Problem Customer Alert

OK so I've got this consulting client. Let's call him "Jimmy". He's a really successful businessman and club operator but DAMMIT! He's a total pain in the ass! The reason why is because he'll only take my advice after arguing with me for like an hour. Hey - it's his dime and all, but still. That gets old. Whatever. Anyway, I was talking to him last week and I told him the best way to generate guest traffic and a bunch of goodwill in his marketplace is to offer something REALLY COOL FOR A CRAZY DISCOUNT. And naturally, he starts arguing with me. So I decided to shut him up forever. I told him that I'd PROVE this works and that if I'm right, he's got to publicly admit defeat in this publication, and buy me a case of Champagne. (Dummy forgot to even ask what kind of champagne, lol, so naturally I'm gonna find the most expensive kind possible.) Anyway - here's how I proved him wrong . . . but, before I get started, let me wish each of you a happy and prosperous 2013.

As we head into the New Year, you’ve got to be asking yourself, just like Jimmy did,  “Is there a better way to run my operation?” “Are there better ways to get guests to walk through the door?” After being in the fitness industry for over 40 years, I’ve seen a lot of things – many that made me shake my head and wonder what the heck some of you are thinking. Yes, there is a better way to do a lot of what we do on a daily, monthly, and yearly basis.  As I’ve said in the past, there are no crystal balls. I wish there were. But during these uncertain economic and changing times, you can choose to do nothing or you can choose to become a better business manager. The choice is yours. As you head into the new year, it is more important than ever to analyze where you have been and where you are heading. Ask yourself a few questions while reading this article and decide if you’ve been letting the negative information hitting the airways and print media influence your decisions as a business owner.

In business, even in the fitness industry, there are always ups and downs, and, no matter what people say, that’s healthy. You’ve got to stop making excuses. We‘ve all experienced people like Jimmy, god bless his sole. Business owners, managers, and staff have always been great at identifying problems, and/or wanting to argue about the way it should be or was, but they are terrible at coming up with real solutions.

So, what does a fitness business do to ensure they have the very best possible chance for success? Here is the answer. Be the best you can, open to new ideas, and ready to make a few changes in your operation.

As technology has evolved, many of the traditional methods of advertising seem to no longer work as well as they did in the past. Every company spends a substantial amount of money and effort in its marketing and advertising campaigns. Since this crucial area involves huge investments, everyone looks for the most efficient options.

Traditionally speaking, you should be spending 7-10 % of your gross income to further the branding and growth of your business, and the monies should be spent equally internally and externally. You may be asking yourself what I mean by internally and externally. Internal spending means that you promote from within; you do something for your members or customers and in return ask them to do something for you. Promoting externally would be email marketing, radio, yellow pages, television, newspaper, direct mail, flyers, etc. With both strategies, you should be measuring the results, and the return on investment. Be aware, however, that some of the benefits, again speaking about both spending strategies, can’t be measured because the exposure alone will continue to brand and further promote your business.

As technology has evolved, many of the traditional methods of advertising seem to no longer work as well as they did in the past. Every company spends a substantial amount of money and effort in its marketing and advertising campaigns. Since this crucial area involves huge investments, everyone looks for the most efficient options.

Email marketing has emerged as the major marketing tool during recent years. Don’t get me wrong, you should still dabble in traditional forms of advertising, but not to the degree you have in the past. Research clearly indicates that modern approaches, such as email, are the key to your future success.

Think about the last time you bought something online or visited an interesting web site. How did you learn about the product or web site? There is a very good chance it was from an email. Like it or not, email marketing is still the most effective form of marketing from an ROI perspective.

In fact, according to research conducted by the Direct Marketing Association, no other form of advertising or marketing produces a higher return on investment than email marketing.
There are several reasons why email works better than all other forms of direct marketing.
First and most importantly, consumers are constantly being bombarded with advertising messages, and the competition for their attention has never been more fierce. When you finally have consumers’ attention, you've got maybe two seconds to keep it and communicate your message. Generally, when someone opens an email, the marketer has the viewer’s full and undivided attention without distracting banners, audio or competing messages. It is not surprising that email converts more prospects to sales at a lower cost.

Email marketing is all about the cumulative effect. This effect is even more successful when the email marketing is complemented by other forms of advertising. The results and success of any email-marketing program is dependent on the offer, the time of year, the competition, and many other factors.

My recommendation to you is to put email marketing into the mix for the next nine months or so and see how you do. Trying to measure how successful your email campaign was after sending out one or two emails isn’t the right approach. Results from your advertising efforts don’t always mean you will be flooded with telephone information calls and/or walk-ins. Results can be as important as branding your business on a weekly or monthly basis. You have to constantly and consistently put your name out there. That’s what email can do for your business.
Secondly, email is cost efficient. 

Finally, email marketing allows you to build a relationship with your prospects through repeated exposure. Focus on providing valuable information that builds your credibility as an expert in the fitness industry.

For more information on this subject, give us a call at 925-672-4800 and we will gladly do our best to answer your questions. You can also visit our website at for more information. 

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