You hate selling.
Selling feels unnatural to you. It’s painful. You can’t “close”. You underprice your service. You find excuses to give discounts to everyone. You don’t trust yourself.
So you outsource your “marketing” to someone else. You give them free reign: “Put up a bunch of Facebook ads, get as many leads as you can through the door, and I’ll pay you anything you want.”
What many gym owners are buying is the ability to abdicate responsibility for generating revenue. They don’t want to learn Facebook ads, and they definitely don’t want to feel like a salesperson. That’s certainly understandable. But almost all of them are missing the easier way to get new clients that FIT. They’re skipping steps 1-6 and jumping straight to Step 7.
What happens when a newcomer walks in your door and says, “I’d like to start with learning to snatch.”?
You start with the air squat, right? And then, maybe, the deadlift. Not only will these keep the client safe and healthy, but it will make the client’s snatch MUCH better long-term.
Here are the steps you’re missing. They’re easy; they never cost more than a cup of coffee; and they work.
First, start by identifying your BEST clients. You don’t want just everyone. If you spend a lot of energy on a transient client, you’ll have to keep expending the same energy on the next transient client. We have an exercise for this in the Incubator.
Then call those clients in for a goal review. Ask how they’re doing, and if they’re perfectly satisfied with their progress. (We teach this in the Incubator too.)
If they’re doing well, ask who has helped them most on their journey. Invite that person in to meet you for a conversation–not a free trial.
Then think about the people who surround that client: who do they golf with? Who do they work with? What else do they do after they leave your gym? How can you help THOSE people?
As an example, a Catalyst client mentioned that everyone at his office was “stressed” at this time of year. So we invited them in for a team-building, stress-reducing session at Catalyst. Here they are:
One of them has already joined, and we’re emailing the rest with the start of our conversion email sequence this morning. (We also give our conversion email sequences to you in Growth Stage.)
If you book 15 goal reviews with clients every month, you’ll see more revenue. That’s not a sales technique: it’s coaching. As a coach, it’s your DUTY to meet with your clients regularly and make sure they’re on the same track. Ironically, if you’re just pushing everyone into the same service without considering their specific goals, you’re more of a salesman than a coach.
Next, I’d buy four cups of coffee and walk outside. I’d look up and down the street and ask, “Who don’t I know yet?” Then I’d walk to their business; hand them a coffee; smile my best smile; and ask, “How’s business?”
Then I’d turn to my email list. Who are the client who disappeared before your service got really GOOD? Who are the ones who didn’t like group training, but might like Personal Training? Who are the ones who couldn’t snatch, but would love to hear about your new, simpler program? The people on your email list are very close to joining (or rejoining.)
Finally, I’d ask myself, “Where do my best clients congregate when they’re not in my gym?” and I’d go there. I’d join their running groups. I’d join their Facebook groups. I’d join Strava, or the Chamber of Commerce, or volunteer to coach their kids’ sports. I’d make it my personal goal to shake 365 new hands this year. Because that, my friends, is what people are buying: YOU!
YOU are the ultimate lead magnet.
YOU are the service.
YOU need to stop burying your light behind a keyboard and go meet people. They’ll love you, I promise.
There’s a time and place for cold leads. The temptation and value of Facebook marketing is too great to ignore completely. And I don’t want to be a Facebook marketing expert, so I follow John and Mateo’s recipe for Facebook ads in our Growth Stage program.
But Facebook marketing won’t last forever. Lead generation strategies change quickly; relationships change slowly. Bet on relationships.
We call this process Affinity Marketing, and I’m writing a book about it. We teach it step-by-step in the Incubator and Growth programs, too. It’s simple; it doesn’t feel like sales; and all my favorite clients came to Catalyst this way.