This probably feels like an eternal struggle for so many gym owners. Those who figure it out just keep on rolling, and those who don’t feel like every day is a coin toss.
We’ve got a team of certified Fitness Business Coaches available, so let’s start by asking them. Here’s the first question:
What is working right now to get fitness leads to convert? Can you share one simple or practical example of something that is getting leads to convert to clients?
Asa: The biggest thing right now has been not being hesitant to talk to and nurture any potential leads. Buyers are needing a higher level of trust established in order to take a financial leap of faith. What better way to nurture them through then to actually talk them through their uncertainties.
Automation is a great tool to have in your lead follow-up tool belt but don’t forget the art of verbal communication/conversations.
A simple effective example of something that is working right now is simply adding to your website the option for a lead to either call OR text you for more information. Most business owners only have their phone number listed without the option to also text that number. Texting is a much less invasive start to get the lead communicating!
Pamela: The best action I’ve seen working is to make each outreach, but especially the first, as personalized as possible. Rather than following a formal script, allow the conversation to go in the direction it needs to for the person you are speaking with. This does mean making an initial phone call and then following up from there in their preferred communication channel.
Luke: Business owners who are approaching their outreach efforts through a lens of relationship building rather than a sales agenda are having way more success getting people engaged.
For example, rather than going quickly to “Let’s get you in for a consultation,” they are taking time to ask how people are doing from a place of genuine concern. Most people’s lives have been significantly altered over the past few years, and they seem to respond positively when fitness professionals demonstrate a sensitivity and awareness to that.
Also, some Coaching Partners who mostly offer large group training have introduced either small group or semi-private training, which is attractive to leads who want/need a lower price point than 1:1 personal training.
Justin: As much as the industry has changed, you can still be just as successful if not more when you adjust your tactics to meet people where they are at now.
Focusing on cold audiences exclusively is always gonna be a tough road. Where we are seeing coaching partners build more momentum is through a combination of consistent referral strategies, joint ventures, and content marketing.
The problem that can halt these channels is not knowing your ideal client well enough to know what referral system will truly speak to them, what joint ventures to work with that are already fostering your ideal client, and what content strategy to use that will build know like and trust with your ideal client. So, start by dialing in your ideal client, and then let go of what used to work to make room for what is working.
Collaborations are still one of the fastest ways to build momentum when it comes to audience building, which leads to high quality leads.
Craig: Connecting with a lead by phone call is a tried and true method, and it still works great. The caveat is, you (or your team) need to have a solid phone presentation. For most people, if you’re simply genuine in your conversation, it will produce results. It’s still important to utilize emails and texts in your follow up process to increase the likelihood of response.
Engage with the lead through the channel they respond with. But, drive the conversation to a phone call. It’s a valuable step in building rapport before the person commits to any type of formal consultation.
Next Question: How Can I Get Leads to Respond to Follow-up? and What Communication Channels Are Working the Best?
Asa: Today more than ever we live in a world of technology at our fingertips. Lead follow up is a fickle beast that needs to be constantly nurtured. Having a consistent follow up process is critical, especially since there are now so many virtual or at-home options in play.
Automation is an asset that can be a great tool in our toolbelt when it comes to lead follow up. However, when we are living in such a virtual world we gain more trust with our buyers by reaching out to have a conversation with them.
Don’t forget the art of interpersonal communication and have those touch points laced into your follow up process.
Luke: Direct person-to-person outreach is definitely working right now for business owners to distinguish themselves—especially if the communication is timely and consistent.
A common pitfall is assuming an initial non-response means “no.” It is so important for owners to be persistent with their lead follow-up, to keep their limiting beliefs in check, and to stay grounded in the difference they make for people.
The research is in: it typically takes 8 follow-ups to secure a paying client. Trust the data!
Craig: You have to Follow Through with the Follow Up! Understand that you have more to gain than you have to lose.
We hear quite often that you don’t want to come across as pushy or desperate. Not getting a response doesn’t mean someone isn’t interested, so strive to overcome any fear or discomfort in following up multiple times (like 3-4 times in the first week alone.)
Personal outreach through phone and text are ideal, but blending in email helps nurture them along and is a great opportunity to leverage social proof.
Pamela: The best way to get leads to respond right now is through a personalized outreach, opt for a phone call whenever possible. You might go to voicemail on the first try so have an upbeat and positive voice when leaving the message for the lead to connect back with you.
Take time to step away from the automation overload and embrace the personal touchpoint opportunity.
After the phone call, alternate between email and text for each person to find their preferred method of communication with you.
Ben: When working in a virtual or hybrid setting, it is very tempting to let automation do the work for you. When comparing the conversation to an in person meeting, it can come across as generic and dry.
Pick up the phone and call your leads, and when doing so, make an extra effort to build rapport intentionally. Your job to get the lead to sign up will be much easier if they actually look forward to your call.
Don’t be another gym spamming them because they clicked your lead magnet, slow down a bit and get to know them for who they are. Your bank account and your retention numbers will thank you!
Similar Coaches’ Corner topics:
- What Do You Tell Gym Owners To Do When Their Typically Reliable Lead Channels Stop Producing?
- How Many Lead Sources Should My Gym Have? I only have one, is that ok?
- Gym Membership Pricing: Should I raise my rates? How do I set my gym’s prices?
- What Happens When Gym Owners Let Emotions (Like Fear, Hope) Guide Decisions?
Have something specific you’d like to hear from our Fitness Business Coaches about?
Our Ask a certified Fitness Business Coach Guide has more questions and answers like these, from fitness business owners just like you.