Posted on 29-07-2016
Update April 2019:
The principles in this blog are used in our now 750+ fitness clubs, gyms, PT studios and Boutique Clubs in 12 countries a.o. United States of America, Canada, the UK, Ireland, and more.
Aernout Leezenberg, founder, CEO, and co-owner of Hidden Profits Marketing: 'What we see in fitness and health marketing is that most fitness and yoga advertising, flyers, brochures, posters are about 'BUY NOW'. Partially that's fine because there will always be new buyers every day. However, the issue with this focus is that the buyers are far outnumbered by the people that are actively looking but just not ready to buy yet. And by the people that are open to it, but not actively searching for a gym. Our benchmark of now 750+ fitness studios shows that this goes for every type of studio. From low-cost operators to the highest high-end personal training studio. From big brand fitness chains to the tiniest yoga studio.
In any given market at any given time (maybe January excluded) just about 3% of your target audience is ready to buy now. The remaining 97% of your target audience needs a bit or a lot more help to make that step towards a healthier lifestyle. That is where effective salespeople separate from the ignorant that just call themselves sales person but actually aren't."
Leezenberg continues: "I think only a handful of fitness entrepreneurs, club managers know this book. It's old, yes. The author even passed away. This book 'The Ultimate Sales Machine' by the late sales guru Chet Holmes explains how to approach and open up people in all layers of this model. And to activate people from all groups of this model to make the next step. Every fitness professional, inactive people that come into action needs some guidance. In this case sales guidance. Take them by the hand and help them make the step towards deciding to join your program. That's it."
"But... do you think the average salesperson is patient enough to take the lead by the hand? And guide them through some questions and steps to help them first decide on their commitment? Even before helping them make a decision on joining your program? A lot of them do, but a lot don't. In regular gyms, the most common mistake is forcing leads into a (free) workout session, even though they have not committed to starting a program at all yet! In personal training studio's the #1 mistake is just mentioning the price without even helping the leads to make the step to start a program at all. With the excuse 'I don't waste a lot of time talking to people that can not afford my service'. Right. Failing to do this kind of real sales work just exposes bad salespeople. That's all. What is the right way? Any other way than just pushing for the quick win. Just guide your leads like a mentor. If a potential client is already committed to start a program at all, you don't even need trained salespeople but just a friendly host at the reception of your studio that hands out the application forms! But don't mix up that process with sales", Leezenberg adds.
"But...", Leezenberg continues, "But... isn't mentoring and guiding people what fitness and yoga professionals do? We found with our benchmark, that when fitness pros do exactly thát during the so-called sales process, the leads instantly start joining whatever program that they are being offered. In my opinion, selling is not twisting some arms and forcing or tricking people into buying. No, selling is helping these same people make a decision. By asking the right questions. Questions like what they are really looking for. And asking what stopped them from reaching their goals. Suddenly they don't need to think it over anymore and most of them are ready to start. The result of a real interest in people, real professional support, and real commitment."
Leezenberg: "At this moment we run the online marketing strategies for over 750 fitness clubs, gyms, personal training studios, yoga studios. In the United States of America and Canada, in England / the UK, in Ireland, in New Zealand, in Belgium and the Netherlands, and in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland;, Italy and more everywhere we see the same consumer trends. And we see the same results in even more European and North-American countries, where we are already creating showcases for our Growth Formula. The major task for every fitness marketer that works in my team is looking at the program offer from the context of the customer and his/her emotions. On behalf of our clients, we bring more value to the customer than just a 'Buy Now' offer. Or if you wish a 'Book your FREE lesson now!' offer. That 'secret' is the foundation for our lead generating strategies on social media like Facebook. That is why the results for our clients are ongoing, not just a boost. Consistency in extremely effective and effeciënt marketing at it's best."
'It comes down to this: at any given time, in any given area, about 3% or just a handful of people are actively searching for a gym. Most people are not actively searching, but are open to making the next step in their journey towards joining your club. The number one question is: 'Where do we find that bigger audience and what is the best strategy to reach them and convert them into fitness leads and paying cliënts?', Leezenberg continues. 'Ever since 2004, all we do is develop an ongoing better producing lead machine for our clients. In that process, we discovered what we call the Holy Grail of Fitness and Health Marketing. From the moment we changed our focus from just 'Buy Now' to bringing more value to the consumers, our clients received booming numbers of leads and new paying members. From that moment on the flow is constant, 365 days a year, due to new sources, new campaigns and new advertising strategies to optimize results."
Leezenberg concludes: "We discovered how to generate tons of pre-qualified adult leads from Facebook mainly. Why Facebook? Because that is where most adult people from every age group are. That is where people are scrolling their timeline for interesting or inspiring (fitness) information. They are not looking for a 'Buy Now!' ad. Discovering that little before-mentioned secret, combined with our ongoing optimization of websites, landing pages, search engine strategies, social media marketing strategies and more, guarantees our clients the success they deserve. We developed the strategies, the communication, and we apply techniques that trigger the emotions of the consumers when looking for fitness as a solution to their problem."
Do you want to grow your fitness club, gym, personal training studio or yoga classes? And are you located in the United States of America, Canada, the United Kingdom or Ireland? How would you like a 365-days a year ongoing stream of people that are interested in the health programs you offer? With the Growth Formula our digital fitness marketing experts team helps you grow your health business into (even more) profitability!
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