Closing at 80 Percent: Sales Leader Tells All

Adam Robbins

Mike (00:02):

How do you get large numbers of prospective clients to show up for appointments and buy memberships? Adam Robbins will tell you. His gym, DNA Fitness, booked a ton of consultations, had a host of people show up and then closed at an 80% clip. He’s here right after this.

Chris (00:17):

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Mike (00:54):

This is Two-Brain Radio and I’m Mike Warkentin. DNA Fitness is in Cutler Bay, Florida, and owner Adam Robbins put his gym on all three Two-Brain leaderboards for sales and marketing this June. He’s going to pull back the curtain and tell us how he did it. Adam, welcome to Two-Brain Radio and thank you for being here. I want to congratulate you right off the bat on being on three of Two-Brain’s leaderboards for last month.

Adam (01:17):

Thank you, Mike. The pleasure is mine. I appreciate the opportunity to be on the show.

Mike (01:22):

I’m going to pump you for information right off the top here. So I heard that in a pre-interview that you did, I understand some of your new clients or one said that you’re crushing content and really setting yourselves apart from other local gyms. So I want to know this is an area of passion for me. What kind of helpful content are you creating and how are you getting it in front of prospective clients?

Adam (01:41):

Every month we have a staff meeting and we really just talk about like what everybody sees as the need with our members and with our clients. And, you know, we kinda just dump all these ideas in a bucket and, you know, collectively we strategize and prioritize, which ones would be best to create content on. And then we all pick one or two to create some content. And I have one of our members is a videographer. And you know, we get the benefit of bartering with him, and he brings in his equipment and we’ll shoot for three hours or so. And we’ll just create a ton of content. He’ll go back and edit it. And then, you know, we have stuff to post every three to five days on social media, on Instagram, Facebook, or whatever we’re just creating content. I mean, from this simple as like what kind of shoes to wear to the gym, which shoes are best for lifting, which shoes the best for running. And then, you know, mobility, how to improve range of motion and overhead movements, how to minimize, you know, injury and injury stuff, things that people can do on their own time. Just whatever we see would be valuable content to our community. That’s what we make content.

Mike (03:10):

  1. So the cool part about this is that you survey your current clients and you talk to them because this is a huge thing you want to ideally find more of your current clients, because they’re the people you love working with and they like you. So you’re asking them for ideas and then you’re filtering that through your staff, obviously. So that’s a real, that’s a really, really good way to find more people exactly like the clients you already have. The second thing that you do a really, really great thing is you have a media production plan. And for a lot of people, you know, they don’t have a videographer, but you have a videographer and you’re blocking off time to crush a bunch of content all at once because I’ve learned that that is the secret, the piece by piece thing, you know, every day, like, what do I put up? Creating on the spot becomes very, very challenging. So I love what you’re doing there. Now. This is a problem for gym owners. So tell me how you solve this. How do you get your staff members to create content? Is it just telling them, Hey, show up, be prepared to do these videos in this three hour window, or how do you do that?

Adam (04:06):

Well, you know, I think making a team effort really helps to encourage everybody to show up because it’s not an individual. And it brings a different energy to the room. You know, every time we do it and we have videographer come in, we’re able to sit back and then in between transitioning people, you know, we kind of make jokes and, you know, we give each other high fives and we make it a, just a kind of team building event, where we’re supporting each other while we’re creating this content, we’re telling each other, we’re learning, right. Because of watching the other person, we can see what they’re doing well, and we can, you know, kind of edit for ourselves. Like if I follow somebody else, I can be like, OK, this worked well for them. They had to do a couple takes of it. This didn’t work. So I may approach my content a little bit differently. So I just find that to work a little bit better than, you know, having one person at a time. And so that way it gets a little kind of stale and, you know, mundane or you feel that, you know, you’re in there all by yourself. And I just find it to work a lot better when you do it as a team.

Mike (05:26):

I like it. So do you pay your staff members for that? Or is it understood that by acquiring new clients, they’re going to make more money?

Adam (05:33):

So I’m always telling them like the more that they can get their face out into the public, the more valuable they’re going to become to the community. And then the more valuable they become to the community and the more people know who they are, because they’re putting their stuff out there, then the easier it’s going to be for them to get clients. And that has proven to be true time and time again. The more content we put out there and the more people are approaching them and saying, Hey, I love that video that you did. One of my staff had a lady doing some glute work in the corner after class. She just went over to her. Hey, you know, I could show you some videos of what you should be doing. And the lady’s like, yeah, that would be great. And then she said, well, or you could just hire me as a trainer, you know? And so she did, she ended up getting a client that way, because the lady knew who she was. She watched some of her videos before in the past, she was trying to do it on her own in the gym. It would be better if I just paid you to be here instead of watching your videos.

Mike (06:43):

Yeah. And expertise has been established in the video. So it’s not just a random person walking up to someone who’s been in a video showing off expertise. That’s brilliant. OK. I want to move on to one other thing that I thought was really cool. And I remember back in the day, this was like maybe 2009, the original fire breather, Greg Amundson in Santa Cruz. He told me that the way he got members to his gym was just to go out to a park, do a workout and put up a sign. And that’s old school CrossFit marketing from 2007, 2008, 2009. But I understand, I understand that you’re doing a lot of outdoor running workouts and they’re having a similar effect. Tell me about that.

Adam (07:20):

Before I was even a business owner, my previous boss who was, really good friend of mine, he would always talk about these guerrilla marketing concepts. And it was like, what is this guerilla marketing? So, you know, it’s basically just free marketing where you can do something that’s going to grab people’s attention, and then they want to know more. So I love that concept, right? Because it’s free, you don’t have to pay for it. And we’re located in a unique little shopping plaza. We have a storefront and we’re right next to a nail salon. We’re right next to the dry cleaner, a restaurant. And we’re right on the main road of our community, which is Cutler Bay. So my concept is just the more that I can get people outside of the gym, um, where they’re running down the street where, you know, it’s eight o’clock in the morning.

Adam (08:21):

People are leaving to go to work or in the afternoon where people are coming home from work or anywhere in the middle of the day, right. Where people may be going to the dry cleaners or nail salon. If people see other people working out, eventually they’re going to stop in, right. They’re going to say, what is going on over there? Let me go find out. And to that point, I still have people that have lived in our community for, I would say 10 plus years, they have never stopped in, but they’ve always seen people running down the street and they’ve always wondered. And then one day they get that courage and then they come in and they’re like, and I asked them, how’d you find out about it? Well, I lived here for 10 years, people running down the street. I was like, what took you so long to stop in? But they come in, you know, they get started and, you know, some of our members have been with me before I was even a gym owner. So going on 10 years.

Mike (09:23):

Wow. Wow. You know, I used to tell people, I didn’t do it as well as you did, but I used to tell our members whenever they are running at rush hour and the traffic was going by was smile a lot during this workout, OK? So, but here’s the thing that I didn’t have in place. I want to ask you what you have in place when you know, you know, that this running traffic is going to get some people coming into pop in. How do you make it easy for those people to get into the gym? Like in terms of either booking an appointment, or what do you say to them? Like, how do you make sure that these people who pop in have a great experience at either sign up or at least book an appointment for a consultation?

Adam (09:58):

Yeah. So, I mean, if somebody walks in the door, we don’t do automatic, like drop ins. Like if somebody walks in and they want to sit down and have a consultation, we just don’t do it that way. I just don’t think, we’re a smaller gym. So I don’t have a front desk person that can tend to them. And the coach who’s on staff is coaching class. And for them to attend to somebody who just walks in, you know, it just, it doesn’t work because then it leaves the class a little wide open, but we make them feel special. Right. We find out what their name is. We sometimes we’ll pull them in and we’ll introduce them to the class that’s actually going on we’re a very family oriented, um, community. And so, you know, to be able to connect somebody into a group of people and our gym culture knows that, like they know that we do crazy stuff like that. So they’ll make them feel amazing. Right. And if they feel amazing in that moment, all we got to do is collect their contact information. I have my CSM follow up with them, schedule an appointment, and then they come back and they show up.

Mike (11:15):

I love it. I love it. I love that you have that stuff lined up.

Adam (11:18):

Usually when you make that first contact in person, they’ll show up for that second, that second appointment, the first appointment, really. Because they’ve met you in person already. Seems to be better show rate, right. When somebody walks in and they meet you and they get to see the gym and everything prior to their consultation. As opposed to just getting leads in off of Facebook where nobody knows you, they haven’t met no real person yet. And I think you have a question about that going forward. So I’ll just—

Mike (12:03):

I do, like you led right into it perfectly like in June, you had, you booked 42 intros and 30 of them showed for a 71% rate, which is awesome. And you hit on one of the things that contributed to that number was people coming in and seeing you sometimes, seeing a smiley face, a welcoming group, and then being more likely to come back to a happy, friendly environment they’ve already been to. What else do you do to ensure that people who book appointments show up because a lot of gyms lose people in this stage.

Adam (12:32):

I mean, I think it’s tough for most people to initially start. But once you do it a few times and you recognize the return on what you’re doing, then it makes it a whole lot easier, but that’s sending out video text messages, right. So instead of just texting somebody, Hey, you know, we have you scheduled today for a free intro. We’re looking forward to meeting you and talking about all your goals and seeing how we can best serve you do that through a video text message. Right. So just, you know, kind of how you do like a selfie on Instagram, like you do that through to your potential client. And from what I see, I get a greater response. I almost get an immediate response from the person right away saying, Hey, thanks for the video I’m looking forward to coming in. I’m confirming my appointment. I’ll see you then.

Mike (13:41):

We’ve been tracking that. And noticed that there’s a higher correlation. Like there’s more people show up when you send them a video text.

Adam (13:47):

I think it just adds a little, kinda like as if somebody was going to just walk into the door to the gym, you know, they get to meet a person. So video texts, it’s very rarely that somebody is going to look at a video text and not push the button and see what you have to say. But when you send them a regular text and I’m guilty of this, right. I’ve gotten texts before where I see it and I’ll just I’ll click it. And then it disappears off of my screen. And I don’t think about it again. But if you get a video text, you’re going to take that time, you know, whether it’s a 30-second text or whatever to watch it, and it’s going to make a greater impact on that person. And they’re going to think about that all day long, because I guarantee you, they’re not getting a whole lot of those,.

Mike (14:37):

What it is too, is that so Chris Cooper, Two-Brain founder, has written about levels of communication and always picking the best one, like face to face is the king and queen of all communication. And then it goes down the scale to like email and so forth. But even within different media like text, there are levels. So it’s just text, voice text, video text, and I’m going to suggest I don’t have data on this obviously, but seeing someone’s face and eyes and smile. And that whole thing, the effort that goes into that video definitely creates a greater connection than just the words that say, Hey, it’s the dude from the gym, are you’re coming for your appointment. Right. That there’s that human element. It’s harder to ignore someone who’s actually speaking to you, even if it’s in a video as opposed to a text, like you said, you can just swipe that off the screen and forget about it. My question for you is, do you do these texts personalized each person? Or do you have like a video that you just take off your phone and send to a text? Is it personalized each?

Adam (15:31):

Yeah. Every person, they get a unique text to them. When somebody, so we get a Facebook lead that’ll come in or wherever lead comes in, immediately our CSM reaches out to them to schedule, but she doesn’t just schedule, she tries to get a little bit of information. Like, what are they looking for? Why did they connect with us through whatever stream they came in off of. So she’ll get a little bit of detail. Are they interested in personal training, or are they looking for weight loss? Do they just want to get back into the routine of things? What is it? So she puts that on the notes. And so once she gets them scheduled, whoever, and typically right now, I do a lot of the sales, but so let’s say it comes into my calendar and Angie is scheduled to come in today at three o’clock.

Adam (16:32):

And so by nine or 10 in the morning, I know that I have to reach out to Angie. Right. But I can look at the notes and I can see exactly what she’s looking for. And I can say, Hey, Angie, this is Adam. I’m the coach that’s going to be meeting you today. I look forward to talking to you about your goals of losing that extra 15 pounds. I’m really excited to discuss this with you and please just confirm your appointment, so that I can make sure that I’m there for you a hundred percent or something like that. And that personalizes it. I use their first name. You know, I’m talking a little bit about exactly what they want to do that losing the 15 pounds. So I think that all of that comes together and really just solidifies that, that show rate.

Chris (17:24):

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Mike (17:50):

Listeners out there, that is a huge tip right there. Try sending a video text and try using as much personal information as you can. I love Adam that you’ve got your CSM acquiring that information and documenting it. So whoever sends the text can personalize it. Brilliant. That is a huge one that I guarantee this is a reason why your show rate is so high. I’m going to ask you now about your close rate. Now I understand it’s boosted by affinity marketing. So tell me what you’re doing there for affinity and how does it affect your free consultations when those people actually come in?

Adam (18:24):

So I mean, with the affinity marking, that is something that, you know, it’s just comes for me. It just comes super natural. My coach with Two-Brain has always just boosted my confidence with it. She’s like, you’re amazing with affinity marketing, Jolene, she’s amazing. I love coaching with her. But when it comes to the affinity marketing, I think for us, it’s really, it really just comes down to the culture that we’ve created and the culture that I’ve always wanted in my gym. And that’s a culture of, you know, just relationship building, right? The exercise, the movement, all of that is secondary to the relationship building, because I believe that if you can’t build a relationship and you can’t connect on a deeper level, that you’re never going to get people to do what you want them to do and helping them get to where they want to go, because they won’t listen.

Adam (19:32):

And so I drill them on making sure that they’re connecting with every single day, every single hour and every single minute that they’re in there, right. Looking at people in the eye, making sure that they’re finding out about their day, how’s their families, doing all of this pulls into our coaching and throughout the warm-ups, throughout the strength part, throughout everything we do in that hour long class, which is to find out about the life of all of the clients as best that they can. Obviously we, you know, within an hour, you’re not going to sit and have coffee and tea with them, but, you know, to the best that they can and do it and genuinely really want to know that person. And I think because we do that so much, and I think we do it very, very well that, I just recently I have a family of four that signed up one by one, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. First the wife brought the two kids and then the husband came about four weeks later.

Mike (20:50):

So you’re just crushing it with these people. Right. And they’re just telling their friends and family.

Adam (20:54):

Exactly. And that’s it, you know, and I think it’s because when they walk in the door, they know that we really care and they want to be in a place where somebody really cares about them, and it’s not about, Hey, do you have a 500 pound deadlift yet? No, it’s about, Hey, when you started, you know, this is where you were and look at where you’re at now and look at where you’re going to be in another couple of months, we’re getting there, at your pace, you know, making sure that you’re going to be safe. And you’re just, just really, really, I think it just comes down to that. Like how much do we really care and genuinely care? Like they can see that. And when they can see that they just, it just comes organically. They wanted, they wanted to tell their friends, other people. And when they come in, when those friends and other people come in, it’s a done deal. They’re just coming in to sign up. There’s no question about it because that person has talked about us for so long.

Mike (21:59):

Now you said it comes very naturally to you, but do you do anything to like encourage your members to tell their friends and family? Or do you like, is there anything they’ll wine and WOD night, or do you do anything specific or is it just, you’re crushing your service and they do it naturally?

Adam (22:12):

I mean, we’re really just crushing the service and it comes naturally. We do a few things here and there in month we have a get together, sometimes it’s a small thing. Like, we’ll go to a park and we’ll do volleyball for three or four hours and anybody can come and they can invite.

Mike (22:36):

So friends and family show up to that. Right?

Adam (22:37):


Mike (22:37):

Oh, there it is. That’s the thing I was looking for.

Adam (22:41):

Yeah. Once a month, we do a community gathering event. Sometimes we have one of the members host at their house, you know, we’ll do an outdoor backyard, barbecue kind of deal where everybody brings a dish. Those are always like really, really, really fun. And, you know, a lot of different people come, they get to see the community, they get to meet the people. And they realize, I think sometimes too, if there’s this intimidation factor. And then when they go to one of these events that we have, they’ll see normal people. And they’re like, oh, wow. It’s not like, you know, I don’t know what they have these ideas that they have. They’re like, it’s like the CrossFit Games at every gym. But, you know, once they see normal people, you know, it kind of encourages them to come in and get started.

Mike (23:35):

You’re, making connections with friends and family without even asking for a sale. You’re just having fun events, where they meet people, they feel comfortable. They make some connections on their own. They talk to some people, they find people who are they are, and then eventually they take the jump. And you obviously have a process in place to make those appointments go really well. That is a brilliant affinity marketing plan. And I can tell you from when we ran, when I had a physical space, we would do like a wine and WOD or you know, bring a friend and we would get members out of that. And you’re essentially doing events like that. They’re not wine and WOD necessarily, but it’s like volleyball at the park, bring your friends and family. And that’s a huge, and you’re doing them regularly. That’s the other thing is, so you’re constantly connecting with your members, you know, their people, their friends, family, colleagues, whatever.

Mike (24:16):

So that is a brilliant affinity marketing plan. Like you said, your close rate, which was, you know, very high, was 80% in June, is buoyed obviously by having people who like you said, it’s a done deal. They’re coming in to sign up, not to negotiate with you. They want what you have because they love it. And they’ve seen it. So tell me now, you know, this is the key part now. So the people that aren’t affinity clients, like people who come in off the street, or people who book, you know, Facebook leads or whatever they are. Tell me how you close with those guys, like how, and you’re training your staff members to sell, or how does that go?

Adam (24:48):

Yeah. So, you know, sales is always a fun game, right?

Mike (24:57):

For some people.

Adam (24:58):

That’s how you gotta look at it. At least for me is, you know, it’s a game and anytime that you start playing a game, you’re not the best at the game. Right. But you have to learn strategy. You have to learn, you know, different things in order to play the game well. And, you know, for me, I’ve, you know, I’ve read books and you read all this stuff on sales and it’s really the application. It’s like, how do you put it into practice? What has helped me the most and this is like the simplest thing, is watching the videos on YouTube from Jeff Burlingame.

Mike (25:39):

So that’s our Two-Brain YouTube channel where we’ve got Burly talking sales objection-confronting, mindset, role-playing, all that stuff.

Adam (25:47):

It’s just, that has been the biggest game changer for me because I’m the type of person for me, the way that I learn is by watching and duplicating, right? I can mirror something that I see faster than I can read a book and take the tools out of the book and implement it. So when I found the content on Two-Brain and I started watching it was very easy for me to just sit in front of somebody and say the same exact thing that he says in the videos. And it works.

Mike (26:20):

Oh, well, that’s great feedback.

Adam (26:21):

Why create the wheel when it’s already made for you? Just duplicate it, you know? So, you know, to anybody that’s listening to this podcast and you’re struggling with sales and close rates, go and listen to Jeff Burlingame Two-Brain channel and just try and duplicate it.

Adam (26:45):

And the more, you know, they say to be a master at anything you gotta put what 10,000 hours, get the reps in. So the more that you can repeat it in your head, the more that you watch the videos, the more you stand in front of the mirror and say the things that you need to say, I think in one of his videos, he even talks about this. It will sound a little robotic at first because you’re not used to saying it, but the more you do the reps, right? The more you do the reps, the smoother it’ll start coming out, and it will begin to flow, and then you’ll adopt it as your own, and your personality will come out of it. So, you know, whoever’s listening to this. If you’re struggling with sales, I highly recommend that you get the reps in, listen to Jeff and just repeat it over and over until you own that. And it becomes part of you. And I guarantee your close rate will skyrocket.

Mike (27:53):

I’m going to take this opportunity to just say, we will get a link to our YouTube channel in the show notes for you, click it. You want to subscribe and hit the notification bell so that you get notified every time we drop more content, definitely put comments and likes on the videos, because we do respond to questions and so forth. Do you get your staff to watch those videos?

Adam (28:11):

Absolutely. I send all the videos, so we created everybody in our staff has an iPhone, so we created a group chat and I just send them out on that. And then they all watch them. And then I do weekly meetings with each one of our staff members and the ones that want to learn sales, I challenge them to watch those videos and then role play with me.

Mike (28:40):

OK, Adam, it’s pretty clear when, when I saw your numbers, I thought it was just amazing. And now after I’ve talked to you, the numbers aren’t really amazing. They’re exactly what I would expect given what you’re doing at your gym. Right. You’ve got a very cool process. Your sales team is getting better. You’re practicing, you’re putting in the reps and you’re building these generic, or, sorry, not generic, organic connections that help you boost your close rate with sure things. Like how long has it taken you to get this whole thing in place? Because this is a very cool system.

Adam (29:13):

Well, I mean, if you want to talk about it from the very beginning, like I got into business, I opened my first gym in 2015, and that one went under in two years. So we closed in 2017. Me and my wife opened DNA Fitness, solo, no partners. And then we found Two-Brain at the end of 2019, I think it was. Yeah. So we started Two-Brain at the beginning of 2020, we did our on-ramp onboarding 90 days. Yeah. The ramp up. And then we got into the growth. So I would say since January of 2020, when we started, that whole process and it’s been a journey. It has got us to where we are now. And I give a hundred percent of, I mean, obviously, it’s the effort that we put into it, but without the direction, without the coaching and without the accountability and just the whole content that Chris has created and the coaching of Jolene, we would not be where we are today.

Adam (30:31):

I forget who it was that did our initial interview, but I’ve done a lot of different coaching programs, right. I was paying $2,500 a month for a coaching program at one point before I found Two-Brain and they have nothing on what to Bain offers and delivers. So, you know, to anybody out there listening, if you’re not on the Two-Brain program and you own a gym, there is no other program out there that I would recommend for a gym owner to be on to double or triple their revenue, and to just set up their systems and processes to run efficiently and effectively in order to grow the business and be an owner and move yourself out of that operator position, which most people are in when they open their gym, you know, they’re in the gym for 60 hours a week and they can’t grow it because they don’t know what to do. They don’t have the processes and it’s all in their head. That’s what Two-Brain has helped me to do. It’s helped me get everything out of my head and onto paper so that you know, staff can follow rules and procedures and the gym can grow itself.

Mike (31:53):

Such a great story.

Adam (31:54):

That’s the fruit of it, man, and the fruit of everything that Chris has put together. You know, if somebody gets a hold of it and actually implements it, it’s going to work, it’s going to grow.

Mike (32:06):

Adam. I want to congratulate one more time on having such great numbers for June. And thank you for coming here and sharing your secrets. I really appreciate it.

Adam (32:14):

Thank you. I really appreciate being on the show.

Mike (32:18):

That was sales and marketing leader, Adam Robbins. I’m your host, Mike Warkentin. Be sure to subscribe for more great episodes of Two-Brain Radio, and for more tips and tactics, join the Gym Owners United group on Facebook. Chris Cooper and the Two-Brain team are always in there sharing knowledge and data. Don’t miss out. That’s Gym Owners United on Facebook. Join it today.


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