January is the time of year that most gym owners look forward to. It’s a time when we have plenty of leads, and the year ahead looks bright. If you comb through owners forums and do a search for leads you’ll see countless posts on ways to increase leads but few on how to actually close those leads.
Step 1 - Lead Prep
How comfortable are you with your intake process and how confident are you that it’s the best process for bringing new members into your facility? At CrossFit 913 we have been using a 1 on 1 fundamentals process for quite a while and our Membership Director along with the rest of our team are highly confident that this is the absolute best method for folding a new client into our community. Why is it important to know this? Because the lead that is coming in for your ‘no sweat intro’ is going to visit a few other gyms and like so many other things in life confidence or fear can be seen a mile away. When your process is refined and proven to the new prospect it will show.
Step 2 - The prospect walks through your doors, now what?
I’ve spent my entire career in sales, and I can talk with the best of them, but when it’s time to sell it’s time to shut your mouth and listen. Your primary goal in this conversation should be to arrive at the deepest level of understanding as to WHY this person walked into the door of your gym. Losing 20 lbs is not a why, losing 20 lbs because they have high blood pressure and want to be around to see their kid get married is a WHY! Losing 20 lbs so their spouse will find them attractive again is a WHY! All too often I’ve witnessed people in sales take the first answer as the answer, rather than digging deeper. I’m wanting you to ask another level of probing questions, like:“Why is losing 20 lbs important to you?” “If I could guarantee that you’ll lose 20 lbs in the next 3 months what would your next goal be?”“Take away the number on the scale, and what do you think a successful new fitness journey entails for your personal life?”The secondary goal in the conversation is to find any other bits of information that will help you in overcoming objections that may arise such as time, and money.“What type of day would you typically like to invest an hour into accomplishing ____?”
Step 3 - It’s Closing Time.
Now that you’ve gained the knowledge as to the real reason the prospect is standing in front of you it’s time for you to show or explain the assets you have at your gym that will help them accomplish their goals. By assets I mean, community for accountability, competition, family, friends, networking, results, etc. Try to avoid the pitfall of “we have the newest bikes”, or brand new bumpers, because shiny new toys become dusty and used but your culture sticks. The final part of explaining how you will help them accomplish their goals should include the confident intake process for bringing in new clients. “We put every new member at 913 through a series of individualized one on one sessions to ensure proper movement patterns prior to joining our group classes……(insert value statement here)….Since your ideal time to workout is _:__ (use time mentioned from earlier in the conversation) why don’t we get started tomorrow at _:__?”. If you get an objection at this point, make sure you listen carefully to what exactly they are saying and ask a question directly related to overcoming the question. Generally I don’t believe in being overly persistent, but I do believe in gaining further understanding.Money - “I understand that we are not the cheapest gym in town, but often times the best services are going to cost a little more. Our prices are fixed so that our staff is made up of career professionals which drive the results that have built our reputation. If you’re truly looking to accomplish ____ is this the place you see that happening?Time - “I love football, but 3 hours on a Sunday is very long time to sit and watch a game, so often I skip it in favor of spending time with my daughter. I’d rather invest my time into her than my television. Do you think 3 - 1 hour classes a week is a worthwhile investment in your health and to accomplish ____?”I need to check with my spouse - “My wife and I have an unspoken dollar amount that we have to talk with each other about. I come home with a new car and I’m sleeping on the couch. I respect that we all have different relationships, but do you think they’ll have a problem with you choosing to advance your health and fitness journey with us?”
A few small details that will change based on the individual staff member doing the selling, and the beliefs of the gym owner:
- Increase your energy to 1 level over the prospects - You should be getting them excited which requires a good energetic calm demeanor. Many will walk in your door and be timid, so take it one level up but not so much that you’re bouncing off the walls while they’re cowering in the corner.
- Let them walk - If you follow all of the steps above and they are adamant with some objection to walk out the door, let them. A long time ago I did sales for a globo gym and we would do everything possible to avoid letting someone walk. By taking the anti sales approach here you are demonstrating that your reputation is going to continue to feed you clients and that you’re not desperate which just like in dating will make you more attractive.
- Goals - If you have a goal setting process with your existing clients, take this opportunity to set the prospects first goal setting session ‘x’ number of months in the future. How serious are you about their journey if you’re already planning for 6 months down the road?
- Be unselfish - This is not the time to think about your commission, your workout, your dinner, etc. The ONLY thing that matters is being completely invested into this person and their needs. Repeatedly doing this is difficult but we got in this business to change lives right?