Keeping sales SIMPLE!

By: Buddy Hull, Health and Fitness Executive

Selling services and products requires nothing more than having a conversation with a customer. If you can’t hold a conversation with a person then you are probably in the wrong industry in the first place. During the time you are talking you will find out whether or not you and that person are a good fit for one another. If you are, great! If you aren’t, it’s no big deal. There will be more customers, right? In case, you haven’t noticed the majority of the public loves to spend money!

In a selling situation you always get back what you put out. Meaning, however you are acting is how the prospect you are communicating with will respond. If you are acting a little nervous the prospect will sense/feel it and may not trust you. If you are acting pushy the prospect they will sense it and begin to push back. Just relax and talk to them like there family.

But here’s the key….. Your prospective buyer should be doing the vast majority of the talking. This experience is about them, and nothing about you. It’s natural for any person to want brag about the terrific services and products they provide and all the wonderful things they can do for that person. You must listen to what the person wants/needs are. After all it’s not your money! If you want to get a new customer you’d better listen for what it will take to get them to make that buying decision.

It really is incredible what happens when you listen to your prospects. They will tell you exactly what it is they want from you. By simply repeating back to them that you will provide them (assuming you can) with the exact results they are looking for, you’ll probably close the deal.

If you ramble on about all the things you do for you have done for recent buyers you may miss the one thing that this prospective buyer is looking for. You could list all sorts of benefits that you provide. But if they don’t hear the benefit they want then they probably aren’t going to buy your product. People buy for their own reasons, not yours. Asking questions and listening to prospects allows you to find that reason.

Promoting benefits and features makes for good marketing, but not for good selling. And for those of you who don’t know, marketing brings prospective clients to you. Selling turns those prospects into paying clients. There’s an huge difference between the two.

Remember, there is no pressure when making a sale. Simply have a conversation with your customer. Ask lots of questions to find out what they want. Assure them that you can provide them with the product they are looking for and more than likely you’ll have more money in your pocket by the time you are done talking!

Marketing: 2 Tips to Better Email Marketing

BY:Rachel Zobonick

Despite the fact that social media gets a ton of attention nowadays, email marketing is still a successful medium that deserves your time and attention. With this in mind, here are a couple of tips that will allow you to build a bigger list and create email campaigns that stand out to members and prospects — resulting in greater email ROI.

Tip 1: Use a Multi-tiered Email Acquisition Approach

Acquiring a prospect’s email is the first step to building a positive relationship with a customer. And there are multiple ways in which you can make acquiring emails easier.

Pop-Up Subscription Windows

Have a pop-up window on your gym website asking people to “subscribe” to your e-newsletter. If you’re using this approach, be sure to describe the benefit to the customer in the pop-up window. For example, will they receive a weekly blog from your club nutritionist with diet tips? Make them feel like they’ll be an “insider” by having access to your emails.

With this approach, just make sure the pop-up window is easy to get out of if a person doesn’t want to subscribe, or they’ll easily get annoyed.

Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads can be a great tool for acquiring emails. Just drive prospects to your email sign-up form through the ad. However, with this approach it’s important to ensure ROI, which is easy to track through Facebook Ads. If a campaign isn’t working, try targeting different age groups or those with different interests to see if you get better results.

Tip 2: Have Great Content

Once you have a prospect’s email — they should immediately see the benefit. Consider sending them a complimentary visit to your gym or even just a blog filled with training tips from your personal training director, so that they know right away you won’t be just blasting them with promotions.

Doing email marketing successfully comes down to strong content. Think about how many junk emails you get personally. The emails you open are the ones that are intriguing and relevant to you.

Therefore, as you put together an email for your target customer, put yourself in their shoes. What would catch their eye? Put time, effort and strategy into your email marketing campaigns — don’t just send an email to send an email.

Strong content:

  • Helps you acquire new emails
  • Helps you retain the emails you have (less opt-outs)
  • Helps grow and build your brand

These are just a couple tips to boost your email marketing ROI, because again, even though social media is a really great marketing tool, email still is as well. Don’t miss out on its effectiveness by putting all your marketing eggs in the social media basket.

Marketing: How Social Media Will Change in 2017


shutterstock_548902078-620x400According to Statista, “In 2018 it is estimated that there will be around 2.67 billion social media users around the globe, up from 1.91 billion in 2014.”

Social media is no longer something you should consider for your business. It is an essential — something that you should be doing not tomorrow, but today, to market your gym.

With that being said, social media is constantly evolving. There are new features, new platforms and new trends every year.

Keeping this in mind, here are the top social media trends projected to change/influence platforms in 2017. Keep them on your radar and in your marketing arsenal.

  1. Live video. In April 2016, Facebook released Facebook Live for the public, giving everyone the ability to share their real-life moments with just the click of the button. Since, the tool has become a resource for brands big and small, and will likely continue to be a top resource well into 2017, if not beyond.
  2. Virtual reality. In 2016 virtual reality began to hit its stride — in fact, Facebook even invested in the technology with the acquisition of Oculus in 2014. Right now it’s unsure how the technology will impact social media specifically, but be sure to keep it on your radar as this year progresses.
  3. New platforms/features. As always, social media is constantly evolving. Keep in-tune with key changes to algorithms, trends and even new platforms. Early-adopters get the benefit of having less competition when a platform first launches, so keep your eye out for platforms on the rise in the social world.

What is Generational Marketing?

All in all, Generational Marketing is understood as being a method of maximizing engagement and sales through Customer Relations Management (CRM), product development, and focused communications. This is achieved by modeling each Generational Marketing method under an archetypal ideology. This is figured by looking at demographic information according to age group. There is plenty of this information available online, but there are numerous ways to compile even more information and specific data. Generational and Multi-Generational Marketing are basically the same, in that any business is more likely to find increased success when marketing across generations, hence, MultiGenerational Marketing (Williams, et al. 2010).

Click here to download our e-book on Generational Marketing or go to and learn about our powerful CRM/Lead Generation platform.

A quick guide to starting your gym’s holiday marketing calendar

The season is almost upon us; Kids going back to school, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and before you know it NY2017!  With all of these and many more holidays coming up, now is the perfect time to set up a marketing calendar so that you can harness the excitement to either attract new/former members or get current members to try out/buy ancillary services.  Hopefully a couple of these examples will fuel your inner marketeer, so that you get ahead of your competition

  • Look at your enterprise and then start filtering down to create funnels to target your biggest opportunities.
    • Leads that have not been in the gym yet
      • EMAIL: “[gym name] would like to invite you to try us out with a friend for FREE till Labor Day!”  Then inside your message have a link for online enrollment for a 1 time offer
    • Members that have not had a complementary personal training session
      •  SMS: ” Hey [member name]! [gym name] would like to give you an early holiday gift.  click here to claim it
        • Have the hyper link take the member to a few different offers that they can bring in such as; personal training session, passes for friends to join them for a personal training session
    • Members that have bought personal training
      • Email: Offer a “scary special” (clearly a Halloween theme), that discounts purchasing a larger package of personal training, but within a small window.  Have hyper links for the members to quickly get in touch with the appropriate person.

If you need help filtering your audiences, building quality campaigns or improving your sales processes using a digital asset, then click here to learn how LeadDolphin is currently helping hundreds of health clubs achieve their revenue goals.

How Much Data is TOO Much Data?

In this digital world, access to information is not a problem. The problem is accessing actionable information for your fitness center. Given the competitive landscape, only the right data can aid you to make informed and timely decisions. But how can you get this right data? This raises the question of “data overload, and how to avoid it.” Is there a limit to the amount of data that you need to derive the right data? Is there such a thing as “too much data”? If there is, how do you overcome it?

The trick is to get the right data. Once you have the data that is specifically targeted towards your clients, you can manage your customers, as well as your health club organization, in an efficient and hassle free manner.

“Too much data” is a myth. Let us debunk this myth once and for all. Here is a small guide that explains what you need to know about the right data.

Make the Data Actionable

What you need to do is to sift the relevant data and manipulate it in a form that urges people to take the action of becoming your customers. Collect the data that you have on your customers’ behavioral patterns, their credentials, their preferences, reviews and use them to create a strategy that works best for you.

Remember that only relevant data works for this. All other data that does not relate to your customers is irrelevant, and you certainly don’t need to waste your time on sifting through that data.

The process of making this data actionable takes place in two steps: housing the data and marketing the data.

Marketing the Data

Customer relationship Management (CRM) tools are great to automate the process of marketing.

Marketing is not an easy job, and marketing strategies differ from business to business, depending on the target market, the need of the customers, the policies of the company, and so on. Having tools at hand that automate many processes for you and help you figure out the best way to market your services is a great advantage, and apart from providing you with a greater efficiency of your marketing programs, it also saves your time and money.

Use a Single Platform for Housing Data and Marketing

If you use a different platform for housing the data and another for marketing it, you will have a lot of trouble and the efficiency of your process will go down. This is because transferring this bulk of sensitive and crucial data from one platform to another in a continuous cycle is bound to have problems. On the other hand, if you use a single platform for both the housing and marketing of the data, you will have a higher efficiency and will be able to create a marketing campaign that works best for you.

If you need to know more about how to get the most revenue for your fitness center, contact Lead Dolphin today!

5 Yelp Tips Most Fitness Studio Owners Don’t Know

Yelp can be a hot button for many fitness business owners and managers. Everything from responding to bad reviews, to flagging reviews for removal, to the pesky Yelp algorithm that keeps some reviews hidden – Yelp can be a source of stress for small and medium size gyms and studios, but it doesn’t have to be! Below we cover 5 Yelp tips that will eliminate some of the mystery and make your life easier in the process.

#1 – Asking for Reviews Is Okay

While Yelp discourages business owners from soliciting reviews, it is not against the terms and conditions to ask for reviews. Keep in mind Yelp strictly prohibits soliciting reviews in exchange for compensation of any kind (including free passes, swag, or discounts on memberships). This means you cannot incentivize customers for positive reviews OR incentivize customers to remove negative reviews. Here are some ways to encourage Yelp reviews:

  • Setup an email to go out to new customers after their first week asking for feedback. People are the most excited the first week of starting a new exercise program and are more likely to tell everyone, on every medium.
  • Place a Yelp badge on your website.
  • Add a link to your Yelp business page in your email signature and/or your automated email setup in your info@ account.
  • Share reviews on Facebook and Twitter.

#2 – The Yelp Review Filter Simplified

Have you ever gone to your gym’s Yelp page and scrolled all the way to the bottom “not recommended” section?

Yelp review filter screen shot

This Yelp Review Filter can be the most frustrating part of Yelp. Of all the reviews that come into Yelp, you lose 1/3 or more to the filter. We’ve started working with gyms that had 75% of their reviews in the “not recommended” section. This can obviously be a good and bad thing. Negative, angry rants with 1-star can be hidden, but so can glowing 5-star reviews. This “not recommended” section is continually changing, so if there is a great 5-star review in there, it may eventually show in the recommended reviews section.

According to Yelp, “Every Yelp review is automatically evaluated by Yelp’s recommendation software based on quality, reliability, and user activity on Yelp.” What does this mean for your gym or studio? If you all of a sudden ask all your members to review your business, Yelp will see this as possible spam. If you get an influx of reviews by new Yelp profiles that are incomplete or haven’t reviewed other businesses, these reviews my get filtered out. Check out Yelp’s explanation of their filter video for more details. Of course occasionally legitimate reviews are hidden often, which leads to our next tip…

#3 – How to Flag Reviews, Ask for Re-Reviews, and Get Reviews Un-Filtered

There are a few different approaches for taking control (as much as you can) of your Yelp reputation. The most straight forward way is by engaging customers who write great reviews to let them know their review is hidden. Don’t make a big ordeal out of it, just let them know that because they aren’t very active on Yelp, their great review is hidden. In addition to this, you and your staff can friend them on Yelp, mark their review useful or cool – this adds legitimacy.

Another approach is to flag for a number of reasons including: untrue statements, membership or billing issues, or violates Yelp’s Content Guidelines. If you find that your flagged review will not be removed (you will receive an email with the status update) you do have the option to escalate your claim to be re-reviewed. Of course, the success rate here is much lower and you’ll need a very compelling argument to get Yelp to overturn their original decision.

flag yelp review example

#4 – Do Not Ignore Negative Reviews

As much as you may feel the urge to ignore negative comments, or even get upset by them – don’t! Be quick when responding to negative reviews – within 2-4 days, be respectful and diplomatic in your responses. This will diffuse the situation, show your great customer services skills, put prospects reading negative reviews at ease, and can possibly persuade the reviewer to change their review later.

Negative Yelp Review Example

#5 – Your Yelp Rating Is More Important Than Advertising with Yelp

Sales Reps at Yelp can be quite aggressive, but is their sales pitch really worth exploring? Based on fitness studios and gyms we’ve worked with, we can tell you that your overall rating is much more important than advertising when it comes to ROI.

Advertising on Yelp will get you to the top of the list in your geographic area, but it won’t help if you have a low overall rating. If you are planning to go ahead with Yelp advertising – try out the Yelp Check-In Offers. It’ll be much easier to identify ROI using this form of Yelp advertising.

Bottom Line

Start with the above Yelp tips and see how it helps your business grow. If you haven’t done so already – claim your Yelp business page, upload some pictures, begin asking customers to give you feedback, and be responsive to any negative complaints. Don’t forget to make sure you are recording referral sources, so you know how many new customers are coming in because of Yelp reviews.


Need help managing your online reputation? SWETI Services is a fitness marketing agency that provides a full suite of marketing services designed to help fitness businesses stand out, grow, and get more customers in the door! Want more tips to improve your marketing? Join our free weekly fitness marketing eTips.

 Tia Stone, Director of Marketing

Marketing to Millennials

By Russ Gannon VP LeadDolphin

Millennials Generation Y, otherwise known as Millennials, were born between 1980 and 1994. This generation is known for their multicultural diversity, and environmentally conscientious attributes. Along with numerous generation-specific qualities and influencers, Millennials statistically become wealthier at a younger age than their generational counterparts. Today, there are approximately 80 million Millennials who are quite possibly entering the stage of their lives where their spending habits are at their highest. This is because those born in 1980 are now in their mid-30s. They may be settling down with their families, or expanding their families. At this point, leading age Millennials have found the majority of their success in regards to financial stability and employment. It is because of this, that their growing demand of consumption has statistically come into its own. Similarities and Differences Between Millennials and Boomers Believe it or not, there are many similarities between Baby Boomers and Millennials. Each have a love for bargain shopping, leaving comments and engaging in promotions, and both have no issues with making online purchases. However, it is not the method of the purchase, but how they became interested or knowledgeable of the product, that boasts the major differences between the two. For example, Millennials are far more likely to make a purchase based on an offer sent to their email. They are also more likely to use digital coupons, whereas Boomers prefer print. This comparison between Millennials and Boomers is important to note, due to their importance to sales and engagement. Understanding the key similarities and differences is where the most success is found when it comes to marketing strategies. Generational Influencers and Popular Attributes Millennials have been influenced by specific cultural awakenings, societal downturns, and economic ups and downs. They are heavily influenced by 9/11, the rise of social media, and the resurgence of pop culture. They were witness to the dawn of the World Wide Web, and saw the rise and fall of the dot com flood. These are influencers that impacted this generation, and taught them about the fragility of our society, and in all honesty, taught them how to buy in bulk, how to buy cheap, and how to let others know whether or not they have found a good deal. Millennials are all for their community, and are the most proactive generation for human rights and equality, including LGBT rights, women’s rights, minority rights, and so on. They are technically literate, and are at the forefront of social media communications. Understanding the behavioral patterns common among this generation will undoubtedly lead to a major uptick in engagement and sales among Millennials.

To learn more about generational marketing download LeadDolphin’s e-book on Generational Marketing here

How Facebook Can Improve Your Gym’s Marketing Strategy


Social media is now the homepage of the internet. Whether to read the latest news or check-in with friends, people are spending more people on social media than ever before. With 2 billion users and nearly 5 billion posts every single day, Facebook is by far the most popular social media platform out there, making it potentially the most powerful marketing tool for your health club.

Not sure how to go about it? Here’s 3 ways Facebook can help your gym’s marketing strategy.

1. Boosted Posts

On Facebook, content is king. Unfortunately, with 2 billion users, it’s a little difficult to make sure that your content is getting in front of the right eyes at the right time. However with boosted posts, which are basically Facebook ads, you can maximize the potential of everything your club posts online. Using Facebook ads, your club can target certain users by age, gender, location and interests and set an approximate number of people that you’d like the post to reach.

Being able to target your posts to those who you know are going to be interested in them can help do wonders for your gym’s marketing strategy. You’ll be able to get more engagement on your social media channels, drive more users to your website and open your club up to tons of potential new revenue.

2. Photos

Photos are some of the most popular kinds of posts on Facebook with almost 500,000 being uploaded every minute. Photos are also among some of the most engaging posts on Facebook, as they generate 53% more likes than all other types of content like status updates, links or videos. You can use photos to give your Facebook followers a unique glimpse of your club, while also using them to drive your social media fanbase. Photos can be used to show off your group class sessions, the cleanliness of your locker room or even your friendly front desk staff. Using photos creatively will help your club stand out from your competitors!

3. Build a Community

Since Facebook is so widely used, it can be fairly easy for your club to build an engaged community on its Facebook page. Your club can post polls to its fans to see what kinds of group classes they’d like to see added or the new types of equipment they’d like to see your club order. By encouraging a responsive dialogue, your club can ensure that your members always feel represented when it comes to decisions that will affect them. This will help them remain engaged with your brand for longer and be more likely to recommend their friends and family.