This week I want to take a little bit of a different approach with a marketing issue. Instead of telling you about an issue then offering my two, or maybe 10, cents worth, I want it to take a bit of a group case study shape. Hopefully it is a post that all you “lurkers” who read the blog but don’t comment will feel you can contribute as well.
The other week I walked into my Fitness First gym (what? you couldn’t tell I work out?) and could see it coming a mile off. Fitness First’s sales approach is known around the place as being pretty strict and I have heard of sales staff not being allowed to go home until they had made their quota of sales bookings (I am not even sure this is true but that is what someone told me) as well as them making it as difficult as possible for people to cease being a member. For the record, I am very happy as a Fitness First member.
What confronted me as I made my way to the change room was 3 of the sales staff and a small display. You know the feeling you get when you are at the shops and that annoying credit card bloke tries to catch your eye? Same feeling here. I just prayed they wouldn’t say something to me. But resistance is futile … you know you can be 10 meters away and they will call out to you.
As I tried to get past they asked me if I had any friends who would be interested in joining the gym. I kind of feel sorry for the situation the company puts them in (with unimaginative ways of finding leads) and so I didn’t want to just say “No” and keep walking. So I offered something like “I don’t have any friends who would be interested thanks”. But that didn’t appease them.
“What about work colleagues?” they pressed. “Just give us their names and numbers and we will get in touch with them and if they join you will get $5 a month of you membership”. I mumbled something dismissive and kept walking.
Ok, so now comes the hard bit. I really want to tell you exactly what I think of this approach, its chances of success and what I would do if I was in their situation and was looking to generate new leads. But instead I want all you smart readers to tell me what you think and contribute to a group case study.
Do you think Fitness First’s approach to generating word-of-mouth is a good one?
Would you offer up the names and numbers of your friends and work colleagues for a cheaper gym membership (or discount of any product for that matter)?
How would you change or improve this approach?
I will follow your comments and contribute my thinking as well. Who knows, we may come up with a win-win where Fitness First get some new ideas for generating leads, or harnessing word-of-mouth, and gym members won’t feel uncomfortable when all they want to do is get in, get change and get started on their workout.
Over to you … I am looking forward to hearing what you think.