- Market to make competition less relevant
- Its better to get a business card than to give one
- Cast a net for “mights” then figure it out
- 85% of eventual clients aren’t buying within 90 days
- Only 3 out of 20 don’t need any follow up
- The hardest part is getting people in the door
- Once they see your service, they should want to buy
- Come up with a meaningful simple gift
- Market it with FB ads
- Get people in the door for a free trial
- Put any no into a FB group and email list
- Continue to market and answer questions
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Hey, Pat Rigsby here and in this episode, I want to talk with you about fixing your lead generation. I’ve been talking with a lot of fitness business owners as of late, that seemed to be struggling with getting new leads. So I’m going to take you through some suggestions that I know will help fix the issue.
Welcome to The Fitness Business School podcast – the show for fitness business owners who want to grow their income, increase their impact and improve their lifestyle. Be sure to listen til the end of this episode, because we have a brand new special offer exclusive for listeners. So stay tuned.
So back early on, in my time as a business owner, I started to try to figure out an approach to marketing that would kind of make my competition less relevant if you will. I didn’t want to be lumped in with everybody else in the market. You know, by doing all the same stuff they were doing and because I was going into a new area, I didn’t really have strong preexisting relationships or a lot of brand awareness. You know, the, the, the approach I came up with at the time you know, really the, the, the stuff that worked, it’s interesting looking back, I mean, well, over a decade later it’s still the same kind of framework that I use now and call the connect unit of a business. And it, it was very simple. I wanted to give somebody something valuable in exchange for their attention and permission to follow up with them. And so basically I was just making a connection with a new person and, you know, the, the, the mindset was simple. I wanted to have their information. I wasn’t a, Hey, I’m going to go pass out a business card and hope they call me. It was the mindset of if I meet somebody, I need to get their business cards. So the opportunity to follow up with them, it’s kind of in my hands.
You know, I wanted to make a great first impression and at the time, and I, and I still, again, all of this stuff, my mindset about most things has gotten sharper and maybe tighter on stuff, but it’s not really changed a lot. You know, I wanted to cast a wide enough net to attract all the people who might be interested in what I had to offer. And honestly, it came from my time as a college baseball coach, right. It wasn’t new at all. It’s how I recruited as a college coach. See you know, when, when I would, would coach, I would identify players who might be a fit for our program and I’d reach out to them and just try to get a response that they were interested in. Maybe they’d fill out a, a reply form with a letter I sent, then maybe they would give me permission to follow up with them if I saw them at a game or showcase, but I wanted to cast a wide net because ultimately it’s not just whether or not I decide they’re a good fit for our program. They have to decide they want to come. So if I needed one new shortstop for the upcoming season to fill out our roster, I couldn’t just pursue one shortstop. I needed to probably pursue three to five shortstops, hoping that I would get one that fit my criteria. And, you know, I, I think we missed the boat on this is an industry in many cases, like most people in our industry, they’re trying to get people to make a pretty big decision and make no mistake. Joining a training program, joining a gym, hiring a coach.
It’s a big decision. It’s a commitment it’s getting out of your comfort zone. It’s rearranging your schedule. There’s a lot more that goes into it than just a simple retail transaction might entail. And we’re asking people to a lot of times, make that decision while they’re scrolling through Facebook, just killing time, not even searching for this specific thing. And we know that I mean, research tells us that when it comes to any meaningful buying decision, about 85% of the people who will buy something over, you know, over the next two years, those people who’ve indicated an interest in something and eventually buy within two years, right? Only, you know, 85% of them are not buying now. They’re not buying in the first 90 days. So that leaves like three out of 20 people that are eventually going to go join a program somewhere in the next two years. Only three of them are joining now.
So I understood that, right? Like, I, I just kind of intuitively gravitated to that because, you know, I mean, when, when, when somebody was interested in our program, it’s not like I would go up, meet a kid at a game. They never came to campus. They didn’t know me at all. They didn’t, they didn’t know anything about our school, but I could just give them a scholarship and they’d just joined, right? Like they’d say, yeah, I’m in, I’m going to commit the next four years of my life to this place. So, you know, it was a process. It was trying to nurture that relationship. It was trying to get them to campus, to, to, to experience what we do the same way that you would with a front end offer. Now, in, in my, my health club, we, we eventually arrived at a free 30 day membership, no deposit, no auto renewal. We started out with a seven day trial membership and then went to 14. And as the market started to try to chase us, if you will, like when we did seven, people started to do three, instead of just a day pass. When we went to 14, people do seven. So finally I just said, man, nobody’s going to do 30. So I gave away 30 and it got more people in the door. Interesting side note to that.
The number of people or the percentage of people who came in for any trial from a seven day trial to a 30 day trial, the percentage of people never changed as to what percentage bought on the first day. And what percentage bought during their trial, didn’t matter how long the trial was still. We got 58% of people to, to actually commit on day one, even if they had 30 days to test drive it, because I knew that the hardest part was getting them there because it’s the same thing that happened when somebody came to campus. If I can get them to campus, we could put our best foot forward. So, you know, in my world today you know, I’ll give away a copy of one of my books. I just want somebody to reciprocate an interest. I’m not asking them to make an important decision on an impulse. Heck I don’t really want them to, I don’t want somebody to make a decision based on desperation. I want to make what them to make the best decision for them. And I think if I put my best foot forward, a lot of times that’s going to be me. And I hope you feel the same way about your business. If you can get somebody to make a well-informed decision, then you stand out above the competition. So, you know, most people that I work with, they didn’t join within like the first 48 hours of becoming aware of who I was. They’d been on my newsletter or read my books. Maybe they bought a product or saw me at an event, but they got to know me a little bit.
And, you know, just like the somebody visiting college campuses to, to make the appropriate decision for them. You know, you, you, you need to kind of vet things you need to think things through. And that’s why I cast such a wide net for people who might be interested because, you know, I mean, a, if you can get them in your door, they’re not going in somebody else’s door right now. So you have a distinctive advantage and then B you know, if you’re good at what you do and you get them to pay attention to, you’re going to win out more often, not. So from a practical standpoint, how can we put this into action? Because I mean, I’ve kind of talked about the logic of it, but you know, there, there’s certainly a a tactical piece. So here, here’s what I would do. If I had a local business, first of all, I’d come up with a really solid gift, some sort of lead magnet or offer something like that, that solves a problem somebody’s facing, or gives them a really meaningful sample of what you have to offer.
Basically something that is really good for them, and probably positions you as an authority. And knowing me, it would probably be some sort of book or a tool to make somebody’s life easier for you. It might be a book a you know, some kind of sample program or a solution that might help somebody move towards their goal, whether it’s to alleviate pain or lose weight or whatever else or some sort of sample like a gift card or a trial of your program. I’d market it through some, some Facebook ads. And once somebody opted in, I would make them an offer to come in and experience what we do, either discounted or free, or at least a limited time commitment. And for the people who didn’t take me up on that, I probably asked them to join a free Facebook group too. So I had multiple ways to connect with them. And, you know, I would periodically make offers in that group and I’d add good content, just like I would follow up with the email list. I would follow up with that email list three times a week and stay in front of those people and make offers continually so that when they are ready, they’re going to choose me.
And if I do a good job answering the questions that they have answering the questions they should have, and basically coaching them until they hire me to actually coach them, eventually, I’m going to get my share. And then for my current clients, I’m going to cycle through a bunch of different ways to ask them, to introduce me to the other people in their lives. I’m going to ask them to share stuff on social media. I’m going to ask them to join that Facebook group and invite friends. I’m going to ask them to give my book or lead magnet away, give gift cards away. For those people that have ties to businesses or organizations, I’m going to ask them if they can help connect me with those groups of people I’m going to have a handful of ways that people can bring guests in. And then I’m also going to ask all my clients to give me reviews that are, you know, on Google, on Facebook, things that allow the person who is searching to, to see me in a positive light. And if I did all that stuff and then pick one offline tactic, it could be just, Hey, I’m going to go join a couple of networking groups, or I’m going to do some lunch and learns, or I’m going to do some neighborhood marketing. I, that would be it, that would be my lead generation plan. And I would set a target each and every month to, to hit like how many new people do I need to have his connections for me? Yeah, I think probably somewhere in that two, a day range would have been the place that I would start. That was always kind of my mentality based on the businesses I’ve I’ve owned. But, you know, if you’ve got a, a big business, you probably need a little bit more to kind of keep feeding that pipeline. If you’ve got a small kind of private training business and no staff, and you don’t need as much volume, you could probably get by with, you know, 20 new every month, but you do have to continue to get those new leads because they’re not already today. A lead is not in my world. The same thing as a prospect, a lead is somebody who has a general interest in eventually solving a problem or reaching a goal. A prospect is somebody who has a specific interest in you as a potential guide or vehicle to achieve that goal. So hopefully that helps a little bit, hopefully that gives you some underlying kind of thinking when it comes to lead generation, but then just as importantly, gives you some tactical steps that you can start to implement today.
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