You’ve crafted an offer, published an ad online and leads are populating into your CRM. The next step in the process is closing sales. And as a gym owner, you can’t afford not to master this skill.
All the leads in the world will be useless if you lose them at the closing stage of the funnel. We reached out to LASSO owners Blake Ruff and Sherman Merricks for their best tips in turning leads into members.
ICYMI: LASSO is a lead and sales system optimization company that does the hard work for you. It helps you generate leads, and more importantly, sales. Pair it with the PushPress Grow CRM for a one-two punch that’s helped gym owners increase revenue substantially.
Three Ways To Close The Sale
1. Persistence Pays Off.
A big mistake Merricks and Ruff often see gym owners make is assuming if a lead doesn’t get back to you the first time, they’re a dud.
“One of the big things people take for granted is that you actually have to call or text these folks,” Merricks explained. “Because everyone is always like, ‘Well I reached out to them three times and they didn’t respond, so they must not be interested.’”
“No, that’s not necessarily the case. They could genuinely be busy and you keep catching them at a bad time,” he added.
Instead, Ruff and Merricks say most people need as many as 10 touch points before making a decision.
Naturally, this much follow-up is difficult to do manually. And this is how the collaboration with PushPress Grow came to fruition. Grow automates lead generation and follow-up, helping you with connecting properly and closing sales.
Once the lead gets populated in Grow, the software will automatically reach out to the lead a number of times in a systematic way. This way, you don’t have to make 200 phone calls or texts per week.
Grow also saves you time client retention once your leads have turned into members.
Want to find out how Grow can save you time and improve your lead follow-up? Book a demo with our team today!
So how long does the process take? Merricks and Ruff recommend keeping people in the funnel until they give you a definitive yes or no answer.
“You want a yes or a no. Preferably a yes, but I’ll take a no because at least now I don’t have to think about it,” Merricks said.
“Keep hounding until they say, ‘Hey leave me alone,’ or ‘Thanks for following up. I can come in next week.’”
2. Start With A Personalized Intro.
Merricks recommends bringing prospects in for a one-on-one intro, as opposed to a group intro or class. He feels that for closing sales, it’s a lot easier to “get to know them one-on-one.”
A personalized intro session allows you to connect with the prospect on a personal level. You’ll find out why they’re really there, as opposed to the superficial reason they might not share in a group setting.
With that in mind, Merricks reminds gym owners to value their own time. A one-on-one intro doesn’t mean you need to give away an hour or more of your time for free, he explained.
“An intro shouldn’t be taking more than 20-ish minutes. If you give someone an hour and they don’t sign up, that’s a lot of time for no ROI,” Merricks said.
He added, “You can even go a step further to pre-qualify folks, so before they come in. You can do a quick five- or six-minute discovery call with them to see if they’ll be a good fit, to see if they’re really serious. So by the time they come in in front of you, you know, okay, this person is serious about getting this problem solved.”
3. Shift Your Mindset For Closing Sales.
While 15 years ago, formal sales training may not have been necessary for the CrossFit gym owner, times have changed, Merricks and Ruff said.
“In the beginning, CrossFit was sort of like Fight Club. Back in 2009, we were doing it in garages, and it was like, ‘Hey, you wanna come in and try this? And if you don’t die, you can come back tomorrow and do it with us again,’” Merricks said.
“But now that has totally changed. We’re competing against Orange Theories and F45s. These people have professional sales folks doing the sales, so that whole premise of, ‘I don’t want to sell them…’ Well if you don’t sell them, they’re going to walk out your door and go somewhere else that’s not going to get them as good of results,” he continued.
The point is, the small gym owners need to change their mindset about sales. Embrace that you’re in sales, and maybe even get some formal sales training.
“Most people have been sold a lie of every sales person is like the old time used car salesman. But I always flip it on its head and tell folks, ‘If you ask around in your town, the most successful people in your town, they’re probably sales people. They can sell people. They can get along with folks,’” Merricks said. He added that you don’t have to be pushy or sleazy like the stereotype.
“Just tell them what you can do for them. Tell them about the problem you can solve that they came in for. Don’t talk about anything else. Just talk about how your gym can fix that problem.”
In Summary: Closing Sales Means Solving Problems.
Turning a lead into a member of your gym requires patience and persistence. Once a lead funnels through to the gym, your job is simple: Meet with them one-on-one to get to know who they are, why they’re here and what problems they’re looking to solve.
Show them why what you’re offering is different from what they have tried in the past, and how you can help. If they believe you’re the solution, they’ll be willing to pay a lot more than they thought when they walked through your doors.
ICYMI, check out the full LASSO Series... Part 1: Crafting an Offer That Works to Sell New Clients and Part 2: The Importance of a CRM for Sales and Growth!