Online Joining – a New Era of Membership Sales

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Sales methods are changing and we need to respond in order to thrive within this competitive online sales environment. We live in the era of “now”. Decisions are made instantly and prospects are driven to “buy now” after seeing something that has inspired them to take action.
The typical membership sales process goes out the window when we apply it to joining online. How can we meet and greet prospects, complete a customer needs analysis and offer a tour of the facility when the prospect is an online faceless purchaser?
Here are some top tips to provide the best sales experience possible online
  1. Sales funnel – inspire them to take action!
    If you have chosen to offer a join online option then the chances are you have digital strategy in place. As part of your digital strategy it’s essential you think about the pre-sales experience, AKA, lead generation.- How are prospects going to find you online?
    – How are you going to inspire prospects to ‘buy now’?
  2. Website & Landing Page – your sales tool
    So your prospect has found your landing page, awesome. Now you need to ensure the online joining experience does what it needs to; leads to a sale- What does your website look like?
    – Does it align with your brand?
    – Is it functional and responsive?
    – Are the ‘sign-up’ steps simple to follow?
    – Does the join online tab feature heavily on your landing page?
  3. Video – the virtual tour
    This is a no-brainer. The prospect wants to see the product. We’ve shifted from in person to online but that doesn’t mean we forget to show the prospect the facilities. Invest in a good quality virtual tour. Allow the prospect to take control of the tour with their cursor so they can view areas of interest to them. They may not want a full 2-minute video when they are keen to see the gym and changing facilities.- Is your video professional looking?
    – Is it responsive?
    – Does it show your facility at it’s best?
    – Is it engaging enough to entice the prospect to take action after viewing?
  4. Lead Page – Capturing your Leads
    Traditionally we would capture leads through the enquiry section of the sales process; however, the enquiry process online has been replaced by visiting your website. Therefore, you need to ensure a lead page is enabled to capture details of prospects who may need a little more time to think about joining.- Ensure your lead page pops-up within a reasonable time frame, say 30 seconds
    – Entice the prospect to leave their details by offering a freebie in exchange for their details
    – Ensure you have an automated flow set up for your database of leads
  5. Automation – you need to be seen to be available 24/7
    So your prospect has watched a video on Facebook, followed the link to your landing page, watched your virtual tour, followed the join online prompts and has purchased a membership…at 2am! Unless you are a robot there is simply no way you can manually keep up with this type of buyer behaviour. So let the robots do their thing!- Set up an automation process to follow immediately after the sale has completed
    – Ensure you have set up abandoned cart in case the buyer didn’t finish their purchase
    – Design your emails to look professional, simple text simply won’t cut it, remember, this is their first impression of you as a NEW MEMBER.
  6. After Sales Care  – Take care of your new member
    This step is so often by-passed regardless of whether the member has joined online or in person. The first 6 months of membership are crucial to the retention of your new member. So ensure you have an intensive follow-up program in place for the first 6 months.
  7. Referrals and Welcome Pack – Your new member is a VIP
    Once you have the member set up within the centre remember to follow your referral and welcoming process just as you would with in person sales. Systems & processes should be in place to ensure these important bonuses aren’t forgotten because the sale was made online.
  8. Retention – ensure they become raving fans of your business
    Even more essential than the buying experience is the customer experience, AKA, retention. The first 6 months should be structured with an intense follow-up process but don’t forget about the ongoing experience. By 6 months you should be aiming for the member to be independent and confident in your facility, but that doesn’t mean forgotten. Ensure you have a robust retention strategy, not just process, in place to continuously improve your member retention.

Check out Otium Planning Group (Sport & Leisure) as an example of a really great landing page; you get the feel for the quality of their service without even needing to move the cursor.

Check out Lifestyle Fitness joining process to see a simple sign-up flow.

If you are thinking about adding ‘join online’ to your sales process please drop me a line as I’d love to support you through that process.

Until next time….


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