Don’t Read This. Respond to a Lead Instead.

On a chalkboard, the words "response time matters," with a stopwatch in place of the "O."

What’s the fastest way to boost your marketing metrics?

If I were a gambler—and every entrepreneur literally has money riding on the answer—I’d wager that this is the easiest, best way to sell more gym memberships:

Contact leads sooner.

A head shot of writer Mike Warkentin and the column name "Pressing It Out."

I talk to a lot of top gym owners as one of the hosts of the “Run a Profitable Gym” podcast.

Here’s what I’m hearing more and more often from the gym owners who are posting the best metrics:

“I call leads as quickly as possible—within five minutes if I can.”

One top gym owner takes it even further:

1. Call all leads once an hour until contact is made—try every hour between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.

2. Always call twice back to back to increase pickup rate.

3. Nurturing SMSs and emails are only used from Day 2 onward. First contact attempts are always by phone.

4. Call every day for at least six days.

His gym is doing very well, by the way. He has well over 500 members.

You might read the list above and think, “That’s too much.”

And I’ll agree: The plan is intense. It’s also an ideal: Its creator admits it’s not always possible to call leads every hour. But that’s OK because everyone on the team knows speed and follow-up are important, and they know what perfect execution entails.

If someone misses the 11-a.m. call because she was working on retention—also very important—it’s OK. She can just pick up the pursuit at noon.

Overall, the four-step plan shows the relentless approach to marketing that characterizes top gym owners in 2024.

I can recall letting a phone in the office ring because I wanted to finish wiping off the squat rack.

I remember mentally writing off a person who didn’t show up for a free consultation—I just started a workout and never messaged him again.

I know I checked our Facebook inbox several times and found months-old messages that read “how do I get started?”

I got away with that stuff in 2011. I wouldn’t dare try it in 2024.

Try Harder

If you’re struggling with marketing, or even if you’re not but would like to do better, try harder.

You don’t need secret tips or advanced tactics from sales gurus.

To start, you just need to contact leads early and often—and keep trying until you get a “no.”

That’s it.

Some will suggest doing this will annoy people. And maybe a few people will be irritated. But who cares? Anyone who entered your funnel did so by choice. You’re just holding up your end of the deal by connecting to give them the info they need to get fit.

If you get through to the person, you might earn a high-value client who stays for years—and you might change a life.

If you pass on follow-up, someone who needs help might never get it.

What Will You Do With Your Next Lead?

You’re going to get a new lead in the next 24 hours. It could be a person who books a free intro, or it could be someone who brushes up against your business but still shows interest by visiting your website, requesting a lead magnet, calling or DMing you, commenting on your social media, sending an email, or joining your mailing list.

How fast will you respond to that person? And how many times will you try to make contact to find out how you can help?

I hope the answers are “immediately” and “a lot.”

If you have different answers, I really think you might be missing the easiest way to help more people and generate more revenue.

To learn more about how to grow your fitness business, book a call.


One more thing!

Did you know gym owners can earn $100,000 a year with no more than 150 clients? We wrote a guide showing you exactly how.