Posted on 23-06-2023
You've received an online lead, now what?
See, the Internet is obviously an ideal way to easily and quickly connect with your target audience, your potential members. But do you know how much emotion is involved when it comes to why people want to get in better shape (again)? Why they want to be fitter? And why it is you (and your team) who can best provide that?
How so? Well, if you let the lead follow-up be 100% digital or done by an external call center, then the majority of your leads miss out on the personal connection. And it's precisely that connection that is crucial for the lead to feel "safe" with you. No one knows better what your business stands for. And calling a lead who has shown interest is actually not much different from making a personal connection like you do at a party. It's easier and quicker than you think, no complicated call scripts with tricks, but genuine interest in people. Here are our...
Following up on leads and ultimately helping them become members starts with:
Filling out an online form for more information is a simple step. But do you know why that lead needs your help right now? Why haven't those leads been able to become fitter, leaner, and healthier on their own? We have asked that and more to tens of thousands of leads. The answers... are surprisingly simple. Based on their statements, the conclusion is straightforward: they need your help at every step from starting to sustaining. Whoever does that well is the king! Retention starts at the front door; knowing what motivates someone and responding to it. Even if it means hearing "no."
Maybe you didn't know it yet, but the internet is really handy; your leads can schedule their own appointment to visit your club or studio. But if that doesn't work out or if it's just a step too fast, you simply need to give them a call. You realize that in today's society with a short attention span, you need to act quickly to guide an interested person to the next step. But do you have time to wait by the phone all day for leads? No, you don't. That's why there's:
That sounds convenient! And it is. You just need to pick up the phone when she calls. If you don't answer, she will call again within a few minutes. Just as you would expect when it's urgent. And it is, urgent. Nowadays, it's known that if you call your lead within 2 minutes, you have the best chance of reaching the lead and making an appointment. Let's say the phone rings while you're pouring yourself a cup of coffee. Do you answer? Yes! Let's say the phone rings while you're in the middle of a training session. Do you answer? That's up to you. Realize that it's someone who urgently needs your help. Your members are important, but there are always dropouts, so you always want to follow up and call leads as quickly as possible. Call for...
Your leads are interested but often have been dreading their first visit to a gym for a long time. That has been known for years. The familiar misconception among non-members is that fitness centers are filled with only fit and toned boys and girls, while the hesitant "I'm-too-out-of-shape" lead stands out. This lead needs your help now more than ever: firstly, to determine if they will even start exercising, and secondly, if they see themselves fitting in with you. In other words, you need to guide them and take steps together. That's why saying "bring your workout clothes and start right away" is often said to the wrong person. And they don't find a tour appointment interesting either. It's great that you're proud of your facility, but the leads mainly have doubts about whether you prioritize their needs. Their concern is about feeling comfortable. Only then will they become members.
Well, it's simple: you want to put the lead at ease and explain what will happen next. Something like, "Great that you're interested in our program. I can tell you everything about it, including our club/studio, but there's only one thing that matters. And that is whether you feel comfortable here in the club and are convinced that we can help you. That can't be done over the phone. That's why I would like to invite you for a personal introduction; just getting to know each other and seeing if we're a match. If not, no problem, no obligations. And if yes, then we can together determine which program suits your needs best. Can we schedule the appointment for today or would you prefer... " and so on, or something similar, in your own words. But don't explain the entire program and membership details. What the lead needs is simply someone who can help them take the next step. Literally and figuratively.
It's about realizing how the lead wants to be treated. And if your team isn't yet capable of doing that, luckily we have our call script (available as a PDF for all our regular clients) and your personal Client Success Manager who can give you precise tips and tricks for short and effective phone conversations.
Just as you hear it from your leads and departing members, we hear it too: we're too busy. In this case, "too busy to answer all those phone calls." 100 leads per month is just slightly more than 3 calls per day on average. So being busy is not a valid reason. I understand it well; it seems like you should be selling over the phone. After reading this article, you'll know that "selling" over the phone is actually not the intention. On average, it's about 3 calls per day. A phone call to schedule an introductory appointment takes 1 to 4 minutes. That's just 10 minutes per day! 10! There will certainly be days without leads and days with triple the number of leads. Great! Isn't that exactly what you want? Then you spend 30 minutes, out of maybe the 15 hours your club is open per day, calling people who show interest in your program. 30 minutes spread across your opening hours is dedicated to the most important artery of your business, the main channel that continuously brings in new members.
And do you happen to know the Lifetime Value of your members, i.e., how much revenue each member generates on average throughout their entire membership? Both directly (subscription) and indirectly (additional expenses, word-of-mouth advertising, etc.). This depends on your price level, but we have clients whose Lifetime Value per member is as high as €8,800. In that case, not answering a phone call and treating lead follow-up as an afterthought becomes very costly. It immediately makes you realize that simply answering the phone when the Virtual Call Center Assistant LeadConnect calls and inviting the lead for an introduction is what helps that lead (and yourself) the most.
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