Finding & Building Mavens

November 16, 2016 - 10 minute read

The division symbols must be found and turned into multipliers – and the multipliers must start multiplying.”

In a few of our other blogs, especially in “Strong ARMs Lead to Happy Lives,” we crunched some numbers and hammered on the importance of making data-driven decisions.

Think back to high school algebra class…there were symbols in certain equations that were unknown. In the gym, there are also unknown symbols – symbols which have the power to either divide or multiply your membership.

The difference is, you have control over how to solve this problem. The division symbols must be found, and turned into multipliers – and the multipliers must start multiplying.

We refer to a multiplier as a maven and a divider as an ignoramus.

Maven – a trusted expert in a particular field, who seeks to pass knowledge on to others

Ignoramus – an utterly ignorant person

It might be a little harsh to drop the “ignoramus”, but you get the point – and it’s a little funny. We all have our difficult and challenging clients. The trick is figuring out how to transform them into mavens!

In fact, if you implement a succinct process, building mavens is actually quite streamlined, to the point, and fast. There’s no substitute for talking to your clients – we totally get that, and 100% agree with it. We just want to save a little on the front end and eliminate inconsistencies wherever possible. By working through this process in a consistent and pre-planned process, you’ll not only find that you’re creating new mavens, but also keeping them excited for a longer period of time!

The Two Step Plan
Step 1: The Net Promoter Score

Gathering feedback from your clients is simple. It doesn’t have to come from a weird, bumbling face-to-face conversation about how we can bend over backwards to make them happier. Instead, use one question to collect a simple number that will only take seconds to grab, and can be easily organized into meaningful data.

The Question:

On a scale of 1-10, how satisfied are you with (Insert Gym Name)?

Yes, it is really that easy. Now just quantify the data and figure out what’s next. A simple google sheet will do the trick; you can even get fancy and whip up some charts and pie graphs.

0-6: This is an unhappy client, who we jokingly classify as an ignoramus. These clients are a high priority. If the issues aren’t addressed, it will damage your reputation and start dividing your membership. We might be poking a little fun by calling someone ignorant for not loving our gym, however, WE would be the ignorant ones if we didn’t constantly seek ways to be better and deliver more value. Yes, everyone’s poop stinks…

Do not panic and start doing crazy membership comps, or implementing some wacky bring-your-mom-to-the-gym type stuff. Your response to someone in this category shouldn’t be crazy OR chaotic. Simply send a follow-up email or catch the client in the gym and ask simple questions. What can we do to improve? Is there a service missing that you would like to see? What can we do to help? Put your big boy/girl britches on, take the feedback in an unemotional way, and make a decision if the problem is warranted and needs fixing. Keyword: UNEMOTIONAL!   

7-8: These are middle ground clients. They aren’t unhappy; they are just missing the WOW factor! The middle ground clients do require follow-up; it just isn’t an emergency.   

But while it isn’t as high of a priority, room for improvement still qualifies as room for improvement. Maybe the gym would have the WOW factor and be the most amazing experience if the toilet paper wasn’t always backwards (is there really a backwards?) Catch the member and ask the question, “What can we do to improve”?  

9-10: Finding the happiest of happy clients means you have found your mavens. These clients love everything about the gym, are more than committed to helping it grow, and will act as a multiplier to membership.

Yes, immediate follow-up is needed – and it’s awesome, because with mavens you are going to ask a multiplier question:

“Can you help us by heading over to Facebook, Google +, and Yelp, leave a five-star review and write a brief sentence about how (Gym Name) changed your life?”

Action Items

Send out the Net Promoter Score Email

Record and evaluate data

Follow up with the ignoramuses

Ask mavens for help

Watch 5 star reviews pop up

Step 2: Friend Referrals

You’ve identified who your multipliers and dividers are. Now let’s add TIME into the equation! Wait 30-60 days and send another really simple and easy to evaluate question regarding member referrals.

The Question:

Do you have any friends you would like to train with at (Gym Name)?

This is beautiful because there are only TWO data points: yes or no! Add the data points to the Google sheet and start evaluating.

No: This doesn’t necessarily mean the experience is bad or this person is an ignoramus. They actually might not have friends that would be interested or that they want to train with. Regardless, you are going to follow up and ask, “Is there any particular reason you don’t have any friends you would like to train with?”

The answers will vary and will help you to identify additional things that need to be fixed or opportunities. Maybe the member has a ton of friends that run, but they have always avoided the functional fitness space.

Bang! Light switch on.

Reply with “I would love to host a mobility clinic for runners, would your friends be interested in that?”

Cross-reference your “no’s” with your net promoter scores. Did any mavens or middle ground clients fall into this category? If so, they would take precedence and warrant immediate follow-up.   

A group full of mavens is so fun! Now we get to recognize them for being willing to refer a friend and ask, “How can we help get your friend into the gym? This is a great opportunity to legitimately thank your mavens. A free t-shirt and a handshake go a long way!

Again cross-reference your “yes’s” with your net promoter scores. Did any ignoramuses or middle ground clients want to refer friends? If so you’ve turned the corner in their eyes and (hopefully) fixed the backwards toilet paper!

Action Items

Send the Friend Referrals email

Record and evaluate data

Follow up with no’s

Follow up with yes’s

Watch your gym grow

Ask simple questions, fix simple things, and run a successful business. That is a wrap! Digest the RYG 2-step plan and get it into action. Of course, if you just want to put these steps on automatic, we’d love to give you a hand with Box Builder. Creating mavens and multiplying your assets is kinda what we DO.


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