4 Steps to a Genuine Membership Sales Pitch

Does selling memberships make you feel greasy? Think of it this way: Your sales process is the key to not only more money for your martial arts school but also the way to discovering who needs your talents the most.

 

A good sales process is less of an outright pitch and more of a dialogue that helps your prospect envision success with you. The result is an opportunity to build trust, fellowship, and emotional investment.

Being good at selling memberships and running a business does not take away from your existing relationships at your martial arts school. Developing your sales skills protects your livelihood and adds value to the services that you provide.

4 Steps to Build Relationships in Your
Membership Sales

1. Be the best at what you do.

You can’t make a case for yourself if you don’t have something valuable to offer in the first place. Get your school organized. Nurture the unique qualities of your classes and community. If you feel like you need more time to focus on developing your business, try automating admin tasks with your martial arts software or delegating office work like membership billing.

2. Talk about value, not price.

Price questions require that you follow a specific sales script that can make or break the sale. When you’re asked about prices, avoid answering with a number. Responding with a number forces you to justify your value before your prospect has experienced your services. Many prospects ask about price because they don’t know what they want or what to ask about your martial arts school. Rather than discussing price, show the value of your services by talking about your prospect’s goals and past experiences.

A) Discover goals.

Always say that pricing will depend on the program your prospect chooses. If you give your prospect price when he or she asks, you create an objection that immediately puts you in a position to defend your services. Make the conversation option-oriented with questions like:

  • Why did you call us?
  • What do you hope to get out of this program?
  • Are you a beginner, or have you trained before?

Much like if you were a journalist, an interview-style conversation helps you get to know what the person actually wants. Particularly if the person has never tried martial arts before and doesn’t know what to expect. Focus on a dialogue that reveals goals first. Write down your prospect’s responses on paper so that he or she knows you’re attentive.

B) Discover past experiences.

Again, when you talk about the value of your school, differentiating factors are important. Now that you know what your prospect wants out of your program, you need to know what hasn’t worked in the past.

“How long have you been thinking about |LS|goal or training|RS|?”

Asking this question upfront avoids the possibility of hearing I need to think about it later in the sales process. Tailor this question as appropriate for parents talking to you on the behalf of their children.

“What else have you tried to accomplish |LS|goal|RS|, and why didn’t it work for you?”

Asking what your prospect has tried before gives you a better sense of his or her needs (e.g. support, beginner-friendly instruction, class structure). It also gives you the chance to empathize with his or her struggle and to talk about how your school addresses those pain points.

3. Plan to overcome 4 common membership objections.

An objection is any roadblock to a prospective member saying yes to your school. Objections arise when you don’t know how to address them early in the conversation with your prospect. Taking the lead, however, confirms that your prospect won’t flake later.

When asking these questions, avoid accepting I think so as an answer. If you hear it, don’t proceed any further unless your prospect can confirm with 100 percent certainty. Your recipe for success: question, listen, and verify.

Objection 1: Location & Transportation

Confirm that your prospect is in the area and has transportation to get to class. Even if you’re talking to a parent, ask.

Objection 2: Schedule & Time

Propose days and times. If your prospect is unable to confirm, ask when works better in his or her schedule.

Objection 3: Motivation & Commitment

You’ll need to help your prospect envision what it would be like to achieve his or her goal with the help of your school. Lead with positive reinforcement first. Ask, What do you see happening with |LS|achieving goal|RS|? What is that going to do for you? Follow up with asking what makes them unhappy about his or her current situation. Again, write everything down.

Not only does envisionment help your prospect, but it also helps you know how to best support the person.

Objection 4: Family or Significant Other

Oftentimes, prospects will say he or she needs to consult a family member or a significant other before moving forward with your school. Ask in your own words, Is there anyone who isn’t supportive of your accomplishing this goal? Who is the first person you’re going to tell when you get home and are they 100% supportive of you?

4. Give your prospect a trial membership

Trial memberships are a powerful sales and marketing tool for your martial arts school. It’s key to walk through the discovery process first with your prospect so that he/she understands your value and they feel empowered toward their goals. Afterward, give your prospect a chance to experience what your school through a free class, free week, or a paid trial with a free uniform.

How to Use Trial Memberships in Martial Arts

We debate the best way to structure trial memberships in the martial arts industry: Should prospective members pay? Does it make sense to offer a class or classes for free? The core of the trial membership discussion surrounds how to attract new people to your martial arts school while maintaining, communicating, and demonstrating value.

 

Benefits of Paid Trial Memberships

Supporters of the paid trial philosophy say that payees are more serious about keeping initial appointments. Because paid trial members already invested/financially invested in a shortened version of your program, the hardest part of transitioning to a full membership—the first sale—is completed. The experience, growth, and relationship with you become further selling points for your trial member.

Benefits of Free Trial Memberships

Opinions of free trials are less straightforward. What giving out free trial memberships will get you is a substantial increase of leads. And we really like leads. Retail market research suggests that consumers are attracted to free product samples (or in this instance, free classes) because of two strong elements of community that we also find in martial arts: relationships and reciprocity. However, the potential drawbacks of free trials within your business model are:

  • The time/operations cost to support non-paying students
  • Prospects look for a “hard sell” or ask, “What’s the catch?”
  • No guarantee of a measurable financial ROI (unless you can win back prospects)
  • Less of an incentive to build a relationship with you or your instructors

Our Solution: Combine a Paid & Free Trial Membership Strategy

We think paid and free trials have valuable returns when you consider the strengths of each to create a marketing/lead generation strategy that fits the specific needs of your business. The first step is to use a different approach for your external audience (fresh leads who don’t have an in-person relationship with you) and your internal audience (your current students and their social networks).

How to use free trials with your internal audience/current students

Giving samples of services for free is more effective when you leverage your existing relationships. Your current students are your best advocates for the value, example, and growth you provide for your community. An in-house referral program is a perfect structure to include no-cost-attached lead generation.

Skip any overt sales pitches when you talk to your students about bringing their friends to class. Hardcore sales talk will feel disingenuous in established, trusting relationships. Approach your referral program—or bringing a guest for free, as you may say—as a privilege students have earned. It’s a softer approach that relies on networking and your ability to create an attractive community for new prospects.

We recommend that you offer discounts or rewards for students who refer friends and for new students who converted from a referral.

How to use paid trials to generate leads & commitment

Paid trials will continue to draw more qualified, serious leads to your school regardless of additional swag you give as a new member package. However, including a uniform, gloves, or another bonus adds to the idea that paid trial members are joining a niche community. Again, you’re aiming to further the feeling of emotional investment for paid trial members to convert them to full-time members after the trial period ends.

Bold Vision, Bold Behavior: A Success Formula for Selling Martial Arts Memberships

You offer your students a bold vision of possibilities in both physical empowerment and inner strength. You teach students to boldly try new best practices. On the mat, you subscribe to the formula: bold vision through bold behavior.

Do you bring the same approach to your business development—identifying prospective students and enrolling them in your program? Or do you switch to “social selling,” which means observing social niceties versus building your business?

One way to know: Look at the results. Are you having any of these problems?

a) Not enough leads

b) Not enough leads converting to intros

c) Student attrition

Let’s discuss how you can solve these problems through bold vision and bold behavior.

Consider the student attrition problem. Could students be leaving because parent’s expectations are met or exceeded? For example, let’s discuss a case history in student retention:

The problem: A child is isolated at the bus stop and won’t interact with other kids. Your martial arts school builds confidence. In 3 to 4 months, the parent withdraws the child. Mission accomplished. But is it?

If parents see the mission is accomplished, there is no sense of urgency to continue.

What is urgency? For parents, it’s a compelling reason to act now, to keep the child in your classes. What bold vision do you offer parents?

Do you teach parents there are “levels of martial arts consciousness,” which can include:

a) The Martial Arts Mindset

b) Empowerment

c) Leadership

d) Personal Responsibility

e) Inner Strength

f) Technique vs. Power

Do you tell them (in advance) about the journey? If they leave, whose responsibility is this?

Perhaps this is an approach you can use to increase student retention; you might create a brochure to help parents visualize the journey.

Let’s consider lead generating next. Do you have enough leads? What bold vision are you using to generate leads for your Martial Arts school?

Here’s a thought: You may just use a brochure created for student retention (mentioned above) to generate leads. Mail them out and drop them off at places where parents can take one. More importantly: Your best lead source is happy parents. They are a prime selling asset. Are you maximizing this asset through getting:

1) Testimonial letters from satisfied parents?

2) Having them recommend you through social media, e.g. post a message on Facebook about your martial arts school?

Let’s say you have set an objective of 4 intros per month. It’s the second week of the month and you have one intro. Should you be concerned? After all, there are almost two-and-a-half weeks left to the month.

On a do-or-die basis, you want to stay on target of one intro a week. This calls for bold behavior―enrolling satisfied parents to be our advocates, to extend our good reputation. If the month is over, and we only have one intro, it’s too late to affect the results. We need to act now, on a “do-or-die” basis to hit our results.

Finally, let’s consider the conversion of phone call inquiries to intros.

Let’s spend a moment on examining the incoming phone call:

Social Seller

Customer: Hi, could I get some literature.

Martial Arts School: Sure, why don’t you come down for a demo.

Customer: First, let me see the literature, then maybe I’ll come down.

Martial Arts School: Sure, look forward to hearing from you.

Business Seller

Customer: Hi, could I get some literature?

Martial Arts School: Sure, glad to. Tell me, why are you calling us today?

Customer: I’m thinking of having my child take martial arts lessons.

Martial Arts School: Great! Any particular skill or character quality you want your child to develop?

Customer: He’s kinda shy at the bus stop.

In the second case, we used some boldness to learn the urgent need, and move from social selling to business selling. By focusing on the urgent need, we can increase our conversion to intros. Once they visit, we can give parents the brochure we designed with student retention in mind.

By bringing the bold vision and bold behavior that you employ on the mat to your business development, you can ensure a growing, profitable martial arts business.

About the author: membersolutions has taught selling skills for 17 years. He started three businesses and has made approximately 4,000 sales calls, selling both B2B and B2C. He invented a selling process, Urgency Based Selling®, with which he can typically help companies double their closing or conversion ratio.

Maximizing the Benefits of Term & Ongoing Memberships

Client Question: What Term membership length is best? What cancel notice period is optimal for ongoing memberships? Which one should I use?

I am often asked these questions about Term and Ongoing memberships so I’ll share with you my recommendation for your review and consideration. Please keep in mind a few of these upfront points:

1. Each facility is different and there are multiple good answers to provide.

2. Laws vary from state to state and country to country, so always check with your legal advisor if you have any restrictions to consider.

3. If selling isn’t a strong asset for you and your team, I recommend Ongoing memberships as an easy way to get new members on board initially.

4. Price is critical too because this determines your revenue. You need to price your memberships factoring level of commitment. Too often I hear about owners giving substantial discounts for low obligation memberships to entice buyers: this hurts the bottom line. If delinquencies and dropouts rise, your cost of business can wipe out profits faster than a Bruce Lee block and counter move. Check out a great article posted by Dina Engel, our COO, for more info on delinquency management: 10 Ways to Reduce Your Delinquency Rate & Increase Cash Flow

Ok, finally, my personal opinion …

I believe that new members and existing members should be managed differently, since they have two different frames of reference. Existing members should be willing to commit more than a new member, if I am providing great service and they are experiencing success (obtaining benefits). With this distinction, I would set up the following:

New Members: I would offer new members two ongoing membership options:

The first can be cancelled at any time with 30 days advance notice. This membership would be priced very high. The purpose of this membership is to establish the value of the program. I am not looking for many takers here because the notice period is still too short for my comfort level given that summer is 2.5 months long. But if a member is looking for ultimate flexibility, I am willing to accept the higher price point in exchange.

The second can be cancelled at any time with 90 days advance notice and I would price it at 25-35% off the 30 day notice program. It’s important that this price point not be inexpensive compared to your competitors. It should be what you actually want for monthly tuition per member. This program still offers the member a low pressure enrollment and a cost savings to justify the extra 3 payments should they terminate the membership. I like it because it gives me and my staff enough time to overcome any challenges that are causing termination and perhaps we can repair it.

Existing Members: I would offer a Term membership:

What I like most about Ongoing memberships is that they don’t expire, giving me the freedom to choose when to renew or upgrade a member. The best time to do this is after a belt exam. Once the member has been training for 3 to 6 months, they should have a more educated view of Martial Arts training and the benefits they are absorbing. This should lead to increased value for Martial Arts training and create an easier upsell to a bigger and better membership option with more commitment. Many people refer to these “Advance Training Programs” as Black Belt Club, Leadership teams, Master Black Belt Club, etc.

These Term memberships can vary in length up four years. Personally I like a full one year commitment with an auto renew option with a 60 or 90 day cancel notice. In this way, I acquire a sense of commitment from the member while also eliminating expired programs which save me from renewal work.

Your membership strategy is a critical aspect of your business that impacts your bottom line in many ways. There are many solutions that can work and sometimes you need a trial and error strategy.

Joe Galea is the President of Member Solutions. Galea, one of Member Solutions’ founders, has been counseling school owners for over 20 years, and spends part of everyday speaking with clients and industry leaders.

Share with us! Let us know what membership structure works for your business. Comment below.

What Do I Do When a Prospective Member Insists on Getting a Price from Me? (Video)

You’re on the phone with a prospect interested in joining your martial arts school or fitness club. You excitedly describe your classes, facility, and staff, looking forward to the moment when you can invite them in for a visit.

Suddenly, they interrupt to ask the question you dread. They insist on knowing your price. You swallow hard, nervous that as soon as they hear your number, the conversation will be over.

There’s no need to panic. There is an easy, effective way to handle this scenario that every owner and staff member should know. That’s why I created this video to help you address this difficult question and keep the conversation on track.

After watching the video, try practicing the sales script with your program directors, managers and staff—anyone involved in selling memberships.

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Erik Charles Russell has been in the martial arts and fitness industry for more than 25 years. He owns Premier Martial Arts and Fitness in Watertown, NY. In 2015, he published a book based on his successes called The Art of Selling Memberships. The book became an international best seller—hitting number one in three categories in the U.S., Australia, and Germany on Amazon.com.

Why Prospects Won’t Call You Back (But Will Sometimes Talk to You If You Call)

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You have a bunch of leads. You constantly place calls to these leads. You follow up by phone, leave voicemail messages, send emails, and mail letters. But the prospects don’t call you back, don’t respond to your emails, and don’t stop by in person.

Then, one day, out of the blue, you get one of your prospects on the phone and talk with them for a good hour. You end up signing them up for an introductory class or significantly moving the membership sales process forward.

Why does this happen?

You may argue that you are striking while the iron is hot. Today, the prospect’s urgency (their compelling reason to act now) passed a threshold, so they welcomed you in.

This scenario underscores the importance of consistent follow-up. You need to catch that critical moment.

But if there was urgency in the first place, why didn’t the prospect get back in touch with you sooner? Why didn’t the prospect call to discuss their urgent need?

The Reversal Curve

Most successful sales processes appear linear. We make a progression of sales or networking calls. Each touch point leads to a greater sense of client urgency which eventually culminates into a closed sale. This process is just the tip of the iceberg, the hard sales contacts.

After we make the first successful contact, we think we’ve made great progress. However, the prospect’s sense of urgency typically falls to zero right after our conversation ends. They forget we exist. The prospect―whether a child, teenager, or adult―has many other things going on. Your martial arts program or fitness class is no longer top of mind. Some combination of our reminding the prospect of the urgency, combined with their internal sense of urgency, moves the process along to a second contact point.

On the day we contact the prospect and get through to them, we usually benefit from the explosive impact of internal urgency meeting an external urgency.

Internal Urgency and External Urgency

The internal urgency is the compelling reason to act―the deep underlying answer to the question: Why? Why is the prospect engaged in a serious conversation with us? Why does Jane want to sign up for your kickboxing class? What is her compelling long-term need?

The external urgency answers the question: Why now? What is the immediate trigger explaining why they finally called you back? The external urgency is often the turning point for the prospect ― a strong desire that needs to be fulfilled now. For example, in Jane’s case, “I need to lose 20 pounds before my wedding.”

It’s important to note that the internal urgency can be recognized and tolerated for a long period of time before the prospect actually takes action. Resistance to change is so great that prospects will often times settle and not act on their internal urgency. To maximize forward motion, in general, it is best to work the internal urgency before the external.

The Problem of Limited Consciousness; Aristotle’s Contribution

There’s only so much we can hold in our conscious focus at a time; perhaps four or five ideas or concepts. Whenever we have access to a prospect, we must share succinct, powerful concepts to grab and hold them. There is a short half-life to our ideas―unless we tie them into the prospect’s long-term compelling needs. The “belly to belly” urgency evaporates when we leave, and the greater context sets in. For techniques in developing proper and powerful concepts, Aristotle is both a potent source and inspiration.

To minimize the reversal curve, book the next appointment. Take advantage of the external urgency of a visit or a phone call, and maximize your strong conceptual presentation by booking the appointment when you are face to face with the prospect or talking with them.

About the author: membersolutions has taught selling skills for 17 years. He started three businesses and has made approximately 4,000 sales calls, selling both B2B and B2C. He invented a selling process, Urgency Based Selling®, with which he can typically help companies double their closing or conversion ratio.

5 Tips to Selling Memberships during a Recession

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We have read the headlines and listened to newscasts of the global economic crisis. Consumers are fearful and are not spending their hard-earned dollars as freely as they did in better times.

Traditionally, the health and fitness industry has not been adversely affected by economic downturns. Consumers spend money on necessities and good valued essentials. What can be more important than one’s health?

Listed below are five tips to selling fitness memberships during a recession. See if you can add more, and share this article with your staff.

1) Sell yourself.
The first person that needs to be sold on investing in one’s health, especially during downturns — be it financial, emotional or physical—is you, the membership advisor (I would go as far to say that every employee must feel the same way).

Believing in the value of exercise is not an option. Everyone knows the value of exercise, and now more than ever, must believe that exercise helps one’s physical and mental well-being. This helps overcome the emotional and physical challenges that we currently face and that lie ahead. Once you embrace the fact that living a healthy lifestyle is a 24/7 attitude in good times and in bad, you will close more sales.

2) Sell with passion.
Questions membership advisers must ask themselves are:

1. Are you exercising?
2. Do you believe in the product that you are selling?
3. Do you practice what you preach?

The biggest component to selling anything is emotion. People buy on emotion. They can sense whether the representative is sincere or just putting it on to make the sale. Today’s consumer is very savvy. Do not underestimate their ability to see right through false emotion and excitement. Membership advisors must have a burning passion for fitness and living a healthy lifestyle. That passion must flow through their presentation and engulf their prospect.

2) Ignore the negativity.
Membership advisors should not get caught up reading doomsayer headlines and watching stock market results or chaos around the world. Yes, they must know what is going on, but, should not dwell on it. They should stay away from negative people. Everyone knows who they are. Have them run, not walk, away from them. Being distracted from their daily “success cycle” will only make matters worse.

Membership advisors must keep their PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) in check every day, no matter what is going on around them or in their own personal lives for that matter. They must stay focused.

3) Provide value.
Consumers are evaluating where to spend their hard-earned dollars. Membership advisors must make the value proposition relate to their goals and fitness needs. Showing prospects the value of starting an exercise program, and that starting now, makes more sense than ever. They must explain how spending less than $2 per day for a fitness membership (some may be as little as $0.50 and others as much as $5 per day) is a great value, especially when you determine what their daily spending habits are.

Check out these stats. According to the National Coffee Association, the average yearly coffee consumption per person in the United States is close to 4.4 Kg. Among coffee drinkers, the average coffee consumption in the United States is 3.1 cups of coffee per day. That adds up very quickly when you talk about two to four cups of coffee per day.

You probably don’t know that Americans spent 2 million on cosmetics last year alone and that cutting out cigarettes—whether you light up once or more than a dozen times a day—can save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars each year. A pack of cigarettes now costs more than $5 on average— with some states tacking on additional taxes that raise the price even more.

In New York City, local taxes have pushed the cost of a pack to about $10. I can add to this list, but you get the point. Members can join your program for a low fixed cost and enjoy the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle. Prepare your team by having membership advisors list as many cost benefit savings as they can.

4) Empathy versus sympathy.
Empathy is the capacity to recognize or understand another’s state of mind or emotion. It is often characterized as the ability to put oneself into another’s shoes, or to in some way, experience the outlook or emotions of another being within oneself.

Sympathy is a social affinity in which one person stands with another person, closely understanding his or her feelings.

Membership advisers should not sympathize but empathize with prospects. They must understand their situation but not get caught up in their story. Bring the conversation back to results and benefits of joining your program. Turn each negative into a positive.

People on a tight budget usually don’t have much to do other than watch TV, read, and surf the web. That gets boring quickly and only encourages a less than healthy lifestyle. They can be at the gym, exercising, socializing, networking, and making new friends all for a low monthly fixed fee. They can read, surf the web, and watch TV while working out.

Selling memberships is not just giving a “Vanna White Tour,” as my partner and senior vice president, Deana Valente, calls it. Or as my good friend and colleague Casey Conrad calls it, the “Disney Tour,” and asking the all-too-familiar closing statement, “So what do you think?”

Selling is a profession and selling memberships is no different. Remember there is always a sale made during a tour of your facility. The consumer sells you or you sell the consumer. Which do you prefer?

Author: Tony Santomauro

After the Birthday Party: A Follow-Up Formula that Turns Leads Into Students

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The #1 and #2 reasons for offering any event at your school are retention and new memberships. In last week’s post, I provided tips to help you get your birthday party program off the ground.

In this post, I’ll cover our follow-up system in detail to help you gain those new potential memberships that can result from hosting birthday parties. Keep in mind that you can use this system as a base for follow-up for any of your events—not just birthday parties—with a few minor changes.

Step 1

At the end of the party, all of the guests are handed a VIP pass, which entitles them to one free introductory lesson with the owner of the studio (me). They must call or email me for an appointment. I had 1,000 cards printed for less than $50 through VistaPrint.

Step 2

After each party, I upload all of the event registrations to an Excel file and enter all hard copy information into the same file. I then save it and tag it as “GB attended an event” (GB for Giroux Bros.) and put into my martial arts management software offered through Member Solutions.

As soon as this information is transferred, they receive an automated, personalized email from me that looks something like this:

Hi Mary,

I see that your child attended an event at the studio this weekend, and I heard that all the kids had a blast!

The instructors should have handed you a VIP Pass for a free introductory lesson. I wanted to follow up to see if you were interested in scheduling one with me this week or next.

I will give you a call in a few days as well to set one up for you.

Thanks, and I look forward to meeting you and your family soon!

Sincerely,

Steve Giroux

Owner | 7th Degree Black Belt

Step 3

I take 10 or 15 minutes to enter all the leads into my cell phone and mark them accordingly to have quick access to the information when I call. An example is Bday217 | Mary | Joey and Lexi 7 and 8.

Mary is the mother listed with the child or childrens names and ages.

To help with my own time management, I make these calls during my commute. I’ve had the most success reaching people during the late morning to early afternoon timeframe while the kids are in school.

If I don’t reach them live, I leave a voicemail. I only call them once unless a call back is requested.

At the end of the week, another automated email is sent, which looks something like this:

Hi Mary,

I’ve been trying to reach you. I wanted to see if you were interested in coming in for your free trial lesson. I still have a few spots available next week. If you are interested, please give me a call.

Thanks, and I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Sincerely,

Steve Giroux

Owner | 7th Degree Black Belt

Step 4

Although these leads are warm, remember that they haven’t specifically asked for any information. They’ve simply attended an event at our studio and hopefully had a great time.

If my initial attempts haven’t sparked a response, I put them into my drip system.

Within the member management software, I tag them as Children Program Prospects 2015. They will receive a series of seven informational emails, automatically-timed, three weeks from one another as a result. The emails are in a newsletter format and discuss topics such as listening skills, bullying, ADD, and ADHD to name a few. I also include these prospects in my direct mail campaigns that I launch three to four times a year.

I hope this information has been helpful. If anyone has questions on hosting birthday parties in your martial arts school or setting up a lead follow-up program, please don’t hesitate to ask. As always, I’m happy to help.

About the author: Steve Giroux has been training in martial arts for 30 years and is a 7th Degree Black Belt in Chun Kuk Do. In 1999, he graduated from Bentley College with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accountancy with a minor concentration in Law. After founding his studio in January of 1999, Steve has successfully grown revenues over the years after starting at only $7,000 in his first year. You can contact Steve via email at Steve@GirouxBrosMartialArts.com.

What You Need to Know to Increase Leads and Membership Sales

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If your members are the lifeblood of your business (and they should be), then tracking their behavior is what keeps the blood pumping.

Being able to regularly and systematically track, assess, and triage weak spots in your membership strategy will not only keep your business running smoothly, but it also will spotlight areas of opportunity to grow even further.

Here’s what you need to know to generate leads and drive more membership sales.

Know Your Lead Count and Lead Status

The beginning of the year is one of the busiest and most critical times in the fitness industry. For a multitude of reasons, people are flocking to your facility en masse. You need to be equipped to accommodate these prospective clients to make sure no one slips through the cracks.

Utilizing the lead management functionality in our member management software will allow you to:

  • Gather and store prospects’ contact information

  • Track prospects’ areas of interest
  • Assign follow-up actions for you and/or your staff
  • Automate email messages to engage potential members after the initial inquiry

Through the software, you’ll know exactly how many inquiries came through your door, how many were converted to full members, and how many you still need to follow up with.

Know What Marketing Channels Work

What kind of marketing actually produces leads for you? This question can be answered through the member management software by assigning lead sources to each lead, such as “website,” “walk-by/walk-in,” “Facebook,” and “referral.”

The lead source data will tell you if that ad in the newspaper is driving any leads or if your marketing efforts are better served on Facebook advertising. Knowing this, you can appropriately allocate marketing dollars to what works and stop spending money on what doesn’t.

Know Your Conversion and Membership Sales Numbers

Maybe you are doing well with bringing in leads but lack conversions and new members. In this case, you’ll want to pinpoint the piece (or person) in your sales process that needs improvement or re-training.

The Lead Activity Report in our member management software will show you your list of prospects and where they are in the sales process. The report also will show which program they chose if they did enroll.

If you find that you lose one or two out of ten sales, you may have encountered some tough prospects. If you lose eight out of ten, then it may be time to reconsider your value proposition and how your team presents it.

Make Reporting Part of Your Daily Routine

In addition to making the entry of key data a part of your business process, you need to make the management of this data a part of your daily routine. I recommend running the End of Day Report (an overview of your sales from the previous day, including what was sold and how much was charged) and the Lead Activity Report every day.

A good rule of thumb: Pick three to four reports that are important to your business. Run them every morning as soon as you turn the lights on. You’ll start every day with clear insight into what you need to make and keep your business successful.

These are just a few examples to show the impact that keeping close track of your stats can have on your business. Without tracking these numbers, it’s all too easy to bury your head in the sand and hope the problem goes away; something no business, regardless of industry, can afford to do.

If you’d like to learn more about how our member management software can help you track your statistics and focus your business, reach out to the Training and Support team at 877.600.3811 or support@membersolutions.com to schedule a training session today.

About the author: Justin Bodamer is the Product Support Manager for Member Solutions. The Training and Support team is dedicated to helping you and your team make the most of your relationship with Member Solutions. You can contact him at membersolutions@membersolutions.com.

Sales Scripts to Improve Your Martial Arts Membership Selling Skills

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In my last post, I covered how you should respond when a prospective martial arts school member insists on getting a price from you over the phone.

The truth is that price is just one of the objections you’ll face during membership selling. In order to turn a hesitant prospect into a long-term member, you need to address each and every one of their concerns. Specifically, most prospects will push back on the same four areas—location, schedule/time, motivation/commitment, and their significant other.

The good news is that there’s an easy, fool-proof way to eliminate each of these four objections. To learn how, all you and your staff need to do is practice these simple sales scripts.

Membership Sales Script: Answering the Price QuestionQuestion: How much is it to join?

Never give your membership prices until they’re ready to buy. Giving a price before they’ve experienced what you have to offer is telling them is that there’s no benefit to choosing you over the competition, other than price. However, you must answer their question.

You: Thank you for your interest. The price of your membership is going to depend on the program that you choose. We have quite a few options. Have you ever trained before, or is this something new for you?

Prospect: Oh, I’m new at this. I’ve never joined a gym before in my life.

You: Ok, great. Well, we’re very beginner friendly. We’re good at helping new people with little or no experience get great results in a safe and healthy way. What’s the goal you’re looking to accomplish by becoming a member?

Prospect: I’m looking to lose weight.

You: Very good. That’s actually the number one reason why people become members here—so you’ve called the right place. May I ask your name?

Prospect: My name is Judy.

You: Ok, Judy. What I normally do is have you come in and try out our club/program for free. I’ll talk to you a little bit more about your goals and some ways that we can achieve them when you come in. This free session gives me the opportunity to see where you are and helps me make the best program recommendation that I can for you. This also allows you to try us out—without any obligation and to see if you like it. When are you available to come in for your free session? Do you work days or nights?

Appointment Tip for Prospective Members

When setting an appointment with your prospective member, confirm that she knows where you’re located and how to get to you. Be sure to get a phone number and to add them to your member management software, which will allow you to track your interactions with them through the sales process.

Erik Charles Russell has been in the Martial Arts and Fitness industry more than 25 years. He owns Premier Martial Arts and Fitness in Watertown, NY. In 2015, he published a book based on his successes called “The Art of Selling Memberships”. The book became an international best seller—hitting number one in three categories in the U.S., Australia, and Germany on Amazon.com.