By: Jim Thomas
Did you know that 80% of all gym membership sales are made within the 5th and 12th contact?
Did you know the average membership sales rep only follows up 1 – 3 times?
For those that don’t follow up, this is a BIG problem for Gym owners, for those that do, it’s a great opportunity. Based on our findings, we can improve any gym sales production simply by 15% by improving their follow up skills.
It’s this simple; if you want to close more membership sales (or personal training, etc.) you will need to follow up. You must be in it for the long-term and not give up if things don’t come together for you right away.
There is one more benefit to follow up. Prospects that you consistently follow up with buy more from you. These “nurtured gym leads” make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads.
Here are five strategies you can use in your gym for follow up and make more membership sales:
Focus on Value. You need to focus on the value your gym will provide for the prospect. How will it solve their problem or help them to achieve the results that are after. What’s the value the prospect will receive by being a member? Why is it important that they take action on this now rather than wait? Tell them.
Success Stories. A great way to emphasize the value your prospect will receive by joining your gym is to share Yelp reviews and other success stories. You can post them on your web site and send them a link or a link to your Yelp page. Even print it out and mail it to them (do you remember that one?)
Ideas and Education. Find news articles (use Google alerts) that are relevant to your prospect and send it to them. Consistently send them educational pieces and say something like, “I was reading this article on XYZ and thought you might be interested. Happy to share some ideas with you on this.” That’s about it. No sales push. Just a friendly message. This will show that you care, but it also shows that you are on top of what is happening in the fitness arena.
You don’t need to know it all. Rather than respond with vague answers, simply say, “That’s a great question. I’m going to send you information on that…” You can go on to tell them what you know. The idea is that you shouldn’t try to answer something you don’t know. Because this provides a great opportunity for you to follow up. You can do research, find the answer and then email or call them back to share with them a detailed response. Here’s something to remember….most people don’t get back to you when they say will do – if ever. This is a great way to differentiate yourself is to do what you say you’re going to do. It’s so simple, it’s crazy.
Make an introduction. The Law of Reciprocity is all about give and get. A powerful way to engage a prospect and move membership sales forward is to give, give and give. Don’t worry about getting. When you see an opportunity to help your prospect – even though they aren’t a paying member – grab the chance and run with it.
Use technology. Take your smartphone and do a 20 second video showing the gym and talking about the benefits or exercise…turn the phone and show yourself…then text it. High open rate, plus the video will grab their attention.
Secret Strategy. Here’s the trick; before you finish your presentation or phone call with your prospect…agree to the next workout or call (ideally a workout). The most effective gym salespeople us this approach. This will get you from the initial call to agreement then membership proposal and finally the membership sale much faster.
Now, go follow up and start growing your sales!
Jim Thomas is the founder and president of Fitness Management USA Inc., a management consulting and turnaround firm specializing in the fitness and health club industry. With more than 25 years of experience owning, operating and managing clubs of all sizes, Thomas lectures and delivers seminars and workshops across the country on the practical skills required to successfully build teamwork and market fitness programs and products. Visit his Web site at: www.fmconsulting.net or www.jimthomasondemand.com.