In this series, I’ve been asking you to practice the most important conversations in your business.
In the first installment, we practiced the intake process (we call it the No Sweat Intro).
In the second installment, we practiced Goal Review Sessions.
Today, we’re going to practice Affinity Marketing.
We all know that the best new clients come from your current clients. When they refer their friends, you get someone:
- Who already knows your service.
- Who already knows your rate (and can probably afford it).
- Who already has friends in your gym.
- Who already knows what to expect.
- Who already knows, likes and trust you—all the stuff that’s very hard to buy, no matter how big your ad spend.
The problem is that waiting for your clients to refer their friends doesn’t work. It’s too passive. You can wait all year for the subject to come up in conversation. And your clients aren’t salespeople: They’re not going to convince their friends as well as you would.
Affinity Marketing takes the process from passive to active. You’re not asking for referrals; you’re asking how you can help. Done well, it won’t even feel like a sales pitch to your clients, just a caring offer to help from their coach. But you need practice.
Go through Affinity Marketing at least 20 times in the next few days. Practice on your dog, your neighbor or your spouse, or in the mirror.
Helping, Not Selling
Let’s go back to the Goal Review from yesterday’s post.
When you ask, “Are you happy with the progress you’ve made?” and the client says “yes!” then you should continue on the current path and turn to marketing.
Say: “That’s great. We’re so proud of you!”
Pull out your camera and say, “What’s one thing you wish someone had told you about my gym before you joined?”
Next, ask, “Who’s been the most helpful to you on your journey? I’d like to send a thank-you card.”
Finally, turn to your Affinity Marketing plan and offer to help the client’s spouse, coworkers or friends. Be very specific.
Practice Affinity Marketing 20 times before next week!
Download our Affinity Marketing Cheat Sheet here.
Download our full guide to Affinity Marketing here: Free Tools.
Affinity marketing—or any kind of marketing, really—makes many gym owners feel uncomfortable. But marketing is really just building relationships. It’s meeting new people and offering to help them. The question I ask myself is this: “Do I care enough to overcome my awkwardness and help this person?”
That’s why the majority of new clients at Catalyst come from the personal relationships I make, our coaches make and our clients make. We didn’t spend a dollar on Facebook ads in 2019 because we didn’t have to.
The thing that stops most gym owners from succeeding isn’t their knowledge: It’s their fear. You overcome fear through practice.