Converting a lead isn’t a sprint. Or a marathon. It’s a hurdle race.
Walking in the door of a new gym can be extremely intimidating. Potential members are afraid they won’t be able to keep up, nobody will talk to them, they’ll wear the wrong thing… and what if they can’t find the bathroom?
All these fears are obstacles — hurdles — that can prevent you from capturing a new lead and converting that lead into a client.
At any moment during the process a potential member might get scared off, distracted, or even decide to go with a competitor.
The key to capturing and converting leads is to treat each exchange like a face-to-face conversation. This means personalized text messages, emails, and back-and-forth dialogue.
It takes time and effort to clear these hurdles, but here are some suggestions to help make the process easier and increase your odds of turning each lead into a new member.
First Hurdle: Social Proof
When people explore your website or look you up on social media, what do they find?
Testimonials, blog posts, and a vibrant social media presence are extremely influential when people are thinking about joining a gym.
Make sure your online reputation reflects your community by asking your current members to write reviews and tell their stories, which you can turn into blog posts and social media updates. Once a potential lead learns more about you, they’ll feel more comfortable when approaching the next hurdle.
Second Hurdle: Contact Information
New leads can easily get overwhelmed by a laundry list of classes and options when they first visit your site.
Too many options can do terrible things to your conversion rate!
People take one look at a class list that includes a Boot Camp, Yoga, CrossFit, a Mobility Course, and a Sweat Class and become paralyzed by indecision, ultimately leaving without taking any action.
Make the membership options clear and straightforward, state in simple terms what you offer, and then direct people to take one easy call to action — like a Free Fitness Consultation — in exchange for their name and email address. Now that you have their contact information, you can start a conversation.
Third Hurdle: Scheduling and Logistics
The next hurdle is getting a new lead to book an appointment.
We live in an age of instant gratification, so you want to make scheduling as quick and easy as possible.
When you have the right call to action that flows into your scheduling software, your new leads can self-schedule, setting up their consultation instantly.
This doesn’t mean the conversation is over, however. Now, instead of contacting someone to schedule an appointment, you can reach out to show your interest and excitement in their upcoming visit. This is also a great time to answer any questions or ease fears this new lead might have.
Fourth Hurdle: Walking Through the Door
The fourth obstacle in the race is one of the biggest hurdles of all: getting the lead to walk through the door.
Even when someone has an appointment booked, they might still be unsure about showing up.
One confirmation email is often not enough to get someone to fill up their water bottle, lace up their shoes, and meet you face-to-face. Use calls, voicemails, text messages, and emails to keep the dialogue going until your new lead feels comfortable enough to clear this hurdle and walk through your door.
Fifth Hurdle: Handling No-Shows
What happens if someone misses their appointment?
A no-show doesn’t mean the lead is a lost cause!
They’ve already overcome a significant hurdle — they scheduled an appointment — so this lead might just need a reminder or two. Make sure to send follow-up emails after a person misses an appointment, with an emphasis on offering value. Don’t let these leads fall through the cracks! A no-show isn’t a lost cause, so don’t throw in the towel. Keep following up and they’ll likely rebook their appointment.
Once a lead clears these hurdles and becomes a member, the first race is over … and a new one begins.
Now you’ve moved from a sprint to a distance race. If a new member can overcome the initial soreness, the temptation to fall back into old habits, and the pressures of everyday life in the first 100 days, you’re on your way to gaining a lifelong brand advocate.
We’ve addressed some of the big hurdles that stand in the way of converting new leads, but there are more.
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What are the biggest hurdles you find when converting new leads, and how do you clear them?
As always, keep chasing excellence and try to improve every day!
UpLaunch offers software that addresses every phase of a member’s journey, from lead conversion to member retention, including a 100-day journey campaign that keeps the conversation going with communication that addresses every phase of a new member’s evolution, keeping them up to date on your services, celebrating their successes, and honoring their commitment.