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Sales: How to Follow Up with Leads


Years ago, when I was a membership salesperson for a 30,000-square-foot fitness center, I received a call from a prospect.

“Yeah, I want to join, but I’m wondering how much it costs.”

I turned this question into an appointment to tour.

He didn’t show.

I called him back. He answered, apologized and set a new appointment.

He didn’t show.

This went on for a long time. Sometimes he wouldn’t answer, I would leave a message, and he would call back days or even weeks later. One day, he showed up for his appointment and joined. I checked the date from his first call. It was one year and one week later. During that time, I must have called him 20 to 30 times. Sometimes weeks went by between calls, but I never gave up.

This past December a gym owner called me up to talk about my business coaching services. After our call, he wanted to see a proposal. I sent it to him the next day. From the day I emailed the proposal to the day he hired me (two weeks ago) I sent him several emails, left several voice mails, and even three or four video texts. (I highly recommend 20 second video texts if you have cell numbers).

Two weeks ago, I came as close as I ever have to saying something like, “Hey man, just get back to me and let me know where you are at with hiring me.” But instead, I turned my frustration around by thinking about what his mindset was possibly like. “Gosh, I really know I need a business coach, but when should I pull the trigger?”

So, I sent a text that read: “When can we talk? I want to hear what you’ve been up to.”

He responded, we spoke, and now I am headed to his gym.

Follow up, follow up, follow up. Okay, I’ve sold you on that. But the most important part of following up, for gym prospects, is the first 10 days. (Email me at jason@jasonlinse.com with “tour” in the subject line and I will get you a video that will help increase your closing percentage so you don’t have as many prospects to follow up with).

Five efforts at contact within 10 days. That may sound like a lot, but keep in mind if you get a yes or no, the effort ceases. But if you are getting voice mails, leave a voice mail, wait two or three days, and call again. After 10 days, call every 30 days. I see too many gyms give up too soon. I understand your frustration, as sometimes it seems your time is better spent on other prospects.

But take it from a guy who has been in hundreds of gyms. The follow uppers out there seem to always hit their sales goals.

Keep changing lives.

Jason Linse

Jason Linse is president and founder of The Business of Fitness, a consulting company. He also owns a personality assessment company called People Plus+ Fitness. Contact him at jason@jasonlinse.com or 612-310-1319 for resources on scheduling more tours and personality assessments, or visit www.jasonlinse.com.

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