Overeducating Syndrome and WWLTHW #2

WWLTHW #2 (What We Learned The Hard Way)

Hopefully all y’all are a heck of a lot more savvy when it comes to selling yourselves than we were.  My husband and partner in crime is a self-proclaimed long-winded geek (although he just got LASIK so he looks less geeky, but is still equally long-windedJ) so we struggled with Overeducating Syndrome for quite some time!

When a new person comes through your door they have already made the decision that they want to make some sort of change (start exercising) and that you are likely the place to help them do this.  They drove all the way out to your facility for frack-sake!  They are already 90% sold on you.  Don’t UNSELL them by overeducating them.  We erred in this way for almost 2 years! 

A prospective client would walk in the door and say “I wan’t to lose belly fat” (FYI they always tell you exactly what they want and your default answer should ALWAYS be “Of course, we can do that! And it’s going to be a lot of fun too!”

In the beginning we UNSOLD prospective clients.  We told them about CrossFit’s neuroendocrine response, we told them about increasing work capacity, we told them about the efficacy of short, intense exercise…we told them things that they didn’t understand and really didn’t care about!  The client had told us exactly what she cared about…losing belly fat! I can’t tell you how many clients (and how much associated revenue) we let walk out our door after spending 45 minutes with them, essentially over educating them into not training with us!  Big Mistake!  Don’t do it!

Now when a new client comes through the door we make it all about THEM.  What is your athletic background?  What types of exercise have you enjoyed in the past?  What are you looking to accomplish? Get them talking about themselves and you instantly create rapport!  Then tell them you can help them do everything they are looking to do…cuz you can!  Big lesson…LISTEN to them…they will tell you exactly what you need to say to get them to sign up!

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6 Responses to Overeducating Syndrome and WWLTHW #2

  1. Miranda 801 says:


    I am so excited that you have this blog! I have heard really great things about how you run your business! I hope Robb’s birthday went well! I wish we could have made it.

    CrossFit 801

    Thanks Miranda! The B-day was a total blast…Robb said it was the best birthday he ever had :)

  2. Ian Carver says:

    Nicki – Great blog and long overdue. Allison and I finally moved up to a full size box and are definitely soaking up whatever business info we can, especially from affiliates like CFNC who have grown and become very successful. We’ll be stopping by this site on a regular basis! Please give my regards to Robb and take care! – Ian Carver

  3. Nicki-
    I’m a Coach down in Monrovia, CA. Just wanted to say that you bring up some awesome points. I know that I’ve given into the temptation of giving new clients more than they can handle on many occasions. Thanks for this, excellent stuff.


  4. steve says:

    Nicki, Great blog!1 do you do any sort of baseline workout like Andy at CFLA does, or do you simply talk with them and sign them up?

    Hey Steve,
    We have a lot of folks that sign up for our On Ramp class online (our beginner class) or have already decided they want private training and just call and schedule an appt with a trainer. For folks that just want to learn more about us we get them to come down to our facility and meet with them face to face. We have a little fitness evaluation that we put folks through, but it’s more chatting about what they are looking for and what their fitness background is etc. (building rapport). Once they start (either in the On Ramp or private training) their first workout is a Run/squat/pushup/bodyrow workout that we repeat on the twelfth session…people will shave anywhere from 2-4 minutes off their time from session 1 to session 12. They are STOKED by that!

  5. Nicki,

    That is great advice. I am pretty new as an affiliate, opened Dec. 08. What I have found is that most of my athletes came in with a notion of what they were looking for. But as they progressed their goals changed. I have one that is 65. After two weeks he was happy that he didn’t have to worry when he got down on the ground, that he wouldn’t be able to get up by himself. Now he is pleased that his golf game is more consistent and he can save money by walking 18 holes. Another guy wanted to loose weight, now he has lost 40lbs. But he is more concerned with working on the perfect Snatch, or getting a body weight overhead squat.

    I am happy to see their concerns for health turned to more enjoyable venues. These other things don’t even come into their minds. It is like a complete change in attitude.

    I am starting an “On Ramp” program per a conversation that we had at Dutch’s seminar in Chicago. we only talked for a few moments, but I appreciated your time and I am taking all your advice to heart.

    Thank You for your time.

  6. Jess says:

    Good tip!
    This made me laugh.
    I get accused of overeducating my hubby daily

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