How much is a CrossFit class worth at your box?
Are you consistently delivering on the value that your members are paying you on a daily and monthly basis?
Would you pay to take your own class or one of your other coach’s classes?
If so, how much?
If we are charging $150-250/month for our unlimited memberships, and the average person is attending about 15 classes per month, then most people are paying us around $10-20 per class. If we are not consistently delivering a class experience that is worth at least $15 per class to most members, then they will eventually drop off for one reason or another. They may tell you that they can’t afford it, or that they got hurt, or that they don’t have the time, but almost inevitably the real reason is perceived value. Your service is replaceable and they are moving on to something else.
If we want to keep members for years and years, then we should consistently deliver a class experience that has a perceived value that is worth double or triple or MORE, what our members are paying us. We should under-promise and over-deliver. We must make our services so valuable that our clients forget about price altogether.
How do we do this?
The most direct way is through personalizing the group class experience.
Think about it this way. Most people consistently pay $50-100 per session (or more) for personal training. How can so many gyms across the country successfully charge this much per session, when most of us are only charging $10-15 per session for our group classes? On the flip side, how can we successfully charge $10-15 per session when most globo gyms only charge around $2-4 per visit?
What people are willing to pay to go to the gym, can be viewed in this spectrum:
Globo Gym——————————————–CrossFit———————————————-Personal Training
$2-4/visit $10-20/visit $50-100/visit
Are people who are doing personal training really getting 5-10X the value per session than we are providing in our group classes?
More importantly, are they really getting 5-10X the results that we can provide?
Probably not. And in most cases, most affiliate gyms are providing better results through their group classes, than a lot of other gyms are providing through personal training.
So why the mismatch in what people are paying?
It all goes back to the perceived value each person thinks they are receiving.
When a person believes that they are getting a personalized experience, they are willing to pay more. When they believe a coach or trainer is dedicating an hour of their time solely to them, they are willing to pay more. When they believe the workout is tailored to their individual goals, injuries, and ability level, they are willing to pay more. When they are being observed, coached, and corrected for every rep, they are willing to pay more. When they are getting knowledge and accountability for their nutrition, supplementation, and lifestyle outside the gym, they are willing to pay more. When they develop a strong personal relationship with you as a coach, the money almost becomes trivial.
This is the level of individualization and attention to detail that makes personal training worth it to so many people.
The question we have to ask is, “Is it possible to provide this level of individualization in a group setting?”
While I believe the answer to that question is no, (beyond small groups of 2-3 people), the act of trying to provide value to each individual in the group class is what will take their experience to another level. In fact, I believe that individualizing the group class experience is what it means to strive for excellence in coaching. I’ll say that again to just to drive the point home…Individualizing the group class experience is what it means to strive for excellence in coaching. The goal is to make each person feel like EVERY class has been tailored to them. The goal is to make each person feel like they got as close to a personal training experience as possible, while still getting all the benefits of being in a group.
When you’re running a personal training session, individualizing the session to the needs of that client is fairly easy. You can go into that session knowing exactly who you are working with, be fully prepared, and dedicate the entire 60 minutes to fulfilling that experience.
In a group setting, this is much more difficult.
In a class of 12 people where you are the only coach, that only leaves you about 5 minutes per person to make each person feel like they got that individualized experience. This is nothing.
If you want to successfully pull this off, you have to maximize every single minute you have on the coaching floor. Not only that, you have to come into class fully prepared, and give yourself at least 10 minutes before and after class to make deeper connections and build relationships with members. Knowing that we only have 5 minutes with each person, we should be maximizing every single minute we have on the floor to connect with, teach, coach, and understand the individuals we are working with.
While it’s not easy, the best coaches and the best boxes, are doing just that. They are giving their members every ounce of focus and energy they have on the floor, and the majority of the members come away feeling like the class experience has been tailored to them.
This level of dedication and commitment is simply not happening at most boxes. Most coaches and most boxes are not going into class with the sense of urgency required to individually touch every member. In fact, most coaches are doing the exact opposite. Many coaches are using the group class as an excuse to become complacent. While they are probably not doing it on purpose, the group allows them to sit back on their heels and fall into more of a director role. They get caught up in managing the group as a whole, instead of touching the individuals within that group. They spend the majority of their time keeping things organized, explaining the warm up and workout, giving broad words of encouragement and cues, and making sure the clock and music are running appropriately. They spend a lot of time on the logistics of the class as a whole, and not very much time on individual, hands-on coaching. When they do get a chance to finally coach 1-on-1, they may only spend a few minutes with the newest or worst movers in class just to make sure they don’t hurt themselves.
While the director side plays a role in coaching, it should only make up a very small portion of what we do. In fact, the director role should take up less than 10% of our time on the coaching floor. The other 90% should be spent in the trenches, getting up close and personal with each member.
It’s not easy to do, but this is what the best coaches are doing consistently.
As coaches, we need to raise your standards. Raise your standards of what it means to run a great group class. Raise your standards of what it means to give someone a personalized experience, rather than just a great workout. Raise your standards beyond just managing the clock, explaining the WOD, and keeping people from hurting themselves. This is not what it means to be a great coach.
Whenever you feel yourself mentally checking out, or having side conversations, or eating while coaching, ask yourself if you are really doing everything you can to deliver a personalized experience to each member. Are you maximizing every minute that you have on the coaching floor?
If each person in that class were to hand you a $20 bill each day upon walking in, how could you deliver a value that would make them want to keep coming back? How could you deliver an experience that would make that $20 feel trivial.
If you’re up for it, here’s a fun little exercise you can spend a few minutes journaling about or brainstorming with your team.
What if instead of charging $20 per class, you had to charge $100 per class in order to make the business work. How would your classes, facility, preparation, coaching, and level of engagement need to change in order to justify charging your members $100 per class? How could you create an experience that could consistently deliver on that value? What things could you do differently as a coach? What would the gym look and feel like to create the experience these members are looking for? What things would you add outside of class to deliver on that value?