Get a New Client in 60 Minutes: Two Tactics to Try

On a grey background, a red clock face that reads "60 minutes."

If you wanted to get a new client in the next hour, what would you do?

What are the exact steps you would take, and do you think you’d end up with a client?

Try this: Read on and then test your plan in the next 60 minutes to see if it works.

And if you don’t have a plan, I’ll give you a starting point.

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

In the digital era, it’s likely many gym owners would turn to the web to find a client fast.

And in some cases that’s not a bad idea.

If you have lots of leads on a contact list, you might be able to send out a newsletter or announcement and get a response. It’s not a sure thing, but it’s a smart play—though it hinges on the work you’ve done to build and warm your mailing list. (Have you added anyone to it this week? When was the last time you sent out a message?)

Still, a mass email is a gamble. You’ll have to write a message and then get it out. You can produce a short email campaign in an hour, but you can’t control the speed of response. If people don’t open it and reply fast, you’re out of time. This is a broad approach, not a targeted strike.

Advertising to cold leads is a very bad idea if you only have 60 minutes. Cold leads are fickle, flighty and hard to connect with. If your instincts tell you to fiddle with your Facebook ad spend in your 60-minute window, I’d recommend you resist the urge.

You could start messaging people on social media. It’s not a bad idea, but you’re still working with colder leads, and you’re wading into the overwhelming sea of social-media notifications. I’m not a popular guy, and even I can’t keep up with all the little red circles and flashing icons anymore.

Earlier this week, Chris Cooper and I chatted about tactical referral strategies such as taking coffee to neighboring businesses or planning lunch-and-learn seminars for the co-workers of a client. These are sure-fire ways to get clients, and Chris has used them to get hundreds of clients who paid hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years. But these strategies can’t be used in one hour. They’re part of the long game to dominate your local market.

What else can we consider? I’ll give you my personal Top 2 high-speed tactics from the Two-Brain ToolKit.

Tactic 1: The Closest Contact

1. If you know your clients well—you should—you will know of a client’s family member who could use your help. In any gym, you can find a great client who has mentioned a spouse or parent who needs help with fitness or nutrition.

Now would be the time to contact that client directly and make a play: “Sam, I was thinking about your dad today. You’ve mentioned him so many times. I think it’s time to solve this problem. What can we do to get him started today?”

This is a strong play because you’re connecting with a current client to devote your full attention to addressing a pain point fast. The client’s relative has definitely already heard of your gym, and you aren’t alone here: You have backup!

Will Sam’s dad agree to meet with you if Sam sends a message right now? It’s not a sure thing, but the odds are pretty good. And if you can get Sam’s dad to commit to a free consultation or even a workout with Sam, you have a very, very good chance to earn a new client, even if the meeting doesn’t happen in the next 60 minutes.

Tactic 2: Gone but Not Forgotten

Think about members who have left your gym for some reason—or those who went on “hold” and promised to return someday.

With 60 minutes on the clock, I’d try messaging departed clients.

Think about it: You have contact info and an existing relationship. There’s history, high-fives and hugs. You already know the former member’s goals and personality. You can connect with the person by phone or text right now and make a tailored pitch:

“Hey, Tim! I was thinking about you today. You said you were traveling for a while, and I wanted to reconnect. I haven’t forgotten about you and that amazing deadlift! What’s your schedule like these days?”

I wouldn’t try this approach with the dude who stomped out after you told him not to park in the space reserved for wheelchair access. I’d also pass on the super-competitive open-gym rat who jumped ship to try the new Ultra-WOD Comp-Blast 3000 program at the box down the street.

But I would try this approach with clients who left on good terms. In many cases, some of them just need a reminder or an invitation to start up again.

Get Moving!

You’ll note my two suggestions involve very close contacts: either current clients or former clients.

That’s not an accident. It’s part of Two-Brain’s sales hierarchy. Check it out:

An infographic showing the process of sales to current clients, through email lists and with paid marketing.

So here we go.

You have 60 minutes to get a new client—or at least book a free consultation.

What are you going to do—and will you succeed?

3, 2, 1 … go!


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.