Gym owners know that prospects are not created equally. Some prospects enjoy their free trial period but never return, while others finish their trial period and become long-term, dedicated members.
As a result, recruiting the right prospects is critical to the success of your gym. Dedicated members provide predictable revenue and help grow your business by referring family and friends.
While targeting and recruiting the right prospect might be the goal, putting together a strategic prospect acquisition plan to do so is a bit more difficult. With the following steps, you will be able to attract the right prospects and grow your business.
Partner with the right businesses
Your ideal prospect lives in your area and shops and eats at nearby stores and restaurants. Establishing a strategic partnership with these local businesses gives you access to the prospects you want, and with a reciprocal referral arrangement, you can generate a steady flow of engaged and returning business.
When seeking out partnership opportunities, consider working with coffee shops, juice bars, hair salons, massage studios or even sports bars to promote your business.
Retention tip: Offering a free trial to new members originating from your referral partners provides them with an exclusive incentive for being a long-term member at your studio.
Be in the right places
Networking also delivers a gateway to your ideal prospects. When you attend local meetups, professional networking events and community events like farmers markets and health fairs, you position yourself for exposure to your target demographic.
Whether you set up a table or socialize and meet new people, bring swag like branded water bottles and towels to hand out. Not only will these items serve as continued advertising for your businesses, but they will also inspire brand loyalty.
Help your staff recruit new members
Empowering your team to recruit new members is another way to achieve your strategic acquisition goals. To leverage your coaches and instructors, educate them on why it is critical for your business to build its membership base.
Share business metrics, like total new trials, new members and member churn with your staff. When they can see the big picture, they will feel empowered and take ownership of your business’ success.
If you are promoting a specific offer, like a free trial or fitness challenge, ensure your team promotes it too. Give them business cards or other branded items to distribute when they meet new people and consider incentivizing their efforts with a small bonus for bringing in a member who signs a commitment.
Give your members the tools to succeed
Once you have the perfect prospect in your studio for a free-trial, set them up for success so they will become a dedicated, long-term member.
One way to do that is by rethinking the “free consultation,” and instead, offering a more comprehensive personal training session. During the training appointment, help your member set achievable goals and identify their motivation so they can leverage it when they start to lose interest. Then help them create a plan to get from where they are to where they want to be.
Retention tip: People often start to feel unmotivated and unfocused when they achieve their goals and have nothing else to work towards. Help your members keep their head in the game by offering a free quarterly personal training session to assist them in setting new goals.
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list, and there’s always more you can do to build your business. Following these suggestions is a good starting point when creating a marketing strategy.
This guest post was written by PaySimple, the leading provider of commerce solutions for fitness studios worldwide and Zen Planner’s long-time preferred payment processor.
PaySimple is the leading provider of Service Commerce solutions, supporting the success of thousands of SMBs across the country. Its solutions change the lives of business owners by bringing simplicity and flow to their businesses. Service-based businesses can expand marketing, accept payments, and improve member retention using one SaaS platform.
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