Making Your Facility Intimidation-Free

Making Your Facility Intimidation-Free

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Have you ever felt close to convincing an on-the-fence prospective member to join your facility, only to have them back away in the end because they’re afraid of being intimidated? In surveys, intimidation is one of the most common reasons people give for avoiding sports and fitness facilities—and we’ve all seen the Planet Fitness “No Gymtimidation” commercials. Of course, the people perceived as intimidating in your facility might have no intention of scaring others away—in fact, they’re probably among your best customers, and you don’t want to do anything to alienate them. But there might be one or two super-serious exercisers who get a kick out of flexing their muscle, literally and figuratively, and scaring others off what they think of as their turf. What can you do to help limit intimidation in your facility?
To begin with, foster a sense of community. If your place feels like a cooperative, supportive, noncompetitive, accepting one, you’re less likely to find yourself trying to manage bullies, or even just dealing with members who perceive others as intimidating. This, in fact, is what the Planet Fitness ads are all about: They’re a way of saying, “Everyone here is in this together; everyone is welcome.” To create an environment with a similar message, try posting signs that convey your facility’s inclusiveness. Come up with your own “No Gymtimidation” slogan and plaster it around. Make sure your staff, including front desk folks, sales people, trainers, and locker room attendants, infuse the place with friendliness and respect. Tolerate expressions of judgment from no one.
Also, if you’ve got a core group of intimidators (intentional or not), try to harness their excellence for the benefit of your facility. Maybe organize a “Masters Circle,” or something similar. Personally ask your most intense, serious, and possibly bullying members to join. Give the group workouts appropriate to their level—and give them a talk, asking them to be aware of members whose skill might not match theirs. Explain how new members, whether novices or experts, are crucial to the long-term health of your facility, and ask them to be a force for good within the facility, maybe offering to help less experienced members or generally just to project friendliness. In effect, you want them to be ambassadors to your sports or fitness center.
Another approach: Rely on your trainers and instructors to keep things fair. When a class is packed and there’s an aggressive push to get to the front row, a mindful instructor can choose to spend at least part of the class at the back of the room, turning the back row into the front. That way, everyone feels like they get fair exposure to the lessons being taught. Trainers can keep a watchful eye on exercise equipment and cardio room usage, making sure no one’s hogging a particular machine or staking out personal territory. Instructors and trainers often have direct access to clients and members in a way that other staff members do not — they see them regularly and often build up a rapport with them. They can use their familiarity and rapport to make sure everyone gets a fair shot, and intimidation is not a factor.
The bottom line is that your facility should feel like a fun, relaxing place for each person who uses it. If that’s the case, then everyone wins (including you). It’s worth spending time thinking about how to create the kind of environment that welcomes everyone, and how to make it clear to prospective members that “everyone” includes them.

The Benefit Is Clear

The Benefit Is Clear

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With one of the fitness industry’s central players — IHRSA — priming for its annual convention and trade show in a couple weeks, it’s worth taking a moment to consider the general benefits of attending such events. For companies selling machinery, equipment, gear, software, and other products, the benefit is clear: Easy access to many potential customers at one time.

What about for health club or sports facility owners and managers? What’s in it for you? Is it worth the investment of time and participation fees?

In a word, yes. Attending a convention and/or trade show is beneficial to facility owners first and foremost because of the opportunity to connect with others in the industry. Sure, they may be competitors, but the old saying holds true: Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Your competitors, other clubs in your industry, are the ones from whom you have something to learn. Happily, participants who choose to attend events like conventions generally do so with an open attitude: They’re there to share. Through casual conversation, over meals and beverages, by chance meetings and introductions, ideas are transferred and transformed. Want to know how the gym down the street handles retention issues? Want to understand why that other baseball center is so successful at attracting new customers? Here’s your chance to find out.

Also, those guys out on the floor trying to sell you stuff? They’re not just looking to fill their pockets. Most of them attend with ideals of relationship-building in mind. They really want the opportunity to meet you, get to know you, understand your needs and desires as a customer. From their point of view, the better they know you the better they can serve you — and the better they can serve you, the better off you are. And it’s a lot easier for a salesperson to cut a deal for someone with whom he or she has a personal connection than for a stranger.

Finally, there’s the whole pay-it-forward idea. As a business owner or manager, and specifically as the business owner or manager of a fitness or sports facility, you’re part of a community. Even if it’s easy to forget for most of the year, conventions and trade shows can serve to remind you that the difficult work you do is the same as the difficult work others do. And just as you can gain ideas and tips from other facility folk you meet at such events, other facility folk can gain ideas and tips from you. You might even seek to take part in a panel or give a talk — because business, as you no doubt know, is as much about giving as it is about receiving. There is no better opportunity for giving than to share what you know, what your best practices are, and how you meet day-to-day demands than at a large gathering where so many industry-mates are all at once. You might not see immediate returns, but eventually your paying it forward will pay off. In tangible and intangible ways, you’ll feel the benefits of having been part of it all.

Studies show Viral Referral Systems are the most effective tool for marketing

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We’d like to introduce guest blogger, Aaron Grove, from Share your fit. He reveals one of the most effective marketing tools and how you…our clients…can take advantage of it. Share your fit is a new referral system for fitness and health clubs and is an innovative way of spreading the word on your business. EZFacility has partnered with Share your fit to provide customers with another means of growing and improving their business.

By Aaron Grove
A recent poll of businesses showed that half of all health clubs count on referrals for 75% of their business. After all, referrals are the most effective and affordable way of increasing your sales and growing your bottom line. We all know referrals are integral in growing your customer base, but they take work.  Most gyms do not have a formal process or system in place for referral generation. In fact, most do not even ask for referrals or they ask incorrectly.  When you factor in your current customers and new members into a structured referral system that allows for exponential growth of memberships, it makes for an efficient, effective, and non-invasive way to generate referrals.
Did you know…

  • Referral-generated customers are the least expensive, most profitable, AND most loyal source of new business?
  • Referral-generated customers also tend to buy quicker, negotiate less, buy larger quantities, and refer more business to you?

Now, most members do not want to “sell out” friends to an invasive sales process, but are willing to send a personalized email with their name attached to a free pass.

Share your fit is a non-invasive landing page branded specifically for your club.  This page can be the homepage for your sales desks, the front desk, and even at a kiosk set up in the middle of your gym. As new and current members attend your gym, you offer a small incentive (maybe a week of free personal training) in exchange for them sharing a pass to your gym with family and friends.  Members can attach a personalized message as they share what they like about your club, when they workout, or the success they have had with their workout routine/trainer.  Everyone who views or receives a pass has the potential to multiply into additional referrals through Share your fit, even if they never make it to your club (in the fitness industry, only 30% of set sales appointments actually show up).  Share your fit decreases attrition rates, by helping build a “family atmosphere” in your gym.  Members are always more loyal and motivated when they work out among friends.

Share your fit is powered by, an online directory of fitness centers.  If a consumer receives a free pass to a gym that they have never heard of, they are able to learn about the gym by viewing video tours, testimonials, and a virtual gallery.

Gyms implementing the Share your fit referral system see an average increase in sales between 10% and 30%. The more it’s used, the more effective it becomes. All leads can be tracked and managed, so that no potential business slips through the cracks. Share your fit features a risk free 60 day money back guarantee. Contact us now to see how our state of the art referral system will be the most efficient and effective generator of new business your gym has ever experienced.

Gym Barbell Blog

Piecing Together the Ideal Marketing Plan

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We’d like to give some helpful tips in rounding out your marketing plan for 2019 and making all the components come together in a way that is beneficial to your business. It’s not one particular method or tactic that will make your marketing plan successful, but using every channel available to you. Below is a list of marketing ideas that go above and beyond:

1. Business Appreciation

Work with other local businesses; you promote their businesses and they promote yours.

2. VIP Passes 

Create a no nonsense business card inviting people to a free trial class or week. Feel free to send staff out to nearby supermarkets and hand out the VIP passes to drive more traffic to your gym or facility.

3. Week Free Passes 

Hand out this pass to all new members to give to friends. This then leads us to a referral program…

4. Referral Program

Create a referral program where your current members get rewarded for referring others to your club or facility.

5. Two, Four, Six, Eight, and 10-week Calls 

Follow-up with people who have tried out your facility. A reminder of their time spent there will lead to a lot more conversion and give potential customers a sense that you already care about them.

6. Buddy Weeks 

Begin a “bring a buddy” program where your members are encouraged to bring a friend to try out your club or facility. This will also offer great support for your referral program.

7. Any Kind of Community Marketing 

Exhibit and attend local fairs, events, and tournaments. You’ll find a diverse market of people you can expose your business to while supporting other local businesses.

8. Anyone Who Asks You to Advertise or Donate 

If a local organization is doing a fundraiser, instead of taking an ad out in the local journal, give them passes to distribute at their event. Your cost will be minimal and the activity is guaranteed to get someone through the doors to experience your gym or facility.

9. Meet with Larger Businesses 

Offer to give businesses with many employees a free membership of your choice (whether it’s one month or three months). Let management know the value of the free memberships and let the owner sell it. The owner will be giving the memberships as a gift from him or herself. The owner benefits from the employees’ good will and you benefit from new leads.

10. Quality Control 

The goal must always be to create unbelievable motivation about your business. A happy client is someone who will continually stay with you, spend money, and be a raving fan. Given the opportunity, a happy client will talk about you continuously. That client will refer you every chance he or she gets. See “The Building Blocks of Customer Loyalty” post on how to keep your customers happy.

Seamlessly combining these elements into your marketing plan is the most important thing you can do in order to maximize marketing efforts. One of these components alone will not work without the others. It’s a good idea to spend some time thinking about how to use the marketing channels and resources you have at your disposal and how they will help grow your business.


Realizing Your Website’s Fullest Potential

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A website for your business isn’t just recommended, it’s essential! It’s also important to ensure that you maximize this resource that you’ve put so much time, money and effort into. Below are a few steps you can take toward setting up an opt-in form on your website in order to begin using your website to its fullest potential.

Keep up with people who have visited your website

There is a reason why they were on your site and following up can only lead to good things; half the battle is already won once you have their contact information! This is also a great opportunity to keep them updated on any new developments including class time changes, new offerings, and deals – all of which may have been factors they took into consideration before signing up.

Reward them for signing up 

Offer them an incentive for giving their contact information. Be sure that the offer is relevant to your industry, otherwise it may not make the connection you’re hoping for. Perhaps if they sign up, they get to try out a free class or get evaluated by a personal trainer. Creating the right offer will kill two birds with one stone; you’ll have their contact information and they’ll want to come in to your facility or gym to try out what you’re offering.

Draft follow-up emails 

Now that you have their information, what do you do with it? For starters, you may want to create a “welcome” email that you can send on the fly as soon as someone signs up. After that initial email, keep them posted by sending them your newsletter and informing them of any new offers to new members. Having some emails pre-drafted will be a huge time saver in the end and can all easily be done with your club/facility management software. Utilizing the email marketing function, you can create separate lists for non-members or people who have specifically requested information on your website. You’ll find that this is the easiest way to set up and keep track of emails.

We hope these suggestions have been useful when it comes to making the most of both your website and club/facility management software. Come back soon for more tips!

Making the Most of Referrals

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Take advantage of the good service you deliver to your customers and as a result, the referrals they can provide to you in return. If you have a solid product or service, then making the most out of it should be simple. Referrals are the most promising source for leads, especially coming from a satisfied existing member.

A few tips to making the “Buddy Referral” system work:

  • Create an enticing incentive for current members to bring friends into your facility
    • Giving a reward, such as one month free membership in return for getting a friend to sign up – is money wisely spent. This should be simple to do with your membership software, and the return on investment will be higher versus money spent somewhere else.
  • Ensure that the offer for the guest is special and worthwhile
    • Offering a complimentary week to experience your club or facility will allow guests to determine whether it’s a good fit for their lifestyle and needs. Sending emails utilizing your management software should make following-up with prospective members easy, and allow you to keep track of all guests / prospects coming through your doors.
  • Produce appropriate marketing materials to bring awareness of the promotion.
    • In addition to sending follow-up emails to prospective members, making sure that current members are aware of the offer is vital. To bring awareness, send emails to all current members (again, this should be simple to accomplish with your management software) letting them know of the offers or perks, and be sure to have plenty of signage throughout your gym with details.

Here at EZFacility we’re big fans of being efficient. One of the best ways to make the most of our efforts is to let our customers do some of the marketing for us – by referring EZFacility to other people in the industry. We know that the best way to accomplish this is to keep our level of customer satisfaction extremely high, and we encourage our customers to do the same. Don’t be afraid to let your club or facility speak for itself.

That’s all for now but check back soon for more ideas and news.

How to Turn Leads Into Customers

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One of the greatest qualities of successful business owners is knowing how to turn leads into customers. Characteristics like dedication, perseverance, and drive that apply to a star in sports can also be utilized for growing your business, and are necessary in order to build your customer base.

Part of what determines success, is having the right tools in order to reach the right people and market. It’s crucial to be persistent when following up with leads, as they have already expressed an interest in your company and therefore, half the battle has been won. A multi-functional software system is essential and makes delivering your message simpler; because it is nearly impossible to determine when your lead will be ready to become a part of your club or facility, it’s important to stay in front of them until the time is right for them. Keeping leads posted on club updates and promotions will be made effortless with software that has the ability to do perform this task. When thinking about growing your business, keep in mind not only the day-to-day functions, but also the bigger picture; have a long-term goal in mind.

Tips for converting leads into customers:

  • Send updates on your club or facility regularly to leads. Software that keeps a database of these leads makes things easier. Set up a schedule in order to be consistently in front of your leads.

  • Keep track of all communication as remaining organized is vital. Again, software that does this for you will ease the amount of time and work spent on lead follow up.

  • Log developments for all leads. Maintaining a structured system showing progress on each lead will make sure none are being neglected.

  • Be ready to provide additional information on your company should a lead become more interested. The ability to send off information quickly will elevate their perception of your company.

The key to being able to do all of this is having software that takes the brunt of the work off your shoulders. Time can instead be spent getting leads and fostering a good relationship with current customers.

Come back soon for more tips and ideas for growing your business.