Desire is not a straight line.
Rene Girard, an anthropological philosopher, puts forward the notion that all of your desires are borrowed from other people. You want this because they want this, or they have it already.
Girard posits the model of desire as a triangle, not a straight line:
We desire something - an object, a characteristic, an attribute - because we see that others have it, and their possession reinforces the idea that the object is desirable. In this triangle, the Model is the current possessor of the habit or object.
Consider a woman, 40 years old, who visits your Box for the first time today. Her name is Mary. When she's searching your location on Google, does Mary desire to do a pullup? No; it's not yet in her realm of known possibilities. She doesn't care about pullups because she's never seen one done by a woman, perhaps. Mary just wants to lose 20 pounds.
When she's standing at your front desk, Mary still doesn't want to do a pullup. She wants to survive without "sweating too much" or committing another social faux pas. Her goal in session #1 isn't to make friends or experience "the community": it's to survive with ego intact. She doesn't want to embarrass herself.
And then...she sees Julianne hitting five beautiful kipping pullups in a row. Julianne is 40. Julianne has abs. Julianne puts chalk on her hands, and swings her legs like so, and can actually pull her chin above the bar in midair. Wow.
CrossFit thrives at providing behavioural Models, and providing clear paths to mimickry. Not only can we show you Julianne, but we can map you out the ways to BE Julianne.
Successful businesses in all industries do this well: here's Julianne. She likes this purse. You want the same purse? Here's how to get it.
Interestingly, Girard takes the step further, suggesting that when the model and the subject become equals - when Mary can finally link 5 kipping pullups - they become rivals. They compete for acquisition of the object - they start to compare each other's max pullup numbers. As the rivalry grows, the value of the object increases. This, too, is where CrossFit shines: by offering the competitive element, clients can move up through the hierarchy of desire without changing their mode of pursuit (in this case, gyms.)
How does this affect you? Simple: pack the gym with models of behaviour. If you have to do it for free, at first, do it for free. Take one from Skip Chase's book, and invite every waiter and hairdresser in town - models who are constantly in front of people, chatting - and have them do CrossFit for three months. The biggest risk is inviting a new person into an empty gym: devoid of models, they have nothing on which to base their desire for CrossFit.
(You don't have to say, "You can come free!" Instead, give them a coupon for 3 free months. That way your rate is unaffected, and you're giving away a coupon, not a freebie. Small difference in fact, big difference in the psychology of your other members.)