The Clogs In Your Funnel (And How To Kill Them)

Your ads probably aren’t the problem.
If you have new leads clicking through your ads and taking the next step, then your ads are working just fine.
When we see reports like this from a client, we know there’s a clog in the funnel:
Ad spend: $100
NSI booked: 12
NSI show rate: 0
FER: 0
This means 12 people saw your ad, and liked it enough to quit social media. They went to your appointment calendar and made a commitment. None of them made that commitment lightly. None of them decided to waste your time. In fact, at that moment, they were firmly committed to showing up and hearing about your business.
Then something stopped them.
Maybe they went to your website and saw something completely different from your ad.
Maybe they looked at you on Facebook and saw the ripped-hands pictures.
Maybe they saw your rates without context.
Maybe they saw pictures of your gym and thought, “Uh…nah.”
Or maybe they booked the appointment, showed up–and something told them “this is NOT what I expected.”
Their mental model didn’t match what they saw. This is called cognitive dissonance.
They went from a professional ad to a dingy dungeon of a gym.
They read your promise of a caring culture and saw your sweaty shirt hanging in your office.
They expected one thing, and saw something completely different. In other words, you failed to live up to your promise before they even did their first squat.
The reason we track metrics in our Two-Brain Marketing mentorship program is because we want to find the clogs in your funnel. In our above example:
Ad spend: $100
NSI booked: 12
NSI show rate: 0
FER: 0
…there’s obviously a problem occurring between the time a potential client books their No-Sweat Intro and the time they show up for their appointment. Calling and texting them might improve this “show rate” a lot, but still–something is discouraging them. They’re not suddenly changing their mind. They’re not out to waste your time. So what’s stopping them?

  1. Find inconsistencies. What do you show in your ad that’s different from what a client might see on Social Media, or on your website? What might they be hearing from their friends about you that doesn’t match your ads?
  2. Find holes. When a lead books an NSI, they’re in a state of peak curiosity. So they go searching for more information about you. If they don’t find blog posts, videos, or other good content, they’re going to doubt you. Gyms with a deep blog or broad YouTube channel typically have higher “show rates” than gyms who don’t publish regularly.
  3. Find time. If they don’t show for their appointment, it just means they’re not ready to be a client…yet. Nail down your nurture process. One sequence of automated emails is enough for many people, but I’ve had clients who sat on my email list for years before taking action.

Here’s another example of a constipated funnel:
Ad spend: $100
NSI booked: 12
NSI show rate: 9
Close rate: 1
This funnel actually has a good ROI (4.5:1), but there’s still a huge problem: 8 out of 9 people who drove to the gym, got out of their car, and sat down at the desk didn’t sign up!
If you’ve never used digital ads before, you’re probably used to EVERY new lead signing up. This is because every person who books an NSI went out of their way to find you and research you. They’ve already sold themselves before they sit in your chair. They’re really your client to LOSE. So you’ve never had to learn how to sell before, and when new clients show up from Facebook ads, you don’t know what to do.
This is the most common problem we see with many clients now. Gym owners who use Two-Brain Marketing don’t have lead problems anymore. But they often need to learn sales strategies, or just get more reps.

  1. The greatest service you can do for a person who’s nervous is to get them signed up. That means practicing your No-Sweat Intro process with your staff, or your mentor. We often use the Two-Brain Scenario Deck to practice.
  2. You need a clear offer with NO discounts, presented in a professional way. That means building a sales binder (we show you how to do it in the Incubator.)
  3. You need reps. To become fluent at anything–Italian, squats or sales–you need a lot of practice. Don’t worry if you’re not amazing at closing NSIs at first. You’ll get better.
  4. You *might* need an alter ego. In his new book, “The Alter Ego Effect“, Todd Herman tells the story of selling Personal Training at New York Sports Club. He sucked at it. Then Chris Rock (a member at NYSC) told him about the ‘alter ego effect’. Herman started wearing glasses to his sales conversations. He immediately became the glasses-wearing alter-ego who was great at sales, and changed his income dramatically.

Finally–and most importantly–you must develop solid operations before you start marketing.
The biggest mistake gym owners make is to think that this is the right formula for growth: More Clients –> More Money –> Hire staff.
Before you do ANY marketing, you should have your operations dialed in, or the flood of new clients will just run in the front door and out the back door, carrying your current clients along with the tide.
Then you should have your staff well-trained on your operations, including service delivery (coaching) AND sales.
Then you need a solid retention plan to keep members around after their intake period.
Then you need an intake period that leads to long-term client success (like the Prescriptive Model.)
Then you need to practice sales in person with your staff.
Then you need to work through Affinity Marketing strategies to get as many reps in as possible with a warm audience.
Then–and only then–should you start ramping up your funnel.
This is the exact sequence we mentor gym owners through, step by step, in the Incubator. It takes around 12 weeks to build everything, but you’ll be running ads and closing sales by the end.
Here are some tips to remember when you’re starting out with digital advertising, and you’re frustrated because leads aren’t showing up or signing up:
First, remember: they just aren’t interested YET. It takes a few exhibits to sway a jury. Your ad was “Exhibit A”. What comes next?
Second: these are colder leads. The walk-ins and client referrals you’re used to getting are very warm leads. In fact, those folks were yours to lose. They were already sold, unless you told them something that turned them away. If your close rate on NSIs that came from referrals is less than 100%, then you’re the problem. But that’s the simplest problem to solve.
Third, you have to look like their expectations. Professional ads lead people to believe they’re dealing with a professional. A clean office, expensive testing equipment, and polo shirt frames their expectation of price.
A well-groomed professional who says “This costs $1000” is a professional at the top of their trade.
A sweaty, swearing, backward-hat wearing dude who says “Give me $1000” is a mugger.
Who would your mom choose?
What would stop HER progress through your sales funnel?


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.