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M.C. Phone Home

The telephone is one of the most important tools at your disposal in terms of gaining new members for your gym.  However, if handled badly, it can also cost you thousands of dollars per year in potential memberships.  Here are a few tips to ensure that you make the most of telephone enquiries at your club.

1.  Don't keep them waiting.
People will not wait for long on the phone, and many will not leave a message if you do not answer their call.  Therefore, if you do not catch this prospect then you may have just lost up to $800 in a matter of seconds.  What were your staff doing during those 20 seconds that was worth more than $800?  This person could be ringing your opposition next on their list and you may have lost them for ever!  As a general rule, the phone should not ring more than 3 times before it is answered.

2. Exude enthusiasm.
You will hear many people telling you to 'smile' when you answer the telephone.  This is primarily because you need to portray a happy,  and enthusiastic approach to those on the phone.  You want your club to sound like a great place to train.  First impressions are very important, so before you pick up the phone take a deep breath and 'smile'. 
3.  Gain the initiative.
It is important that you gain the initiative early in the phone conversation.    Generally enquirers will be ringing to investigate pricing options.  You do not want to be giving out prices over the phone as this will affect your ability to get that person down to the club for a tour.  So therefore, you need to gain the initiative early.  Try something like the following...
Caller:  Can I please find out the price of your memberships?
Staff:  Certainly, I can help you ... may I ask who am I speaking with?
Staff:  <Name> now how did you find out about our club?
Staff:  Have you visited our club before?

4.  Record the details down.
You need to obtain the persons contact details and relevant information,  so that should you fail in getting then down to the club you have their details for future follow up.  Have a specially designed telephone enquiry script beside the phone and take the details down after every enquiry.

5.  Invite them in.
Your aim with any enquirer is to get them down to the club.  This will increase the chances tenfold of converting them into a member.  Try something similar to the following.
Staff:  We have a number of membership options available here at our club.  What I would like to suggest is for you to come down and see the club and we can then discuss which membership is going to best meet your requirements.  How does that sound?

6.  Don't deal on price.

Do not give out the price over the phone.  This will severely decrease the chance of attracting the prospect to the gym.  If they are not prepared to come down to the club then they are not that serious about joining.

If you follow these general guidelines for your telephone enquiries you will dramatically increase the number of members that join your gym.  We all know what this means to the bottom line!

Lead Generation At Christmas...

December is traditionally a very quiet time in the gym... but does it need to be?  We all wind down over the Christmas period as there are less people coming in to train and also less members joining.  Money is spent on Christmas shopping rather than gym memberships.  This may be fine if you are an employee, however if you are the one paying the wages then this can be a stressful time.  However, does this need to necessarily be the case.  Below are a few lead generation ideas to increase the number coming through your doors this Festive period.

1.  Friends free on Fridays.
Let your members bring a friend free every Friday in December.  The first visit for every individual should be via appointment only - with your membership consultant.  This can potentially bring a large number of new leads into the club which your Membership Consultants can attempt to convert into new members via your normal sales process. 

2.  Christmas gift offer to members.
Why not offer a special 2-3 month gift membership for members to purchase for their family or friends over Christmas.  Normally a short term membership is NOT a great idea as part of your membership options.  However, if this brings in a few extra members over the quiet Christmas period that would not have come in otherwise, and also some additional income, it may be a good idea for your club.  Do not offer this as a normal membership type - only as a gift voucher for existing members to purchase.  Your most important task is to provide these members with fantastic service, and then join them up on a long term membership come the end of their initial 2-3 month term.

3.  Christmas Competition Draw
Enter a friend's details into the Christmas competition box and they will go in the draw to win a free membership.  This will mean a large number of leads that your staff can follow up on and attempt to convert into memberships.  Perhaps you will have some sort of offer on for December to encourage the prospect to get started rather than wait until the New Year (eg discount on joining fee).

Don't let a very quiet December dramatically affect your club's profitability.  Get out and try a few ideas to keep the members rolling in this Christmas.

Finally, the next ClubMarketer eNews will come to you after Christmas.  So to all of our subscribers have a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year!!