When They Know the Least

The single biggest mistake idea merchants make is that they ask for money too soon…[T]his strategy introduces friction into the system. Many marketers require people to pay the most when they know the least.

Seth Godin, Unleashing the Ideavirus

The first 90 days of a new member’s journey with you is perhaps the most important.

Important for him because he’s establishing new habits, building new routines, & reintroducing his body to the kind of movement it hasn’t experienced maybe since high school.

Important for you because you’re establishing trust & making a case for being the solution to the problems he’s willing to tell you about (weight gain, decreased energy), as well as the problems he’s not quite ready to talk about (lack of confidence, fear of getting older).

If you can overwhelm this new member with excellence over these first three months - if you can earn trust, establish yourself as a knowledgeable guide, & show him he’s capable of making real progress - the chances you’ll celebrate your first or third or fifth anniversary together are high.

Being intentional & emphatic about where & how money fits into this equation can help.

Remember that even after he forks over his bank account information, he’s likely still unsure. Unsure if you’re the right place for him, if any of it will make any shred of difference, if he wants to pay this much for a gym membership.

Respecting all this uncertainty means thinking hard about whether charging full price for these 90 days is the most optimal way of ensuring you both have the necessary space to do the work of solving the problems at hand.

Maybe a better way would be to take ownership of building trust & establishing that relationship, to think about the first three months as when you earn the first three years.

Money is just a proxy for trust. The more trust you have, the more money you’ll make over a long enough timeline. You don’t need to rush it.

Trust compounds. Earn it early & it will pay dividends.

TribePatrick CummingsTribe