There is no point implementing a world class tour and prospect follow up process when the club cannot generate leads in the first instance.
The most common excuse is that the marketing isnt working, "we've tried Facebook", "We have sent e-mails", "We have sent out Flyers" but nothing is working!
The first thing I always ask is "how much outreach have you done?" The answer is is usually very little or it doesnt work.
Well, I have news for all of you out there who say this doesnt work, IT DOES! the key is how and where you do it.
What outreach isn't:
- A waste of time. Any activity that is well planned and done well that enables you to gather potential new customer information can never be a waste of time
- Leaflet Distribution. Your team are there to get prospects name and numbers and not to simply hand out flyers
- An annoyance to the public. Your team need to want to angage and therefor ecourage the public to want to engage with you too.
In order to ensure you get the most from any outreach activity, the following rules need to apply:
- Activities need to be planned. Where you are going, what tools do you need, do potential customers need informing prior to your arrival
- How are you going to attract customers to you or getr them to stop and talk to you. Do we have freebies to give away, a prize draw, a competition, an activity to try out
- What are your goals for the visit? how many leads are your planning to generate
- Do you have permission to go to the location you are planning to be. In the UK some councils require you to buy a promotions pass in oder to do outreach on the street
- Do you need to get insurance for conducting activities such as bootcamps and fitnes activities away from the club
- Enthusiasm, a smile and a team who is energised. No will will talk to an introverted team standing in the middle of the street waiting to be approached. It is your job to make things hapen.
Some examples of activities that have been proven to work. Please note, every market is different and so you may need to adapt these ideas to suit your area. The key is always to make it fun, make potential clients want to find out what your are offering.
- Corporate Outreach - By contacting local businesses you can often arrange to take a stand to their site. Usually located in the canteen you have the chance to push corporate memberships. the best way to do this is provide blood pressure, heart rate and body fat measuring to employees. Take a Bosu ball, Battle rope, exercise bands, something they wouldnt normally see and make it a feature. get potential clients to try the equipment and if possible get colleagues competing
- Street activities - With the right permit a great way to show your club is there is to get onto the street. Anytime Fitness do this well by dressing their team members in a Purple Running Man suit. A great way of being visible and memorable. Whilst you don't need a suit, you need something to make you stand out. This could be flags, a stand or a banner.
- Street activities can include: Competions, beet the instructor challenges, charity fund raising activities, free gifts such as water bottles, t-shirts etc
- Free Bootcamps - Why not try running a free bootcamp once or twice a week in the local park or town square. Works well for clubs in pre-sale who don't have a gym to show off but do have some amazing staff
- Supermarket Stands - This is a great option to reach large nuymbers of people in a short space of time. Supermarekets have huge volume and whilst prospects focus is often on their stomach and not exercise, its a great way of hitting volume. Other ways to make this more focused is to do bag packing for charity or havinga spin bike in the main foyer and getting people to help ride for charity.
- Train Stations - By doing outreach outside train stations at commutter times you have a similar opportunity to the Supermarkets due to the large commutter numbers. Try having fruit or water to hand out to clients as its either the start or end of their day and they will appreciate the gesture. Just add a flyer or guest pass to them and give them a gift once you have their name and number.
- Link or sponsor to local sports clubs. Not only should you be able to get a banner on their pitch side but they will also often allow you to go along and talk to their fans. Whilst a premier league football club is great. Often the best ones are the local league clubs who get 500-1000 fans. People are more likely to be local and being supporters of their local sports club be more likely to support small local businesses.
- Sponsor or offer to do the warm up at your local running, cycling, obstacle race. They are often keen to have others do their warm ups as this means the organisers can be free to manage the event. in exchange they are happy to let you flyer to their participants.
- Primary schools - These are a great way of getting flyers out to parents. Whilst you wont get names it is a good way of increasing awareness. To add to this offer to support the schools healthy food and exercise week. Most schools have these now, if not then maybe suggest they do!
- Farmers or X-mas Market stalls - For the small outlay these markets often require, they are a great way of getting in front of local people.
- Lead boxes - work with other loacl business outlets who are willing to allow you to leave a drop box in their business. Essentially you should run a competition that encourages their clients to fill in the entry.
As a rule, a club should be doing atleast 20 hours of Outreach a week and look to gather 70-100 leads. Whilst this is not the only solution to achieving your prospect numbers it is a great way of putting your club out in front of your local community. It has been proven that people respond best and more quickly to marketing conducted in person, what better way will you have than getting out in front of people.
For more information on how to improve your membership sales and your club performance log onto www.charlesworthconsulting.co.uk