You may have noticed that it can be difficult to get your clients’ attention unless you’re offering them a targeted service at a special rate. Getting noticed gets even more difficult when you’re reaching out to prospects who have never been to your facility. These prospects will only respond to your invitations if they know they’ll get a great bargain – and the key to getting new clients is to give them just that.
For new facilities in particular, getting potential customers through your door is worth the cost of giving away some services for free initially. It’s worth the investment to acquire the long-term clients, who are essential to your success.
At DNA Sports Center, we always offer new coaches a free group training session. Even if the coaches don’t bring their teams back on a regular basis afterward, individual players may come back on their own, or the coaches may recommend the facility to other coaches. DNA also brings new clients in by regularly offering free Speed Passes (a method used by all Parisi Speed School franchises such as ours) and free Demo Weeks to prospects.
For example, we recently promoted a Free Demo Week for our adult fitness class in emails to prospective clients, on our Facebook page, and to our clients currently taking the class, offering them an incentive to bring their friends. It resulted in 24 new participants, 6 of whom signed up for a paid membership after the class ended. That’s 25 percent of the new clients who came in for the free class – not bad! Coupon programs such as Groupon and Living Social are also a good way to get new clients into your facility. Deep discounts are required, but they’re worth it in the long run.
Once customers have learned what your facility is all about, it shouldn’t require many special deals to keep them coming back. That’s because during their free demo week or class, you should have shown them how passionate you and your staff are about providing a quality product, and you should have established a quality relationship with them that is worth returning for. Trainer-client relationships are particularly important for kids, whose trainers often become role models.
Remember, it’s essential to have a specific plan in place to pitch to your prospective clients as soon as the end of their free trial approaches. Make sure to give them a clear reason to come back, and make it easy for them to sign up. Keep this plan in mind as you decide when and how to structure the free trial. Don’t forget to suggest other products that also might be a good fit to the new client ending their trial period, such as camps or private lessons.
Tip: Make sure that the schedule for your free trial is on the same schedule as the paid classes that will be offered afterward. That makes it easier for clients to simply continue the routine they established with the demo class.
To schedule a consultation with Mike Meszaros on sports facility management, call (513) 791-4940.