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.

Help! What’s a Good Member Retention Rate for Fitness and Martial Arts Programs?

It’s difficult to suggest generic guidelines for retention. For one thing, your retention rate (or retention percentage) will surely vary between your programs. Martial Arts will tend to be stronger than general Fitness, and special programs such as Kickboxing or Boxing, can go either way.

I’ll give you a general answer, having worked with thousands of Martial Arts business clients throughout the past 25 years and managed their billing. An average “annual” monthly drop-out rate – one that you could use as a benchmark for your Martial Arts program – is about 20-30%. In other words, a 70-80% retention rate is typical.

When comparing your retention percentage to those of your peers, be aware that factors you cannot control, such as customer demographics, can influence your results. But, don’t focus on your peers. Your goal should always be to improve your retention no matter what it is. What you can control is your service delivery quality – you can make sure you are delivering what your members want. This will create the strongest member retention in your school.

I suggest determining your retention percentage for each of your programs. This will allow you to assess each program in your business and make changes where they’re needed most.

Before you get started, I want to make sure you have a consistent way to measure retention so you can track it. Then, you can set goals and make strategic changes in your business to attempt to influence your number upward.

Timing is Everything

To calculate retention, you first have to determine what timeframe you want to use. In the above example, I used one year. This variable is important and must be consistent for all future calculations.

Consider the retention rate on members the day after you sign them up; retention should be very close to 100%. However, after five years, retention may be very close to 0%. If your duration periods are not the same, you could be comparing apples and oranges.

What timeframe should you use? The most popular is 12 months but I like to use 18 months for Martial Arts and 12 months for Fitness. Whatever you decide, just keep your time period the same when comparing for the future.

How to Calculate Retention

Take your timeframe – let’s use 12 months – and count how many new members you enrolled 12 months ago. If you signed 10 new members and seven are still attending today (12 months later), your retention is 70%. It’s important to use attending versus paying members in your calculation. Members who are paying but not attending are still lost members.

Example:
New Martial Arts Members Signed 12 Months Ago: 10
Martial Arts Members Active This Month: 7
7 Active Members ÷ 10 New Members = 70% Retention for Your Martial Arts Program

Tracking Retention to Improve Your Business

This is only a one-month retention analysis. To acquire a more accurate retention value for your programs, you will want to have at least six months of data. If you keep good records (sales and attendance), you can go back and perform the same calculation for each of the past six months or longer. I recommend keeping an ongoing tally in a spreadsheet. Just remember, you are always comparing the active members you have this month against the sales you made 12 months ago.

Another benefit of maintaining a spreadsheet, you will also be able to monitor the time periods when you frequently lose members. If your retention average is 85% but the above example (70%) seems to occur every April, you can research why and implement a strategy. Let’s say the drop in retention is a result of students participating in other sports. Maybe you can implement an “Excel in Sports” program where you emphasize the benefits of Martial Arts training to athletes. You could also vary attendance requirements during the sports season to accommodate students’ schedules.

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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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