Client Retention: The Female Demographic

by Mary Bratcher |  Date Released : 18 Aug 2016

What Do Women Want?

Female members and clients are a valuable resource to the health and fitness industry. In large cities across America women under the age of 35 now earn more than their male counterparts. For every 100 men with bachelor degrees, there are 140 women with an equal or greater qualification. Even unemployment rates for women are much less than men (Underhill, 2010). The bottom line - women have the means to ensure your business remains successful as the fitness industry evolves. So what exactly do women want and how can your products and services meet these needs?

Emotional/Psychological Wants:

Women who hire a personal trainer or join a gym have identified a problem they want help solving (e.g., losing weight, getting fit or improving performance). Unlike men, who once they have identified a problem want to solve it as quickly as possible (and by any means necessary), women first want someone to acknowledge their problem and empathize with their situation (Gray, 2012). Women also want a level of personal control (or at least the illusion of control) surrounding the actions they take and events in which they participate (Underhill, 2010). A woman seeking the help of a personal trainer, for example, wants to be able to provide input, feel as though she is helping control some of her fitness program variables, and feel her contributions/feedback regarding the program is appreciated (Gray, 2012).

Collective/Social Wants:

Women are also social beings who want to interact together in groups. Group settings are useful for promoting the collective communication style women prefer and are conducive for helping them process their thoughts, feelings and/or anxieties (Gray 2012). Additionally, they have a collective desire for the environment around them to be clean and hygienic. Cleanly conditions are tied into women’s nurturing instincts and are part of an inherent want to create and maintain surroundings that are conducive to good health (Maushart, 2005).

Are You Giving Women They Want?

If your female client base is shrinking and/or fewer women are signing up for memberships/services with your club, you should review your service offerings and/or facility to see if you are meeting the key emotional, psychological, collective and social needs of women. If any areas are lacking, this could be the reason behind the decline you are experiencing. Here are some easy tips to help you make your business more appealing to women...Read the entire article here.

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Mary Bratcher

About the author: Mary Bratcher

Mary Bratcher (MA, DipLC) is a Wellness Coach with nearly 20 years of counseling experience. She incorporates concepts from psychology and life coaching to help people develop better strategies for dealing with life's demands. She uses a practical, solution-based approach to life that helps people identify, approach, and resolve problematic issues. Mary has worked as a life coach in many countries including North America, England, and New Zealand. She specializes in small business development and resolution of psychological factors that contribute to musculoskeletal pain.

Mary is a published author, professional speaker, media consultant, and faculty member for the American Council on Exercise. She is also an Associate Director of Content for PTontheNET and a member of the PTA Global Board of Directors. Mary has developed numerous continuing education courses for fitness professionals and is the co-creator of The BioMechanics Method™ educational program which provides exercise solutions for chronic pain ( She is also the co-owner of The BioMechanics, a San Diego-based facility that specializes in helping people alleviate muscle and joint pain.

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Comments (4)

Bratcher, Mary | 28 Oct 2016, 17:11 PM

You're welcome, Chris! Glad you enjoyed the video. :)

Smart, Chris | 26 Oct 2016, 23:33 PM

Thanks for the 3 tips mary! :)

Bratcher, Mary | 29 Aug 2016, 19:53 PM

Hi Dwight,
Thanks for your feedback! I'm glad you found the information helpful and appreciate you taking the time to post your comment.
Kind regards,

Chandler, Dwight | 23 Aug 2016, 13:21 PM

Very well done I can use your advice right away.Dwight Chandler.

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