Rideout, Vice President of MicroFit, Inc.
Thirty years ago, I tested twenty police officers a day for three
days and charged $75 per officer. I earned $4500 and quickly learned
that I could provide a valuable service. Ten years later, I
co-founded MicroFit and for the past twenty years, we have refined
our programs to assist wellness centers to improve their service.
Facility Tour – Where First Impressions Count
A proper tour of your facility is critical in establishing your
credibility. Here is a time-tested idea: Start your tours with a
“quick test,” usually blood pressure or body fat. This will change
your guest’s mindset away from the “fear of being sold!” to “how can
I improve?” They will be more receptive to your tour, resulting in
increased membership sales and sustained participation.
Standards and Liability
Many facilities require a fitness assessment before members can
begin participation. By adhering to these standards, facilities
maintain a professionalism that sets them apart from other fitness
centers. One size does not fit all in your facility. Fitness
assessments provide a baseline from which every exercise
recommendation or fitness therapy can be tailored to meet the goals
of each individual. Fitness assessments will eventually play a key
role in identifying a “red flag” that warrants caution before a
client is allowed to begin an exercise program. In addition to
saving a facility from a potential lawsuit, a professional fitness
assessment can actually save a life! Fitness assessments should meet
the guidelines set forth by the American College of Sports Medicine
(ACSM), and your compliance will create an atmosphere of trust and
Educate and Motivate Members
Education plays an important role in retaining members! MicroFit
your staff with reliable fitness data, adding value to all your
programs. The goal is to motivate your members and users toward
healthier lifestyles. The outcomes will be increased participation,
member retention, and quality referrals.
Personal training and testing can build relationships and improve
user retention. Fitness assessments not only motivate members, they
help to create a relationship between trainers and new clients.
Consider this approach: Promote an assessment package with three 1/2
hr. personal training sessions. This helps to upsell personal
training. Trainers get a chance to “audition for their job.” Selling
a package with at least one follow-up assessment will increase
retention by helping to set realistic short-term goals, helping
members to “jumpstart” their exercise/nutritional programs. A $150
package with the first assessment in the first of 3 half hour
training sessions is a great value for new members and an excellent
way to sell the benefits of having a personal trainer.
fitness/wellness centers or trainers provide free fitness
assessments? Does your dentist give away free fillings and follow-up
office visits? Why should it be different for a qualified wellness
or fitness professional? In some states, health and fitness
assessments qualify for insurance reimbursement.
Fitness Testing can be a powerful marketing tool when using fitness
assessments for community outreach. Health fairs, sporting events,
and open houses are great. Offer free blood pressure or body fat
screenings. Learn about the prospective member and provide
attractive reports, as well as information about your facility.
Invite them to visit with a complimentary one-day pass. Having a
structured fitness assessment program also allows you to build a
testimonial portfolio. Standardized fitness assessment tools also
provide outcome measures that allow you to negotiate with managed
care organizations and corporations for wellness contracts.
approaching local companies, you must be able to show outcome
results. Aggregate fitness assessment data can be given to the
corporation to monitor employee progress. Statistical outcome
reports help employers identify health and fitness problem areas
within their employee population. In turn, the corporation can
establish a baseline from which a course of improvement can be
planned and measured, using your facilities and services.
Fitness/wellness centers are seeing more 45-60 year olds joining
because doctors are beginning to prescribe exercise for disease
prevention. Offering standardized health and fitness assessments
positions you to partner with outpatient and rehabilitative
healthcare services. Health fitness and wellness assessments, can
legitimately promote your services to doctors and other health
professionals who can provide a steady stream of referrals.