A lead box program is a system by which you provide a plastic or cardboard box advertising your club with an opening in the top for a person to drop an entry blank with their name, address and phone number. You offer prizes, usually a free 2 week pass to the club. You set these boxes in restaurants, salons or other business establishments in your neighborhood and check them regularly. You then phone the people who’ve filled out these entry blanks: call them and urge them to come in. It’s a wonderful marketing program, one that will bring you many new members if you use it to its potential.
You will place the lead boxes strategically throughout your community in various stores, shops and offices. The object, of course, is to get outside people interested in your club one way or another.
Where to Place Lead Boxes
The lead boxes may be placed anywhere there is traffic. Some places are better than others because the type of people frequenting certain places are higher profile prospects for your club than others. An example of a poor place to locate a lead box would be a video arcade. The patrons for the most part are teenagers, not really fitted to join your club. There is also a high risk of vandalism to your boxes. So, be reasonably selective. Historically, some good locations include the following: supermarkets, convenience stores, doctor’s offices, sporting goods stores, fast food locations, clothing stores, pharmacies, local strip malls, supervised Laundromats home repair stores, hardware stores, running shoe stores, health food stores, banks, small retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters, and cleaners.
Be sure not to place your boxes too far away from your club (within six to nine minutes drive time). If they are too far away, the leads will be coming from outside your market area and there will be a very low chance of anyone showing up or joining (low-profile prospects).
How to Place Lead Boxes
You’ve got what you think are some pretty good locations and now you ask, “How do I place them in stores?”
The key to remember here is that you will be taking up some valuable space in the store, so it will be best to go in on the basis of mutual benefit. That is, if the storekeeper allows you to put the box in the store, you in turn will give them something. Items that work well are:
- One free guest pass for each week the box is there (date the passes).
- Use of the club for the owner during the time the box is there.
- Free advertising in your club newsletter.
- An insert (coupon) in your next mailing to members.
- Buy some gift certificates from the business for internal club use.
Be sure to get permission from the business owner or manager and not simply an employee. The manager or owner may resent the box being there and toss it out if you don’t have their blessing from the start. Of course, the best people to contact are those stores where you know the owners or that you frequent a lot. Once you arrange a placement, have the owner sign an agreement.
How Many Lead Boxes to Put Out
It really doesn’t matter how many lead boxes you put out as long as you are caring for them properly. Be sure to always have enough entry blanks available. Change the headers regularly. Make sure a pen is attached. Saturating your market is desirable. A membership salesperson should be able to manage 25 to 35 boxes both comfortably and profitably.
Who Administers Your Lead Boxes
Generally, your lead box program is run by your sales staff. It is their job to place them, empty the entries, follow up on the leads, do all of the mailing and make all of the telephone calls. They should be held responsible for this program. Any salesperson who is not following up on their boxes should be denied the right to place them. They are hurting the entire program by not taking care of their boxes. Each salesperson should be assigned a specified number of boxes that are strictly under their individual supervision. Each salesperson should be given as many lead boxes as they can comfortably manage. One suggestion that drives this point home is to have the salespeople pay for the lead boxes themselves. This money would be refundable to them when the lead boxes are turned into the club by the salesperson.
Emptying Your Lead Box
Emptying your lead box is an art. Here are the important points:
- Empty it weekly – be regular.
- Leave approximately six leads (mark them with a colored dot) in the box
rather than emptying it completely.
- Don’t interfere with the flow of business at your location. If you must, simply bring in a new box and replace it rather than getting in anybody’s way.
Some Important Points to Consider in Using the Lead Box Program
- A low-cost source of member prospects.
- Broad-base public exposure.
- Helps to fill in during down times.
- A great way to start new membership salespeople.
- Creates new member sales and referrals.
- If boxes aren’t serviced constantly, the program will deteriorate – such as no paper or pens. This will reflect negatively on the club.
- Keep your headers classy and the offers realistic. Don’t be too gimmicky.
- Your percentages will be lower than other forms of prospecting, but it will be more cost effective in the long run. Two or three out of 10 calls will actually turn out to be true appointments, which will result in about a 2% to 10% leads-to-sales percentage, or one to two sales per ten names that appear in the box.
Follow-Up Instructions & Suggestions
After the box is placed and you begin to receive leads, you need to establish a phone presentation to approach these leads. The following system works best:
First, hold your drawing, and name a winner for the offer you had in place (one month, two months, six months, etc.). Then post a picture of the winner in the club. This gives your program credibility.
Now, go through and call the rest of your leads. The conversation may go this way:
You: “Mr. Jones, we’ve recently had our drawing from McDonald’s and you
qualified for one of our second prizes which is a two-week complimentary
membership at the club. I am currently booking appointments on
Tuesday or Wednesday evening. Which would you prefer?”
This call sets you up for some possible objections you may hear when Mr. Jones shows for his appointment. First, you have given him two weeks to think about
buying a membership. We have found few people will follow up and use this free weeks. Mr. Jones must be treated as a one-visit guest and sold a membership that day.
Drawing follow-up becomes critical to give your program credibility. After each drawing, always post the winner and give them as much press as possible.
Lead Box Program Counting Procedure
Discard lead slips as follows:
- Doubles (one per customer)
- 18 years old and under (must be 18 to enter)
- No phone number
Separate each store in log and assign a number.
On weekly pickup run, bag each store and do counting procedure. Record in log book. Transfer onto master in office.
Job Duties and Responsibilities
- Set promotional boxes in designated areas.
- Maintain and service promotional boxes weekly.
- Collect slips on a weekly basis or whenever necessary.
- Maintain driver’s log for office use.
- Document and mail memberships on a weekly basis, i.e., renew or close
existing accounts at existing businesses.
- Attend weekly meetings.
- Document weekly mileage reimbursement, i.e., expense reports.
- Complete bonus sheet.
- Have all responsibilities completed and turned in between 3:00 PM and
5:00 PM every Friday.
Telephone Script For Lead Box Telemarketing Plan
You: “Hello, Mr. Smith, this is_________ with _____________. I’m calling to
you that you were awarded a two-week membership with us. You signed
up at one of our participating stores. You have 48 hours to claim your
two-week membership. Will today or tomorrow be better for you, Mr.
Smith? Are morning or afternoons better? I have (name a specific time)
open this afternoon. Does that work for you? You may also bring two
As you tell them the above, they will probably interject here and there. Allow the conversation to feel natural, yet you also want them to commit to come in and claim their two-week membership. Go with the flow of the conversation, but always bring it back to your reason for calling: getting them to come in.
If the winner has been agreeable, tell them:
You: “Your appointment is set for (time). Just come in and ask for me, (your
name). Bring your workout clothes and swimsuit. When you arrive, Mr.
Smith, just say you are here as a membership award winner. Do you
know where we are located? Mr. Smith, we’ll see you today/tomorrow
you have a great day!
If the prospect objects:
Winner: “I can’t make it today or tomorrow.”
You: “I’m sorry, Mr. Smith, your two-week membership has to picked up in
48 hours. If you like, you can transfer it to a family member or friend.
If YES, set appointment for transferee.
If NOT INTERESTED, say:
You: “Thank you for registering to win a two-week membership. Feel free
to try again in the future, and have a great day!
Getting Them to Show Up
This is an extremely important aspect of the call. If you want to enhance your chance of making a sale, you’ve got to get the caller into the club for an appointment while they are still at their emotional peak. We have found that in reviewing a typically days calls, 75% of the callers will show up if an appointment is made the same day they call. This percentage drops drastically when they make an appointment to come in the next day or the day after that.