy levels, enhanced daily mental concentration and performance, preparation for a trip or sport, or increased libido, just to name a few. Having members understand that their health and well being are more important than anything else, that it’s worth paying for, and that it can be achieved through Pilates is a better message than just saying, “here are the prices for the classes in the Pilates studio.”

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Know Their Goals

With regards to the member, the attitude adjustment comes in their perspective towards exercise itself. They need to be set up for success. This starts with how they feel about the relationship between their bodies and exercise. It is well worth your time to spend some time “chatting” first to find out how the member feels about the gym and the exercise they are doing there. If you can find out their goals, then you can let them know how Pilates can help them attain those goals.

For instance, if the goal is to lose weight, you can show them how Pilates will help them move in a better range of motion for everyday life and in the other activities they do at the gym, thus enhancing other gym work. If the goal is to gain flexibility and relieve back pain, then explain how Pilates is the number one choice for this type of thing, since it can address spinal alignment and core engagement. Regardless of the goal, inform them of the plentiful benefits that Pilates can offer them and their lifestyle. By informing them of the outside physical benefits (e.g. straighter posture, flatter abs, better range of motion, weight loss) and backing that up with the inside benefits like better concentration and focus, a clear mind, and stress release, you can easily assure them of the value of a weekly Pilates routine and the long lasting effects it will have on their daily lifestyle.

Resolving to retain a member throughout the year can be done by just a simple adjustment of attitude…allowing the client to realize that their health and wellness is a valuable asset, not an expense, and that it can be attained through Pilates.

Portia Page has been in the fitness industry for over 18 years as a teacher, competitor, program director, instructor trainer, international presenter, fitness director and creator. She is a Gold Certified Pilates Teacher through Pilates Method Alliance, a Balanced Body Master Instructor and a STOTT Pilates Certified Instructor. She holds current certifications with ACE, AFAA and PMA and has a BS in Cognitive Science from the University of California at San Diego.