You have yourself a bunch of leads from your social media or marketing campaign. Now comes what is often the hardest part – converting them to paying members! If you find this is one of your main challenges, read my top 10 tips to help you convert those leads into loyal paying members and clients.
1. Contact leads ASAP
Get hold of any leads as soon as you can while they are excited and ready to take action. The longer you leave them, the greater the chance they’ll think you are not interested and move on to someone else. Leads are a fresh commodity. They aren’t meant to wait for a day or two. Their level of interest drops dramatically after just one hour. Yep, it’s been researched. So don’t give your lead the opportunity to give you the cold shoulder or to move on to, heaven forbid, a competitor!
2. Try, try and try again
One of the biggest issues you often face is getting in contact with leads. Often people are at work or don’t recognise the number so they won’t pick up the phone. They’ve been told since they were old enough to walk not to talk to strangers, so you can’t blame them for that. Try different channels (phone, email and text) on different days of the week and different times of the day. You don’t want to stalk the lead, but sometimes it takes a bit of persistence. I suggest trying the three different channels, three times, before giving up on them. And always leave a message if they have voicemail.
3. It’s all about them
When you contact the person, make it all about them. The most important thing you can do is identify their problem and then show them how you can solve it. People love talking about themselves, and when you focus on them, it shows you are interested in them personally. So ask lots of questions, like have they joined a gym in the past, have they used a personal trainer before, what was the experience like and what do they want to achieve?
4. Be ready to handle any objections
Even though a prospective client may want what you’re offering, there is still an extremely high likelihood they will put up at least one objection before committing with you (such as time, money, wanting to look at other options and so forth). Make sure you have answers for any objections a person could possibly raise so in the end they have no reason not to join your business.
5. Give them an extra incentive to sign up
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like a bargain or free stuff. Offering a free gift or providing a special time-sensitive discount is a great way to push leads to convert. The discount doesn’t have to be something huge and the free gift doesn’t have to have a high monetary value. The average consumer simply can’t pass up a free offer or a limited-time discount.
6. Add a time limit
Some people will just um and ah and can’t seem to make a decision. So add a final date for your offer. If they are truly interested, they’ll take some action. If not, you know not to waste valuable time and energy on them.
7. First impressions count
When a lead decides to visit your centre or meet with you, then make sure they will be impressed. Be on time, look professional (wear your branded clothes) and have your centre looking its best. Give them a tour and show them your facilities. Introduce them to your staff to make them feel right at home. And always remember to have in the back of your mind what their pain points are and how you can help them reach their fitness goals.
8. Ask for a decision
Simply asking for a sale seems obvious but it is often left out of the conversion process. A lot of people find it hard to ask for that first payment. So ask your prospects if they are ready to get started and watch how many say “yes.” They wouldn’t have got this far if they didn’t have an initial interest in becoming a customer. If you don’t ask for the sale, your competition will.
9. Keep the lead bubbling along
Even if you call a prospect within ten minutes of signing up, they may still not be ready to move forward in the sales process. However, they have expressed interest in you, so don’t lose the opportunity to keep them warm. A general rule of thumb suggests that a prospect sees or hears your message at least seven times before they take action and buy from you. Keep them informed and show them that you care. They’re sure to come back to you when they have questions or are ready to move on to the next step.
10. Don’t forget me!
After following all these steps, just because they didn’t join with you, doesn’t mean they won’t months down the track. They may not be ready to progress because of finances, family, holidays and so forth. But you never know what happens down the track when their circumstances change. So make sure they are on your newsletter list, Facebook page and so on, so that when they’re ready to take the first step, you’re at the top of their list.