This article is the first of a two-part series on how to make cold calls work for you, easily and effectively. Part 2 will appear in the December issue of Club Industry magazine.
The fastest way to get people to come into a health club is to have your staff call them and invite them to come in for a free one-week or two-week, no obligation membership. This works well because it gives prospects something free that has a high perceived value. At our club, we sell one-week memberships for $45 and two-week memberships for $55, to people who are visiting from out of town. When your sales staff does your cold call telephone marketing, you really are offering the people you call something of value for free.
The best way to get a prospect list in the past has been to get a real estate directory or local phone book and call the people that live near your club. But please keep in mind state and national Do Not Call Lists and work within those parameters.
COMMUNITY OUTREACH SCRIPT
You'll want your staff to follow this script nearly word for word, but feel free to adapt it to their and your style as long as the staff is getting appointments consistently.
Hi, is (their first name) there?
Hi, (their first name). This is (your first name) from (your club name).
We're doing a community outreach to some of our closest neighbors and offering them a FREE TWO-WEEK NO OBLIGATION MEMBERSHIP to (your club name). Are you interested in a FREE TWO-WEEK MEMBERSHIP TO (your club name)?
If they say NO, thank them and hang up. Don't try to convince them to take you up on your offer because they're simply not interested. We don't want to harass people that are not interested.
If they say YES, continue with the following script.
What we do (their first name) is set up a 10-minute appointment so that we can show you the club and give you your two-week membership card.
I'll be here until _____ today and from _____ to _____ tomorrow. Would you like to come by the club today or would sometime tomorrow be better?
Set up the appointment, make sure they have good directions to the club, and close by saying, “I'll see you on (appointment day) at (appointment time) and I look forward to meeting you.”
Your only objective when using the Community Outreach Script is to set up appointments for people to come in and pick up their one-week or two-week membership cards. Don't try and sell them over the phone. You'll give them the full presentation and tour when they come into the club.
FOLLOW UP IS IMPORTANT
This program works best if you use a phone log and follow up with the people that don't show up for their appointments. If you e-mail me or call me, I'll send you a sample phone log sheet. Inevitably you're going to get some no-shows, but that's ok. Call them back and if they're still interested, set up another appointment. But if they're not interested, thank them anyway, say good-bye and hang up. You don't want to keep calling the people that don't want to be called. By using this telephone prospecting system, you'll always have a steady stream of people to enroll as new members into your club.
Next month I'll show you how you how to enroll prospective members when they come into your club to use their one-week or two-week trial memberships.
Jim Collins is the president of Health Club Training, a consulting company that provides proven sales systems for health clubs. He can be reached at www.healthclubtraining.com or at 561-262-7676.