Welcome back to the More Cheese, Less Whiskers podcast. My name is Dean Jackson and today we're going to be talking with Mark Gray.
Mark is one of the Double Vision Fitness twins who own five personal training gyms outside of London in the UK. They have impressed me over the four years I've known them by being disciplined executors. They have conscientiously applied the Breakthrough Blueprint principles, and the 8-Profit Activators as an operating system.
We had a really great, in depth conversation about each of the Profit Activators and dove deep into some of the metrics that help identify where the opportunities are. It's really interesting to me that they started out with a very narrow target market but as their experience and capabilities have developed, they are appealing to a much broader target audience.
You'll see how we bring that around here in the conversation as we look at the opportunity to just get people started, coming into the gym. The opportunity to get people coming in and starting a trial where they can get all set-up, get themselves assessed, get on a workout plan and then continue on in perpetuity.
They've got really great retention once people get going, so we spent a lot of time brainstorming how to get more people to take that first step.
You can imagine that my recommendation was more cheese, less whiskers!
I think you're going to enjoy this episode.
Want to be a guest on the show? Simply follow the 'Be a Guest' link on the left & I'll be in touch.
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Transcript - More Cheese Less Whiskers 027
Dean: Mr. Gray, I presume?
Mark: Mr. Dean Jackson, how are you doing?
Dean: I am fantastic. How are you?
Mark: Feeling strong, thank you. Feeling strong. Thanks for taking the call.
Dean: I'm excited. I'm sure you've heard of some of the episodes, so we've got the whole hour to hatch some evil schemes with you. It's just nice. I was thinking on the way up here how long we've known each other now. It's four years, just over, when you and Stephen came to London, to the Breakthrough Blueprint. That's when we first met. I was thinking how my great accomplishment over the three days was that, I think by the end of day two and a half, I could tell you apart. That was my-
Mark: Better than my mom, much better than my mom.
Dean: That's so funny. So catch me up, kind of set the context for what's happened over the last four years, and then what kind of evil schemes we're going to hatch today.
Mark: Yeah, so we own personal training gyms. They've transitioned from we started with one, we've now gradually opened to five. We have five in five different towns in the UK. They've gone over obviously quite a few iterations over the years. Quite markedly, actually, in the last six months more than anything, in terms of the actual model and how we view them, and the capacity that we are aiming for and what they can actually achieve now, based on maybe even a year ago to today. That's kind of where we're at. We're kind of reassessing a few different things, such as target markets and a few different things along those kind of lines.
Dean: Perfect. Let's start with what's working. What's the model, and how does it set up right now?
Mark: We've got a much broader spectrum of client base. Whereas before we were quite pigeon-holed into two pricing structures, we've now got eight. We feel like that was very much due to the personal training gym, rather than doing personal training. What that means is there's time options in the gym from 6 am until 9 pm all day every day. To do that we've had to move shifts around and alter quite a few things with staffing, but it now enables a much broader spectrum of clients to a) find what works for them in terms of timings and session types, and b) there's a lot more of a broad spectrum of pricing to enable them to go into the position that they feel comfortable and able to afford ongoing.
Dean: What have you learned then, about the timeframes? You must get a nice cross section to see what happens, like it's a different person in gym at 6 am than at 2 pm kind of thing, probably.
Mark: It is. So 6 am typically are get it done before work, so they're quite motivated. They push themselves, without too much direction needed. The early morning are majority, I would say, 80% female. Then apart from it, slightly earlier, a few business guys. Then 8:00 to 10:00 is majorly predominantly women. Then it kind of is a mixture throughout the day, business people. Then towards the evening it's business people generally more in the evenings.
Dean: Mm-hmm. After work they stop by and-
Mark: Yeah, exactly that.
Dean: ... work out. Okay. You said you have eight different kind of pricing structures now? I know before you had kind of one or two models that people could go with.
What's your structure now for that?
Mark: We kind of range from 97 pounds up to 1200 pounds a month.
Dean: Okay. So you've got something for everybody.
Mark: Basically, yeah. Interestingly, the actual average cost per client hasn't gone down. If anything, it's gone up by a few pounds.
Dean: Perfect. Cool. What do you see is working now in terms of the model, and where do you see the opportunities are right now?
Mark: We get everyone into a trial, and then have an assessment and then convert through that. That's working really well. We're really happy with the stats on that, the progress, how it feels to the client and how it sets them up for the future. That's working really well. We sell the trial online and that's working very well. The new times, literally one of the objections is time, and that literally eradicates that as an objection now, as does the pricing, really.
The biggest place for growth, really, is really nailing down the target market because when we came to you before, we went for a specific target market. We've changed our opinion recently on what we think the actual target market is. I'd like to get your thoughts on that and with that, I'd really identify how we'd get them to raise their hand, the book title, that type of thing.
Then, just for my own thing, I've always struggled with is, the cookies. Nailing down those. Basically, to put it shortly, creating a new year every month is obviously our goal because at the new year, fitness is obviously a boon time. We want to create that each month. And obviously your last two podcasts have been exceptional in terms of, I think it was the chap from Israel, that spoke to us quite a lot because it was a similar kind of trying to create that urgency or that desire every month.
Dean: That's the thing is having a ... how do you make something evergreen have any sense of urgency to it? That was really what Idan's thing was. I've done that very successfully with having start dates. That's the thing. It's almost like people are accustomed to making decisions with a deadline, even if there's an opportunity to do it again next year, there's nothing ... It's kind of like New Year's, you know? You hit it on the head. Why not have it New Year's every day or every month? There's nothing really inherently special about New Year's. It's just that it's a date in time, and they shoot, "Okay, New Year's is going to be it."
I mentioned to Idan that we would often do things where we would start on the second Thursday of the month, would always be our target date. We would kind of point to that as a date to get everybody on board because the 90 day process started with that specific date. Because you get into a rhythm of where you can sort of front end load your lead generation activity. You're getting people to raise their hands, you can kind of take a little bit of time to engage with them and then it's got an end three weeks later kind of thing.
Then there's always the next ... Of course you've always got the list of unconverted leads, you're building this asset of Profit Activators, three people.
Mark: Yes, exactly. Yeah. I've been testing different signatures for the last few months, but without the cookies feeling right, I'm not sure that I've been maximizing those as much as we could have done.
Dean: Right. Okay. This is great because you're so familiar with the whole process here. Let's go, in order. We'll talk through one of your target audiences so we can go Profit Activator 1, Profit Activator 2, 3, 4 ... let's just go right through and create a blueprint for that.
Dean: Tell me about what you've got in mind here.
Mark: We now think that our target market would be something around this. Men and women who want to get fit and lose weight, but don't want to do it in a normal gym. I've been speaking to a lot of clients or people in for assessments recently, and all of them have been or are gym members but just don't go.
What they were looking for is the opposite of the normal gym. Most people have a gym membership but don't actually attend. They need the motivation, and they also need the opposite of a gym in terms of mirrors everywhere, young 20 year olds, intimidating loud music, that type of thing. They're looking for the opposite, whose average age is around 46.
We feel that that target market is what encompasses, whether it's a business person or whether it's a young mother trying to get back into shape, that is the thing that they look for and that they're actually trying to ... that's the similarity, basically. That's what identifies them.
Dean: Okay. So that age group is kind of 35 to 55, or is that-
Mark: Yeah, kind of like 25 to 55.
Dean: Okay. You're saying that you're looking for a unified market. Is that what you're kind of saying? What I'm hearing is that rather than isolate specifics in there like women and men, and narrowing it down to specific target markets, you're looking for an umbrella market of 25 to 55 that you can treat as one audience.
Mark: It's not so much that we're looking for that, but it's after having done the whole menopausal and specific females, and then talking to a lot of people, actually the one thing that all of them were looking for and identified themselves as, was looking for not a gym, but they know they need that gym kind of thing. That's what they say I'm fit, gym, is the thing that pops to the top of their head, but they've done the gym thing.
Mark: Personal training kind of bridges that gap.
Dean: Okay. So 25 to 55. What has been the way that you have most successfully gotten them to raise their hands now?
Mark: To be honest, the most success is generally always around this time. It's always introductory programs. Six week programs, or 28 day programs. It's very funny. You can put on pictures of 30 year olds or 25 year olds fitness model types, and 60 year old women will be opting in for that type of stuff, even though, for me, it kind of goes against what we're kind of trying to show. On Facebook, that's what works, in terms of getting to raise their hand. In general, those introductory programs get good opt-ins, but then we do lots of guides and nutritions and packs and that type of stuff. They also get good opt-in rates.
Dean: How many opt-ins would you have in Profit Activator 3 right now that would be people who are unconverted kind of thing?
Mark: Probably, I think it's about 12,000, but realistically 8-1/2 thousand.
Dean: That's across the five. Okay. So you're thinking about these, how these are spread out in different towns, right? They're not really close to each other, or are they?
Mark: Some are. The biggest distance between two on the furthest ends is about an hour and 15. But some of them are like 25 minutes away from each other.
Dean: Oh, okay. But most of them ... what have you found is the ideal distance for-
Mark: Fifteen miles.
Dean: ... people to come. Fifteen is the max kind of thing?
Mark: Maximum, yeah.
Dean: Yeah. So that makes it easy to target those. I always take an approach of getting it down to the single unit kind of thing, because we're looking to create what I call the scale-ready algorithm. If we can crack the code for one location, then you can roll it out to the others. That's the great thing about having five, is you can test different hypotheses at the same time, right? You can test different approaches in the gyms.
Do you isolate? Like I asked about what's the thing that gets people to raise their hand, and the thing that you went to was your introductory programs. Is that what you're presenting to people in Profit Activator 2? Meaning the first exposure that they have is join us for this introductory program?
Mark: No. We'll always sponsor content and then we target to those people to get an opt-in for a nutrition guide or we haven't done workouts because it's workouts, but ... Because we've only just come around to this, before it would have been a menopause guide that would have used for an option, but now saying about this slightly different target market, we feel like I can think of loads of potential that might get them to raise their hands because these people know they need to exercise, and therefore exercise videos and that type of thing would potentially work for them.
Whereas before, the menopause guide, it was the 2017 guide to the latest most respected weight loss methods to pre and post menopause, they weren't the right types of person in the end, not to be able to scale the number of trials we can take per month.
Mark: They weren't necessarily the right type of people because, even speaking to the ladies of that age, they don't identify themselves as that. Menopause isn't necessarily how they identify themselves or categorize themselves. Wanting to exercise and knowing they need to exercise is, but not wanting to go to a normal gym, they don't want to go to a normal gym.
Dean: Right. That's an interesting distinction, too, because when you look at it, we're trying to always identify who our audience is. Certainly you've had a lot of success with the menopause system in that, but it's just not as scalable. What I'm thinking now about the different identifiers that they may have, the way you're describing these people, it's really about busy moms and about working moms or how people trying to get it all done. Would you say that most people have kids and have families kind of thing? Do couples come and work out together or they work out individually?
Mark: No. Couples don't generally come to work out together.
Dean: No, but do you have people that are both part of it but maybe they come at different times but they're-
Mark: Yeah. But I wouldn't say working moms or moms. Moms is different demographics different times of day, basically. I totally get where you're going, and we've actually gone down that route a lot in terms of trying to narrow it down to the individual for the different times. We try to burrow down with them and being a mom or that type of thing isn't generally, like I said, it's kind of not how they feel that they're appraising themselves, they just know, they're like, "I need to lose weight."
Dean: Yeah, no, no, no. I'm not talking about approaching them as that. I'm saying for our internal stuff, recognizing who they are. Like if we take that they're a mom, we're trying to get inside the world of them. Whether we go as narrow as menopause, or you go as sort of you have an opportunity between 25 and 55 it's not that generic a group. Certainly there are, I was trying to get a picture of who the people are, so you've got busy moms who are dropping the kids at school and then coming and getting the workout, and getting their stuff that they do during the day, or you've got working people, like you said, who are first thing in the morning trying to get it in or coming after work. Those are definitely different people than somebody who's not that. Do you get people who are older as well? Is that a group for you?
Mark: We started to do it. We have people up to about 76 I think. But we haven't necessarily targeted it up that high.
Mark: We kind of go up to about 60, generally.
Dean: I think that part of the thing is when you take this, let's just zoom out for a second because let's say that there's ... Is it Milton Keynes? Is that where one of your-
Mark: That is, yep.
Dean: Yeah, okay. So Milton Keynes. The sweet spot of the population there is really, let's call it within 10 miles, or do you do a scatter graph to show where your members are?
Mark: Yeah. Super close.
Dean: They are super close? So what would be the hot spot kind of thing? Within two miles?
Mark: About five.
Dean: Five miles. Let's take that. If you plan that that is the area here, how many people would be in that five mile radius that fit your demographic there, 25 to 55?
Mark: A lot. I wouldn't know off the top of my head, but a lot. And it does depend on the town, you'll see, with different sizes, but generally there would be enough in each of them to fill them up, basically.
Dean: Right, yeah. Of course. You look at it that that as an audience there, if we start to look at really kind of dominating that five mile radius, and even narrowing it down from there, certainly even if you went at half of that to get to a point where there's really a great group there, have you done any direct mail or done anything in that group?
Dean: What's the situation there?
Mark: We've done direct mail. We've done three mail sequences after consumer guides. They worked if we had been tracking them well enough to know the lifetime value. It's quite costly compared to America here to direct mail. We found it was. But flyers did work, and then consumer guides did work. But like I say, we weren't educated enough in metrics to know a lifetime value and then compare it to the amount we were spending. It just ... you know?
We found it more effective scaling the Facebook ads as we are now. We did go really narrow in the flyers when we sent them before. It was literally menopausal women.
Dean: Right. Yeah. Perfect. When we look at this, it's like I look at that model of what would it take to dominate that little radius there? Just take that, that that's your zone. Within that group, to have a sense of how many there are. You know, great news is with Facebook, and the adoption of it, you can probably find a pretty good audience even just with that, even within that five mile radius of your location. Can you do the geo-targeting with Facebook the way you can here?
Dean: Yeah, okay, so you can do that. That'll give you so you can build an audience to see who those people are. Let's go on the other end of the high level here of what's the capacity? What's our ability here to ... What does full look like for Milton Keynes?
Mark: Full looks like 275 clients. In terms of capacity of trials, we could handle those 40 in a month.
Dean: Mm-hmm. Where are you on capacity now for Milton Keynes?
Dean: Okay. So it's at about, what's that ... 140, 135 or so? Okay.
How long do they stay? What's the sort of retention?
Mark: Lifetime value is looking around 6,000 pounds. It would make you think they're staying around two years.
Dean: Okay. Two years? Okay. If you look at that, out of the 140 that you have there right now, what is the monthly ... Do you have people leaving every month, some people coming in every month? Do you track that as like a net gain or net loss number?
Mark: Yes we do. It does depend, it does change monthly. Certain times of year. Like for example last year we were at minus .69, net gain. Sometimes you'd be looking around attrition around 2%.
Dean: 2% per month kind of thing.
Mark: Yeah. Not net, but 2%.
Dean: So out of the 140, how many of them are leaving?
Mark: Around four, on average.
Dean: So I just look at it about the bucket here. We're trying to fill this bucket to the 275 level, and we're putting stuff in, I want to see how big the hole is that they're leaking out of. So if we're losing four per month right now, then we need to certainly maintain those four, or add those four and then add more there. What's the most that you have added in Milton Keynes in a month, like if you bring on 40 people with free trials, how does that play out?
Mark: We convert around about 70% now, so this is now. Like I say, the model's changed, so the number of sessions available is like by 70 extra sessions a week increased. We're converting about 70% now.
Dean: Okay. That's great. Once you get people in, you've got a pretty good conversion rate, so that's awesome.
Mark: Super happy with once someone has bought the trial, that process is pretty nailed down. We're gradually improving, but it's pretty nailed down and the results are pretty good.
Dean: Okay, cool. Let's talk about that trial offer. How do you present that to people?
Mark: We have done three different types of trials. There's a 30 Day Body Transformation Trial. It's a 30 day trial, but I felt it was a bit better having it named.
Dean: Yeah, right.
Mark: A 21 Day Jump Start Trial, and then a 15 Day Trial as well.
Mark: Now the 30 day has the best conversion onwards. We didn't know whether we should just cut the other two and just only have 30 day or just have three.
Dean: What would be the difference for people between 15, 21 and 30? Are these free trials or are you charging for the trials?
Mark: They're paid from 67 pounds to 15 days, to 134 for the 30 day. I guess it's timescales. Potentially it's good to keep them because people have different ... Some more think I want to get this done before this date, or I don't need to experiment or see what it's like for too long a period of time. And 67 is less risk, I guess, even though it's money back guaranteed.
Dean: So when you're saying you have the 70% conversion, if somebody takes a trial, 70% of them will continue on to an ongoing member.
Dean: Okay. Then what's the conversion to the trials? How many leads do you have to generate to get somebody to take out a free trial? Or not a free trial, but a paid trial? See, I can't break myself from the habit, because I'm so ... You see where I'm going here with the free trial. Let's talk about it. What percentage of people will buy the trial? What's your, we're talking about your Profit Activator #4 now, converting the leads into coming to do a paid trial?
Mark: I was working off an opt-in that we have on our main website which is a pricing guide for fitness and weight loss solutions or things in your area. Off those, from views to the page, we create a trial list, 2%. I'm pretty sure that's what it was.
Dean: You got a trial of 2% of them would convert into some amount of a paid trial?
Dean: Okay. When we look at that, how much does it cost you to get that opt-in?
Mark: For Facebook, it's cost between 30 and 60 pounds. Not for an opt-in actually, that's for a customer. It depends on the legion, but for the original opt-in, it can be up to about one pound fifty.
Dean: Okay. So one pound fifty for a 100 leads would get you to 150 pounds, and a 2% conversion on that would mean two clients, which would be about $75 per trial, right? And 70% of those people then convert into an ongoing. When you look at it, if you start at the point that you've generated 100 opt-ins, 100 people, do most people take 15, 21 or 30? What's the-
Mark: I would say a high percentage take 30.
Dean: Okay. So the 134 pounds, let's just say ... Yeah, it seems like you could probably get rid of that middle one. I think either the 15 day or the 30 day, yeah, yeah. That would be probably a simplifier for you. Let's say they go towards the 134. That gets you 270 pounds, basically, right?
Dean: So just in that short run, up to the point where we get people into Profit Activator 6 which is after they do the free trial. Not the free trial, the paid trial. They go on, 70% of them go on and you've got that great opportunity there. If we just cut it at the trial there, you're getting 270 pounds, for 150 pounds is about what that takes there.
You know where I'm going to go, with the math of it, of the free trial, make some way of getting them in there. It takes more money to convince somebody to give you money to get the result. Whereas, getting them in there ... I know you've done it in the past, so what's happened with the evolution of the free trial that gets better results?
Because that was one of the things. You were one of the early adopters of our Project Cyrus model. Right.
Mark: Right. Yeah, we were. I will be brutally honest. We did it a year later with a paid 6 week and we made far more money. That could be because of the time of year. It's the January time, people are willing to spend and they wanted to see results. What we found, and potentially it was the positioning of that trial, so the first one was you will only pay when you lose seven pounds, or at the end of the 30 day. So you don't pay unless you've lost your target weight.
That kind of goes alongside the fact we've changed the model in respect of we're a personal training gym. We do exercise first, then clients bolt on nutrition. What we found is people would come in thinking that they can walk in and we'll miraculously suck out seven pounds of their fat without them having to do any of the work, so they put it all on us.
Dean: Right. Which is closer to what you were initially, you were doing that kind of advising. Right?
So now you've evolved the model to not be able to accommodate that.
Mark: And I told you I was listening to your calls yesterday, and I was adamant that we have 100% money back guarantee if you don't feel that we're the gym to help you in the future, ongoing, after your 30 day trial, then we'll give you your money back. That's where we're at in terms of the length. I totally get what you're talking about, how we could get to the fact that they only pay at the end of the 30 days if they think that we're going to be forward into the future type thing.
Dean: Or that you can help them. Even if it's 14 day jumpstart or the program that is just designed to get them. If you look at the mechanics of what actually has to happen, you have to get them into the gym. That's really the first and biggest hurdle, right? And if you get them there, and do some kind of analysis with them, where I know you've got that fancy machine that tells their body composition, all that kind of thing.
Did I ever tell you, Brandon Rogow, I think I've introduced you guys, yeah, yeah. Brandon got one of these machines, and we were just joking and laughing about how we were going to see if we could do some kind of ad about "Come in and see how big your bones really are" kind of thing, because people thinking, "I'm not fat, I'm just big-boned," so let's see how big your bones really are.
Mark: Got some great pictures of them, of people x-raying larger people and less large and their bones, and you see their bones obviously are pretty much identical.
Dean: Exactly, that's what I mean. It's just kind of funny, right? You can't hide what's going on with that device, right? Because you get the full body composition there. In that period of time, do you help people lay out a blueprint or a workout? Because you do assist them, right? When you say a personal training gym, it's not one-on-one sessions, but you're there and guided with a trainer?
Mark: Yeah, they're always with a trainer. They're all one-to-one, but there's semi-private which is maximum of four people, and then there's larger groups as well, called team training. Everyone is always under the care of one of the instructors and personal trainers.
Dean: Right. I would look at that as the, not even at the results thing, but as where you don't have to nominate where you're going to lose seven pounds, which is a great model. But if it were the jumpstart, where you get this body composition, you get to talk with somebody about your goals, you get to experience kind of the gym environment, you get shown what a workout regime might look like for you, and at the end of that 14 days then you can choose to continue or not.
Dean: That, without the result, it just seems like there's so much ... Right now you get two, out of a hundred people to come in. That turns into 70% of those, so basically, it takes one and a half type of conversion out of a hundred leads?
Dean: Yeah. So you're looking that that seems not sustainable in Milton Keynes, in a way, right? Let's just do the quick math, if you're getting 2% of them to buy that free trial and one and a half of those people-
Mark: I think ... Sorry, to stop you, Dean. I'm just thinking it's 2% of the views to the site, so we opt-in at 5 or 6%, I think it is. Then of that 5 or 6%, we convert. Do you get what I mean?
Dean: Yeah, and I think where I'm saying you get your ... This is good because it's good to get this clarity here, right? We're backing up now from the model here. You get 70% of the people who buy a 30 day or any number of day trial will convert to an ongoing member, but what I was asking is how many opt-ins does it take to get somebody to buy one of the free trials? That's what you were saying the 2% of the people who opt-in will buy the free trial, but 5 or 6% of the people who come to the website are opting in.
Mark: Other way around. We get 6% of the people who have entered their details to buy a trial, which equates to two overall so of views to customer it's 2%.
Dean: Ah, I got you. Okay. So in the 6%, how many of the people who view the page are opt-ins?
Mark: I'd have to check to get that one.
Dean: Okay. The main thing that I wanted to say out of that is that if you can accommodate 40 trials, you've got to begin with the end in mind here, right? And play out the math of how this works. To get 40 people a month to do a free, or not a free trial, but to do a trial, that would require some greater number of people opting in, right? It would take at least 20 times that many, right? So it would require 800 or 1,000 opt-ins to get to that level, right?
Dean: Okay. So I'm saying that when you look at your target audience here, remember we started with the broadest, the thing of this five mile radius of Milton Keynes, how many of those people are there total? It's not like a bottomless pit of them, right? It's a fixed number. That's why when I was saying that they're a combination of sort of visible and invisible prospects, right? You know visibly where they are in that they live within five miles, then to know how many of them there are, let's just with orders of magnitude try and figure out some sense of this. So is Milton Keynes a village of a thousand, or is it a metropolis of a million, or is it a hundred thousand, or is it 50,000? What would you guess?
Mark: About 200,000. It's quite spread out.
Dean: It's quite spread out? Is that what you said?
Dean: Okay. So if you take that swath, the five mile radius of your place there, because at 200,000 there's a big difference between one end of town and the other. I live in Winterhaven and it's 60,000 people, and I basically never leave southeast Winterhaven. The other part, like northwest Winterhaven, may as well be Alabama to me. I'm isolated in my little bubble here of southeast. You probably get quadrants or areas like that within Milton Keynes that people kind of gravitate to that area unless you're right smack dab in the center of it.
Mark: Milton Keynes is actually quite unique in that it's got a very unique structure of roads. You're never stuck on one side. I've been to two parts of Milton Keynes today already. There can be tens of thousands within that.
Dean: Perfect. Yeah, yeah. So let's say that it is tens of thousands, right? Some of those are kids, some of those are people who are not in your age group. Some of those are seniors. The pool of viable candidates for you is a finite number, right? When you look at the sustainability of getting people through that funnel, we're going to reach a point where everybody in Milton Keynes has seen your Facebook ad multiple times, again and again, that everybody who's going to respond has responded at some point here, you know?
Dean: A level off kind of thing. But how far from that target of 40 are you right now, in terms of the people that you want to get through Milton Keynes?
Mark: We've had about 15 on a trial right now since the first of January.
Dean: Okay, so that doesn't sound great for what happens in November or March, right? Like if that's-
Dean: You've got excess room for those trials, right?
Dean: Okay. I look at this like if that's the one offer that people can take, a 30 day trial, what other cookies could we offer to people? I would definitely look at crafting a 14 day jumpstart type of offer that would be free to get people in there, because you're going to find that some number of them are going to convert into ongoing. The truth is, that by not filling those available slots, you're losing anyway, right? What is your cost to bring somebody in for a 14 day trial?
Mark: It would cost just an hour of one of the team's time, and then they'd join into kind of group sessions, so it would be quite minimal.
Dean: Right. And you're already paying that team member, right? Like right now you've got the capacity is not an extra, it's already a sunk cost, right? Like the person's already there, and you've got enough people there to have the capacity to do 70 you said, right?
Mark: Well, 40 a month.
Dean: So you've got that capacity there to do the 40. If it's less than that, we're already at almost the midpoint in January and you're at 15, in what should be the busiest month of the year, right? I mean the people coming out of the woodwork kind of thing.
Dean: How many would you get in a typical month, like if we backed over the last six months, what would be kind of the rolling average of the number of trials?
Mark: Six to eight a month, probably, to be fair. Of course you take into account August and times when people are away on holidays. We work out at six to eight.
Dean: Okay. I think you're definitely losing opportunity here.
Mark: Just to clarify for me, because the cookies, I've always struggled. Is the cookie meant to be something ... Your cookies are always getting them in front, but it's for realtors. I was thinking of cookies such as join us for a live and streamed tour of one of our gyms to further them along.
Dean: That's great. Yes, absolutely. Anything. I just look at it as I use a cookie as an example of just taking the initiative and offering something to get somebody in motion, right? So they're not just sitting there on your list and you're waiting for them to take the initiative. You're saying you can get them involved in something that's moving towards getting into the gym as a full member, so it's on that path.
Sometimes the language makes a difference. I don't know if you saw ... I think you did comment on it or liked it, on my Facebook page yesterday. Gorana posted up the "More Cheese Less Whiskers" with a three year old as she was saying to the three year old, "Okay James, it's bath time," and James goes, "No!" And goes on his full protest mode, and then she says, "Oh, okay. You want to go splash in the tub?" And he goes, "Yay!" And starts running to the bathtub and takes off his clothes, right? Which is the outcome that you want.
It's almost like you're saying, "Buy this 30 day trial" is like "Take a bath" and the outcome that we want is we want people running into the bathroom taking off their clothes. Part of the thing is that we want them coming into the gym, meeting you face to face, getting their bearings, seeing that yes, this is something, I do like this environment, I've never been in your places, but I know you guys are really committed to making great environments, I've seen some of your videos.
Do you think it would be an enhancement for them if they could come and see what the environment looks like and meet you and get a sense of what it is?
Mark: I think it would. My only thoughts on that would be that we very much try to do everything livestream and that type of stuff, just to be able to handle the multiple sites without having to have an excess number of staff.
But yeah, for sure. Everything you say is obviously so true.
Dean: I love it.
Mark: The 30 day trial or the 14 day or the free kind of option part of it, would you, because obviously we're trying to make great new year, if you did that as like a presale type thing, where it's open on the third Thursday of each month, but it's only open on the third Thursday to register, would that be potentially a good combination of the two?
Dean: I think it would be. I think if you had a free jumpstart program that you did on the first or second Thursday of the month kind of thing as your lead-in to it, that even if you baby stepped it where it was that you can come for the jumpstart program, and then you can choose to take a 30 day trial. Try it for 30 days. Then you can go into the full membership. Or test against doing the 14 day and getting people into the full membership. I just think if you had that as a precursor that you would get more than 2%. Or 6% or whatever it is.
Especially because you've got the excess capacity, right? I'm not saying that you're spending money on people or that you're ... What you're looking for, the long term sustainability of this, is that what you need is to find the 275 people within five or six or seven miles of your Milton Keynes location who are committed to a lifetime of health and fitness. Right?
Dean: Because that's the sustainability of it. That's what you're really looking for. If you're losing 2% a month, that means that you're losing about a quarter of them every year, right? So you got to have some ongoing adding new people to it, but I think that part of that you can offset that by, you should be by now at that maturity level with a referral rate of more than 2% per month. Right? Your referrals should be able to offset or enhance your attrition.
Dean: Let's talk about that for a second. Your after unit stuff. What's happening there?
Mark: Actually, a quick question. Would you say then, the during units, so four and five maybe, yeah four and five-
Dean: Five and six.
Mark: So five and six would go on to 90 days? Because obviously people are ongoing, recurring payments with us. Would that get 90 days in?
Dean: Yeah, I would say definitely that that's where you're getting somebody where they've made their second recurring payment to you, and they're established, and they're into the routine now. They know the moves. They're not brand new. They've seen some great progress. I think that if you really ramped up on encouraging and celebrating that rapid progress in those 60 days, that each new member should be able to bring in additional members, too.
I would encourage a metric of your trial multiplier index where you're looking at not only of the last 10 people who took a free trial, 70% of them converted, but how many of those people referred somebody while they were still in the trial, right? If you overtly made that a metric that you're paying attention to. Because in your during unit, that's really the opportunity, because it's peak of their mind right now. They're just getting involved in it. They're going to be telling everybody about it. They're going to be wearing their Double Vision swag, right?
Dean: That's really the opportunity. But do you measure that, or do you have kind of anecdotal-
Mark: We try to measure what our average refer. It was working out because I know it was 15% I think you go for. I tried to work it out, and it was working out to like 12% referral rate.
Dean: Okay, so that all helps. You measure that in your... Are you talking about in the during unit or in the after unit?
Mark: After unit.
Dean: Okay. So the after unit what we measure is your return on relationships. You've got 170, what is it 170 people that you've got right now?
Mark: In Milton Keynes.
Dean: A hundred and forty, you've got a hundred and forty in Milton Keynes. I only talk about base units because it's all scalable out. We're not talking about anything different in any of the other locations. It's the same thing, you've basically got a franchise model, but you're the owners of it.
Dean: Of the 140 people, what we look for, in Profit Activator 7 you're measuring your retention rates because you want to nurture a lifetime relationship with them. Are they staying? And in Profit Activator 8, we want to measure are they growing? Are they introducing you to other people? The two things that we measure in the after unit are retention and referrals. When we look at the hundred and forty people, how many referrals did those people make in the last 12 months? And that gives you-
Mark: Sorry, I worked it out, that's three months ago. I did it on a hundred clients. It was 12% at that time.
Dean: Okay. So there you go. That's a number that is movable. What are you doing in your after unit? What's the protocol that gets that result?
Mark: We've got the world's most interesting postcard, whole system's done. We did it for two months and now we stopped it. So apart from setting the teams off waiting for people just passively come in, and I know what you're saying. We haven't done it actively, but it's all there because we've grown quite quickly with all our own money. It costs a fair bit to then scale to size in terms of sending out more postcards.
Dean: I get it. I know, and you're focused on everything and when you're in growth mode the focus is always on the before unit. People try to figure out how can we get more, and often there's a big opportunity in that after unit. That may be something that across the board you could have one person who is charged with being the after unit, the relationship manager for all of the facilities, because certainly, when you've got a lifetime value of 6,000 pounds with people, it's crazy not to be sending the world's most interesting postcard, doing that with orchestrating those referrals. It's absolute surefire-
Dean: It really is criminal. Especially because you know better. You've seen what happens.
Mark: The only thing we've always struggled ... Well, certainly with this new target market, what book. Because we want to buy a book. We want to do a 90 minute book. We're not sure how we're going to raise the hand now that we've changed it to kind of this new age target market.
Dean: I think that when you look at it that your whole thing, you guys might be able to do a general fitness book that kind of I guess basically start with the book is what do you want ... Part of the way I say it is what would be the title of the book that your audience would definitely want to have?
When you go broad, I use Dave Ramsey in the United States here as an example, he wrote a book called, "Financial Peace". It's such a great thing. You can be very specific. I had a guy come to Breakthrough Blueprint in Orlando who did personal training. He had a studio in LA, and his prime audience was people over 60. He came up with this idea of a long title that had "Wake Up With Energy, Play With the Grandkids, Feel Strong All Day Exercise Plan" something, it was a long description of it. There's an ad here for NyQuil cold medicine "It's the itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezy so you can rest medicine" so it's like if you list the top things that people want and have that as a title, is maybe a good idea as well.
The things that you listed as what do those people really want is a good start.
Well there we go. I mean an hour and fifteen minutes and we haven't even scratched the surface yet.
Let's recap. What's your take on what we've talked about? There's lots of action items in there.
Mark: Yeah. Put into place the things that we know and you taught us and then, it's enlightening when you go through the metrics like that and you put it into that perspective, how we need to broaden the numbers that walk through the door or are attracted, and therefore what we can do to do that. Talking about the free 14 days or the free 30 days or however it's done with an intake like you talked about before, that could theoretically, I would imagine, create a New Year style desire because you can only intake a certain number.
Dean: Yes. And that would be goal. Esp since you're not, I can see getting to a point where you charge for it to limit, to constrain because you've got an excess of them, but your numbers, you've got so many more opportunities that you're losing because you don't have people coming through the door. I think that it would be a better if you're getting people at least running to the bathroom taking their clothes off, you know?
Mark: Yeah. That's such a good analogy, that is such a good analogy.
Dean: Mm-hmm. Join the gym sounds like take a bath in a way.
Mark: It is. And there's plenty of people searching for gyms and personal trainers in the area, but you're right. It would make them hurry out the door to be able to get one of those spots if was appealing.
Dean: Yeah. I think that's it. I think that there's the opportunity because you're in that kind of fishbowl of your main audience is really you want to be like super famous in that group, in that thing. It doesn't hurt that I think you guys are unique in that you've always been unique in that, being twins and both being fit and being the take on being the Mayor of Fitville for Milton Keynes, you know?
Dean: I mean everybody at least if they know that your mission is to make Milton Keynes great again. That there's always that cool stuff. How far is Milton Keynes from London?
Mark: From London, 45 minutes I would say.
Dean: Oh, it's not that bad. Cool. I'll pop out. I'm coming again in June, end of June I'm going to be there.
Mark: St. Albans is one of the other ones and that's like 20 minutes.
Dean: Oh, perfect. I'd love to see one, so maybe we can arrange that when I'm there.
Mark: Yeah. It's got a lovely coffee place nearby where they also have nice coffee as well.
Dean: Perfect. That would be awesome.
Mark: Thank you so much, Dean.
Dean: See if I can still tell you guys apart.
Mark: I hear Stephen is looking a lot older and weary now, he's been married longer than I.
Dean: You are the younger, better looking one, right. Exactly.
All right. It's so nice to catch up.
Mark: Good, Dean. I appreciated you a lot.
Dean: Thanks, Mark. Goodbye.
Mark: Thank you. Bye.
Dean: And there we have it. Another great episode. I love those conversations, especially when we've got some history and we've had some experience in applying the 8 Profit Activators. I think Mark really came around to seeing maybe it's about getting back to what brought you to the dance kind of thing. I think it will be very interesting to check in with Mark when I go to London in June and see, let's just compare some of the metrics when we look at offering a free jumpstart or free quickstart or free 14 day experience just to kind of get people into the path, and see if that can make a difference, and then really kind of ramping back up on paying attention to orchestrating referrals.
I love having these conversations. If you'd like to be a guest on the show, I'd love to hatch some evil schemes with you. Just go to morecheeselesswhiskers.com and click on the "be a guest" link and you can send in a request and I can get to hatch some evil schemes with you. You'll also be able to download a copy of the "More Cheese, Less Whiskers" book.
I'm very excited about our new profitactivatorscore.com website where you can go and do an assessment that kind of shows where big opportunities are for you in applying the 8 Profit Activators to your business. You can go to profitactivatorscore.com. You can take the Profit Activator scorecard and download two books there. There's free books, the "Breakthrough DNA" book where we kind of expand and talk all about the 8 Profit Activators, and then there's the "Profit Activator Score" book which will amplify and explain the scorecard. There's the great opportunities for you this week, and I will talk to you next time.