Following up with leads is crucial for turning them into paying personal training clients. Unfortunately, research suggests that only 2% of sales occur at the first contact, and almost half of the marketers give up with a lead after that first attempt, while by the time a prospective client says no the 4th time, 92% stop following up.
Another number you want to consider is that 60% of the prospects say no 4 times before they say yes. That means most of the sales are made by only 8% of salespeople who are resilient enough and follow up the 5th time.
So, it's up to you if you want to belong to the 92% or the 8%, but you must follow up with your leads to ensure you get all the potential clients. Your more resilient competitors will likely have a fitness marketing plan in place to convert those prospects and reap the profits.
In this article, we'll look at how you can create a system around lead management so it only takes up a little of your time while optimizing profit potential.
What's a Lead?A lead can be anyone who comes to your business via one of your fitness marketing channels. It could be a new email subscriber, an Instagram follower, a fan on Facebook, or someone coming up to you in your gym. Even people you meet at social or networking events you attend as a business person can also become leads.
When you look at your buyer journey and how people interact with you, it is evident that only some audience members become prospective clients, not all. For example, many people may be aware of you and know they have a problem, but they could be busy trying to fix it themselves. They become a lead when they go from wanting to resolve the issue themselves to wanting you to fix it for them.
Why You Need a Lead SystemSo now that you know that not everyone is a lead for your business, it's time to move on to why you need a system to track and manage the people that are.
First, your prospective clients will enter your sales funnels through different avenues. For example, social media, email marketing, SEO, or even an advert can be the first point of action for someone to become a lead for your fitness business. They will then work through the funnel until they decide to hire you.
The Benefits of Using Emails for Lead NurturingThere are different ways people might come across your offer. However, it's worth choosing one channel through which you'll manage them all to save you some time and headaches.
If you're an in-person trainer, doing calls might be your preference because it means speaking to the person there and then will speed up the process of building rapport. Even if they don't answer, you can still text them and ask when it suits them best to have a call.
However, you need to understand that it's trickier to automate calls, and it requires your time every time unless you hire a salesperson to make those calls.
Now, if you run marketing campaigns online as a local trainer or you're an online personal trainer, using email as the primary channel for contact is a good choice. After the initial answer, you can create an autoresponder follow-up system to take care of those prospective clients who don't respond to your first email.
How to Create a New Lead Follow-Up System for Your Fitness BusinessSo, we've established that you want one main channel to manage your leads, and an ideal way to do that is via email. You can use the same or similar contact forms or link the same contact form on all your channels so the emails you receive will have a similar structure. Once prospective clients become leads, they'll start their buyer journey with you.
Different people will be at various buyer journey stages, so you need to speak to them accordingly. The email you send to someone who already trusts you and your service will be very different from the one you send to someone who has just heard of you.
Ideally, you'd like to create an automated email responder system where people will be sent content based on how long ago they joined your lead follow-up system. Now, we discussed that even the most resilient trainers give up after 4 contact attempts, so we'll show you an autoresponder template that includes 5 emails, but you can add more than that if you have more to say or more value to offer.
A 5-Step Email Autoresponder Template to Manage LeadsSo, you've set up your contact forms. They all have a similar structure and email you when someone submits a query. What's next?
Email One - Your First Response
The first email should be a response to the potential client's question. Be open, polite, and considerate of their needs. Ensure you finish with an open-ended question, so they feel the need to reply.
If a conversation starts, reply to their emails with the appropriate answers and a clear intention of deciding whether or not they're your ideal clients. If you have the solution to their problem, communicate that. Then when they're ready, they'll sign up.
This is the ideal scenario, but a fraction of your incoming leads will become clients that straightforwardly. Some people will disappear after your first email, and others might do during the conversation. That's when you don't just give up and move on to the next step.
Email Two - Follow-Up #1 - Day 2
If you are still waiting for an answer to the first email or a lead stops replying, you can send the second email after 24hrs. This is where you can start working with templates and set the rest of the lead follow-up system on autopilot.
The purpose of this email is to ask them how they are getting on with their fitness goals and if you can assist them in any way. It can be a concise email, one or two sentences:
How are you? Have you managed to find a solution to achieving [fitness goal]?
Again, if you receive an answer, you take it off autopilot and nurture that lead until it becomes a client.
Email Three - Add Value - Day 4
Email three is your chance to add value. Wait for another 48hrs before sending this one. In it, tell them about an eBook or other resource that could help them and add a link where they can access it. You can use email marketing software to capture their email contact and get consent for future marketing purposes so they become email subscribers. That means you can nurture them beyond the lead follow-up system.
Note that the resource you send them must be relevant to the problem they are asking for help with. So if you have multiple campaigns for different client types, you'll need to create as many versions of these autoresponder campaigns, so they receive the relevant resource. Then remind them that you are there to help them achieve their goals.
Email Four - Show Empathy - Day 6
Another 48hrs later, you can send them email #4. Now, if you're using a complex campaign and CRM system, you can set it up so that it can check whether or not they claimed the resource you sent in the previous email. People like to feel special, so if you can do this and customize this email based on that info, you might be in for a winner.
Now, you can start showing some empathy here. Explain to the prospective client that you're sorry you have not been able to connect with them. Mention that you can relate to a super busy lifestyle and understand that taking the first step might feel overwhelming. Then remind them how interested they were at the first point of contact, and whenever they are ready, you'll be there.
Email Five - Closing Lead - Day 8
This email tends to get the most responses. You can allow them to opt-out, as this benefits you and them. At this point, you'll find out if they are still interested. You'll be asking for permission to stop contacting them since they haven't responded; thus, it'll be better for you both to move on.
If the person isn't interested, you likely won't get any answers, or if they are friendly, they might let you know that they found the solution elsewhere. In others, who are interested but tend to procrastinate, your email will create a sense of urgency and spur them into action. Either way, you can close the campaign, and if the people end up on your email list, they might reconsider in the future when ready because of the pleasant experience with you.
A Word About Tools for Lead ManagementWhile you might have the capacity to manage each of your leads manually at the start, you may need a tech solution to address the automation and, hopefully, the volume of new incoming inquiries.
PT Distinction is an online personal training software proud of its automation features, so if you're already using it to manage clients, you can also venture into using it for your lead magnets.
You can also employ CRM software like 17hats to set up a similar system we detailed above and email marketing software to hook it up with your lead magnets and run successful email campaigns.