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Direct Appointments vs Discovery Calls - Who's the Winner? (A/B Test Results)

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Direct Appointments vs Discovery Calls - Who's the Winner? (A/B Test Results)

The Importance of Pre-Qualifying and Pre-Selling Leads

In the world of fitness and wellness, it can be challenging to attract and retain high-quality leads. There is a multitude of platforms and strategies available to generate leads, but the real challenge lies in converting those leads into paying clients. Building a solid client base requires time, effort, and resources. However, there is a way to save time and resources by pre-qualifying and pre-selling leads before scheduling an in-person appointment.

Pre-qualifying and pre-selling leads involves reaching out to potential clients through a phone call. This initial contact not only allows you to assess the viability of the lead but also sets the stage for a successful in-person appointment. By engaging in conversation and asking targeted questions, you can gather valuable information about the lead's goals, interests, and fitness history.

One of the primary benefits of pre-qualifying leads is the ability to filter out uninterested or unqualified individuals. By speaking with the lead directly, you can gauge their level of commitment and enthusiasm. This first interaction acts as a screening process, allowing you to prioritize leads with genuine interest in your services. By focusing on qualified leads, you can allocate your resources more efficiently, saving time and effort that would otherwise be spent on individuals unlikely to become long-term clients.

The pre-qualification process also gives you the opportunity to address any concerns or reservations the lead may have. By actively listening and providing personalized solutions, you can instill confidence and build a rapport with the lead. This positive interaction sets the stage for a successful in-person appointment, as the lead already has a level of trust in your expertise and abilities.

Additionally, pre-selling leads during the phone call offers a chance to highlight the unique benefits of your services. By presenting the value and advantages of your gym or fitness program, you can capture the lead's interest and enthusiasm. Pre-selling allows you to showcase your expertise, facilities, success stories, and any special promotions or offers available. By doing so, you create anticipation and excitement, making the lead more likely to commit to an in-person appointment.

Moreover, the pre-qualification and pre-selling process offers an opportunity to manage expectations. By clearly explaining what the lead can expect during the in-person appointment, you reduce the chances of misunderstandings or disappointments. Providing information about the assessment process, programs offered, and pricing ensures that the lead is well-informed and prepared for their appointment. This transparency builds trust and conveys professionalism.

It is important to note that pre-qualifying and pre-selling leads should not be seen as a way to pressure or force individuals into signing up. The goal is to create a mutually beneficial relationship where both the gym and the potential client find alignment. By understanding the lead's goals and needs, you can tailor your approach and offer suitable solutions.

In conclusion, pre-qualifying and pre-selling leads through a phone call before scheduling an in-person appointment is a strategic approach that can yield significant benefits for both the gym and potential clients. This process allows you to filter out uninterested or unqualified leads, saving time and resources. Furthermore, it sets the stage for a successful in-person appointment by building trust, addressing concerns, and creating anticipation. By engaging in pre-qualification and pre-selling, you can optimize your lead generation efforts and build a loyal client base.

The Split Test: Discovery Call First vs. In-Person Appointment First

When it comes to converting prospects into customers, finding the right approach is crucial. A discovery call is often used as a means to qualify potential customers before moving forward with an in-person appointment. However, some argue that skipping the discovery call and jumping straight into an in-person meeting can lead to better results. To settle this debate, a split test was conducted to compare the effectiveness of booking a call first versus booking an in-person appointment first.

The Discovery Call First Method

In the discovery call first method, the process begins with a phone call between the hosts and the prospect. This call serves as an opportunity for the hosts to gather more information about the prospect's needs, goals, and challenges. It also allows the hosts to assess whether the prospect is a good fit for their offerings.

The hosts can use the discovery call to ask targeted questions, probe deeper into the prospect's pain points, and provide initial guidance and advice. They can also address any concerns or objections the prospect might have. The goal of the call is to build rapport, establish trust, and potentially schedule an in-person appointment if both parties deem it necessary.

Although the discovery call provides vital insights and filters out unqualified prospects, it also adds an additional step to the conversion process. Some argue that this extra step may result in prospects losing interest or getting distracted before they can commit to an in-person appointment.

The In-Person Appointment First Method

The straight to in-person appointment method skips the discovery call and jumps right into scheduling an in-person meeting. This approach assumes that the hosts can gather the necessary information and establish rapport more effectively during a face-to-face interaction.

By eliminating the discovery call, the hosts can present their offerings directly to the prospect and address any questions or concerns in real-time. They can showcase their expertise, provide personalized solutions, and create a memorable experience for the prospect. This approach also reduces the risk of losing prospects during the extra step of the discovery call.

The Surprising Results

The split test conducted by the hosts revealed unexpected results. Contrary to expectations, the straight to in-person appointment method resulted in six memberships, while the discovery call first method only resulted in one membership.

These findings suggest that, in this particular case, skipping the discovery call and going straight for an in-person appointment proved to be more effective for converting prospects into customers. The results indicate that prospects were more likely to commit to a membership after experiencing the hosts' value and expertise firsthand during an in-person meeting.

It's important to note that the effectiveness of these methods may vary depending on factors such as the industry, target audience, and the specific goals of the hosts. Conducting split tests and analyzing the results is crucial to determine the most effective approach for each unique situation.

Analyzing the Results

After implementing the discovery call first method, the hosts of our gym were excited about the increase in leads and opportunities. The strategy seemed to be working well, with more potential clients showing interest in our gym services. However, upon further analysis, we discovered that the number of people actually showing up for the in-person appointments was lower than expected.

This unexpected result prompted us to dive deeper into the data and discuss the possible reasons behind this decrease in attendance. We considered a few potential factors that might have contributed to this outcome.

Losing Interest or Concerns about the Cost

One of the reasons we speculated was that potential clients might have lost interest in our gym services after the initial discovery call. While some individuals may have been impressed by the conversation and expressed interest in joining our gym, they might have changed their minds later on.

Additionally, concerns about the cost might have discouraged some individuals from following through with the in-person appointment. During the discovery call, potential clients might have expressed concerns about the pricing, and upon reflection, they might have decided that joining our gym was not financially feasible for them.

We noticed that these factors were more prevalent among potential clients who were targeted through online marketing channels. Online leads, although higher in number, had a lower attendance rate for the in-person appointment compared to leads generated through other methods.

The Importance of Testing and Optimization

In the competitive world of health and fitness, gym owners are constantly looking for ways to stand out from the crowd and attract new members. One strategy that can make a significant difference is testing and optimization. The hosts of a recent fitness conference emphasized this point, highlighting the importance of tailoring processes to fit the specific market and facility.

It's easy for gym owners to fall into the trap of blindly following industry trends or recommendations. After all, if something works for one gym, it should work for another, right? However, this assumption couldn't be further from the truth. Every gym operates in a unique environment, with its own set of challenges and opportunities. What works for a large chain gym may not work for a small boutique studio.

The key takeaway from the conference was the need for gym owners to test and experiment with different strategies in order to find what works best for their specific market. This means going beyond simply implementing the latest fads or copying what others are doing. It means taking the time to understand the unique needs and preferences of their target audience and tailoring their approach accordingly.

The Pitfalls of Blindly Following Trends

Blindly following trends can lead to wasted time, money, and effort. What might be popular in one area could completely flop in a different market. For example, offering a variety of group fitness classes may attract members in a densely populated urban area, but may not be as appealing in a rural community. By testing different strategies, gym owners can identify the ones that resonate most with their specific market and make data-driven decisions.

Another pitfall of blindly following trends is the risk of over-saturation. The fitness industry is constantly evolving, and new trends emerge almost on a monthly basis. Gym owners who constantly chase after the latest fad may find themselves in a never-ending cycle of trying to keep up. By focusing on testing and optimizing their own processes, they can create a unique brand identity that sets them apart from the competition.

The Benefits of Testing and Optimization

So, why is testing and optimization so important for gym owners?

  • Improved Member Experience: By testing different approaches, gym owners can uncover what resonates most with their members. This could involve experimenting with different class formats, adjusting the gym layout, or refining customer service processes. The result is a better overall experience for members and increased retention rates.
  • Optimal Resource Allocation: Testing allows gym owners to identify where resources are best allocated. This could mean reallocating marketing budgets to channels that generate the most leads or optimizing staff schedules to match peak times. By optimizing resources, gyms can operate more efficiently and maximize their return on investment.
  • Data-Driven Decision Making: Rather than relying on gut instincts or industry best practices, testing provides gym owners with real data to make informed decisions. By tracking metrics such as conversion rates, member feedback, and revenue per member, owners can make strategic choices that drive the growth of their business.
  • Adaptability to Changing Market: The fitness industry is always evolving, and what works today may not work tomorrow. By continually testing and optimizing processes, gym owners can stay ahead of the curve. They can quickly identify changes in market preferences and adapt their strategies accordingly, ensuring they remain competitive in the long run.

Getting Started with Testing and Optimization

The process of testing and optimization can seem overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. Here are some steps gym owners can take to get started:

  1. Define Clear Objectives: Clearly define what you want to achieve through testing and optimization. Is it increased membership numbers? Higher member retention? Improved customer satisfaction? Having clear objectives will help guide your testing efforts.
  2. Identify Key Metrics: Determine what metrics are most important to measure the success of your tests. This could include conversion rates, revenue per member, social media engagement, or any other relevant data points.
  3. Create a Testing Plan: Develop a plan that outlines the specific tests you want to run and how you will measure their effectiveness. This could involve A/B testing different marketing campaigns, trying out new class formats, or experimenting with pricing strategies.
  4. Collect and Analyze Data: Implement your testing plan and collect data throughout the process. Use tools such as Google Analytics, member surveys, or CRM systems to gather relevant information.
  5. Make Data-Driven Decisions: Based on the data collected, evaluate the results of your tests and make informed decisions about which strategies to implement, modify, or abandon.
  6. Continuously Iterate and Improve: Testing and optimization should be an ongoing process. Continuously iterate on your strategies, monitor the results, and make necessary improvements to keep your gym thriving.

By embracing the importance of testing and optimization, gym owners can unlock the potential for improved member experiences, optimized resource allocation, and data-driven decision making. Don't blindly follow trends or recommendations without testing them in your own market. By understanding the unique needs of your gym and target audience, you can develop a winning strategy that sets your gym apart from the competition.

The Marketplace: A Decider of Success

When it comes to running a gym, success ultimately lies in the hands of the marketplace – your customers. They are the ones who will determine whether your process works or not. It is crucial for gym owners to understand this and respond accordingly to the feedback and demands of their customers.

So, how can gym owners effectively respond to the marketplace?

1. Don't Throw Out the Entire Process

It can be tempting to completely overhaul your gym's process if you feel it's not working. However, before taking such drastic measures, it's important to carefully evaluate what's actually broken and what's not. Sometimes, the problem might lie in a specific aspect of your process rather than the process as a whole.

For example, if your gym's membership sign-up process is causing frustration and complaints, it doesn't necessarily mean that all your members are dissatisfied with their experience at your gym. In this case, it would be more effective to identify the specific pain points in the sign-up process and address them individually.

2. Conduct Separate Campaigns to Test New Methods

Instead of throwing out a whole process, the hosts suggest conducting separate campaigns to test new methods. This approach allows you to compare the results of different strategies and determine which one works best for your gym and its specific target audience.

For example, if you're considering implementing a new fitness class schedule, you could run two separate campaigns for a limited period of time. In one campaign, you can introduce the new schedule and gather feedback from participants. In the other campaign, you can stick to the existing schedule and see how it performs in comparison.

3. Listen to Customer Feedback

Your customers are your biggest asset when it comes to understanding the marketplace. Actively listen to their feedback, whether it's through surveys, social media comments, or face-to-face conversations. Paying attention to what your customers are saying will help you identify areas for improvement and make informed decisions about your gym's processes.

For instance, if several customers express their desire for extended gym hours during the weekends, it might be worth considering an adjustment to accommodate their needs. By taking their feedback into account, you not only show your dedication to customer satisfaction but also increase the likelihood of retaining existing customers and attracting new ones.

4. Continuously Evaluate and Evolve

The marketplace is ever-changing, and what works today may not work tomorrow. It's essential for gym owners to continuously evaluate their processes and make necessary adjustments to stay relevant and competitive.

Regularly review your gym's performance metrics, such as membership growth, customer satisfaction ratings, and retention rates. This data will provide insights into the effectiveness of your current processes and highlight areas that require attention. Stay informed about industry trends and best practices to ensure your gym stays ahead of the curve.

Final Thoughts: Taking Everything with a Grain of Salt

In conclusion, the hosts of the podcast emphasized the importance of approaching information with a critical mindset. They reminded listeners to take everything they hear with a grain of salt, recognizing that not all claims or promises in the marketplace are credible.

There is no shortage of marketing tactics or strategies that make grandiose promises. However, the hosts cautioned against falling into the trap of believing in these overpromises without proper scrutiny. It's essential to research, analyze, and evaluate any new strategies or approaches before implementing them in your gym or fitness facility.

The hosts strongly recommended sticking with a current process if it is already yielding positive results. They advised against hastily abandoning a successful approach in pursuit of the latest trends or quick fixes. Instead, they encouraged gym owners to maintain a focus on continuous improvement within their existing framework.

However, that doesn't mean gym owners should settle for complacency. The hosts urged individuals to continuously test and optimize their strategies to maximize their success. The fitness industry is ever-evolving, and what works in one market or facility may not work in another. Therefore, it's crucial to tailor your approach to the specific needs and preferences of your target market and facility.

Testing different tactics and monitoring their impact is crucial for ongoing success. By analyzing the results of various strategies, gym owners can identify the most effective methods for their specific context. This process may involve monitoring membership retention rates, assessing revenue growth, studying customer feedback, or testing different marketing campaigns.

In addition to continuous testing, the hosts mentioned the importance of optimizing strategies. Optimization involves fine-tuning and refining the approaches that are already yielding positive results. Instead of simply settling for moderate success, gym owners should strive to improve their processes incrementally. This could include refining sales techniques, reducing membership churn, streamlining operations, or enhancing customer experience.

It's also worth noting that what works for one gym or facility may not work for another. The hosts emphasized the need to consider the unique characteristics of your specific market and facility. Understanding the demographic, location, competition, and target audience can help guide decision-making and ensure that strategies align with the needs of your gym.

Ultimately, taking everything with a grain of salt means being discerning and avoiding blindly following trends or falling for exaggerated claims. It's essential to remain critical and adopt a mindset of continuous learning and improvement. By testing, optimizing, and tailoring strategies to your specific market and facility, you increase the chances of sustainable success in the competitive fitness industry.

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