Don’t be a Planet Fitness DC

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What’s a Planet Fitness DC?

You saunter through the imposing doors of your local Planet Fitness. Now that it’s almost February, most of the New Years Resolutioners have quit coming, so it’s the perfect time to make good on that soon to expire coupon you got for Christmas. You like your current gym, but hey, might as well see what all the hype is about.

The building is gorgeous, huge, and packed. You feel a little bit like you’re cheating on your regular workout haunt. You have a vague feeling that you’re going to be spotted by someone you know who’s going to tell on you.

The trainer who greets you is a tiny, fit, adorable ball of energy. She enthusiastically gives you a tour of the place and encourages you to try out the different equipment. They have every machine imaginable and there are maybe a hundred or more people on the floor, but it doesn’t seem like a community. Everyone has headphones on and is staring either at their iPad, iPhone, or at the over sized TVs hanging from the ceiling. There is a corporate hue to the whole affair. When you finish your workout, you go to the membership office and speak with the tiny trainer. She goes over all the membership sign up options with you and you obediently sit there listening, knowing without a shadow of a doubt that you are not signing up. Even though it’s cheaper than your current gym, they can’t give you what you want in a gym experience.

After you politely decline, she says off the record, “I knew you weren’t going to join. It’s obvious you’re in great shape, and aren’t looking for a starter gym. Honestly, the vast majority of our members only come in once or twice a month, if that. They aren’t committed to fitness so they just don’t make the time for it.  I saw you work out and you give your best effort. You remind me a lot of my dad – he’s who I learned fitness from. He has remained in shape his whole life because it’s a lifestyle with him. You’re cut from the same cloth.”

How many times do we attempt to seduce new patients by being all things to all people, just like Planet Fitness? Whether it’s discounted fees, fade away co-pays, no exams or x-rays, or Groupons featuring a massage and an adjustment, many DCs will try anything in an insane attempt to get anyone to come in. Not only will your spirit and enthusiasm fade when you try to be all things to all people, your economics will take a nose dive. $10 a month in the fitness industry is being copied in our profession with DCs charging $15-$20 an adjustment, with no exam or x-ray; just throw ‘em on the table and have at it.

Don’t these DCs see they are moving away from success?

How do DCs with cash offices earn 3, 5, or 10 times what you do with the same degree? How do their patients gladly accept their recommendations when you can’t get your people to come in for a handful of visits when they are still in pain? Why do some DCs have retention and referral rates that would make most others blush? They are in a category of one. They are specialized, unique, and understand their worth. They are not Planet Fitness DCs…they want more and they are willing to pay for it.

It doesn’t matter how many letters you have after your name, what techniques you’re proficient in, or whether you have the latest and greatest digital x-ray machine. What matters is that you see yourself as a category of one DC, not a Planet Fitness DC. Once you understand that, your patients will as well, and you’ll have the economics to prove it.

How you become a category of one is all up to you.