We’ve all heard the old adage that it’s easier to keep clients than find new ones. There is a short block of time after a New Year comes in, even as the confetti falls and fireworks still color the night sky, when hundreds of new clients plan to turn that old adage on its head. It’s the time of year when new faces flock through the gym doors hungry to jumpstart their fitness resolutions.

Then, as the cycle inevitably continues, these new faces drift away leaving our business ledgers figuratively counting down the next ball drop…with 305 days yet to go. While we can continue to expect business to (significantly?) drop off by no later than March, we can try to retain some of those new clients.

Though it may be challenging to do, there are ways to initiate a longer relationship with the influx of resolution clients.

It’s important to keep an eye on trends in fitness. We’ve got our staples, which for the gyms I frequent are Spinning classes and Bodyworks (a class focused on strength training with hand weights), but for other classes participants may not be such hardcore loyalists. If classes aren’t pulling participants like they used to, it’s time to pay attention. Is there another type of workout members or social media are buzzing about or are excited to try? Consider making the change even it’s just for a trial period. Even Subway and McDonald’s restaurants have to shake things up sometimes with guacamole or all-day breakfast.

As gym owners and managers should invest in knowledgeable trainers and fitness instructors. They are the face of the gym and will have the most face-time with your clients, new or old. This comes with a catch, however, because finding and retaining the right talent is something that has to be worked on year-round. It’ll be difficult to do on December 15th.

Reaching out to members after a certain number of missed days or weeks could give a personal touch to your relationship with members. But above that, it’s an opportunity to discover the problem with an absentee’s fitness program. Sometimes facing down a daunting resolution can make someone feel like a failure. By speaking with the client, you may be able to help them come up with a more feasible program; instead of feeling obligated to a one-hour cardio workout five times every week, maybe they could start, and stick, to a 30-minute 3-times-a-week program that alternates strength, cardio, and rest days. Maybe the issue isn’t even time-related. Calling is one to try to find out what the real problem is.

It’s a great time of year for many gyms and personal trainers. Let’s amend that to “it’s a great year for gyms and personal trainers” and help each other accomplish that. In the comments, please share your successful methods of turning clients’ resolutions into lifestyle changes and keeping them in the gym.

Tanisha Rule

Tanisha Rule has a BA in English and is a former Mad Dogg-certified Spinning instructor. She taught indoor cycle and boot camp and has now combined her passions as a full-time writer for the health and fitness industries, check out her site at www.ruleboutiquewritingservices.com. If she isn’t writing or reading, she can be found happily training for an endurance event, likely after having said, “This is my last one for a while,” because there is no finish line; there is only progress.