How to Fix the Weak Links in Your Marketing Chain


Mike (00:02):

Is your marketing chain broken or does it even exist? Today on Two-Brain Radio, Mateo Lopez of Gym Lead Machine will explain how leads become clients and he’ll help you analyze and improve your operation.

Chris (00:15):

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Mike (00:55):

It’s Two-Brain Radio. I’m Mike Warkentin with Mateo Lopez of Gym Lead Machine. Today we’ll work through your marketing chain and identify the common pitfalls at each link of the chain. All right, Mateo Lopez, Gym Lead Machine. Welcome to the show. How are you today?

Mateo (01:10):

I’m good. Mike, how are you?

Mike (01:11):

I’m doing well. I know that the topic of the show, marketing chains, is near and dear to your heart. I’ll ask you right off the top, which of, leads set show and close is your favorite step?

Mateo (01:22):

Oh gosh, that was not in the briefing notes here, Mike. I was not prepared to answer such a hardball question.

Mike (01:28):

That’s supposed to be an icebreaker.

Mateo (01:32):

Yeah, no, I guess, my favorite would probably be show, I think is probably not my favorite, but I think probably the most important one, because if you get them to show up, you know, that’s 90% of the battle there.

Mike (01:51):

And it’s interesting. The reason I ask you that question. I think a lot of people would say close would be their favorite step, but I had a sense that you wouldn’t say close, so we’ll get into this later on and we’ll figure out why show is such an important statistic. But for those who don’t even know the language, let’s break it down right off the top. Leads, set, show and close rates. What are these things?

Mateo (02:09):

So, to answer this question, I actually just Googled it because I know what a lead is, but when I started to answer the question, it didn’t make sense when I said it out loud. I mean, Mike. You’re a writer. Have you ever had that experience where you’re writing and you spell a word and then you look at it and it just looks like weird. And you’re like, is that how you spell that word? That can’t be right. And then you’re like, just second guessing yourself for no reason.

Mike (02:37):

Yeah. And usually when that happens, I know it’s time to take a break and it’s like, words, look at like a four letter word, exactly what you said, that’s not spelled right. Is it lead? Leads, whatever. I totally get it. And then the other thing too is sometimes we get so far into these processes that we actually forget the definitions, even though we know what the word is, we can’t explain it to someone. So hit me with Google and tell what a lead is.

Mateo (03:00):

Hundred percent. That’s exactly right. So, that’s what happened to me when you sent me some of these prompts over the weekend. But anyway, according to Google, in simple terms, a lead is an individual or organization with an interest in what you are selling. The interest is expressed by sharing contact information, like a name, an email address, a phone number, or some other piece of contact info, like a mailing address or social handle. So that’s what a lead is. Basically anyone who’s expressed, some kind of interest in what you’re selling and then the type of lead depends on, and now I’m riffing here, no longer Google. This is now all me a hundred percent. So the type of lead depends on how interested they are, right? So someone who has been responsive to your emails and has maybe even taken a class or two with you, that would be a really warm or what we call hot lead. And then the person, that person’s pretty much ready to buy and a cold lead is someone who maybe knows of your existence, but that’s about it.

Mike (04:04):

  1. So you’ve got two things there to be a lead. You’ve got awareness, and you’ve got some sort of contact, some sort of connection has been made beyond awareness, whether that’s filling out a form on a website or even commenting on social media, something, some sort of interaction has happened.

Mateo (04:20):

We’re talking about today is the process of taking someone from a lead to a paying customer, right? And part of that journey involves a lead, actually meeting with you or someone from your staff so that they can buy. Right. So set, show and close. These are abbreviated terms that we use to talk about the phases of the buying cycle, right? So if a lead is someone who is interested in your service, set is then an appointment that the lead has booked with you, right. So how many set appointments do you have over a time domain? I guess that’s a little CrossFit lingo there for you. When we’re talking about set we’re talking about sales appointments that are set or booked, right. Now unfortunately just because a lead has booked an appointment with you, that doesn’t guarantee that they will actually show up for that appointment. I wish it did, but that’s just not the way the world works. So when we say, how many shows did you have? Right? What we’re asking is how many people who booked an appointment actually showed up for that appointment. And then finally the close, this is just, you know, shorthand for a closed sale, right? So hopefully I helped you define those terms, but I was a little bit long-winded.

Mike (05:37):

No, that’s just fine. And the important thing to know here is that these things, there’s a weeding out throughout this process. So you’ve got leads, maybe a big pile. Some of them will set appointments. Some of them will show up and you’ll close some of them. And your goal is obviously to close, to get as many new clients as possible. If they’re the right kind of clients, we won’t get into the finer details of that, but just know that not everyone goes down every link in the chain, some people call this a marketing funnel. Chris Cooper has called this the marketing chain because there are weak links and strong links to the chain. We’ll get to that in a sec. But first of all, none of this sounds like push your knees out in the squat, keep your chest up, brace your spine in the deadlift, all of this sounds very different, but yet fitness owners, business owners need to know about it. Why?

Mateo (06:21):

Well, like these are metrics, right? And I think, you know, the way knees out over the toes or whatever is a point of performance for a squat, you know, these are points of performance for your sales process, for a sales cycle, right. For your customer journey.

Mike (06:37):

And also, yeah. And what we’ve learned is like coaching is one thing, but that is just one role in your business. Gym ownership is not as much about coaching as a lot of people think.

Mateo (06:48):

Totally. Right. If we wanted to evaluate the marketing and sales health of your business, for example, then we would look at these metrics that we’re talking about, right. How many leads have you generated in a month? How many of those leads set and booked appointments with you? Of those that booked, how many showed up for that appointment and those who did show, how many actually purchased something from you, right. How many deals did you close. By asking these questions, we’re taking a look at basically the front door of your business, so to speak. I know we’re going to hopefully, talk about websites in a little bit and and software and digital marketing, here in a little bit, but, for those listening who are, you know, maybe technologically, you know, not illiterate, but maybe averse.

Mateo (07:34):

You know, we can strip this down to an analogy, right? If your marketing is, you know, if the basis of your marketing strategy is just a sandwich board outside on the sidewalk, right. Then we can still ask, OK, how many leads did the sandwich board sign outside generate this week? How many people walked into your gym and said, Hey, I saw the sign outside. I didn’t know that there was a gym here. You know, what is this? And how many of those walk-ins, how many of those walk in leads, so to speak, how many of those people set or booked appointments, and then how many of those people who booked actually showed up and of those who showed up how many purchased. Right. So, again, you can just think of these numbers.

Mateo (08:17):

This is the front door of your business, you know. If we’re asking about leads and set show and close, you know, we’re asking, Hey, is your front door working? You know, does it have a sign on the front? Does the handle work? Do people know whether or not they need to push the door open or pull the door, right. Do the hinges work. You know, OK. So I think I maybe I’ve killed the metaphor. Right. Maybe I’m getting too meta here, but that’s basically what we’re talking about.

Mike (08:47):

Yeah. And the best part about this is that for each of these things, there’s data that can be attached to it. You can put metrics on each of these things. They boil down to numbers, it’s just math. And so later on, you know, I’ve asked you in other shows, is this a good ad? And you’ll say, does it convert? And that means do lead, click on it, right? So you can put math on all of these four things that we’re going to talk about today. And Chris has talked about this in a blog post previous in this series, you’re going to analyze each step and you’re going to find problems and you’re to see where you’re weak, and then you’re going to upgrade it. Then you’re going to find the next weakest link. Then you’re going to upgrade it. As a quick example. If 10 people set appointments and one show up, that is a weak link right there, and you need to figure out why only 10% are showing up. OK, we’ll get into that in just a second, right after this

Chris (09:34):

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Mike (09:52):

All right. And we are back. We’ve talked about leads, set, show, close rates, and we’ve defined them. And we’ve told you that you can measure them. So now we’re going to talk about common problems in the fitness industry. So listeners can figure out where their chains or funnels are broken. We’re also going to talk about how to fix problems and give you something you can do today to start improving. So Mateo, talk about leads. What are the biggest problems for gym owners when it comes to leads?

Mateo (10:17):

So I’ve spent a lot of time talking about lead generation, you know, how to shake the trees and generate more interest in your business. You know, there’s the Two-Brain marketing course in I guess what’s called ramp up now. But in the Two-Brain curriculum, there is a free version of that course that is available, I think, in the resources section of the Two-Brain website. And, you know, we could, we could hop on again and spend a whole hour just talking about that stuff, right. There’s also more pasive techniques, you know, that also help with lead generation like SEO and reputation management and review generation. And, you know, I’d love to do an episode on just that. And of course, content marketing, which you might know something about, Mike.

Mateo (11:01):

But today I think we should frame the conversation about leads within the context of your website, because, you know, let’s say you’re a business that doesn’t really market online, that doesn’t really invest in paid ads or Facebook or Google. Let’s say, you know, you’re like Chris Cooper who never really spent a dime on Facebook ads and digital marketing when it came to his gym. You know, let’s say you generate, all you do to generate leads is affinity marketing. You know, let’s say you’re a person who, you know, you’re doing meetings with your members and your local community. You’re doing partnerships with local businesses. You know, maybe you’re just doing the pumpkin plan, the seed clients exercise. You’re going off of referrals. You know, maybe that’s all you do for marketing. If entire marketing strategy, just centers around building authority in your niche, meeting people, shaking, hands, kissing babies, you know, you still need a place to send those people after you meet with them, right?

Mateo (12:01):

You still need a place to direct that traffic, no matter how you’re generating the traffic and that place needs to be your website. Right? So, no matter where you get your traffic from, whether it’s SEO or online ads or if it’s referrals and affinity marketing, you need to direct those people to a place where they can learn more about you, your program, and then take the next step towards purchasing a membership. Your website, sorry, let me, I think I, yeah, I need a lead in, cause that’s where I’m talking about Alex Jones. Hold on one second. OK. Got it. And if you are sending all of your traffic to your website, in-person or online or otherwise, you need to make sure that your website is set up correctly, right? And your website should do one thing for your business and it should do it well, and it should attract and capture new leads, and it should help you turn those new leads into customers.

Mike (12:58):

Forever, gym owners were super guilty. I was one of them super guilty of having a website that was designed to look good, look, cool, showcase workouts, and do all sorts of stuff. And it didn’t do the one thing that I needed my business to do, which was capture leads and get new people into the business. Right? So my website basically became a library for my clients, and that was cool. There was a retention element to that, where they love seeing pictures and all the other cool stuff on there, but it wasn’t drawing people in. And when they did get to my site, they couldn’t tell what it was doing, or they were scared of it. Or if they wanted to try it, they couldn’t figure out how to do it because I had, you know, click here for more info, contact us, fill out. Like it was just so hard to figure it out. No wonder things didn’t grow. I think, and you correct me if I’m wrong. That was a very common problem in the gym industry for, I’m going to say like 15 years, probably since CrossFit kind of became a thing.

Mateo (13:50):

A hundred percent. I mean, next thing, you know, I think we should talk about, is we should lay out the essential elements that your website needs to have in order to generate new leads and new members and new member sales for your business. You know, some of the website design essentials, these take time and money to create. So, you know, at the end, hopefully we’ll be able to point you towards some resources and services that can help you implement some of these things. So you can, that you learn about today. And so you can put them back into your website and start accelerating the growth of your gym. But yeah, I think you’re exactly right before we talk about the website do’s, so to speak, we should talk about some of the don’ts, and these are things that, you know, if you have them currently on your website, if you’re listening, you know, at home or in the car, you should, you should remove them ASAP.

Mateo (14:35):

Because I think if we’re talking about leads and how to increase the amount that you get, hopefully this will serve as a lead into that discussion because some of the website faux pas, are actually doing the opposite of that. They’re detracting from your lead generation efforts. So I think you’re kind of, you kind of alluded to this just a moment ago. The first common error that I see is posting workouts on your website. I mean, this may resonate with those of you listening, who own CrossFit affiliates, but back in the day. And even, I mean, even now, I think I haven’t been on in a little while, but used to post the daily workout of the day on their website homepage. And that’s what took up the majority of the website real estate.

Mateo (15:24):

And for those of you out there trying to attract new people to your gym, people who are maybe unfit or looking to get fit, if the first thing that they see is a daily workout, and it’s a hero WOD, and, you know, at best that’s going to confuse them. And at worst, it’s going to intimidate them or scare them off. You know, I know the temptation there is kind of what you were saying, right. Maybe create a page that’s separate, so that at least your current clients can see, you know, the workout somewhere on your site or the temptation would be to create like some kind of pop-up or a link, that links out to the workout somewhere else. But the thing is, and what we’ll talk about this in a second, all that does is it just distracts from your call to action, right?

Mateo (16:11):

It distracts people away from doing the one thing that you want them to do, which is to opt in and book an appointment with you or a consultation. And of course it puts all the attention on the workouts. Right. And you may want to demonstrate to your visitors that you offer more than just workouts, right? You offer a more complete and holistic approach to fitness that it’s not just fitness, right. It includes nutrition, it includes coaching, it includes accountability. And I think another one that kinda ties into that is, and you’ve talked about this a lot, in some of the blog posts and things like that, it’s scary images, right? I think that’s not as prevalent on websites today, thankfully, but I think it’s still worth noting.

Mateo (16:59):

You know, I think this is something common that happens if you run a strength and conditioning gym, or like a CrossFit gym, high-quality content, it’s just not the thing that an owner is focused on creating most of the time, you know, the focus is usually on the service, how to improve the service and the client experience. I do think that gym owners and this happened to me right when I was managing the gym in New York, I think gym owners will typically splurge and hire photographers during events or competitions or things like the CrossFit open. Right. So that means that all of your like high quality and professionally shot photos, they’re going to be of members when they’re doing the most extra ordinary things, right. Like a PR deadlift or a muscle up for the first time. And they’re really tired and they’re sweaty and there’s blood on their hands.

Mateo (17:47):

They’re just finishing an open workout. So, you know, this happened to me, like I said, we hired a photographer, we had an in-house powerlifting meet, and I had these really cool photos. And one member squatting, which I thought was so cool, and I used that image everywhere, but you know, that image probably hurt more than it helps because, you know, it’s this really jacked dude lifting stacks of plates. And it’s kind of scary to someone just looking to get back into the gym. So I guess faux pas number two is scary images, right? Try to get rid of those, try to remove those from your website.

Mike (18:22):

Yeah. And that’s, you know, the thing to remember there is that scary is relative. You know, something that’s like a, you know, say like a 225 pound deadlift by, you know, your average accountant in the Tuesday morning class might not be scary at all to you or your clients, but to someone who’s never done a deadlift ever, and has never seen functional fitness, that’s scary. And that image becomes a turnoff. And that’s not to say you can’t use these things. You certainly can, but you need to find accessible things. So we’re talking about making your website accessible, and it can’t say not for you or you’re not like us. It has to say we can work for you. So I’m gonna mention Gym Lead Machine right here. And this is not an ad. This is a lesson. Chris Cooper’s talked about it in his posts, I use a Gym Lead Machine site and Mateo.

Mike (19:09):

That’s the company that you’re working with to help gym owners acquire leads and the images that you guys are selecting and the stuff that’s on these websites there, it’s designed to help people get into the business. It’s not designed to promote internal members necessarily. It’s not designed to showcase competitions. It’s designed to get people to do one thing. So the site, as soon as you land on it, people can tell what it is, features and benefits are prominent. They know what to do, call to action. Tell me more about the solution that you guys offer for the lead problem with websites.

Mateo (19:40):

Yeah, totally. So when it comes to optimization, right. And what you’re talking about right now, which is, you know, getting people to land on your site and then take an action, right. Opt in, you know, I think the first thing we want to talk about is the design element and the work that we do for our clients at Gym Lead Machine. Right. The first piece, right, that we focus on is the section that’s above the fold. Right. So a bit of marketing lingo, I think, above the fold just means content that’s above, it’s positioned in the upper half of your webpage, right? It’s visible to your viewer without requiring them to scroll right. When they first land, what’s the first thing they see, I think this came from newspapers. Mike, do you remember those? They were these big pieces of thin paper stacked together.

Mike (20:29):

Yeah. And what it was exactly was, the big ones, the broadsheets, you’d have to fold them over. And so the rule of thumb was, you’d never put a picture on the front page and put the eyes below the fold because you just have the top of someone’s head and you couldn’t actually see their eyes and the eyes are the catchpoint. So you’d always say the important stuff goes above the fold and that’s old newspaper broadsheet language. I do remember those.

Mateo (20:51):

Yeah. Yeah. They kind of made your fingers dirty. They were thin pieces of paper stacked together, crossword puzzles. You could find movie theater, like schedules, like times for a movie on there, I think.

Mike (21:03):

This is like a blast from the past, like a time capsule.

Mateo (21:06):

Right. But I think you’re exactly right. They use the fold, right. That crease where the paper folded over and you wanted to make sure that the most important story of the day, with the biggest and most eye-catching headline was placed above the folded section so that it would be the first thing someone saw when they would go to, when they looked at it, it would grab their attention and maybe they would pick up the paper because of the headline and then purchase it to read more. Right. So anyway, that’s where the term comes from, I think, but research shows that your prospect or your viewer, if they have to scroll to find the critical, important info, like your call to action button, then your conversion rates will be much, much lower. Right. So we want to make things easier on your prospect, and put the important info and a way for them to opt in all that should be above the fold.

Mateo (21:55):

Right. And I guess the next question would be, well, what’s the critical information, right? What’s the stuff that needs to be there. Well, let’s walk through like a hypothetical, right? Let’s say someone clicks on your website. Can that person figure out exactly what you do in 10 seconds or less? Right. If the answer is no, you’ve got some work to do. So you need to have a clearly defined, easy to read headline that speaks to what your business or your service offers, and basically what problem your business solves for people in your audience, right? Another critical aspect of your website, something that needs to live above the fold would be, you know, you want to tell people exactly what you want them to do, right? So this is called a call to action.

Mateo (22:40):

It’s super important. It’s the one thing that you want your visitors to do, as I mentioned before, when, when, , when they land on your site. So you want to make it really easy for them to do just that, right? So not only should your call to action be prominent on your landing page or your homepage. But it should be repeated throughout the site over and over and over. So a few best practices, right? For what’s an effective call to action, right? A CTA is a shorthand, you know, it should be specific, simple to understand. It should say, you know, you don’t want it to be something like, you know, book an intro, but book an intro today. Right. That makes it a little bit more specific, right. It should be action phrases. Right. You know, studies have shown that call to action buttons that contain action phrases, they outperform those that don’t. And they shouldn”t compete with other elements on your page, right. So less is more when it comes to that stuff. The last thing is they should offer value, right? So book now for a free intro, right. Free is a really enticing word, right? You should be using that word in your call to action, your button copy, to emphasize, you know, your value proposition, right?

Mike (23:55):

All this syncs up very clearly with StoryBrand principles. So we’ll get the link up. We’ve done a show on that in the past. We’ll get that link in the show notes for you, if you want to listen to that. But the idea is when you land on a website, you have to know what it is immediately, and you have to know what to do. And I’ll give you the example of Two-Brain business. When you land on our site, the big thing you’re gonna see business mentorship for gym owners. OK. So that’s five words, and it’s going to tell you exactly what we do. And twice you’re going to see book a call. We want you to book a call with a mentor to find if mentorship is right for you. There, our marketing secrets have just been revealed, but that is exactly what we’re doing here.

Mike (24:30):

It’s very clear, very direct. And then there’s of course, other elements, but we won’t get into the details of that. Mateo has talked about a little bit about some of the other stuff on different shows. The main thing though, guys is, if you’re looking for leads, people need to know exactly what you do right away, and then they need to know how to do the thing that takes the next step. And let’s just, we’ll go on to the next step here now where you’ve talked about book a free intro. OK. So we’ve got the leads onto the site. Now we’re having them set appointments. So talk to me Mateo now about setting appointments, problems, and solutions for that situation, where do we lose people at this link of the chain?

Mateo (25:06):

Before we move on to that, I just wanted to have an action item for you at home listening, right. To close out. We were talking about with the call to action, right? So, you know, show your call to action, show your headline, show your homepage to a stranger or a family member who, you know, doesn’t really pay attention to your business life, right. And ask them, can they understand what you want them to do in 10 seconds or less? Can they understand what it is that you do at your gym and what you want them to do next? So just, you know, get a couple of strangers to test it out, see how effective or not your section above the fold of your website really is. But yes, so that’s your homework for that piece?

Mateo (25:50):

So set, right. Here, we’re talking about appointments booked. So if we want to increase the amount of appointments booked, the first step here is, you need to capture those contact details, right? Of your prospective clients. People who are on your website, you know, searching for more info. So when building your website, you should have some sort of mechanism that allows you to capture your prospect’s contact info. And that should be obviously tied to your call to action. And you’d be surprised, Mike, how many websites I see still to this day that just don’t have an opt in form. It’s still a surprisingly common problem. And so the flow should look something like this, right? When your prospect engages with your call to action, that that should take them to a screen where you can capture their contact info and that should move them after they submit, to your appointment booking scheduler.

Mateo (26:44):

Right? And if you’re, you know, someone who’s looking to join a gym, chances are you’re feeling a little bit insecure about something, right? About some aspect of your body, your fitness, your health, your confidence, you know, maybe you don’t feel lean enough, fit enough, strong enough, whatever it is. you know, you’re not feeling the most confident about yourself in that moment. So joining a new gym can be a little scary, can be intimidating. And, you know, it doesn’t matter how welcoming your brand is, you know, taking that next step to actually book the appointment, to set the appointment is still scary, right? And so you’re not going to get everyone who lands your website to actually book, we’ve been talking about this. And so that’s why grabbing their contact info is critical, right? With an opt in form, because that form can then notify you and your staff that you have a new inquiry, a new lead.

Mateo (27:39):

And that form should feed the prospect into a lead nurture sequence, that sends them automated emails and text messages that starts the conversation with your prospects and engages them and encourages them to take the next step, which is to book that appointment, right? So that’s the, you know, the basic fundamentals. If you want to increase the amount of appointments booked, you should be capturing this contact information of your prospects and encouraging them to do so. If not with automation, at least, like I said, you’re being notified. So you can call them, follow up with them manually and start the conversation that way, and hopefully get them booked for an appointment. With that in mind. You know, let’s say you do have automation set up, let’s say you have something for your leads to push them into this should be, you know, a regular communication for the first three to four days after they inquire and opt-in with you. And they should be, you know, a little bit more aggressive in nature. I mean, Mike, you wrote a lot of the messaging that we use for our Gym Lead Machine clients and in the cut and paste documents that you have available for Two-Brain clients in the ramp up curriculum, you know, what should these messages say in order to increase the amount of booked appointments and to increase that metric?

Mike (28:58):

The way we had them set up is in the first, cause, you know, as soon as someone does something, that’s when they’re warmest and you taught me this, that’s something I learned from you back in the day with the shows we did previously. So you want to hit them early and often. So we might contact them or recommend contacting like five times in the first 48 hours of them giving you the contact information and short blunt, assertive communications saying, Hey, I saw you’re interested in fitness. Can we talk? And we usually try and ask questions or something. That’s going to try and generate a response. Hi, when can we talk? It’s Mike from CrossFit 204. When can we sit down? When do you want to come in? Very short, quick, you know, interactive and hit them regularly. And this for me is like, it’s not natural for me because I’m more of a stand back kind of guy.

Mike (29:47):

I’m not so great at sales, but I learned from you that if you do this more often, you’re going to have more results. And we tested this on a previous show where we called some gyms or we entered our info into gyms systems and we got phone calls back during the show minutes later. So that’s how fast that they’re contacting a prospect, because let’s say I enter my contact info. I get to the appointment booking and I get terrified. I stepped back, but I get a phone call right away saying, hi, this is a real caring person. I just saw that you wanted to book an appointment. I have one in the next half hour. Can we meet up? How effective is that going to be versus, you know, later on your automations, where you’re relying on like cold email and things like that. So it’s really important to contact early and often, you taught me that. And the second thing is when you are using those automations, don’t hesitate to put a bunch of them right at the beginning, right after a lead shows up and then make them short, sweet and direct. Hi, thanks for booking, for messaging us. I’d love to meet with you. Do you have time today? Something like that.

Mateo (30:47):

Totally. And I think I wanted to touch on something you just mentioned right now. Yeah. I think people are used to getting automated emails or you said cold emails, right? So people are used to getting automated, emails and messages nowadays, right. People are just, it’s just the way of the world, right? So it’s tough to get someone’s attention with that method alone. Right? So SMS and texting automation has now quickly become the new standard, right? Research shows that SMS open rates are as high as 98% compared to 20% when it comes to emails. Right. And on average, it takes an individual 90 seconds to respond to a text versus 90 minutes to respond to an email. So having SMS as a part of your follow-up process, when you’re trying to get someone to book automated or otherwise is just as important, if not more important, than building an automated email, a lead nurture sequence, that’s encouraging people to—

Mike (31:48):

Sorry, just to interrupt. As you said, Two-Brain clients do have access to tons and tons of lead nurturing stuff. There are emails and text messages, and you don’t have to use them word for word, you can, but if you don’t want to, you can certainly customize them. They’ll give you an idea of the stuff that’s working in the industry. Two-Brain clients have access to all that stuff and Gym Lead Machine clients do as well. Sorry to cut you off Mateo, finish off that thought.

Mateo (32:11):

To, to sum this up. I think the general feedback that we get from our clients at Gym Lead Machine is that without the lead nurture automation that’s in place with our system, that starts, you know, the moment after someone opts in, you know, it’s tough to keep track of everyone, right? And you lose track of some people, they slip through the cracks. So with the system, it just helps to ensure that, you know, everyone’s receiving a touchpoint automated, or otherwise, that comes into your system, right. As a bare minimum. Right. And with our lead tracking dashboard, you know, it’s a lot easier to keep track of those leads.

Mike (32:50):

So what’s your set homework for our listeners.

Mateo (32:52):

Yeah, I think action item number two is, if you don’t have one already create a two week sequence, you know, on a word doc, and include some SMS messaging as well. Make sure that there is a call to action at the bottom or throughout those automated messages, meaning, you know, those messages should encourage your prospect to take the next step and book that intro with you. You know, I want to mention a couple of Gym Lead Machine clients, you know, Gas Station Fitness is a really good example here. They’re adding, since coming on with us, you know, they’re adding six, no sweat intros a week. Their book rate is around 65%. That means 65% of the leads are booking appointments, which I think given the state of the world is actually pretty amazing a number to be hitting these days.

Mateo (33:42):

Locomotion Fitness, I think they had like an 88% book rate recently that they had 22 clients in 25. I’m sorry, 22 appointments in 25 days. That’s pretty close to one appointment a day, which I think, like I said, given the state of the world is pretty great. I could go on, but, I think really quickly before we move on, I just want to add that, you know, these messages, these sequences, the way in which you follow up and get people to book appointments, they should be segmented by program, right? So for example, if someone opts in on your nutrition page, the automated messages they receive should be tailored to that program. And if you can make it a bit nutrition specific, right? Same thing for personal training or kids or whatever.

Mike (34:31):

Now we’re going to talk about show rates here. And there is some overlap between set and show because some of the same sequences and automations and contact principles that you use to get people to set appointments when they don’t do so, right away also applies to getting people to show up, but we’ll try and avoid as much overlap as we can, but just know that if people book an appointment, nurturing campaigns and personalized contact will increase the chances that they actually show up. That doesn’t change from set to show. But now what specific stuff can you do that maybe doesn’t overlap quite so much with set to make people show up for appointments that they book?

Mateo (35:07):

Yeah. Throwing a little wrench there in my plan, make it a little challenging for me. Coming up with unique tidbits and nuggets. So as you said, the next step in the sales funnel is the appointment itself right after someone books an appointment, do they actually show up right. All of the problems that I see here, they involve like you said, the follow-up. The follow-up that comes up post that appointment being booked, right? Obviously, maybe not. It’s not so obvious. I don’t know. Your website needs to have an integrated appointment booking system, right. A scheduler of some kind. And the system must be capable of supplying instant appointment confirmations and repeated reminders to your prospects. And the system needs to be capable of alerting your staff of that appointment, obviously. And ideally this should trigger associated text and email nurture campaigns as well.

Mateo (36:03):

Like you mentioned, that are now not so much geared towards, you know, OK. Now it’s time to book, but now I you’ve booked. We can’t wait to meet with you. Here’s some things that maybe you should know, yeah, yeah, yada, right. But you need to engage the prospect until they actually arrive to their scheduled appointment. And this is where I see a lot of people drop the ball, right. People think, Oh, I made the ads. Right. I got the clicks, I got the leads. I called the leads a bunch of times I got them on the phone. I got them booked for an appointment. The hard part is over. I’m done. I got this in the bag. But no, unfortunately this simply is just not the case. So there are a few things that you can do to take action to improve your show rates.

Mateo (36:48):

Right. We talked about an appointment booking system sends out automated appointment reminders, right. That’s really just the bare minim right. Appointment reminders, that’s just the absolute minimum thing that you should be doing. Something that we have our clients doing it at Gym Lead Machine is they have, not only automated texts, SMS appointment reminders, but they also change the format of the messaging a little bit actually, so that, like they’ll change the body of the text message itself. So it looks a little bit, more personal, right? And like, it’s not coming from a robot. I’ve had some clients where they they’ve changed it so that they don’t capitalize every word. Right. They might misspell on purpose, a couple of things or use abbreviations. And the whole idea there is to make the SMS automation sound like it’s actually coming, from someone who’s texting you and not a robot.

Mateo (37:44):

Right. So the idea there is to remind the prospect that there is going to be an actual human being, waiting for them. I’m excited to meet them. And that will hopefully discourage the prospect from standing you up. Right. In that same vein, something that’s been a staple in our curriculum for a long time is sending a video text message, right? Some kind of personalized message to the prospect prior to their appointment. And again, letting them know that there’s going to be a real person waiting for them for the appointment at the gym. Please don’t stand me up. I’m a real human being. I have feelings, please show up to the appointment. Right. And what’s great is, with our Gym Lead Machine app, you can actually film and send messages, video messages through the app. So you don’t even have to take up memory on your personal phone. And two, you can send out these messages without having to use your personal cell phone number, which I think is pretty neat. Just a small plug there.

Mike (38:47):

And again, you’re solving, these are solving problems. And the reason why we’ve got you on the show here, and the reason why Chris has recommended you guys, is that these were problems that gym owners were having. And we didn’t have good solutions for them. And again, I use this stuff at my gym and it does solve problems. Let me ask you a specific question about show rates. What would you do in terms of a booking window to get people to show up? Like, would you allow people to book an appointment 10 days in the future, or would you limit that to something else? Because I know that the longer, you know, I booked something, lots of stuff can come up between now and, you know, two weeks from now, what would you do?

Mateo (39:23):

Yeah. I’m glad you mentioned that. I didn’t include that in my notes, but this is a really, really good point. Availability is huge. Right? And I know this is a tough one because especially if you’re just starting out, you’re a one man band or a two-person operation, right. When you have all of the responsibilities that you have coaching classes, keeping the facility in order and clean and whatever, selling people, having just open availability for people to be able to book sales appointments with you is tough. Right? It’s tough. You can’t be in two places at once. Right. But that should be a priority, right? Whether it’s generating enough revenue, so you can hire someone to just be available constantly or free up some of your time. Right? Like having availability is crucial, right. Because when someone is opting in and when someone is interested and when someone is looking at your booking calendar at that moment, that’s when they’re the most motivated to take action.

Mateo (40:25):

And if the only thing available on your sales calendar for them is, you know, four or five days out in the future, they may book with you. Right. But that’s a really long time for them to essentially go from a hot lead to a cold lead again. Right. Their motivation is going to dwindle. You know, they’re ready to take action with you right then and there. So, you know, I encourage people to have, as little restrictions on booking windows and times as possible, right? Let people book, you know, within an hour of notice, like giving you just an hour of notice, right. If you can, because that’s going to help you increase show rates and your sales. Right. And then yeah, if you can limit that booking window, don’t allow people to schedule four days in advance, right? Keep it restricted to a 48 hour booking window, right. With same day availability for booking appointments. That’s huge. And they’re going to really help you increase your booking rates and your show rates.

Mike (41:24):

  1. And before we go on to your homework for listeners, give us one more tidbit, something they can, they should be looking at.

Mateo (41:31):

Another idea, right? Another method I’ve seen with our clients, and again, this isn’t universal for everyone, but something that I’ve seen, and that has success. And if you’re looking to change things up or trying to improve, this may work for you is, treat all of your booked appointments as pending, right. Just assume that none of them are going to show up until you get them to confirm the appointment, right. So you can do this by actually calling them right. And getting a verbal confirmation. Right. You’re saying, all right, I have three booked appointments for this week. I need to call all of them repeatedly until I get verbal confirmation with them over the phone. Or you can do this with automation, right. You can send an automated text or email basically saying, Hey, we have your appointment request for 3:00 PM tomorrow.

Mateo (42:17):

Please text one, or reply with one to confirm your appointment or two to cancel or something like that. Right. If we don’t receive confirmation in three hours prior to your appointment, we’re going to give your spot to someone else or something like that. Right. I’m not the wordsmith here, Mike, you are. So I’ll let you figure out the best way to say that. But this serves two functions, right? One, it qualifies the lead and two, it protects your time. Right. And the Gym Lead Machine system actually makes us really easy to segment your appointments, you know, by confirmed versus pending. Right. So that means that if you have people confirming on their own, via texts through the automation, then you don’t have to spend time following up with every single appointment that you have booked. You can just focus your efforts on just the ones that are still unconfirmed or pending.

Mateo (43:06):

To summarize, right, when I see people with low show rates, it’s either their follow-up sequence or it’s their confirmation sequence that needs work. Right. And their outreach follow-up automations that they might just not be sufficient. Right. A prequalification form is another technique that I’ve seen. This is where you add an additional intake form as part of the booking process, right? In this form, you’re going to ask the prospect for background information and other questions like, you know, what are their fitness goals and what have they tried in the past, et cetera, a pre-qualification form. It has its pluses and minuses, right? You’ll definitely see an increase in show rates because only people who are really motivated and committed to taking that next step and inquiring will take the time to fill out the form.

Mateo (43:59):

On the other hand, you’ll see booking rates drop because, you know, it’s just another hurdle that your prospects have to hop over in order to book that appointment. So there are other, you know, cutesy tricks that I’ve seen. You know, there are more like offer specific, tricks that they don’t always align with Two-Brain values, which is why I don’t put them in any of the formal curriculum material, but stuff I’ve seen out in the universe is I’ll see. An I’ve seen work with, with a few clients of ours is they’ll do something like this, right? They’ll have a front end offer on their homepage. And it says like two day free pas to the gym, or some kind of coupon or offer, a two day free pas. That might be more applicable to a gym that has like a Globo gym type annex.

Mateo (44:45):

That isn’t entirely focused on coaching. But, you know, I guess if you wanted to offer a free intro session, that that would work as well, but the prospect sees the offer, right. They think it’s attractive. They opt in and if it’s free, you know, what do they have to lose? I’ll opt in. Say this is cool. and then with the automation of followup sequences, they say, Hey, we have your two day pas waiting for you at the desk. What time do you want to come and pick them up? And that question is essentially you asking, when would you like to book their free intro appointment? Right. It’s a little cutesy, gimmick kind of a way to get people, to show up to the gym, but you’re incentivizing someone to show up at a specific time.

Mateo (45:25):

And then once they’re there at the desk, you know, you can have your way with them. You can sell them or, or do whatever you want. So, I guess the last thing, close this up, let’s say a person doesn’t show up or they, or they do cancel the appointment. You should have a system in place where it moves that prospect into a requisition and long-term nurturing sequence. Right? So, action item. I know there was a lot there. Sorry guys, but guys and gals action item is to audit your follow-up process. And if you can, add in personal touchpoints to increase your show rate.

Mike (46:04):

You can never have too many personal touchpoints. Chris has talked about this many times, automations are great, but they’re not better than personalized contact because what you’re doing in the micro gym industry is you’re creating a relationship. And so you don’t create a relationship with text messages until you have a bigger relationship, but then you can move into text messaging. It doesn’t go the other way. So make sure guys automations are fine, but do not rely on them beyond the personal touch because you are trying to build personal relationships because you sell coaching. So moving on, we’ve talked a ton about sales on this show. Jeff Burlingame is our sales expert. We’ve had him on here a bunch of times. He’s on a ton of shows in the archives. We’re not going to get into the exact nitty gritty of closing here and like, you know, spend an hour on this because we’ve done probably five shows on it, but Mateo, we’re just going to talk today about some really simple close problems and some really simple solutions people can take to improve their rates, broad strokes here. What have you got for us?

Mateo (46:59):

I mean, I think you kind of said it all just then, when it comes to improving your close rate, I’m not the expert, there are tons of Two-Brain mentors who are master salespeople. You just mentioned Jeff and a couple others. Right? So, but for me, right, any common problems or pitfalls that I see when it comes to sales, really, they just stem from lack of reps, right? Sales mastery comes with practice. And I think the more practice you have, the more confident you become, and the more confident you are, the more sales you’ll close. Right. People have different philosophies when it comes to sales and they also break down the actual consultation into different phases. You know, they have different names for things. But I guess these are the ones that I like to use.

Mateo (47:51):

Right. You know, there’s five phases, there’s the pre-frame right. The work here really happens, before the consultation starts and which is why I think it’s relevant for our conversation. Right. The pre-frame is, you know, when we ask, have you done this adequately, have you set the stage, right? Have you set the context around this free intro or consultation? There’s a prospect sitting down in front of you, recognize you as an authority in this space, in the fitness world. Right. You can establish some authority in the consultation itself while you’re conducting the intro, but it’s really hard to do that within a 20 minute meeting. Right. So that work really has to be done beforehand through publishing content and through your lead nurture process up to this point. Right. So that’s basically everything we’ve just talked about for the past 15 minutes, however long it is. Right. Have you set the stage and that process starts, you know, when they land on your website. The next phase is rapport, right? Have you established rapport with your prospect? Do they know, like, and trust you? You know, you can build a rapport through icebreakers, through jokes, spoofs and goofs as I like to call them. But that part’s obviously really important. The next phase is the pain and the need. Right. You could also call it the discovery phase. Basically

Mateo (49:18):

What we want to do is, you know, ask your prospect enough questions so that you can identify what the problem truly is for them and that they’re looking to solve. And not only do you need to identify, but you need them to recognize it as well. Right. And if you can do that effectively, when you present your solution, they’re much more likely to say, yes, I need that. Take my card. Scarcity and urgency is the next phase, right? You need to create an environment where you can get them to say yes or no from right then and there. Right. No is obviously not great, but it’s better than be back bus as Jeff calls it. Right. The maybe, let me think about it, right. That just wastes your time. We want them to say yes or no.

Mateo (50:01):

And then the last part, I think, is conviction, right? And this is what I was saying earlier about practice and putting in the reps, right. Practice builds confidence. And if the transaction, right, if the sale here depends on whether or not they believe you when you say, Hey, we’ve identified this problem, I promise that X program, or Y coaching is going to be able to solve it. You know, if it depends on that sentence, right, if it depends on their belief in you when you say that, then you really have to believe it when you’re saying it. Right. So, that’s where the conviction piece comes in. And the more confidence you have in this belief, the more sales you’ll close, it’s really as simple as that. And what I want to emphasize is that, as I said before, everything that leads up to this moment where your prospect is sitting down in front of you, can make your job easier or it can make your job harder.

Mateo (51:02):

Right. What I mean by that is if you have an ad like a Facebook ad that says 21 day fitness program, and it takes your viewer to like a simple landing page, and it says, you know, 21 days you get fitness and nutrition, click here to learn more. And then that person books an appointment, and then you have no communication with that prospect until they walk in for their appointment, what’s going to happen. They’ll walk in. And I mean, this has happened to me, right? This happened in the early days of when I was first learning how to do Facebook ads, the person will walk in and they would say, yeah, I saw this ad online. I was kind of curious, so I clicked on it, but can you, can you tell me a little bit more about what this is about, what this gym is about, what this program is, and that’s going to put a lot more work and pressure on you during the sales consultation, right.

Mateo (51:53):

And you’ve got to spend that time now explaining the service and then proving why it works. And that’s unfortunate because you should be spending that time focusing on the prospect, right. Focusing on them, their problems, their goals. And so this is where having a really good website and having sophisticated automation and lead nurture can really help because your content on your website and the messaging that you send to your prospects can do a lot of the selling for you, right? Member testimonials and reviews on your website and inserting those inside of your lead nurture messages. These can all help with the pre-frame stage, right? This can all help with building your authority, and then automated SMS messaging, personalized video, text messages. This helps build rapport, right? So you’ve got the first two phases covered a little bit there.

Mateo (52:50):

Your program pages on your website, they can help establish pain and need, right? If your site says, we help new moms get back into shape by building custom fitness programs in our diapers and dumbbell service. You know, if it says we help blank to blank by blank, right? If you answer that question, it’s going to help establish the problem that you’re solving for people, right. And build the confidence, and build trust in that service. Right. So again, the sales process, it starts once someone lands on your website, right? It doesn’t start when they’re sitting down in front of you. It starts when they see your site for the first time. And so, you know, I guess that’s what our mission has been over at Gym Lead Machine, it’s is to help you get more leads and convert them into sales, right? Our goal is to take away the heavy lifting when it comes to your online presence, so that you can focus on what matters, you know, which is the in-person stuff. It’s building relationships, it’s building relationships with your prospects and your clients and delivering an amazing service.

Mike (54:00):

And we’ve certainly found that. We use Gym Lead Machine. I’ve certainly found that to be the case, because people look at the website, they know what it’s about, and the leads come in warmer than they would when I was doing it myself. I’m going to give you three other things that have helped me out. And you hit on one of them already practice, right? No one is just good at sales right off the bat, even the best salespeople practice. So just practice. Do it regularly, do it when it doesn’t matter so then when it does matter, you can do it well. Find a coach, find a parent, find a friend, find a partner, do whatever, and just practice selling stuff. You can do that for sure. You’ve already mentioned that. Second thing. You can use a sales binder. We teach you how to make sales binders in Two-Brain Business.

Mike (54:40):

And that helps because instead of having to figure things out on the fly and remember things and get nervous, you’ve got your binder in front of you. Point to this, it leads you right through the process. That’s a key critical step. And then the other thing is I’ll recommend is read Chris Cooper’s book “Help first.” It teaches you that selling isn’t really selling if it’s helping. If you know that the best way to help this person have a better life is by losing weight, becoming stronger, gaining more confidence, any of the benefits of fitness, then you’re just recommending helpful things that will help this person get what the person needs to succeed. That’s not really selling, that’s just giving them what they want and need to have a better life. And that really changes the perspective. So if people are really intimidated by selling, I strongly recommend that you pick up that book, Mateo, do we have an action item for this final part of the show?

Mateo (55:27):

Mock no-sweat intros, mock free intros, mock sales consultations, whatever terminology you use for sales, for your intro, do practice runs with your staff, do them with your spouse, do them with anyone and everyone who’s willing to participate in the process and help you grow and learn, yeah. Conduct those mock intros. And it’ll help you, especially with the objection handling as well, right? Especially if you can find different people to do them with, they’ll come up with different objections that you maybe didn’t think of and help you.

Mike (56:10):

Mateo, thank you for your time today. It’s a pleasure as always. Before you go tell us where we can learn more about Gym Lead Machine.

Mateo (56:17):

A hundred percent. You can go to You can even send us a note, let us how we did on our above the fold section on our call to action. You’ll also be able to see a little, a demo video with my face there, walking you through the service and some of the things we’ve talked about today in this podcast, and check it out. Yeah, you can even book a call to learn more. Yeah. You can book an appointment. Hopefully we practice what we preach and we get you to top on the call and we can, we can talk more about you and how we can help.

Mike (56:52):

Thanks so much again for your time, Mateo, I appreciate it.

Mateo (56:54):

Thanks Mike.

Mike (56:54):

That was Mateo Lopez on Two-Brain Radio. I’m your host, Mike Warkentin. Marketing and running a business can be tough, but Two-Brain Business has a Growth ToolKit to success. You don’t have to figure out all this stuff yourself and get overwhelmed. To hear how a Two-Brain mentor can help you find success fast, click book a free call in the show notes to spend 60 minutes with a mentor. Thanks for listening to Two-Brain Radio. We’re back with another episode Monday, please subscribe for more episodes.


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