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How to Create Strategic Partnerships in Your Community

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Gary PolicGary Polic

Ready, Set, GO! We are back... well, sort of! Why, sort of? Because there is one question left to ask... "Are your sales teams back to networking/prospecting outside the club with a structured systematic approach?"

WHY is this so critical? Only 21% of the American population works out in a gym, so where do we meet almost 80% of the population? Where they shop, dine, work, and socialize! So, the race to build relationships with your community events organizers and local retailers is back in full force.

What is your game plan? Well, here are three quantified ways to increase your brand awareness and sales in your communities today:

1. Cross Promote with Local Retailers

80% of retailers have a database of customers; 60% correspond with their customers monthly; and the average retailer has 800 customers in their database!

So, what does that mean to you? It means you need to start spending the downtime (afternoons) outside the four walls and networking with community businesses/retail owners. Realistically, not everyone feels comfortable doing this type of advanced networking. In that case, the club's leader needs to perform this task daily while others observe "live" to formulate Best Practices.

For example, DOUG HAAN, General Manager with the elite family of clubs at WELLBRIDGE/Athletic Club Northeast has led with passion and stellar results regarding this activity, and I quote Doug: "I'm a firm believer in outside-the-four-walls relationship marketing. Our objective has been to become part of the 'Who's Who' in the community. By building these business relationships and providing the Gift of Wellness to all, we have become the leading wellness provider in Metro-Atlanta."

The best way to reach out to Local Retailers:

  1. 1. Go to Google and print a list of all business categories you desire to engage with (i.e., restaurants, apartments, mall management, dentist, chiropractor, etc.). We are thinking big databases of customers first before we create our lists!
  2. 2. Start with a call or visit to find out who the decision maker is. You can simply introduce yourself on the phone or in person as the "Community Outreach Director," and the reason for your call/visit is that, "We are looking to cross promote with local businesses in the area to provide gifts of wellness to them, their employees, and most importantly, their customers. In addition, we can promote their business with all of our members! And, all at no cost! Isn't that great!?"
  3. 3. If you started with a call in the previous step, next is to visit the retailer. Enter the establishment in uniform and bring your gift of wellness certificates (passes) with you along with club information.
  4. 4. Track for Success. Always keep track of your agreements and progress with a dated history of notes and all correspondence. Inspect and follow up daily!

Example: Retailer Partnership Survey

1. Do you retain a database of customers? If Yes: Do you correspond with them and how? Would you like a gift of wellness to share with your customers?

(Why? My experience has told me that retailers love to send gifts to their customers on a regular basis.)

2. Do your employees have a wellness program that you provide them?

(Why? Most retailers would subsidize or love to give a gift to their employees.)

3. Would you like to be on the Savings Listing at our club for our members?

(Why? This allows the members to have savings at the retailer's establishment. More value-added for your members!)

4. Would you like to do a Dollar-to-Dollar Trade, so we can platform your business to all our members in the club?

(Why? This allows the clubs to have a "big prize" raffle mid or end of the month!)

5. Could we set up a table/flyer to give out free passes to your clients, and you can do the same at our club?

(Why? Tabling outside the club is a "must have" to reach the 80% of consumers who do not work out. Retailers love to get outside and do the same!)

6. Would you like to Post and Tag our new relationship and offerings on each other's Social Media Platforms with a picture?

(Why? Most retailers have hundreds if not thousands of followers on Facebook, etc. and you can share your new relationship and Gift of Wellness offering with them all!)

2. Engaging the Community and Club Events

It is not WHAT you know... But WHO you know!

If you have not noticed, people are out and about and yearning to have FUN in the sun! So, let's partner up with some local businesses that have huge marketing budgets, like T-MOBILE, The MARINES, Car Dealerships, etc. What did you say? Yes, I said team up (no cost to you). They love the excitement fitness brings to an event by raffling off club prizes and pulling people over to their tables!

In addition, we have contacted our local village or city events coordinator and were able to attend tabling events at no cost by allowing the event provider to advertise free "give-away" Gift of Wellness Certificates.

For example, GERI LARA-BERGER, Regional General Manager and Partner of the luxurious ISLAND CLUB AND SPA in Hawaii states: "We celebrated our 8th anniversary with our 'Stronger Together' Campaign, which members were able to refer family and friends for a free workout to 'get fit' post-COVID. Members earned entries for huge prizes for their referrals. Prizes included free donations from Local Retailers. To give back to our community and those in need, we also gave entries for member food and clothing donations, which were distributed to various non-profits."

3. Lead Data Capturing

Distribution of passes that have been emailed out to Local Retailers databases:

QR Code Technology: A "Quick Response Code," also known as QR code is a two-dimensional type of barcode. QR codes are scannable using smartphones devices. The consumer then has an opportunity to data enter their information.

We work with organizations that utilize this technology. What do you do if a prospect does not want to give you their information but will take the pass (which has the QR code on the pass to scan)? Then, subsequently, the prospect sees the pass at home and decides to scan it while in their home! However, most will scan right when you meet them by saying, "Scan with your phone now and win!" BAM! Lead data captured!

Advertising and capturing lead data from people "walking by" OR "walking up to" your tabling event:

Geofence Technology: A geofence is a virtual perimeter for a real-world geographic area. A geofence could be dynamically generated as a radius around a tabling event or even your health club.

We also work with organizations that are currently using this technology when they are set up at a large event. As the consumer walks by their booth, they will receive an advertisement from you. They then have a chance to enter data and receive their free pass. Also, when they leave the event, the pop-up of your ad will continue until they opt out. BAM! Lead data captured!

Most importantly, at your club, you can "ping" every member's mobile device with your in-club promotions and even when they leave your club.

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At Polic Consultants Group, LLC., we can help strategize and get your sales teams trained and developed to master the art of outside networking and prospecting! All it takes is a "Leader in this Arena" (like us!) to take your Sales Teams to the next level of Best Practices and Sales Success!

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