Now that we have determined that giving a full tour (To Tour or Not To Tour) is very important to the successful conversion of a guest, let’s discuss how to properly set up a tour.
Why do people decide not to join the Y?
- They’re not sure they have the time to dedicate to a fitness program
- They want to think about it
- They want to talk with their spouse first
- They’re not sure they are going to stick to it and don’t want to waste money
- They want to try it first
- They want to check out other facilities and price shop
- They’re concerned about affordability
- They’re not sure they want to do it yet
- They view the Y just like any other fitness center
These objections are like bullets in a gun. We need to take the bullets out of the gun and subtly overcome the objections during the tour. If you do this correctly, you can educate and guide people into making a good buying decision when they come in to “check out the Y.” This will drastically improve your conversion ratios for walk-in traffic and guest inquires.
Here’s how my team sets up a tour: We map out the Y with the following 17-point note system to remind us to cover key information and subtly overcome potential objections we may hear. We place the following notations on sticky notes throughout the Y.
E - Explain. Give an overview of the tour and how long it will take.
H - Hobbies. This is important to ask because people want to talk about themselves, not you. If you can get people to open up and tell you what they like, you can get them to talk about their fitness goals.
T - Time. Everyone is busy and doesn’t have enough time. This is your opportunity to explain that it really doesn’t take that much time to reach fitness goals if you are efficient.
TH - Thinking about it. How long had they been thinking about coming in before today? This is an important question because it’s a very common objection you will hear.
S/F - Spouse and Family. Talk to the guest about their spouse or partner, and find out if they are supportive of them reaching their fitness goals. I also like to ask about kids and what programs may fit their needs.
ST - Stick to it. People deep down are thinking, “Will I really stick to this or will it be like last time when I joined a gym and only went a few months?” Remind them that they can.
FF 1-3 - Fun Facts. The Y has so many cool fun facts. In 70+ secret shopping missions, no one ever told me one fact about the Y. The facts I like to cover are that basketball and Father’s Day (everyone is surprised by this one) were invented at the Y, and that the Y had one of the first indoor pools.
N/C/S/C - Nutrition, Cardio, Strength, Consistency. This simple formula is all it takes to see results. This is where we discuss how non-complex a healthy lifestyle can be.
PI - Personal Instruction. I explain exactly how an instructor will help them set up a workout card and make sure they are confident and comfortable when they first start.
Y- YMCA History. I like to touch on the Y history, non-profit status, the difference between a Y and for-profit gym, kids campaigns, after school programs, how much the Y donates to the community, events hosted at the Y, and much more.
BC - Benefits of Cardio. This is where we talk about the benefits and advantages of our cardiovascular equipment and what it can do for them.
BST - Benefits of Strength Training. I discuss all the common misconceptions of strength training and talk about how important it is to do resistance training.
C - Convenience. I determine if the Y is conveniently located near their work or home.
L- Like. I ask them how they like the Y, if there is anything else they would like to see, and if they have any additional questions.
I came up with this process after training hundreds of different people over the years and experimenting with various types of indicator methods. It will give you a standardized tour that everyone can easily follow. The mapping system is simple and it works!
If you do not follow a reminder note system, then your tour people are free to say whatever they want or feel like saying. You can do regular tour training but until you have a tour system in place you will not reach your maximum potential in conversion ratios.
In part 2 of this blog post, we'll look at where to place your indicator notes, and some examples of what to say when you see them.