Nehal: Hi, this is Nehal from Ad Tips for Ad Pros, and today we have Robb Bailey. What’s up, Robb? How is it going, man?
Robb: What’s up, brother? I’m well. Thanks. How are you?
Nehal: I’m doing awesome, man. Thank you for coming on.
I wanted to get you on for one particular reason, which was that a lot of people when they’re focusing on growing their gym or their studio, the last thing that they focus on is everything that we’re going to talk about today. The easiest thing that they want to do is let’s just turn on Facebook Ads.
This interview, and this whole session is designed for one purpose, which is that if you’re a gym owner or a studio owner or just in that fitness space and have a brick and mortar organization, one of the dumbest things that you can do right now is spend money on Facebook Ads, because Robb and I have seen this over and over again, where people get excited and just want to hit launch and get started with their campaign, and that can actually put you out of business.
That’s what Robb and I had been speaking about. And he has incredible case studies and extraordinary proof that he’s run over time here with a lot of different fitness organizations, and that’s what I wanted to share today.
So, Robb, one of the things that we were talking about, man, is that Facebook Ads might not be the best place to start when it comes to growing your fitness organization. Why is that?
Robb: It’s a great question. It’s something we see time and time again. We probably speak with 500 gyms a year on the phones, and time and time still, we know that most gym owners, for example, and studio owners, they just turn ads on, and it’s like they’re bleeding money. They can’t figure out why and they don’t know what the problem is.
The reason why you don’t want to do that first is that most of the time there’s another issue that needs to get fixed first. It could be a lead follow-up issue or a sales or positioning issue, or sometimes it’s pricing and packaging of your product. Meaning like your gym memberships or your class packs or whatever you’re doing. So unless those core foundational things get fixed first, you can spend as much money as 24 Hour Fitness on ads and it’s probably not going to get you the return that you’d hope for. In fact, from what we’ve seen, it almost never happens.
So you have to be cognizant of where your market positioning is and how you can effectively communicate with the leads that you get. Otherwise, those leads are just going to waste away, and they’ll never come into your facility, and if they don’t come into your service, then there’s no way that you can sign them up for a membership.
Nehal: Hundreds of fitness studio owners and gym owners are coming to you guys for support with that. What is it that you exactly do when you get that opportunity when someone comes to you and says, “I want to grow my gym or my studio and get more members. I just don’t know how. What should I be doing right now?” So what is it that you guys do in that process, and where do you first start them off?
Robb: Good question.
So, almost everybody comes to us because they want Facebook ads. That’s the reason why they’re approaching us. But it’s funny, because every time we start to dig under the surface and peel the onion layers back so to speak, we almost always recommend that they fix one of two key things first. The first thing is prepping for onboarding somebody who is a cold lead. 98 percent of small businesses out there and particularly gym owners rely a lot on referrals, so word of mouth, your current membership base, friends, family, local community. That’s how you’re used to onboarding somebody who’s never been there. But the key is that when somebody who’s never heard about you comes into your facility, that conversation has to be a much different conversation because that trust factor is not there yet.
So most of the time, we start off by saying, “Great. How many new members are you getting per month right now?” And they say, “Oh, I don’t know. 10.” And so we say, “Great. How many of them come from a warm source, meaning a referral, friend or family member, whatever the case may be?” And they go, “Probably all of them.” And I’m like, “Great. What’s your sales and closing rate?” “Oh, it’s like 80 percent.” And I’m like, “Good job.” But we have to educate them and let them know that when you turn ads on, number one, your close rate is not going to be that high. It just isn’t. It can be, but it’s not typical to see it.
Number two, you have to have an onboarding process and a sales process, I know that’s a dirty word, but that’s congruent with building trust for that person from the very start. And most fitness facility owners or managers, whoever is doing the sales and membership there, they do not know what to say. They just don’t. It’s different every time. They don’t know how to do the question based selling, meaning asking the prospect questions so that you can meet their needs to make them feel comfortable giving the gym a try even.
And so my business partner, Ryan, has closed over 6,000 memberships as a membership director over ten years on the East Coast and the West Coast, and he’s got this down to a science. He’s got the nuances down to a science. And so usually, our first conversation is on that front. It’s like, “Okay. I’m a prospect walking in cold off the street. Never seen your brand before. Never met you before. What is the first thing you do, and what is the first thing you say to us?” And it’s usually like crickets. It’s like, “I don’t know.”
So what’s great about that is right away, they could start plugging in our system and using our scripts, and they could start closing more business on day one. So that’s usually the first thing we do, is that.
The other thing that it might be is they’re pretty good at sales, and they are used to onboarding cold people, it’s usually lead nurturing issue, meaning, what are you doing between the time that that prospect raises their hand and the time that they get into your facility, physically standing there at the door? And most business owners just simply don’t know what to do on that front. It’s not their fault. It’s a busy world out there. Things are changing. But I can tell you one thing, man. If you’re not using this thing to connect people from the offline world into your business, you’re missing out, because there is somebody who is, and people are getting a million messages a day between the time that they raise their hand and the time that they’re supposed to show up at your facility and give you a shot.
So those are the two areas.
Nehal: And for people who are listening, he showed his phone, and that is super important, because a lot of the time, I’ve seen gym owners just send an email, and that is their form of follow up for a cold lead, and there isn’t a phone call, or there isn’t a text sometimes. And so that goes a long way.
So I just want to make sure we go back to the first thing that you mentioned there. As soon as people realize that they’re not going to have an 80 percent close rate, they’re not going to have a 75 percent show up rate, all of those things that are so, they got so accustomed to and got spoiled too, what happens as soon as you turn Facebook ads, reality sinks in. And the reality is that you might not be as good of a salesperson as you thought you were.
Nehal: It’s not because you’re a bad salesperson. It’s the lead source was coming from a hot place and from a person who already knows, likes, and trusts you, already has experience, who is vouching and pre-selling that lead to a point whereby the time they get to a sales person, they’re nearly ready to go. It’s just a matter of they’re not looking for that many reasons not to sign up. Whereas the mentality of someone who’s coming in cold, it’s so different, because they’re not getting pre-sold. The only thing that they know about you most likely is what they’ve seen in an ad, what they’ve seen on that landing page, and maybe what they saw on the thank you page or an email sequence.
That’s pretty much it. They don’t have much of an intention to come in and do anything else because no one has pre-sold them.
How do you deal with the team, especially the owner or director, general manager of the gym, as well as the salespeople, because that sounds like a big ego hit?
Robb: It can be. I mean, again, so the way … So this has a lot to do with it, The way that Ryan sells is very customer-centric. In other words, he doesn’t push anything on them. I know I’m holding my hands up, so for the people listening, I’m holding my two hands up next to each other. But most people, they expect the used car salesman thing, which means the salesperson leans in, and it’s a natural reaction nowadays because we’ve all been a victim of a terrible salesperson, for them to move away.The way that Ryan teaches sales and the way that we believe that is the new way to sell is to draw the person in.
And the way that you do that is by doing what we call a needs analysis. This can be done in five minutes, or you could spend 30 minutes doing it, just depending on the situation, but it does not take a lot of time to ask good questions about the prospect’s wants and needs and what they want to get out of a facility because guess what guys? Sales are no longer about, how pushy can you be to get somebody to make a decision they don’t want to do; It’s more about, how can you frame the conversation in a way so that the person can understand the value and the benefit that they can get out of what you provide.
And that’s true for anything today. So if you’re drawing the right questions out of the client about what they want to achieve at your facility, then guess what? We’re not talking about price. We’re not talking about equipment. We’re not talking about features. It’s all about the benefits and the value that the client wants to get out of it, and if you as the salesperson can match and bridge that gap between what you provide and what they’re looking to get, that’s a fantastic salesman. And then at the end, it’s just about saying, “I think it’s a good fit. I’d like to invite you to try the facility, and we’ll take great care of you.” And that’s it. It’s like rolling out the red carpet a little bit for somebody and earning their trust and listening to them. Shocker.
So when most general managers and salespeople hear that, they go, “Oh. So all I have to do is ask some questions and help them determine if they’re a good fit or not for this?” I’m like, “Yeah. That’s what a good salesperson does.” So then, all their preconceived notions about selling melt away, because the last thing that you want to do is be known for slimy sales tactics in your local area.
Nehal: For sure.
Robb: That’s just going to burn your market out. And we hear it all the time. There’s a lot of those types of tactics out floating around out there in the fitness space. And when we get on the phone with all these gym owners, they say, “I hate doing that. We get terrible reviews from doing that kind of stuff. People don’t like being bait and switched.”
And so this is the polar opposite of that mindset. So when they hear that, they typically get very curious, because they go, “So wait. We can book more long-term members. We can have a non-slimy sales process. It’s question-based selling. It’s not pushy, which most salespeople feel way more comfortable with. And it can start working for us right away. I’m open to that.”
Robb: So that’s the conversation.
Nehal: Can you talk about the quick wins that you usually get when you first start working with a gym owner or a GM? Because it sounds like most people want to turn on Facebook ads and they want that growth and they want to see new leads come in, and everything go perfectly, but usually there are one or two steps before that. So the first step, what happens when you go in and start that relationship when you’re doing the assessment and then looking for opportunities for some of those quick wins?
Robb: Well, the first thing that we do is we talk about sales and make sure their positioning is right, just like we described. But the quick second to that, the close second I should say, is, what are you doing to reach out to these people, to re-engage with them in a place where you can have their attention? And they usually say, “Well, what do you mean? We send out a monthly newsletter through email. What else should we be doing?”
And I always start off by saying, “Well, when was the last time you just sent a quick text message to your membership base telling them thank you, that you have value for being a member?” And they’re like, “Oh, we haven’t done that in a while.” Or at all. I’m like, “Yeah. I mean, it’s not the worst thing in the world, but guess what? That’s your biggest source of new business, is the warmest market that you have, which is your current members.”
So what I recommend is sending a text message, a one to one text message. And you can use tools to do this, but it’s got to be a two-way conversation because again, you’re building that trust and building that relationship.
So I say, “Send them a quick thank you. Don’t ask them to do anything. There’s no offer, no nothing. Just say a quick thank you. And have it come from the owner or whoever is the GM, whoever the person is there, the head, the leader of the company.” And then a couple of days later, you want to send them another text message and say, “Hey, guess what? I’ve got a few free passes to come in.” We have a free 10-day pass offer that works well. “We’ve got a few 10-day pass offers. Let me know if you’d like for me to reserve one or two of them for some friends or family members so you can bring them in to work out with you.”
And that gets a good response rate. And that costs nothing, just to send that message and invite people to do it. And guess what? If they’re not interested, it’s like, “No, thanks.” It’s not that big of a deal, right? But it’s a cool way just to say, “Hey, there’s something that’s tangible of value that you could come work out for free for ten days. I’m hooking you up so that you can come and have a little more fun when you work out with your friends and family.”
So that’s how we typically, once the sales process is ironed out a little bit, we say, “Great. Now you’re ready to get somebody in who’s new, and you want to practice on the warmer referrals. You want to practice the script and the new way to onboard people so that you can get your feet wet without feeling like it’s cutthroat time like, ‘Oh, if I don’t make the sale, there’s so much pressure on me.'” And so we get them to practice the script doing that.
And if you’ve got a big membership base or a small one, it doesn’t matter, that campaign works well. The other thing that we recommend doing is sending a text message to old prospects. That could be ex-gym members or prospects who just never made it around to coming in and doing the same thing, sending them a text message inviting them to come in and try the gym for free to open up that door and get some practice with people that are a little bit of a warmer relationship.
So those are the two huge things that everybody skips. Everybody skips those two things, but the reality is if you turn ads on before you can do those two things, it’s probably going to be a disaster. I’ve seen exceptions to that rule, but every time that that doesn’t get fixed first, I mean, it’s like you can get them a million ads, it doesn’t, excuse me, a million leads, it’s not going to matter if the person isn’t communicated with properly and brought into the facility on the right pretenses and positioned you to sign them up for a membership in a way that’s comfortable for them so that they have a shot to stick around for a long time, which is what every gym owner wants?
Nehal: For sure. And from a confidence standpoint for the salesperson, this is a very low-pressure environment compared to, “Hey, guys. We just turned on Facebook ads. We need to make this work. Did you call that lead? Is this done yet? Did they show up? Why isn’t any of this working?” If it doesn’t work in that first little bit.
Because they go into an environment where they’re getting inbound leads and they’re closing themselves relatively, and then you go into this environment where it’s like Facebook ads, Facebook ad leads are difficult. They don’t show up, they don’t pick up the phone, or whatever the excuse is that salespeople create at that point because they’re not used to people flaking on them when those cold ads come in. So it sounds like this is a really good implementation. It sounds very simple, but I think that’s where the beauty of those campaigns are.
Robb: Totally. And that’s the whole thing about it, is there are a million things that you can do, but this is what you should do. I’m not kidding. People are like, “That’s it?” And it is kind of that’s it, but the nuances matter. The experience level that Ryan has had figuring all this out is just incredible.
So what ends up happening is two things. The external team there gets buy-in very fast because they see the effectiveness so quickly. They’ve changed a few ways to word things. They know what key questions to ask when people come in. They immediately take their guard down. And then they get some action from these text messages, and they start to get appointments on their schedule. So now it’s flipped from, “Who’s walking in today?” Or it’s usually like the gym owner or the salesperson is on their knees, opening the door, going like, “Please, somebody walk through the door today.” That’s kind of how it is.
Robb: And it’s changed from that to booking appointments through text messages. And we usually get a one to ten percent appointment ratio with their database. So if they have a list of 1,000 people, we can get between 10 to 100 people. It just depends on the facility, the type, but 10 to 100 people to make an appointment from that. When was the last time a gym had 100 people book to come in? So that gets them feeling a lot more momentum, and it makes them feel more comfortable with the entire process, and it’s the lowest hanging fruit. So that costs nothing. There’s no ad spend involved in doing this. Text messaging is cheap or free. So all these good things start to happen in a very short period, and all of a sudden, everybody’s confidence level goes up. Everybody’s focused on the right things. The desperation mode goes away, and it’s like, “Okay, we can stop trying to hand out pamphlets and flyers and go to all these events and stuff. We can just relax and do our thing and serve the people who were here to serve.
Nehal: Right. And it ends up bringing in cash flow for the Facebook ads once you’re ready because that still sounds like that’s step three. So step one is creating some of these campaigns and planning those two campaigns out that you mentioned, but before those people come in, what is the approach that you guys take from the sales? Because that sounds like, from an assessment standpoint and training of those salespeople, what have you learned in that process? Especially from Ryan’s standpoint when he’s going to gyms and saying, “Okay, this is what I see, and here are the adjustments that we can make together.”
Robb: Well, to be honest, mostly, after that initial conversation with the salespeople, it gets very easy after that. What I mean by that is what we end up doing is saying, “Okay, now we’re going to practice. Let’s text message some prospects back and forth together.” And so this usually only takes about an hour to do, to train the salesperson how to do the lead nurturing effectively. Sous, me, Ryan, or one of our other team members will get on the phone, and for an hour they’ll sit there and send text messages to our client.
Nehal: That’s epic.
Robb: So they’ll send like a hundred out in an hour, and then the responses will start to come in. And so as the response comes back, I’m like, “Okay. So now what are you going to say here?” And we have a script set up, but it takes a little bit to get the rhythm and to understand what you’re trying to do.
It’s like, “Oh, so I should just close the deal now.” It’s like, “No. You want to build a little bit of rapport with this person and send some emojis. Joke with them a little. Just make them feel like you’re a real human, and this isn’t a robot on the other end.” And so after one hour of doing that with their team, that is a game changer, because now, every time that a prospect comes in, no matter what the source, that salesperson is building a relationship with the person through the text message or the phone right away.
Nehal: Got it.
Robb: Now that person is completely engaged. When that person comes in now, it’s like, “Hey, Robb. How is it going?” “Oh, yeah. You said you were coming by after work. How was your day at work today, man? So tell me, where do you work? Oh, okay. So you’re just down the street. That’s great, man. So you’re close. Yeah. Great. Awesome. Well, let me show you the facility.”
Doesn’t that sound a lot better than herding cattle through the door and just having people figure it out for themselves?
Nehal: For sure.
Robb: Now, I’m Robb Bailey, the guy who got to text message with the important dude down at the gym, and he knows my name. He’s got to know my situation because he’s going to ask me some questions about why I’m coming in, and he’s going to remember me. I would say that is the biggest thing that this does, is it connects the salespeople to the prospects in the most direct way that’s the most helpful way for the prospects, too.
Nehal: But this is one of those activities where that investment of that one hour pays dividends for months if not years with that person because it changes their perspective and their approach to selling just from a text messaging standpoint that translates all over for the rest of the sales process.
Robb: Oh, man. I can tell you this. The results that we’ve gotten for our clients, it’s funny, because a lot of people, again, they come to us for the ads, to turn ads on to get more leads, but by far, the most effective thing we do is getting them leads for free first doing the text messaging training. Some of our clients have gotten the most that the client has ever obtained by doing this over 300. It’s like 312, I think.
Robb: And they had to spread it out over a whole month. It was too much to handle 300 appointments in one week. On average, our average gym owner gets like 100 to 150 appointments for the whole month that they didn’t have before that were free essentially, all it takes is sometimes actually connecting and practicing dialing your sales process, it doesn’t get any better than that. I mean, I just haven’t found anything else out there that accomplishes so much in such a short period.
So usually what ends up happening is they get addicted to that in a good way. And it’s productive. So what we’ve begun to do now is make a new campaign, a text message campaign that they can do once a month to their whole database. And that, for some of our clients who have bigger databases, that keeps them busy. They don’t even need to turn ads on. They’re like, “Yeah, we signed up for ads, but we don’t even really need ads. We’re busy, man. Don’t worry about it.” Because they can only do so much in a period, and then by the time they’re done, they go back to the beginning and start hitting those people that haven’t heard from them in a month or two.
Nehal: Yeah. For the GM or the owner here that are listening to this podcast, from their standpoint, they’ve either read a lot of sales training, they’ve been to conferences, they’ve maybe hired a sales coach or something like that before, what do you think is the main thing that helps the gym owners or the actual end salesperson implement? Because there’s a big difference between you guys bringing in proven strategies that do work, but if the people who are actually responsible for executing those, if they aren’t brought in, if they’re not the ones who are consistently implementing, none of this is worth anything and none of this makes any sense. So what have you guys learned regarding getting people, getting the salespeople to implement for a long period?
Robb: Well, first of all, we have the best resource on this for longevity. I mean, I haven’t seen anything else out there that competes with what we do on a long-term strategic basis. Because we have two weekly Q and A calls with Ryan, and I’m sure there are other people out there who have sold as much as he has, but in the context of this program being a comprehensive thing with support, to me, that’s the key, is consistency. So you can’t be consistent if you learn one thing and then drop it a week later or something like that. So in our program, we offer free sales coaching.
So everybody who’s a client of ours can get on the phone with Ryan twice a week. And it’s a group coaching call, so people say, “I got this objection. How do I handle it?” And Ryan will say, “Well, we’ve got a proven script for that, an objection, but let’s talk about it. What do you think you should say?” And so we’re helping those people refine and improve every week, and that’s where the real change happens.
So we have GMs and owners who say, “Look, can I just bring my whole staff? Can that be our weekly sales meeting, is getting on the phone on that call with Ryan?” And so we have tons of people on that call every week. Ryan will do a handful of role plays or talk about one particular objection or one sales strategy or part of the script. And that’s how people get the best long-term results.
I think the biggest challenge, especially with independents, although this happens a lot with franchises, too, franchisees, is they get an initial sales training, and then they drop it. They don’t do anything to sharpen the saw each week. And so when that happens, you start to forget pieces or just ignore things that you should be paying attention to. And once you stop getting better, it means that you’re probably just getting worse because you’re building bad habits around it.
That’s the thing that we’ve found, is if we have a client who comes in and they’re like, “Oh, I hate sales,” it’s like, “Well, then, you need to be on this call every week, because not only am I going to help you like it again, but it’s so important that you do that if you don’t address this, it’s going to be hard from here on out, and you’re probably going to end up shutting your doors from what we’ve seen in the marketplace.”
Nehal: For sure. And I think from a management standpoint, everyone has good intentions, right? They want to see the studio or the gym do better, the team does better, everyone to make more money, but what ends up happening is people get busy. And so it sounds like this is one of those things that whether they’re on it or not, the team can jump in and still take advantage and get their questions and objections handled.
Robb: Yeah. So it does have to come from the top down. However that looks. But if the person at the top doesn’t believe that this is a problem, then nobody underneath that person is going to believe it either.
There’s a local Crossfit box here that opened and this particular owner; it’s a husband and wife team, she had never made sales in her life. She was a great Crossfit coach, and her husband is, too, and they’re great people, but they started their gig, and she had never sold a thing in her life. And in her first month open, she sold 25 new memberships just from the stuff from our program. She got some initial memberships on her own and stuff like that. But she in her wildest dreams would never have thought that she could do it in the first place, and secondly, when they were dividing the duties, she was like, “That’s a lot of pressure on me in our first month. I don’t know if I can close one new membership.” And she came in and did 25. So her mentality, so her whole shift, it was just a mindset shift, I mean, she started becoming confident in month one, like, “Oh, I got this now.”
So my point is, if she doesn’t believe it, that’s okay, but if she doesn’t get better at it fast and seek help, then what is she going to do? You know what I’m saying?
Nehal: For sure.
Robb: The owners and the GMs and the owner-operators, all that stuff, they have to be the person to drive it and understand that this is a piece of the puzzle that you cannot ignore. And then it trickles out from there.
Nehal: That’s the first step. If you’re paying for any form of advertising, forget Facebook, any form of marketing, internal or external, you’re getting new leads and you don’t have a system to handle them, nothing else after that really matters because it doesn’t matter how well you manage your books or how well you manage the gym or how well trained everyone else is, if the top of the funnel, if the top of the business, the growth the engine, isn’t set up to win, the rest of the business can’t really operate.
Nehal: From everything you’ve been talking about right now, it’s like, well, it sounds like there are simple campaigns you can implement to get new leads just from your existing network and your existing database. Then, once you get those, build the confidence of salespeople based off of a new system from a sales standpoint to say, “Okay, here’s how to change your approach on how to deal with these leads and how to communicate with them so you don’t sound like a sleazy salesperson,” and then now it sounds like you’re ready to launch Facebook ads.
So for people who are listening, this is very important, because usually, it’s the other way around, which is, “Let’s launch Facebook ads. Oh my god, it didn’t work. What should we do? Let’s freak out and see what we can do. Okay, it’s this person’s fault. It’s that person’s fault.” Instead of that madness, it sounds like this is a lot calmer, smooth, confident approach to growing the business that’s way more predictable so you’re first bringing in leads that already know, like, and trust you to train the salespeople, build the confidence, get them ready and excited, and fund the growth in this process, and then launch Facebook ads.
And so once you have this whole process set up, what happens when you guys launch Facebook ads?
Robb: Oh, man. The first that happens is the effectiveness of the ads like the triple. I’m not kidding. So sometimes, we have clients come to us, and they are doing ads, but they’re like, “This is just what we got. We’re not happy with it. We’d like to improve it. Can you guys do better?” And I’m like, “Well, you don’t have a Facebook ads problem.” And they’re like, “What do you mean?” I’m like, “Well, you plug in this thing that we know how to do where it’s like you connect with the people who opt-in and you treat them like humans. You can immediately triple your effectiveness.” I mean, 300 percent more effective to getting them to the front door to give the gym a try is not uncommon. I would say on average it at least doubles it, but sometimes it’s like 500 percent, too, and we’re like, “Holy cow.”
Robb: So what we do is we connect the ad to a landing page, and then on the landing page when the prospect raises their hand and says, “Yeah, I want to try this offer,” we have our text messaging system immediately send them a text message welcoming them and saying, “Great. To reserve your free 10-day pass, all you’ve got to do is reply to this text message, and we’ll set up an appointment for you to come in.” And then we start the conversation from there. And that automated message, when the person replies, goes to, guess who? The client’s salesperson. And that person is now communicating effectively with that lead.
And it wildly varies, the effectiveness of the ads, but the data that we have of people who are not doing that compared to the people who are, all things being fair and equal, is exponential. It’s in the hundreds of percent better. I mean, I’ve never seen a campaign side by side that was less than 100 percent better from it. So that’s the first thing that we gain.
After that, if the ads are doing well, and usually they do. I mean, if you do them right and you’ve got all that other stuff figured out, it’s a lot easier to win. Then it’s just a matter of lead flow. So again, if you’re getting enough leads from your current database, your warmer lead sources, then it’s just about working the numbers and going like, “Okay. How many new fresh people do we want to put into this every single month?” So if we need 100 new leads to get 20 new members and we’re getting leads at five bucks a pop, which is the average right now that we’re getting, so that’s 500 bucks for 100 leads, and our goal is to close 20 of them into new members. So if we’re getting 20 new members from internal sources and 20 new members from the ads, we’re spending 500 bucks on ads and close to nothing on the text messaging, it’s a pretty effective campaign.
Nehal: For sure. And from their standpoint, the conversation then becomes, how many leads can we legitimately handle? How many appointments can we handle, and how do we not drown the salespeople into overwhelming that they stop following up with the leads, that they have lower quality conversations? All that stuff has a domino effect on obviously the performance of the campaign, and the quality of the conversations change dramatically because then you’re not freaking about where the next lead is coming from. It’s more, “Are we still implementing the systems at the standards that we have changed and accustomed to because now they’re a lot higher than they used to be?”
Robb: Exactly. I mean, this is another mindset shift that happens internally with our clients, are they go from, again, not knowing where they’re next lead is coming from or when they’re coming into having a schedule booked full of appointments. So the salespeople come in every day, and they already know what they’re going to do. They’re getting ten appointments and a sales meeting. And that is a game changer.
I can tell you from experience, we’ve done the same thing with our agency where we’ve got tons of gym owners applying to us, and it’s a really, really nice thing to have when you wake up every day and your calendar is full of people who may or may not be a good fit, you can’t win them all, but it’s infinitely better than the opposite where you wake up, and it’s the scarcity mentality, and you’re like, “I just don’t know what’s going to happen today. I cannot predict what’s going to happen. We’re going to roll the dice and see, I guess, today.” It’s the complete opposite.
So it allows you to plan better. It allows you to train your staff better. It allows everybody to take a deep breath. Just grow the business month after month after month. That’s what we’re talking about here. That’s what all the successful independent and franchises that we see, the ones who are open in five years and doing well and making money the whole time, that’s what they’re doing.
Nehal: But it sounds like from a salesperson’s day to day, it sounds very systematic and almost boring. And if the person who’s listening right now, if your salesperson isn’t in that rhythm or isn’t in that regular routine, it’s to the point where it’s almost boring, it’s like, “Listen. This is my schedule. This is my sales meeting that I have. And that’s all I do, and then my goal is, how do I just close the people that are coming into my process and just work that system every single day?”
Robb: when Ryan used to work at the gym that I went to. That’s how we met. Let’s say somebody does not show up for an appointment. Most people would be like, “Dang. I missed out. That was my one appointment for the day,” to be honest. Ryan knew that no matter what happened throughout the day, there was something productive that he could do to fill the time, meaning that if he had a no-show, it was no big deal. He would text the person and say, “Hey, I was expecting you at this time. Do you want to reschedule?” and sit back and wait for them to respond, and regardless of what happened then, he was going through the database and text messaging more and more people to reactivate them and get them into a booked appointment to come in.
There are no bad days when you’re doing that because all that happens is the numbers were either good today, fantastic today, or they were epic. If you have a calendar full of appointments ready to come in, there are no bad days, is my point. So it flips everything around and makes it so that the cash flow is much more comfortable. Instead of spending three grand a month on advertising, you’re now spending a very effective amount of dollars, and you know if I put a dollar in I’m getting five bucks out or whatever that math is, so that’s a nice luxury to have. And secondarily, you’re not reliant on the advertising anymore to get the productive activity that you need, which is to get people into your gym in a sales conversation with you.
Nehal: It becomes a lot more supplementary, and it doesn’t become a do or die situation. And in any part of your business, if you’re in a do or die situation, it should make you a little bit nervous about how to mitigate that. And it sounds like Facebook ads isn’t that solution of just, “Okay, let me transform your whole business just by bringing 100 leads.” That’s possible, but if you live and die by that, that creates new types of problems.
So here’s what I’ve got from everything you’ve shared today, man, which is, one, there are existing assets and this gold mine that is untapped because you just didn’t know, for the average gym owner, they just haven’t text them or haven’t taken care of them or haven’t run campaigns that aren’t sleazy or very aggressive. So it sounds like there are campaigns that can be run to get to reactivate them. Then, from there, what are adjustments you can make on the sales side to streamline, create more confidence, make it, so it’s almost systematic slash boring so that they’re just executing daily without even thinking and get to that level? And finally, when Facebook ads are turned on, it’s a lot more supplemental to your overall growth instead of the only channel to grow your business and rely on from consistency and predictability in the business.
So, if a gym owner right now is listening to this and they want to work with you guys, what is the best way for them to get a hold of you or what would you suggest them to do?
Robb: The fastest way to connect is just friend, Ryan Moore is my partner’s name, or me, Robb Bailey, on Facebook, and we can send you a link. You can also go to FitClubAccelerator.com, and there’s a free case study video that you download. You can see live case studies of all the clients that we’ve helped. We’ve helped both franchisees and independents.
In fact, yesterday we were on the phone with the CEO of one of the fastest growing fitness companies in the US, and we asked him whether he was happy with the way things were going, and he’s like, “Well, some of our locations, they’re doing okay, but I really would love it if every single one of our locations, because we have a really good product, is basically almost at capacity.”
And we asked him what he thought the difference maker was in those, and he’s like, “Well, could be leads,” but he’s like, “We’re paying some big marketing company who doesn’t specialize in fitness to get us leads, and that’s still not fixing the problem.” So we had a really good conversation about those other two areas. And he saw our case study download video, and that’s what prompted him to get on the phone with us because he knew that it wasn’t just a leads problems.
So that case study video, it’s fantastic. We’ll also email you case study interviews, just like this one, video interviews that we have with some of those case study clients.
And then if you feel like it might be a good fit and you want to talk on the phone, there’s an application to talk with Ryan. And we don’t have a sales team here. Our sales department is Ryan. So you get to talk with him, and you can chat with him, and if it’s a good fit, we might invite you to do something us, and if not, that’s cool, but the phone call is free, so it’s no big deal either way.
Nehal: Awesome. And what we’ll make sure to do is put some of those case studies inside of the Ad Tips for Ad Pros Facebook group. So anyone who’s listening to this, if you go to AdTipsforAdPros.com, we’ll make sure to include those in the group, as well, and then make sure you get a chance to connect with Ryan directly once you see those or if this is a fit for you.
So again, Robb, thank you so much. This was awesome. Every time I speak to you, I learn something about the overall health fitness industry is working, because even though I do Facebook advertising, there are so many nuances to profitability and growth, and you guys sound like you nailed it down. So good for you, man, and I appreciate you sharing everything that you did today.
Robb: Oh, it was my pleasure, man. Anytime. It’s always a pleasure talking to the one and only Nehal.
Nehal: Thank you. I will speak to you soon. Thank you.
Robb: All right, brother. Take care. Yeah.