A recent Harvard Business Review study revealed that about 71% of eligible leads are not followed up by businesses. Also, among the leads that are followed-up, the majority get touched only about 1.3 times on an average.
This is a staggering statistic. After all, you’ve spent that entire marketing budget on lead generation, trying to get people to contact you, and you don’t have a system or a dedicated sales team in place that sends regular follow-ups? You really should be investing in the conversion of those leads. It means a huge loss of opportunity costs, both in terms of revenue and customer experience. New leads could mean new members for your fitness club that are just waiting for that push to join - from you!
So here is how you need to follow-up on old gym leads if you wish to drive growth at your gym.
Not every customer will sign-up on their first conversation with you. If they don’t, you need to find out why. Maybe they weren’t ready. Maybe they didn’t understand how you could help them. It might be something really simple like they didn’t understand what the next steps to signing up were or they just couldn't locate your phone number!Try and establish a friendly connection with the customer. Contact them via email (it's less intrusive) casually to inquire about how they are doing and ask them if they have any health or fitness goals you can assist them to achieve. Their response may be the key to converting them to a member (if you can help them of course). Even if it means offering them a free trial or a discount on a new membership if they sign up before a certain date, it still translates to potential paying customers and in turn, increased revenue for you.
Send your prospects regular email and text updates about your facility and how you are helping your clients. Even better, let your customers do the story-telling through written and video testimonials. Maybe offer some incentives (like a free Zumba lesson - who doesn't love free stuff?!) to your existing customers to encourage them to leave reviews on your Google or Facebook pages. These are more compelling than anything you could write and send your potential new clients. Your prospects want to be reassured you are the right gym or trainer to assist them in achieving their goals, and your customers’ words will go a long way to convincing them you are. Client testimonials and progress photographs are also great content for things like Facebook ads and are more convincing and realistic than random stock images you find online.
It is vital for every fitness business to include a Facebook/Instagram page or a Twitter handle in their online marketing strategy. It’s important to get customer reviews, testimonials and keep the conversation about your services going. Connect with old members on Facebook through your official page to get back their interest. Share success stories and ask for suggestions to improve your service. The idea is to start and engage in conversations with your members and prospects. Social media provides a great channel to share the personality of your business. Leave some time aside every day to post some useful information, reply to comments or start new conversations with your followers.
Exit surveys can be helpful tools to follow up with old members. The reports generated by your gym membership software helps study these surveys and identify leakage within your business. By understanding these trends, you are in a better position to address any shortfalls of your company and encourage these former members back to your business. If you are not conducting exit surveys and tracking these trends, you are missing out on some great insights into your sales process, customers and your business in general.
Share regular fitness tips, workout plans, healthy eating ideas and so on. Send this information to potential members by email, exchange information on social media and engage in local forums (both online and through partnerships). Remember, the more visible your are in your community, the more likely a prospect will see you as a service provider that can meet their needs. These are great methods of indirectly following up and can be automated through your gym software. The fitness industry is growing more competitive by the day and being proactive is the only way to remain relevant.
A prospect might feel discouraged to signup because he/she might not have enough time to come in and register during normal business hours! Phone calls/online registrations and bookings can help. Send your prospect an email with a number of “Introduction to the Center” calendar slots and let them book in directly either through an online link or a phone call during business hours. It is easy and can be the trigger to move them towards becoming a member. If cinemas and doctor's clinics can do it, why not health clubs and fitness studios?
Organizing fun events or celebrating special days like ‘World Health Day’, ‘Father’s Day’ and so on can be excuses to invite old members or prospects to events where you can (re)engage with them. This also gives them a chance to get to know other members of the gym and meet personal trainers which might spark a connection somewhere. Either way, if it makes them come back, it's working in your favor.
Don’t let a lead turn old in the first place. If you are purposeful in your follow-up with old members or recent prospects, your conversion rates will improve. Imagine what an extra 5-10 members per month will do to your bottom line over the course of a year.If you don't know the first thing about lead conversion or simply do not have much time to follow up on leads, your gym software can assist you in managing these prospects to send highly targeted messages.