Technology is great…but when should you keep it ‘Old School’?

Technology. Never has a word stirred so much excitement, desire, and anxiety all at the same time. Of all the professions out there, the Health and Fitness industry has been one of the slowest to adopt technology. I mean no one else is writing notes, using notebooks, and scanning documents regularly. Question is, why are we so slow to adapt?

What are the challenges facing health and fitness professionals in adoption? Is it cost? Resistance to change? Time for implementation? My goal here is shed some light on technology and how you can leverage it in the right way to help manage your business, save money, and get back our most precious commodity…TIME.

We’re a service-based industry. We trade time for money. And any time that can be saved saves us money and frustration…and also means more time spent with our family and friends. Or, if you’re a nerd like me, you can use that time to work on your business or read up on the latest research.

I personally love technology and implement it as much as possible to streamline as many processes as possible. In an age of…

  • PRM – Patient or Client Relationship Management
  • Scheduling software
  • Digital marketing
  • Online Exercise platforms that allow clients to pull up their workouts on their phones and instantly give you feed back

…you can’t afford not to leverage technology in some way.

Especially for those in fitness, technology can give you a distinct advantage.

But this is where things get interesting, as there are times to leverage technology and times to go “old school.” 

For example, in my business we do a lot of video content on Facebook and Instagram, which gives us a lot of exposure to new clients. We also use a scheduling system to automate email confirmation, paperless sign-in forms, and text message reminders. This reduces our cancellation rates and reduces our overhead, as we need less front desk staff to manage clients and manage paperwork. A $30/month software program has literally saved me tens of thousands of dollars in just two years. I have no doubt we have just scratched the surface to what technology can do, and keeping up is going to be a real challenge in the busy world of the health and fitness professional.

With all that being said, is there a time we shouldn’t utilize technology? Is there a time when we should go “old school” and (gasp!) give someone a call instead of texting or emailing them? I would say YES!

In our business, our biggest value is the personal and intimate relationships with our clients. That’s why they come here – but it takes time to build that trust with each client.

Helping a prospective client make an informed decision to work with us, requires that we take the time to educate them about the value we provide – and even about what physical therapy or strength or stabilization training is! Just like most new clients they have to really understand what the value is in choosing your gym over someone else’s. Most clients also need multiple touch points before they make a decision. But we’ve found they’re more likely to work with us when we meet them face-to-face or speak with them on the phone rather than simply texting or emailing.

It’s a pretty common sales law:

The more expensive the product, and the colder the traffic or lead…the greater the need for strong relationships and complete customer education. 

This is why we provide so many community workshops and personalized follow-up phone calls with each client. And we really dig into their story and make sure they know we’re listening to them. Because in a world where you spend an average of five minutes with your doctor or communicating via email (or other impersonal means), going old school and listening and connecting on a personal level can go a long way to creating a lasting relationship with clients as their trusted Health and Fitness provider.


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