As the owner of your fitness club(s), you’ve no doubt been hearing and reading a lot about inbound marketing. Although you may not claim to be a marketing expert, as an owner and successful business person you do know a thing or two about what it takes to market your club so that you are getting a healthy flow of leads coming in every month. However, you realize it’s time to make some changes to your marketing strategy. You’ve done your homework, you’ve come to understand the overall methodology of inbound marketing, and it makes perfect sense to you.
Also, you’re always looking for the latest and greatest marketing techniques because you understand that your club depends on having a system in place that works! You owe it to your club, to your management team, and to yourself to make sure you’re up to speed on the different marketing strategies available. You stay informed when it comes to which tactics work well and which ones are a total waste of time and money.
So, now that you’ve decided to start the most amazing marketing plan on the planet for your club, what are some things you should consider doing to get ready for inbound marketing?
You should start by having some heart-to-heart conversations with your management team to discuss their thoughts and feelings as you embark on this brave new marketing frontier. After all, the success of inbound marketing largely depends on whether or not they embrace it or resist it.
Fear of Change
Generally speaking, people do not like change. Many people cringe at the thought of change and what it might me for them. The reason is that change forces people out of their comfort zone and into the unknown. How will their job be affected by this change? Will this change be helpful or will it just create more work for them? Is this change even necessary? Because of the uncertainty of what change can bring, it is often met with significant resistance from the people who will be affected by it the most.
To give yourself the best chance of making inbound marketing work for your club, spend some time reassuring your management team that, while there will be a learning curve, the result will be better lead generation, more sales qualified leads (SQLs), more deals closed, and higher revenue goals successfully being met.
Here are a few ways your General Manager and your Sales Managers can help as you implement inbound marketing:
The General Manager
There is arguably no one more influential to your entire staff than your General Manager. How your GM responds to inbound marketing can have a profound effect on others. Therefore, your GM needs to be fully committed to inbound marketing. What are some things your GM can do to help provide as smooth a transition as possible to inbound marketing? He or she will need to become a couple of things:
An Advocator — The GM needs to show they fully support the transition to inbound marketing. Their support needs to be clear and obvious to all of your staff. Your GM should clearly show they are excited about the opportunities inbound marketing presents both to the club and other staff members, especially the sales team.
A Resistance Manager — Your GM needs to be the first line of defense regarding any staff members who resist changing over to the inbound marketing system. It is extremely important to give your GM the training necessary to help them successfully manage any resistance they may encounter.
Your Sales Manager
Your Sales Manager will be using the inbound marketing program on a daily basis. He or she needs to become very familiar with how the system works as they will be the person primarily responsible for handing out leads to the sales team. Your sales manager should be:
A Coach — Once inbound marketing has been implemented, your sales manager needs to coach the sales team and provide them with the knowledge and training they’ll need to use the inbound system.
A Communicator — Salespeople may have lots of questions about how well the inbound system will work, especially since their commissions are at stake. What kind of leads can they expect from the system? How often can they expect to get leads? How qualified will the leads be? Addressing their concerns and answering their questions will help relieve their stress and uncertainty.
A Liaison — Your sales manager should bridge the gap between your sales staff and your inbound marketing agency. Your sales manager must be able to communicate clearly any issues and concerns your sales staff is experiencing to the agency. They must also be able to provide training and other valuable pieces of information as it comes from the agency to your sales team.
Getting complete and total “buy-in” starting with your managers all the way down to the newest member of your sales staff is what will make all the difference when it comes to how well inbound marketing will work for your club. Maintaining open lines of communication with your managers, your sales team, and your inbound marketing agency gives you the opportunity to experience tremendous revenue growth for years to come!