Fix Your First Points of Contact for a Successful Fall & Winter
Can you even remember your goals and New Year's Resolutions from 10 months ago? You are a goal setter aren't you? Well now it's time to look in the mirror, so to speak. You must take a day or two and look at where you are today vs. where you were on January 1, 2009. Are you growing, or not growing.
If You're Not Growing, You're Dying
Change is difficult. You are still reading this because you want to be better at
effectively running your health club. That is great. Many owners who subscribe
don't even take the 10 minutes it takes to read this. You are committed to being
better than the rest. You may even be better already.
The problem with having so much competition is that, in the minds of the prospects,
you all look the same and sound the same so you must all be the same.
That is why it becomes a price war.
The way to win that war is at the First Point of Contact; your four (4) points of contact are truly the key to your marketing success. If you become better at marketing than your competitors, you will lead the pack, by far. We work with clubs all over North America because we offer the only integrated and complete marketing system in the fitness industry. More importantly, we bring 3 benefits they don't get on their own:
FOCUS - We keep the owners focused on the main thing.
ACCOUNTABILITY - You are accountable to someone other than yourself.
SYSTEM - Nothing has ever succeeded, long term without a system.
We have worked with some very creative owners, who are good at marketing, but
have no system. They send out great messages to the right people, just at the
wrong time and it bombs. The time is near when you'll have to make a tough
decision - fish or cut bait.
You Can Only Expect What You Inspect
A few months ago, we offered readers an opportunity to test your knowledge of their prospects against our real member surveys. We asked you to take the survey as if you were a prospect. The result - you failed miserably. It was no surprise to us, because we know how hard it is to run your health club. You have many hats to wear and need to be all things to all people.
You must survey your members at least once a year. Don't just ask a small group
milling around your front desk, survey a couple hundred. You'll find gold nuggets
in those surveys. We guarantee you will find ideas for new ads, retention improvement and up-selling opportunities.
Perception is Reality
The outside perception of your health club is what your current members, past
members, prospects and the local community thinks about your health club. Perception is reality. Right or wrong doesn't matter. If you are perceived to be a run down dumpy gym, and you're really a state-of-the-art fitness center, you will get the results of a run down dumpy gym.
In fact, we venture to say that the crux of all marketing problems, including yours,
can be wrapped up into one simple statement:
Most health clubs' outside perception
is NOT an accurate reflection of their inside reality.
The inside reality has to do with all the things your health club does that makes you
valuable to your customers from a product, operations, and management standpoint.
The "inside reality" is about what you do and what you are that allows your club to
perform better. It's what gives you a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
The reason we call it the inside reality is because it's the reality of what you do, and
the customers' perceptions of what you do, aren't necessarily the same. These two
words; reality and perception are vital to this process of winning in business.
Try Something New
Look at your health club from the prospects point of view. There are 4 ways for
prospects to choose you over the other health clubs, gyms and fitness centers
in the area. We call these the First Points of Contact.
You must be better at the first point of contact to win the business:
1. Call In: Stooge call your own club and listen to how your staff
sounds. Now call your competition.
2. Website: Look at your website carefully. Is it talking TO the
Prospect or ABOUT You?
3. Ads: Look at your most recent ads. You may be doing it
bassackwards. Is your ad full of hot buttons and solutions
or a list of what you have with a discount? What's more
important to 'Jim Joyner'?
4. Walk-ins: What is the impression of your club when a prospect
stops by? Are they standing around waiting to be greeted?
Is the place clean and inviting? How are they greeted?
If you become great at these 4 area's, you will begin to take over your market.
Prospects sign up for memberships mostly on perception. Your first points of contact create those perceptions.
'til next time...