How Giving Personal Trainers Strategic Goals Drives Health Club Revenue

Personal trainers can help boost your club's revenue, but not if they aren't given strategic guidance, says Discover Strength CEO Luke Carlson.

Luke Carlson Discover Strength Article

Personal training programs can be a huge profit-driver for health clubs, but many clubs aren’t maximizing the revenue opportunities for a number of reasons.

“In all service-based businesses, we really have to make sure we have the right people—but the importance of having the right people is amplified when its such an intimate relationship, like with personal training,” says Luke Carlson, CEO of Discover Strength in Chanhassen, MN. “We need to have mechanisms in place to make sure our people component is strong.”

Giving Personal Trainers Strategic Context

One of those mechanisms Carlson employs is a quarterly conversation that managers have with personal trainers to help them work toward organizational strategic goals. During those meetings, managers and trainers discuss three critical points:

  • The trainer’s embodiment of the club’s core values
  • Specific feedback regarding the trainer’s performance around their key roles
  • The trainer’s progress on their quarterly objectives or priorities

“So many trainers are coming to work everyday trying to give good customer experiences, but don’t know from managers or leaders what to do to drive the whole organization forward. These conversations provide trainers with that strategy in the context of the personal training department.”

Luke Carlson, CEO

Discover Strength, Chanhassen, MN

Examples of Quarterly Objectives for Personal Trainers

A strategic quarterly objective might be for each trainer to reach out to clients that haven’t been to the club for three months and recapture 10 of them.

“If we assign that objective to four or five trainers and they achieve it, we just got 40 or 50 clients back in the door,” Carlson says. “So no objective is more important for that trainer to be doing in those 90 days.”

Another quarterly objective might be for trainers to recruit clients to join a specific club program.

Take, for example, a new personal training program geared toward brides, grooms, and wedding parties looking to get in shape ahead of the big day. The program may be marketed in the club and on social media, but tasking individual trainers to recruit members “brings it down to the ground,” Carlson says.

“We look at what the whole department and club needs to accomplish and just assign those quarterly objectives to each trainer,” he says. “By doing that, strategic goals become very bite sized.”

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Marianne Aiello

Marianne Aiello previously served as IHRSA's Senior Digital Content Manager—a position focused on crafting and monitoring IHRSA’s digital strategy and covering IHRSA events.