5 Steps to Create an Exceptional First Impression on Your Prospective Members

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first impression with prospect member

Before I jump in, I want to ask a question:

Do you have a specific plan in place, that all of your staff members are familiar with, for when a new person walks in the front door of your gym?

If the answer is no, you need one. You need a consistent process for welcoming new people to your facility, giving them a tour, introducing your staff, making sure their first class goes well and following up with them after their first class to keep them engaged. If you’re not doing all of that, you’re not bringing on as many new members as you could be.

If the answer is yes, then you’ll understand what I’m writing about.

I recently trialed a local gym here in Denver and experienced the most exceptional prospective member experience I have seen. I signed up for a free trial class through their website in a training discipline that is completely new to me. Later that same day, a coach at the gym called my cell to introduce himself, make sure I knew what I would need for the class and make sure I knew what time to show up and where. He could not have been more helpful.

When I arrived for my first class, the gym was buzzing. They were just finishing their kids program and the mats were full. People were everywhere. It could have felt overwhelming if I wasn’t immediately engaged by the front desk staff. “Are you Phil?” Holy smokes! They remembered I was coming in. They talked me through the process of taking that first class before they got me started. I knew exactly what to fill out and then where to go.

After the waiver, one of the staff gave me a complete tour of the facility and helped me find a home for my stuff while I trained. He then made a personal handoff to my coach who immediately engaged with me 1:1 (even though a full class was assembling) and helped me get comfortable. I had been there for 10 minutes, already knew two coaches and was feeling totally ready to train.

Throughout my session, the coach checked in with me, gave me specific pointers and encouraged me to move more and work harder. Just the level of coaching and prodding I wanted, without being completely in my face the entire time. After class, the original guy from the front desk found me again and ran through the schedule with me. He encouraged me to try additional classes, talked about memberships without being too salesy and ultimately, I signed up to come back in.

Two days later, I got an email from the gym with a link to a survey asking for feedback. They wanted to know if they had made an impression on me and if not, what they could do to improve. The entire process was so welcoming and professional, I knew I was home by the end of my first class.

The moral of this story is: How you treat a prospective member when they walk in the door is incredibly important and sticks with them. Follow these steps and make it your own:

Step one: Write out your plan

Write down everything you want your prospective members to experience. Then review it, make sure it’s in an easily digestible and trainable list for your staff.

Step two: Automate everything you can

Can you set up a lead capture form on your website and Facebook page so people can sign up on their own? Do it. Can you automatically create tasks and assign them to your staff members to follow up with prospects? Do it. Can you create email templates and have them send automatically to prospects following their first session with you? Do it. The more you automate, the easier it will be to follow your new process.

Step three: Train your staff

Make sure everyone in your facility knows how important this is and make sure they’re all trained. Give them the check-list, show them the automations and run a few role plays to make sure the training sticks.

Step four: Be consistent

Just like training consistently is incredibly important to seeing results, being consistent in following your new prospect welcome process is incredibly important to making it the habit of your gym. Don’t slack, don’t make excuses, treat every new prospect the same way by following the same steps each time.

Step five: Seek out feedback

You probably won’t nail down the perfect process on the first try so seek out feedback from your staff and new members. How are things going? What’s working? What should be changed? If you commit to creating an exceptional first impression on your prospects, it will take a few tries to get it right.

Do you have any great tips on how to make a great impression on prospective members? Be sure to share them below!


What if you could sell more fitness memberships by not “selling” at all? Zen Planner’s Director of Sales provide easy-to-implement tips on how you can start perfecting your pitch with it sounding like one in our webinar, “How to Sell Without ‘Selling'”. Watch it today!

 

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Phil Stern

Phil Stern, Director of Sales
Zen Planner

Phil Stern is in his second stint living in Colorado and keeps getting drawn back to the state as an avid mountain biker, skier and climber. When not in the mountains or on the trails, he’s training at his local CrossFit® box. Professionally, Phil came to Zen Planner from a big software company based in Boston and currently serves at Zen Planner’s Director of Sales.

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