Club Insider

Six Weeks to Sales Success

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Casey ConradCasey Conrad

It's no mystery; the number one issue for most fitness facility operators is getting more prospects to walk through the door. Let's face it, marketing is much more challenging today than it was in the past. Long gone are the days where an ad in a newspaper or a direct mail piece would generate dozens, if not hundreds, of leads. With traditional mediums drying up and a myriad of digital platforms available, getting in front of prospects requires entirely new approaches and skill sets.

Add to all of that the fact that competition continues to outpace demand... by a LOT! Between the big box chains, low-price clubs, boutiques and now in-home products like Peloton and the Mirror, the "pie" of market share continues to be divided up into smaller and smaller pieces. Between the 1980s and now (almost 40 years), the population of Americans who are members of a commercial fitness facility only grew around 8% (from 12-~ 20%). The number of easily accessible fitness options for consumers has probably quadrupled!

That all may seem very depressing, but there is a point. As an industry, and not just an individual operator, how do we get more Americans to join commercial fitness facilities? Let me be clear; I'm not talking about a promotion that pulls an existing fitness consumer from one location to another. I'm referring to growing the number of consumers who become members.

For the past year, I have been very vocal about what I believe is a viable solution that both acts as a way to attract entirely new customer bases and is also the marketing vehicle. I'm referring to six-week, highly-targeted wellness programs.

Over the last several years, I have been piloting a variety of six-week programs at a private wellness center that doesn't even have signage. I mention this because that further demonstrates the power of the concept( i.e. with strictly social media posts and inexpensive ad campaigns, one can drive prospects to inquire and buy a short-term, outcome-orientated programs at a price tag that, in most cases, is much higher than what the facility would get for six weeks of membership dues). Some of the more popular wellness topics include weight loss (always effective but not necessarily a "new" market), sleep issues, joint aches and discomforts, mental clarity concerns and fatigue. And, NO, none of these programs requires a dietician, nutritionist or medical professional because they are lifestyle-based without any medical intervention.

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