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Use Goal Setting To Increase Retention - And Profits

Jake Johnson
When a client becomes part of the daily routine, a few things can happen.

Maybe they become an important part of the community and thrive...

Maybe they become frustrated and stop making progress...

Maybe they start looking for new challenges...

Maybe those new challenges could be met in your gym...

Or…maybe they leave and pay another gym to achieve their goals.

You don’t want this to happen. It’s 5 to 25 times more expensive to acquire a customer than retain an existing one, and increasing customer retention rates by 5% can bump up your profits by 25% to 95%. (

How can you improve retention?

A great way to keep your long-term clients is to implement quarterly goal-setting sessions. This holds them accountable, and can help you increase client retention and the average revenue per client.

Magic Mike™️ from CrossFit COMO and Head of Customer Success at UpLaunch recently did training on goal setting for the UpLaunch user group. During that training, he referenced his 17 most recent goal-setting sessions at CrossFit Como.

The Result

  • 4 new nutrition clients = $1548 (3-month commitment, $129 per month)
  • 1 new PT client = $3000 (Group classes did not meet the specific goals
  • 2 new referrals = FREE leads
  • 17 customers loving the gym and training to be happy, healthy, and strong = priceless

Not all of your clients will want to participate in quarterly goal setting. That’s okay. Just know you could be losing clients and income if you don’t ask.

Goal setting for established members

Even long-term members who’ve been coming to the gym five times a week for years can benefit from a one-on-one goal setting session. They may have fallen into a rut with their nutrition or their training and need some structure and accountability.

The challenge with goal setting is it requires one-on-one, individualized attention at certain points throughout the process. That’s time-consuming! The trick is automating as much of the goal-setting process as possible so you have time for those all important face-to-face sessions.

To help, we put together a guide to executing goal setting with established members.

How to set up a goal setting system

To start this process, you’ll need to (gulp) send an email to every member asking them to set up a one-on-one goal setting session with a coach.

You’re going to get a lot of emails, so how do you manage the responses, make sure everyone gets an appointment, and keep up with the individual goals?

You’ll need a system to keep track. Here are some suggestions!

Identify how you are going to schedule sessions.

You can use good old fashioned paper and pen, the whiteboard, your Google calendar, Acuity, or a membership management software (there is some secret sauce in the bonus area below)

Build a form to ask a few pre-appointment questions.

Use Typeform or Google Forms to gather information before and/or during the appointment (more secret sauce in the bonus area below).

Here are a few sample questions to ask:

  • What are you looking to achieve in the next three months?
  • How has your nutrition been for the last three months?
  • How can I help you over the next three months?
  • Do you have any friends or family members we could help over the next three months?

Draft an email to your members.

Use MailChimp or a bulk email builder. Include a way for the members to schedule their appointment and your form with the pre-appointment questions. Do you want a sample email? Send us a note and we will dig one up (yeah… there’s more secret sauce on this one in the bonus area below too).

Meet with members and help them set goals.

Tell your coaches to help your members come up with a SMART goal.

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

In these sessions, be sure to have the coach ask why they want to achieve this goal. Then record all of this information in the member’s record and set up reminders for the coach to check in every few weeks.

Increase long term member success and client value.

Meeting with your members throughout the year and keeping track of their goals is an excellent member retention strategy and a great way to provide them with additional services. If they say, “I want to lose another 15 pounds,” you can start a conversation about nutrition and get them enrolled in your nutrition program. If they want to run a marathon, you can suggest private training sessions to get them ready.

Bonus: Magically handle it all with UpLaunch!


With an UpLaunch goal-setting appointment you can seamlessly drop a link into an email. Pick which staff members you’d like to complete the appointments, set a length, sync with Google to avoid conflicts, and your automagically scheduling clients. When a client books, the staff member and client are notified!

Custom Forms

Use our custom form feature to create and seamlessly drop a form into the same email. Want to get a text message when the form has been completed? UpLaunch can do that. And when you’re ready to look at the form in a few months it’s right there for you!

Bulk Email Clients

Your clients are already segmented inside the platform. Write a quick note, drop in the scheduling link, drop in the form, and goal setting is on!

Client Record Notes

Easily record notes on a client record and filter when you want to read them all.

Keep Changing Lives

You can help your members change their lives, but you have to make the first move and let them know you’re there to help. Then you need to give them the tools to reach their goals and provide structure to keep them accountable.

This process takes work, but it’s worth it — it’s one of the best things you can do for your retention and your profits.

P.S. If you haven’t scripted your new client experience past the consultation and your first few sessions you are missing the mark. Focus on the first 100 days to ensure new clients are set up for success. More content on that coming!

Why is UpLaunch so amazing?

It's like having a full-time marketing assistant.

All of your leads get a reply in under two minutes.

Know where your members come from and how much it costs to acquire them.

Instantly have a snapshot of how your business is performing and what you should do next.

Uplaunch puts it all at your fingertips.

Download our framework for managing new leads. For free.
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