Our last couple of newsletters gave you some "revenue growing - how to's"
when it comes to using technology. Your emails have been genuinely excited
about this new knowledge. We appreciate your comments and feedback!
We showed you how to capture more email addresses. Last week we showed
you exactly what to do with those email addresses. Today, we pull it
We'll help you set up your own member and prospect follow up system.
If you make it simple and easy, the money will follow. Here's how:
Your First Point of Contact is Critical!
Every health club seems to market their business, answer the phone and even
set up their website in the same way. To your prospects, every health club
is the same. If they think everything is 'the same', then all they have to
compare you on is price.
That's why health club marketing has failed you. Competing on price with
the other clubs in a 5 mile radius of your front door is the Disaster Recipe.
Get rid of it. Burn it.
Grabbing the Lion's Share
Your automatic follow up system for members and prospects will differentiate
you at the first point of contact (website, calls, drop-in's etc.). Your
club stands out. You can help your prospects find out what is most important
when choosing the club that's right for them. Once you do that, PRICE is no
longer the issue. Information is what people want when they are about to
make a commitment (much bigger than a decision). It makes them at ease and
justifies their final decision.
Using email to communicate to prospects and members is hugely powerful.
It's personal and non-obtrusive. As you learned last week, it's also very
economical! Starting today, you need to put your communication plan on
AutoPilot. It avoids any salesperson or customer service rep from having
things 'slip through the cracks'. It's a whole lot better than those
annoying follow up calls begging them to come back in to the club.
Here is an actual email received by a club owner from a two-year member.
Technology identified some problems and showed how it can help retention
I have been a member for over 2 years. I like the pool and have swam hundreds of miles. I have never used any equipment because I don't know how to use any of the apparatus. Once I asked to use a bike because a trainer at a class told me I could use one pain free (I have a knee, hip and back injury). When I asked no-one knew what bike the man was referring to. I am pretty sure I have an option on my contract for extending it. Do I need to dig out my contract? I had a problem at the beginning finding out options for fees and plans so I think I signed up for more than I need.
My salesman was very evasive as to what was available. Are there different plans? Does it depend on the salesman? What do trainers cost? I have asked many questions over the years and when I ask no-one ever knows the answers. This morning all the sales people were busy so I thought I'd try e-mailing.
I would appreciate it if you would publish your rates, services and plans like other clubs. Have I had benefits I could have used that I don't know about? Why are people paying different prices? Again, the pool is very nice, the counter staff is very friendly but I have always felt I bought my membership from a "used car" salesman. I'm sure he collects a commission every month. I would have thought he would have called once to see if I had a question.
I signed up for tanning one month. The ad doesn't tell you that to get the low rate you have to sign up for 12 months. I still get calls from Eric at the XYZ(name changed) Athletic Club offering to answer questions about his club. I have been at this club for over 2 years and the first time anyone called was when they left a message on my voice mail that my membership was expiring (except when they want to sell something).
Thanks, Linda Y Phone: xxxx
Now here's the key. You can see how technology allowed her to voice
her opinion and ask some questions. At the same time you can see this
member is thinking about jumping ship and going elsewhere. It also was EASIER to email than to track down a human to vent to. It's easier to
fix something when you know it's broken. Now that management is aware, this member can be helped and likely retained.
When you're in contact regularly with your members, it is much easier
to nip these in the bud. When issues linger, they become problems and
that is why people search out new clubs.
The Basic Rules
Remember, we have 5 Rules of Communication Success. You'll need them
as you launch your automatic communication and follow up system:
1. Manage your 'subscribe' and 'unsubscribe' requests diligently
2. Remove all duplicate addresses
3. Have something good to say
4. Send the right message to the right people at the right time
5. Get attention by using personalization
But you'll need to start today. This is one of the fastest growing industries
in American business. It is also one of the most competitive. If you are not
the club to embrace technology, your competition will be. You've probably
been looking for a 'competitive edge' for a couple years. Here it is. This
will put one club years ahead of the rest.
The best part is, once it is set up, your system of follow up will shorten your sales cycle for prospects interested in joining a club, keep your
members longer and get them spending more.
This is one of the major reasons you got into business for yourself in the
first place. Now you can kick back and enjoy the fruits of your labors.