Top Tactics for Optimizing Your Studio Sales Funnel to Increase Conversions

How can you increase the odds of keeping your leads long-term? As we enter the warmer months, it’s usually the perfect time in the boutique fitness industry to analyze your studio sales process and the opportunity to optimize different touchpoints that influence your conversion metrics. 

“It’s about finding an organic sales process that works for your brand,” says Hensley Ellefritz, founder of REBOOT Fitness Consulting

But in a crowded space where a consumer's attention span is an average of 8 seconds, what can you do to differentiate your brand from the competition—and increase the likelihood of gaining new members? In a recent webinar that dives into the top ways to beat industry conversion benchmarks, Hensley shares with Walla co-founder Laura Munkholm her top tactics to eliminate the constant feeling of being at a disadvantage and making a measurable impact as your studio stands out against the big brands. 

“It’s a peek behind the curtain of what makes these big brands successful at driving people through their door and converting them into members,” says Laura. “And it’s really timely for what we are doing in the industry now with the droves of people coming into the fitness and wellness studios post-Covid for the first time.”

Here are Hensley’s go-to sales strategies to engage and nurture leads that come through your studio door by widening your sales funnel and doubling your ROI without blowing your budget:

Sales Funnel: Converting as efficiently as you can 

There’s a strong relationship between high conversion rates and high retention rates. So when you are looking at the holes in your sales funnel, remember LASER. The breakdown concerning sales is as follows:

  • L - Leads—monthly; consider the cost per lead and conversion
  • A - appointment—or in this care trial/intro offer at your studio 
  • S - show—emotional stickiness; showing and adding value
  • E - enroll—conversion to member; loyal membership base
  • R - retention + referral—based on cultivating relationships; ideally 93% members staying with you MoM
Enrollment [trial > membership]

At your studio, 50-60% is considered healthy regarding conversions. So how can you increase and sustain those metrics?

  • Build rapport: Selling starts the second a lead inquires, so it’s the perfect opportunity to create a meaningful relationship. 
  • Identify motive: Discover your lead’s motivating factor and identify their motive for coming to your studio, including their emotional trigger. “There has to be an emotion;  we are selling and an emotion and a goal,” says Hensley.
  •  Establish “prescription”: Immediately know what to offer a potential client based on their motive and studio experience—and engage with them via in-person, phone, and text. In the fitness industry, it takes ten reach-outs for a prospect to respond to you, according to Hensley, so you want to maximize every touchpoint. 
Appointment [lead > trial/intro redemption] 

Aim for 65%-75% for booking and redeeming the trial offer at your studio. But if you have a good sales process, your intro offer won’t matter. Consider this your lead nurturing process and the critical opportunity to increase trial redemption:

  • Choose a low-barrier offer: It’s what gets them through the door, like $5 for your first indoor cycling class
  • Eliminate friction: You don’t want anything in your booking process to slow a consumer down, or you’ll be more likely to lose them 
  • Follow-up consistently with value: Remind that lead about your differentiator and what makes your studio different, like reminding them of your mission that aligns with their goals  
  • Create urgency: Consumers are more motivated by scarcity than time, so utilize that tactic in your offers
Establishing trust 

“People buy from people they like, they trust and have confidence in,” says Hensley. And they inherently trust people that they share commonalities with. Before you figure out a motive for a lead coming to and connecting with your studio, find what links you to the lead. Is it something in common, or does a compliment instigate the relationship? This worksheet is an excellent guide to commonality or complimentary conversations. 

  • Two points of common ground: The minimum of what we need to build trust in a brand
Leads: “You are probably sitting on more leads than you know.”

An ideal goal? 150 leads per month. And while that might sound like a lot to some, a lead (or prospect) is not just someone who redeems a trial offer at your studio—it’s anyone you have the contact information of. Now think about all the people your studio and instructors are talking to. Think of a lead as all the people you are talking to! It becomes a combination of efforts to get their attention, too, and you need to continually build and create studio brand awareness until the lead is worn down and you convert them.“All marketing is impression-based,” says Hensley, so here’s a blend of tactics you can leverage:

  • Digital: Like social media (lean on paid)
  • Community outreach: Local partnerships, non-profit focused events, events in the park, etc. (member appreciation does not count)
  • Website: A easily searchable website that makes a good first impression can make a huge difference (organic traffic, highest converting channel) 

Always remember to ask yourself:

  • How much do you know about your leads before they walk through your door?
  • What is the actual reason they are seeking you out that separates you from your competitors?
  • How are you customizing your sales pitch to make it casual, organic—and personalize what you sell them?

To learn more from Hensley, listen to our Walla Webinar Series: 3 Ways to Beat Industry Conversion Benchmarks!