Making a Good First (or Second) Impression

No one likes to be sold something, yet everyone likes to buy. So, how do you make people want to buy a membership to your martial arts facility? It’s all about nailing the first impression.

Creating a positive experience is key, especially with the increasing competition not only from other martial arts facilities, but also with the growing number of fitness centers competing for the same members!

The First Second Impression

When a new prospect walks through your door, odds are they have already done some research about you. They come in knowing far more about you than you know about them. What you see as a “first impression” with a potential new customer may actually be their “first second impression.” Your website is as important as clean martial arts mats or a welcoming reception area! So, the first question to ask yourself is: Does your website make a good first impression?

Does your website promote your strengths? Does it make finding you easy? Does it do a good job outlining the various classes that are available? If, after visiting your website, someone takes the step to actually visit your facility, you’ve made a good first impression. The key is then turning that into a great impression, and eventually a new membership.

When you first meet a new prospect, you should never start by telling them about your gym and yourself. They didn’t come there to see the color of your belt or your trophy case. Your job is to listen. Determine why they are considering joining and what their goals are. Don’t make them feel like a price tag, make them feel welcome. Get to know them right away. Call them by name and ask what they like to do outside of training. If you make a friend, more times than not, you will gain a member.

Combat the Intimidation Factor

The “intimidation factor” is very real in new prospects. They walk in and see a bunch of very fit people doing things they don’t think they can do. To combat this, consider offering initial appointments that are tailored to new members. Offer them an initial one-on-one lesson to teach them what they want to learn. This helps suppress their fears and makes them comfortable right from the start. When they are ready, introduce them to other members. This will create relationships with new members very quickly and makes them feel like they belong.

Tips to Make a Great Second Impression

1. Everything inside your facility must be clean and professional (the equipment, the front entrance, the bathrooms, etc.).
2. Make sure the front of your facility is visible with a professional sign. Make them want to walk through your door.
3. Always remember: it’s about them, not you.
4. Never criticize another facility or competitor in front of a prospect.
5. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Call them by name. After they leave, follow-up with them, even after they sign on as a member. The worst thing you can do is take their money and then lose track of them!

Ready to Make a Great First Impression?

The equipment that you use at your gym is integral to making a great first impression. New prospects want to know that they will be safe while learning on the best equipment in the industry. To see what MMA mats, bags and other products are new, head over to our products page.