In this special interview filmed July 5, CrossFit founder and CEO Greg Glassman talks about the temptation for affiliates to get into retailing. Selling something other than training services can add increase revenue, but Coach Glassman believes real harm comes from the distraction. The best trainers focus on training, not selling.
What it comes down to is the professionalization of the trainer:
“I don’t want my physician, my accountant, my attorney, my minister, my psychiatrist or my trainer to have a pro shop,” Coach Glassman says.
There is also pressure from outside investors to use the affiliates to sell more. In fact, CrossFit is frequently accused of “leaving so much money on the table.”
Instead, retailers who have great things for the affiliate community are more than welcome to offer their products and services directly. Coach Glassman, though, isn’t going to use his position to impose anything on the over 4,000 CrossFit affiliates.
“If you have something to offer the affiliates, give it to them. Deliver it. Don’t get me to force them to buy it,” he explains.
CrossFit continues to be fully committed to the professionalization of the trainer, and to giving CrossFit affiliates and trainers maximum freedom to enjoy the fruits of their success. This means inserting as little as possible into their business, charging the minimum annual fees, constantly improving the seminars, and vigorously defending the CrossFit name, brand and community.
Glassman continues: “I promised them, from the first affiliate to the last, that we’re only here to help, not to profit off you. We’re only going to avail ourselves of opportunities that further their cause and business only, and that doesn’t look like putting shit on the shelves to sell.”
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Additional reading: Professional Training by Greg Glassman, published Jan. 1, 2006.