How Top Coaching Gyms Close 20+ Sales Per Month

A picture of a smiling gym owner holding $100 bills, with the title "How Top Coaching Gyms Close 20+ Sales Per Month."

Chris Cooper (00:02):
How are the best gyms in the world getting leads right now? Well, I’m Chris Cooper. This is “Run a Profitable Gym.” And today I’m going to tell you. We’re going to start with “Who are the best gyms in the world at getting leads?” and then I’m going to tell you how they do it, but we’re also going to go deeper. We’re also going to say, “Who are the best gyms in the world at getting those leads to show up for sales appointments?” and “Who are the best gyms in the world for getting those leads to sign up for membership?” They’re not all the same gym, but we asked every one of them, “How are you doing this better than anybody else?” And today, I’m going to share that with you because today is our leaderboard show. Every month, we collect data from thousands of gyms around the world, and we look for who’s doing the best at different things.

Chris Cooper (00:50):
It’s like you’re programming for your gym, and you’ve got data from all these athletes, and you say, “Who’s the fastest runner? Who’s the best at deadlift? Who is the best at Fran? Who’s the best at kettlebells?” And then you interview each one and you say, “What are you doing that makes you so good?” Then we turn around and we share that all with you so that you can copy them. You can follow their business programming, do what they do and become successful too. We do that by starting with actual metrics because I’m sure you’ve heard from 500 gym owners who say, “I’m amazing at getting leads; let me help you.” And you know by now to be skeptical of those. We want to start with actual proof and numbers so that we know that we’re telling you the right things. So, the first thing we’re going to do is look at our leaderboards.

Chris Cooper (01:35):
We’ve got three different leaderboards for you today. One is on appointments set: These are the number of people who came through a website and booked a No Sweat Intro. The second thing is appointments showed: So, of those people, how many people showed up for their No Sweat Intro? And the third thing is appointments closed: So, how many of those people actually bought? The reason we break these three things up is because every single day I’m in—that is our free group; you can join it—and people will ask questions about “How do I get more leads?” But as a mentor, my job is to dig deeper and say, “What is the actual problem here?” And many times, people say, “How do I get more leads?” when they really mean, “How do I get more customers?” And when we look at their funnels, we don’t see a problem with lead gen.

Chris Cooper (02:23):
We see a problem with leads that don’t go anywhere or leads that never book an appointment or leads that don’t show up for an appointment or leads that don’t actually sign up. And when we break the problem down like that, we can solve it. We can solve it easily, and we can solve it forever. The metrics that we track for marketing are—or leads of course—set rate, show rate, and close rate. Leads are how many people get from the universe to your website. Set rate is how many people who go on your website book an appointment to come talk to you. Show rate is how many of those people show up for their appointment, and close rate is how many of those people buy. If we look at those things in sequence, we can make your business so much better. We can make your marketing so much more powerful.

Chris Cooper (03:09):
And today I’m going to tell you how the best in the world do it. So, let’s start here with our leaderboards. We’re going to talk about appointments set first. And the reason that we’re looking at these separately instead of “Who gets the most leads and closes them all?” is because we want to learn from the best in each case. If I want to get a bigger deadlift, I want to talk to the best deadlifter in the world. If I want to get the best 400-meter runtime, I want to talk to the best 400-meter runner in the world. If I want to be good at both of them, I want to talk to both of those people, not necessarily the person who is currently the best at doing both of those things. Hopefully that makes sense. So, if I look at who is best in the world at setting appointments, wow. Canada is represented, which I’m proud to say. U.S. is represented, but none of the Top 6 come from North America, which is amazing for this.

Chris Cooper (04:00):
So, let’s start at number 10. We’ve got people, two Canadian gyms, getting 39 and 40 appointments booked last month. That’s pretty good. If you think about it, that’s like more than one appointment every day, and if you’re open 25 days out of the month, you’re getting close to two appointments a day. Imagine if you had two No Sweat Intros every single day, how much better your business would be doing. As we travel up the leaderboard, we see more appointments set. 40, 41, 46 in Denmark. 47 in Great Britain. 49 in Sweden. Oh, proud of those guys. 76 in Amsterdam, 87. And the number one ranked gym worldwide for getting NSIs set is—it’s a tie. Two gyms have 87. What’s really, really interesting is that one of these gyms is in South America, and one of these gyms is in Europe. You know, I often hear “There’s no market for my thing,” you know, fitness, HIITs, CrossFit, whatever your gym is, semi-private, “in X, Y, Z.”

Chris Cooper (05:02):
I’ve heard every kind of gym in every kind of country. There’s no excuse for your marketing not to be working. We’ve got two gyms here: One’s in Europe; one’s in South America. They’re both getting 90 or 87 NSIs set last month. Amazing. Now let’s talk about show rate because this is a different skill. So, number one, if you want to get a lot of appointments to show up, I’m going to give you their top tips in a moment. But you have to be good at generating leads. You have to have like four marketing funnels, and your website has to be good at converting them into appointments, OK? Those are the two big prerequisites. To get people to show up is another skill set that’s called lead nurture. So, you might use a CRM for this, or you might have like a staff person that’s in charge of doing sell by chat or another lead nurture.

Chris Cooper (05:45):
OK? So, if we go up the leaderboard this time, here’s what’s crazy interesting. There are a couple of gyms from the states who are really, really good at lead nurture, and they got 26 people to show up for their gym. The top Canadian is somebody on the mentor team. He got 33 people to show up. So, what’s interesting here is if you take that gym, he’s not on the top 10 for most appointments booked, but he is in the top 10 for most appointments showed, which means he’s great at lead nurture—maybe a more important skill. Then, I see 37 appointments showed. 38, 40, 50 and 76 appointments showed. OK, we’re going to learn from all these people. So not only does this person have dozens and dozens of appointments booked, but 76 people actually showed up for their appointment. OK?

Chris Cooper (06:34):
Now your show rate should be around 70% or better. If you’re doing free trials, that show rate’s going to go way down to below 50%. What you want is an appointment that’s on somebody’s calendar, so they’re showing up and meeting you, and they’re expecting to, but you also have to talk to them on the road to getting there. Now, let’s talk NSIs closed. So, these are people who said, “Sign me up; here’s my credit card,” and they became clients. Alright? If we look top 10 and we work our way up, we see some crazy numbers here. A gym in Great Britain, 20. A couple of gyms in the U.S. 21, 22—different parts of the country. A gym in Denmark, 22. Then we keep going up. Another gym in Europe, 23. A gym in the U.S., 24. A gym in Canada, 25. A gym in Great Britain, 28. Another gym in the States, 31, and the top gym is actually in South America.

Chris Cooper (07:26):
They had 55 new clients actually join last month. Now, here’s what’s crazy. This is not the stuff that you see on Facebook: “I will flood your gym, I will get you 30 new clients guaranteed,” right? These are not cold leads. People who are going to come in for a severe discount or like try your thing and be gone in six weeks. It’s not a bait and switch. These are real clients coming in for real coaching. They want to be coached. They are high value; they’re signing up for personal training or group coaching classes. They’re going to stick around, right? It’s not the “flash in the pan” ad agency crap that you see out there. Now, I’m going to get to their top advice for you, but before I do, congratulations to all these leaders. You are really impacting these people. If there is one person, five people, 10, 20, 55 people joining your gym in a month, those are lives saved.

Chris Cooper (08:23):
Those are not just cold leads coming in and “try before you buy.” These are people who are going to stick around long enough to meaningfully change their lives. That’s amazing. And that’s why I love the gyms that do have a lot of clients because I know they’re meaningfully changing their lives. It’s not just like the up, down, up, down, up, down that you get from novelty buyers. Let’s talk about their best tips. When somebody is giving their best tips for getting people to show up, the first quote is speed. They said, “We really tried to reach out to new leads as fast as possible, and we have double confirmation before the appointment.” So, they send texts and emails saying, “Hey, we’re going to be waiting for you. Can’t wait to see you. Reminder: 3 p.m. Monday. We will be there.” OK? They’re also good at clarity and consistency.

Chris Cooper (09:10):
They said, “We’re consistent with new leads, and we have a clear path for all of our leads. We have narrowed our offering for new members, and there is less confusion for the lead and our staff that are doing the No Sweat Intro.” We recently did this at my gym too. I’ll tell you exactly what we did: When somebody comes in the door now, they do their No Sweat Intro, which is what we’ve been doing for 20 years. The only thing that they are sold is either personal training or an on-ramp program to get them ready for group. The salesperson has a very easy job. They recommend one of those two things. After they go through their on-ramp, they meet with our team again, and they say, “Would you prefer to continue one-on-one with me? Or do you feel ready for group training?” If they start out with personal training, mission accomplished, like they just stick with personal training.

Chris Cooper (09:59):
And then, of course, every client has a goal review every 90 days where that prescription or their membership might change. Next, this person is great at getting leads to book, and they said, “We contact the leads as quickly as possible.” So that’s two votes for speed. Contact consists of a text, a call, and an email. So, they’re not just setting up an autoresponder; they’re actually picking up the phone and calling the person. And if you really want to be successful at anything in business, this is it. You have to care enough to have the hard conversation. Somebody just put themselves out there; they filled in the form on your website: “Oh, oh no, OK, send.” They’re literally waiting for you to call and extend your hand. Give them a lifeline and say, “Don’t worry. We can help. I got you.” And that’s what you’re doing with a call.

Chris Cooper (10:43):
People feel weird about these calls. Like, “Oh, I’m being a pushy salesperson.” You’re answering a cry for help. People are in the water waving their arms; you are tossing them the life ring, and they’re waiting for you to do that. If you’re not doing that quickly, it seems like you just don’t care. This person also said, “Doing the thing is important.” This is his direct quote. Two-Brain teaches this. “I decided to really double down and get out of my comfort zone and call the leads rather than just relying on text and email. I ask them a few questions almost like I’m making sure it’s a good fit, and then we invite them into our gym, and instead of asking them to come to our gym, we invite them, provide a few times we have available and then book it.” I think that’s really important because it really shows you the framing that’s in that gym owner’s head about inviting people to their gym.

Chris Cooper (11:34):
You know, when I got good at affinity marketing—that I started with curiosity and then went to invitation. So, I would talk to people mostly at hockey games or whatever sports my kid was playing. “Oh, you’re the guy who owns that gym.” “Yeah, yeah. Do you belong to a gym in town?” “No, I don’t. I really blah, blah, blah.” I would be curious: “Oh really? Why not?” or “What do you think the problem is?” And they’d give me a reason, and then I would just invite them like, “Hey, I’ll tell you what: I’m going to be at my gym on Monday. I know I’m free between 10 and 12. Do you want to just come in and chat there in private?” And it doesn’t work every time, of course, but many times people will accept the invitation on the spot, and many other times they’ll come back to that invitation later because they know that invitation is open.

Chris Cooper (12:18):
Next, so, this is a gym in Denmark. This guy is consistently on top of our revenue leaderboard or our client headcount leaderboard. But one reason he’s there is he’s good at booking appointments, having those appointments show up and then closing them. And he says, “I followed data-backed tactics. So, we created a new Facebook lead campaign based on some graphics recommended by Two-Brain, combined with some variation of a 5130 post, again taught by Two-Brain. We then split tested this for women, men and mixed audiences. And then in addition, we’ve started Google Ads, but 80% of the success comes from our Facebook advertising.” So, this is what we teach in Two Brain is we give you the ad copy and pictures and everything to use to get set up, but we also teach you to test it and make your ads work and tailor them over time.

Chris Cooper (13:06):
You don’t need different ads than everybody else. You need to get good at running ads, and eventually maybe you outsource them if you want to. But don’t start by hiring an ad agency. Start by getting good at this, acquiring this skill and then practicing it. Getting reps. It’s not as scary, it’s not as mysterious, it’s not as mind numbing as it seems. It’s a skill just like a snatch—way less technical than a snatch. You can learn it; you can get good at it. The same person also says, “Speed.” We’ve heard that before. He says, “We try to contact all of our leads within 20 minutes. Yes, we have automation set up to help with lead follow up, but nothing beats a call and human contact.” You know, we’re three for three recommending that. He also says, “Relentless follow up. In a perfect world where we have the time, our lead follow up is very intense.”

Chris Cooper (13:54):
“One, we call all leads once an hour until contact is made. Two, we always call twice to increase the rate at which they answer their phone. Three, texts and emails are only used from day two onward. Four, we ideally try every hour between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. every day for at least six days. Of course, we don’t have time every single hour, but that says something about the volume and attention that I’m willing to give each lead to help them get started.” Again, invite, help. This is the skill that this gym owner has mastered. He also recommends having staff to scale. When you get to this level, he says, “When we hit on this effective marketing that’s multiplied our leads, I hired a meeting booker.” You might call them a setter in North America. “We hired a meeting booker that I pay per showed appointment combined with a small hourly rate.”

Chris Cooper (14:47):
“She can book No Sweat Intros directly into my CSM’s calendar in order to keep up. My CSM does nearly 200 goal reviews per 90-day period now.” Wow. “And so that’s why she’s not doing all the lead follow up anymore.” Now, that person outsourced a lot of their marketing and also their goal reviews. You might be tempted to jump to that, but you need to do this work yourself first so that you know what it is that you’re delegating, and you can help them when they run into trouble, and you can coach them on getting better. OK? Systemize means you do it yourself. You record exactly how you do it. Optimize means you try a couple of tweaks. You change your ad copy; you change your lead nurture, your sell by chat. And then automate means you give it to another human. You delegate it to them.

Chris Cooper (15:30):
Here are some tips. Another person who’s really good at both booking NSIs and closing. He says, surprise, “Speed and practice.” He says, “I’m the sole lead nurture and salesperson. The two things that I focus on the most are: One, call the lead as fast as possible, making sure to write notes of our conversation so I can keep lots of the conversations straight. And two, practice No Sweat Intros all the time, mostly just to my camera so I can have a smooth sales process once I get the lead into the gym. Speed and reps make him better and help him get such a high close rate. He also says to practice Help First. He says, “I’m doing pretty close to what Two-Brain teaches. Just trying to perfect it every time and having a genuine Help First mentality.” Help First means approach with curiosity. Make an invitation to help.

Chris Cooper (16:22):
You and I know that we can help people by giving them advice, but they won’t take it. We really need to invite them to come into our gyms, and that’s what Help First is all about. Another person from Amsterdam gave us a little bit of advice. So, first they use specific tools. He uses Kilo, which is a CRM and a website company, and they started running paid ads. So, they’re setting up like lead gen. They’re setting up kind of a capturing funnel, and he said, “We think this was directly responsible for our high metric. I expect the coming months to be the same, if not better.” That’s right because he’s not doing a “bait and switch,” you know, “shot in the dark” tactic like a lot of gym owners got sucked into back in 2018 and are still getting sucked into. Now, if somebody says, “We’re going to get you 30 leads this month, guaranteed,” I guarantee you it is a short term tactic that is going to harm you in the long term because you are not learning how to do this yourself.

Chris Cooper (17:12):
And then the person also reinforced: just do the thing. He said, “We really just do everything we’re told by our mentor, and that is what makes us successful. We consistently tell stories on social media. We engage with our clients through Kilo using our own voice, and it all just works.” Well, surprise, surprise. The reason all this stuff works is because we start from data. We collect “What are the best actually doing?” We codify that and mentor gyms on how to do it, and then we hold them accountable for doing it. That’s why Two-Brain gyms are accelerating way faster than anybody else. We’re not out here guessing. We’re identifying, we’re copying, we’re approaching with curiosity, we’re codifying and we’re teaching it. In other words, exactly what I’m telling you to do: systemize, optimize, and then automate. I’m Chris Cooper. This is “Run a Profitable Gym.” I hope this podcast has been helpful to you. Even if this is all advice you’ve heard before, maybe this time is the time that you’ll do it, and I hope that it is. Thank you for your service.

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