Back in 2005 & 2006 I started to try to figure out an approach to marketing that would make competition less relevant.
I didn’t want to be lumped in with every other gym or trainer in the Yellow Pages (remember those?) or at health fairs since both of my local businesses were in towns that I was new to and didn’t really have strong pre-existing relationships.
At the same time, I was trying to start doing some business coaching online and wanted to build an audience of fitness business owners there too.
The answer I arrived at was what I now call the ‘Attract Unit’ of the business.
It was simple…I wanted to give someone something valuable in exchange for their attention and the ability to follow up with them.
I wanted to make a great first impression…and, at the same time, cast a ‘wide enough net’ to attract all the people who *might* be interested in what I had to offer.
This wasn’t a new approach for me.
It’s how I recruited as a college baseball coach.
See, while most fitness businesses these days are trying to get people to make a pretty big decision and buy as they scroll through Facebook…
…the research says that about 85% of the people who are eventually going to buy…don’t make their decision to buy when they first indicate an interest.
But that just seemed like common sense to me when I first saw the data…it’s how I recruited for years.
I’d identify players who might be a fit for our program and I’d reach out to them and try to get them to say ‘I’m interested’.
Maybe it was with a simple letter asking for them to fill out a prospect card.
Perhaps it was with a phone call just trying to get them to reciprocate some interest.
Or it could be that I’d invite them to a Prospect Camp or Prospect Showcase at our University.
It was the same approach them that I started using in business in 2005 & 2006…and that I still use today.
Start by trying to ‘Attract’ prospects who are somewhat interested in what you have to offer.
Give them something valuable in exchange for their attention, time and the right to follow up with them.
For the baseball players, I was recruiting…that might have been simply giving them attention and saying that I felt like they could be a valuable part of our program.
For health club prospects, it might have been a free 30 day membership (no deposit) to actually experience what our gym had to offer and how convenient it would be for them to consistently use it.
Today, it might be a copy of one of my books.
See, I simply want someone to reciprocate an interest. I don’t expect them to make an important decision on an impulse.
And most of the people who become clients of mine now don’t.
They have been on my newsletter or read my books or invested in a product or two before they ever were ready to become a coaching client.
My baseball prospects were the same. They needed to learn more about me, the school and the program.
They needed to visit the campus with their family.
And, frankly, I needed to get to know them well enough to know if they fit with us.
Kind of like your business.
Not every kid who played baseball was a fit for us and not every person with a valid credit card is a fit for you.
So, the right place to start is with the ‘Attract Unit’.
Now I’ve touched on why ‘casting this wide net’ for people who might be interested makes sense…
…but maybe you’re wondering how this approach makes competition irrelevant.
I’ll follow up with that tomorrow…as that’s the ‘Convert Unit.’
Stay tuned, as the Convert Unit is usually the weakest link for fitness businesses that aren’t growing at the rate they’d like.
See you then.
Dedicated to Your Success,