Guy Kawasaki 'Enchants' IHRSA Audience

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guykawasaki-400.gifBeing enchanting may never have been a goal in your life, but Guy Kawasaki's keynote address on Friday at the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association conference and trade show in Los Angeles sure makes the idea of being enchanting, well, a bit enchanting.

Kawasaki, a former Apple executive and the author of “Enchanting: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions,” shared in his presentation 10 pillars to being enchanting. Rather than share all 10 pillars and risk the wrath of Kawasaki (photo to the right by Les Kamens, The Photo Group, courtesy of IHRSA) for repeating his whole keynote, I thought I'd share three of the pillars that I found most pertinent to the fitness industry.

The first pillar is to achieve likeability. Likeability often starts with a great smile, one that involves the eyes even more than the mouth. A sincere smile shows off your crow's feet, Kawasaki says. An insincere smile stops at the mouth.

Likeability also involves accepting others as they are, regardless of what they look like, talk like or where they are from. This is so important in the fitness industry where many people shy away from joining a club because they do not think they are fit enough to be seen there. We must be accepting of all who come in our doors and make sure they feel liked for who they are now.

“If you want to be liked, you have to like first,” Kawasaki said.

The other part of being likeable is to default to yes. When great networkers and enchanters meet people, they think about how they can help that person, not how that person can help them.

Another pillar is to achieve trustworthiness. That pillar starts with you trusting others. Kawasaki offered examples of companies (Zappos, Amazon, Nordstrom) that trust their customers by providing great return policies. These companies know they risk being taken advantage of by unscrupulous people, but they trust their customers, and in return, they have built loyal fans.

Trustworthiness also involves finding a point of agreement with another person even as you are having a disagreement. Once you see that you share a belief with another person, you feel that you can trust that person in that area, and perhaps in other areas, too.

The third pillar I wanted to share is to use salient points when you talk to people. Answer questions in ways the people you are speaking with understand them best. For the fitness industry, that might mean that instead of sharing how many calories are in a food item, you should share how many miles they must run or walk to burn off that food.

I'm not sure how much more enchanting Kawasaki's pillars will make me, but I can only imagine that if you try at least these three pillars in your facility, you will start to see a change in your member interaction and loyalty.

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