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

Birthday party event registration and planning

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

Membership software dashboard on laptop with mobile device and notebook on white office desk

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.

5 Spring Cleaning Tips to Accelerate Membership Business Efficiency

Because it’s Spring, many of you are thinking of ways to cut clutter in your homes and businesses. For your Martial Arts or Fitness business, Spring cleaning involves more than just dusting off old filing cabinets. You need to make improvements to your organizational system that will benefit your business all year long.

Here are some quick tips for eliminating clutter and getting your business running efficiently:


1. Put Your Class Schedule Online

Switching to online scheduling will benefit you and your members. Most people would prefer to get information on your classes from their smartphones. Not to mention, you’ll save yourself a bundle in printing, especially if your schedule changes frequently.

So, how do you get your schedule online? The process is actually pretty simple for business owners using our member management software. Member Manager includes a scheduling widget that allows you to publish your events, classes and training schedules directly to your website.

Schedules are easy to keep up to date too. Say you have to add or cancel a class – just go into the software, adjust your schedule and changes made are instantly reflected on your website.

2. Take Your Event Registrations Online

Spring is a great time to host events but is your registration process holding you back from doing more? If you’re juggling paper registration forms, printed liability waivers and permission slips, odds are, you’re wasting time deciphering illegible handwriting on paper forms and re-entering information into spreadsheets. Not to mention, you’re likely missing out on sign-ups for your events by not marketing them online.

Try putting event registration forms online to streamline the process and get the word out quickly about your events. Use an online registration tool like Event Manager to convert your paper form into an online registration page. Capture any information you need through the registration process – age, experience level, t-shirt size, etc. – and view your registration data any time.

3. Turn Older Inventory into Freebies for Event Registrants

Take a look at your inventory to see what hasn’t been moving. Maybe you have leftover T-shirts or another giveaway from a previous marketing campaign or event. To use them up, you can offer these items as free gifts to people who register for your next event.

Everybody likes getting free stuff, and you can use the gift to incentivize early registration. Announcing that you’re giving the freebie to the first (x amount of) sign-ups creates urgency and provides extra motivation to register. Plus, you can get rid of that box of T-shirts you forgot you had.

4. Have Members Sign Contracts with their Finger

Going paperless is a great way to de-clutter. Thanks to a recent enhancement to Member Manager, you can now go paperless with your membership contracts. Simply have your members sign with their finger or stylus on a phone, tablet or other touchscreen device. The completed contract, along with the signature, will be saved to your myVolo account.

5. Take Time to Organize as You Go

Ever find yourself wondering how you got into this mess in the first place? Spring cleaning would be a lot easier if you had a solid organizational system you could use all year.

As entrepreneurs and managers, you need tools to help you run your business efficiently. Our Member Manager software is a great solution for managing all your routine admin tasks from one place. With this one piece of software, you can capture, track and manage leads, send emails and text messages to members to keep them in the know, have members book online in real-time, sell products and services online 24/7 and more. Not to mention, you can also integrate Member Manager with other systems – like our full-service billing and payment process solution.

Now’s the time to simplify, de-clutter and get organized. Once you do, you’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to run and grow your Martial Arts or Fitness business.

For more information on Member Manager or Event Manager, contact the Training and Support team at 877.600.3811 or support@membersolutions.com.


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

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1 Easy Trick to Increase Your Gym Membership Sales

Man uses membership software reporting and metrics for sales insights

How well do you know your sales team? How well does it handle telephone inquiries? How is it doing with their tours? Are trials converting to new members? If you answered any of these questions without referencing a number or percentage, you’re missing out on one of the easiest ways to increase gym membership sales.

Tracking Sales Performance

Using a few simple sales metrics will help you increase your revenue by determining where your business is strong and where you need to improve. Knowing the numbers will help you:

  • Set goals that motivate team members to reach their potential
  • Use your strengths to drive sales
  • Identify and fix problems in your sales process

Getting Started

The goal is to measure key numbers throughout the sales process. Specifically, you want to track new prospects, tours, trials, and membership sales. Record the data in your fitness club software (or a spreadsheet), where you and your staff can easily review the numbers on a regular basis.

What to Measure
1) Leads

What to Do: Each week, track the number of people who express an interest in your gym. Remember to record the source of the inquiry – your website, email, phone call, Facebook, etc.

Why It’s Important: How many leads you get tells you how well your marketing is working and determines how many opportunities your sales team has to sell memberships.

Tools to Help: Use the Member Manager Lead Activity report to review the new leads you have in a certain period.

2) Lead Follow Up

What to Do: As a group, review the phone calls, emails and other follow-up activities your team does. Try to identify the activities that help drive trials and sales.

Why It’s Important: Inspecting the follow-up process can reveal which activities—or a combination of activities—give you the best results. You may discover that you should adjust your sales process or that your staff needs extra training.

Tools to Help: Optimize your sales process with Member Manager Lead Flows – series of tasks, such as phone calls or automated emails and text messages, which detail your lead follow-up process. Use the Member Manager Follow Ups report to review every time a sales team member has contacted a lead.

3) Tours & Trials

What to Do: Tally the number of tours you give of your facility. If you offer trials, carefully track how many leads take trials.

Why It’s Important: Tours and trials are crucial parts of the decision-making process. If your leads aren’t coming in for visits, there may be a problem with your follow-up process.

Tools to Help: Review the Member Manager Prospect Activity chart to quickly check how many appointments have been set and introductory tours have been completed by your team.

4) New Members

What to Do: Based on your financial goals, set a target for the number of new members you want to have each month and make sure it is well communicated to your team. Compare sales to the number of leads, the amount of follow-up and the number of tours/trials given to get an idea of your overall success.

Why It’s Important: Good sales can be an indicator of the health of your business. On the other hand, if you’re consistently missing your goal, there may be a problem with your strategy. Comparing sales to other metrics can reveal opportunities to improve your marketing, communication, tours, trial offers or membership options.

Tools to Help: Check the Member Manager New Members report to see how many memberships you’ve sold in a period of time. View the Sales And Value chart to quickly find out your revenue by category.

These easy-to-use metrics can help make your sales team more effective and significantly increase your gym membership sales. These numbers will teach you how to maximize your strengths, fine-tune your sales process and motivate your team to go above and beyond expectations.

For more information on Member Manager software, contact the Training and Support team at 877.600.3811 or support@membersolutions.com.

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

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