Today, we’re going to talk about what happens when you lose a client.  It may be too hard to see at the moment, but there’s an opportunity here. Trust me.

I’ve lost a lot of clients. Especially running a gym, I’ve lost a fair share of clients but I’ve also gained a lot of them BACK.  Over the past 23 years of business, marketing, and sales experience, I’ve developed a six-step process how to make “lemonade out of lemons” when it comes to lost clients. So, let’s get into it…

Step #1 –  As you soon as you receive that notification whether it be an email, voicemail, or notification, TAKE A WALK. Step away. Get away from your computer for as many moments as you can spare and let all those emotions run through you.

Step #2 – After your break, sit down and journal. Whether it be written hand, Word document, dictation…WHATEVER you do just get it down on paper.  This is a very powerful action because it allows you to get out of your own head and look at the situation objectively. I can’t fully explain it, but there is an unreal therapeutic benefit.

Step #3 – Now it’s time to write an email. The first thing you want to do is thank this person. Yes, that is correct.  Authentically express your gratitude for their patronage. Secondly, make it easy! Do NOT make them jump through hoops, fill out a form, anything like that.   The easier it is for them to leave, the easier it will be for them to come back. Lastly, if appropriate, ask them for a testimonial. There’s a decent chance that they like you and may feel guilty about cutting you lose, so this action will (believe it or not) make them feel better.

Step #4 – Analyze and reflect on the situation.   Where can you grow? This growth mindset is what separates success and failure.  Do NOT undervalue it, but also don’t dwell on it for too long. Look for one or two takeaways and move on.  

Step #5 – You have an email list, right?  Immediately put this person on a list SPECIFICALLY for cancellations.  These are the lowest hanging fruit when it comes to acquiring “new” clients down the road.  I just suggest a “re-engagement” series every 3-6 months. Why? Because it works!

Step #6 – At this point, you are going to have some kind of emotional charge, right?  Anger. Frustration. Relief. Use that emotion to fuel a spike in activity. Do you have a list of warm leads that haven’t been touched in a week or two?  Go get it! Falling behind on content creation? Put it down!

Bookmark this and put it into action next time this happens.  I hope it doesn’t happen soon or often, but it WILL happen. The takeaway is that you’re not alone!  I’ve been there as well as countless other fitness professionals.

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Eric Malzone

Eric Malzone

Eric’s professional experience stems from a decade in various sales and marketing roles that led him to open a CrossFit (TM) affiliate in 2009, Gravitas Fitness. After 8+ years of gym ownership and a deep analysis of his own “ideal day,” Eric decided to sell his gym and go full throttle into FMA.

The success that he saw during his days as a gym owner, can now be leveraged to help thousands of gym owners worldwide.
Eric Malzone


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