One of the biggest complaints we hear from gym owners is that they feel like their coaches just don’t care. Or at least they don’t care as much as the gym owner does.
These same gym owners are usually paying their coaches by the hour or via salary to coach group classes or personal train. This, of course, means if a client quits, the gym takes a financial hit and the coach gets off scot-free.
And so creates a situation where the gym owner is the only one checking in with clients who suddenly go MIA, the only one actively seeking new clients, the only one taking clients for coffee or lunch, and the only one going to a client’s Christmas concert or having clients over for dinner.
And then the complaining begins…
My coaches don’t care.
They don’t go above and beyond.
I’m the only one looking after the clients.
But, can you really blame the coach? What’s in it for him to go the extra mile to ensure clients are properly serviced? What’s in it for him to prioritize client acquisition or retention?
Until the coach’s paycheck is tied to bringing in and retaining clients, this will never change. No matter how loyal your coaches are, they will never serve your clients as well as they serve their own.
Here’s why the OPEX model—one that features coach-owned clients—is better for the client, the coach, and the business:
In the OPEX model, clients develop an effective relationship with a personal coach, who understands their unique needs and goals, and whose livelihood is directly connected to their success and happiness.
This naturally means the client receives a much more consistent and high-level service than at a gym where the client shows up and is largely coached by more or less a new stranger each day (or at least by coaches who don’t know the ins and outs of their unique challenges).
Long-time OPEX client Janice Hardwick put it this way: “The main thing is you’re literally getting assessed to create a recipe made specifically for you and your goals. It’s not a cookie-cutter workout plan. And I don’t think I’ve seen anything else like this. I mean, high-level athletes follow programs specific to whatever sport they’re doing, but the general population doesn’t so much.”
Beyond the financial incentives argument that we already covered, ownership over your own book of clients leads to much more fulfillment for the coach, as they now have the opportunity to play a more hands-on and direct role in their clients’ transformation journeys than they do coaching the gym’s clients in a group class model.
It goes without saying that most people who go into coaching want to be able to see the fruits of their labor, so to speak. The OPEX model allows for exactly this by giving coaches the opportunity to truly make a difference via a professional coach-client relationship.
OPEX Coach Georgia Smith said this about how unfulfilled she was in the group class model as a coach: “I felt like I was just putting on a show and engaging in crowd control when I was coaching instead of actually coaching and helping people,” she said.
Smith added: “I eventually reached a point in the group environment where I had all these tools, but wasn’t able to use them because I was stretched so thin coaching a group of 20 people. How could I dig into their sleep, lifestyle, and nutrition? There just wasn’t the time or the resources to do that in a group. …It was frustrating because I knew I could do so much more to serve these people, but didn’t have the time in the group model.”
Finally, when coaches have their own book of clients, the gym owner can sit back and relax and know that his coaches are now properly serving the gym’s clients in the same way the owner would.
Not only does this reduce stress for the gym owner, but it ensures client happiness and client retention—the lifeblood of any business. Learn the OPEX model for yourself and improve your client retention with our free Coach’s Toolkit.