Getting your sports facility noticed can be difficult, especially if you’re just getting started. Many prospective clients will only respond to your marketing if they know they’ll get a great bargain. The possibility of gaining long-term customers is usually worth the cost of giving away some free services initially, but only if you take the following steps to increase the chances that free trial lessons will yield mutually beneficial relationships.
Steps for Mutually Beneficial Relationships
- Assess carefully. In your initial conversation with the prospective client, note his or her specific goals. Don’t accept vague answers, such as “get stronger.” Quantifiable goals such as “decrease personal sprint record by 5 seconds” are much more helpful and show that the client is serious about a long-term investment. (If the client doesn’t seem serious, or you have reason to doubt that they will ever pay you, you should not feel obligated to give them a lesson for free.)
- Choose an instructor. In that same conversation, carefully evaluate the client’s needs and their character, and take notes for their file. (eSoft Planner makes it easy to track these types of interactions.) When you schedule the lesson, choose an instructor who is experienced with the client’s age, skill level and, most of all, a match with the client’s personality.
- Give a written report. During the lesson, give the prospective client a written skills assessment that includes measurements of strengths, weaknesses and goals, as well as an action plan to address them. Then, this gives clients a concrete reason (and a physical reminder) to come back.
- Close the sale. Try to schedule the follow-up lesson before the client leaves the facility. If that’s not possible, make sure that the instructor calls the next week to follow up, give the client additional feedback on the lesson, and offer a custom package with built-in discounts (see below).
- Try again. A custom package for the client should be tailored to their unique needs. It can include lessons in addition to any special clinics, equipment or rentals that your client might like. Be creative! eSoft Planner allows you to create these packages easily. If you want to see how eSoft Planner works, call us at (513) 791-4940 or submit a demo request.
To schedule a consultation with Mike Meszaros on sports facility management, call (513) 791-4940.