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LA Fitness: “Go Away, I Don’t Want Your Business!” (How Dumb Can You Be?)

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Every morning six days a week, I’m at LA Fitness when they open at 5:00am (Saturdays they don’t open till 8:00am). There’s a pretty dedicated group pushing weights, doing cardio and keeping themselves in shape. It’s pretty inspiring to see what some of them do and how dedicated they are.

The gym for the most part, is not a bad place to workout. It’s clean, there’s a good selection of equipment, and it is usually in pretty good working order. When something breaks it doesn’t take long to get it repaired. The people – not the employes or the trainers necessarily, but the patrons… the people who workout there – are pretty friendly and helpful.

There are three water coolers in strategic locations throughout the gym… and the water is generally pretty cold. That’s especially appreciated for those days when it gets 115+ degrees in Phoenix.

Over in one corner is a juice bar that sells drinks and supplements. On the counter are signs that promote various products that are for sale. Among those signs is one of particular interest. It reads, “Cup of Water And Ice is a 75 cent charge.”

The question that comes to my mind is “Why?” Why do they charge 75 cents for a cup of water and ice? How much could it possibly cost for a cup and 8 ounces of water? Not much, I would think.

How about the person behind the counter… how much time would it take for them to get someone a cup of water? Seconds? How much cost could that entail? Would it be taking them away from some other income-producing activity to do that? Most of the time they aren’t doing anything anyway.

With three water coolers in the gym, how many people would really go to the juice bar and request a cup of water? Would they really be overwhelmed with a stampede of people? I rather think that very few people would even think of going there for a cup of water.

So what could the reason for such a sign be? More importantly, what is the message on the sign sending the patrons of the gym… you know, the people who might also become customers of the juice bar? It would seem to me that the person behind the juice bar counter (who is doing nothing anyway) would be thrilled for someone to have a conversation with so they could establish a relationship, discuss their nutritional needs and the benefits of proper supplementation. They might even give them a sample and possibly convert them into a customer.

In order to make a sale you have to have a discussion. In order to have a discussion you have to have someone to talk to. In order to have someone to talk to you have to make it friendly, inviting and beneficial for that someone to be attracted to you. And a sign that says in effect, “Go Away, We Don’t Want You Here” certainly doesn’t accomplish that goal.

So what to do? What could they do to attract more people (read: customers and profits) to the juice bar? How about a sign that promotes free samples of pre-workout drinks that will stimulate blood flow, increase a pump, and provide a boost of energy so the person gets a better workout? What about post-workout drinks or protein shakes that can help someone recover faster and get better results from their training? How much could a few samples possibly cost?

To attract business, you don’t hoard or hold onto your products… especially something as inexpensive as a cup and some water! No! You give something away… something of value, something that will produce some type of result that the recipient can benefit from. You do something that will ATTRACT a potential customer to you, not something that REPELS them from you.

If you’re selling information products you give a sample of what you have. For instance, if you’re selling a book, why not give away the first 3 or 4 chapters? Let someone “sample” what you have written and if they like it, if they see value from it, maybe they’ll buy it.

If you’re selling consulting services why not let someone sample what you can do for them? Show them something that will create a measurable and quantifiable return for them, and maybe you’ll convert them into a paying client. What have you got to lose? You didn’t have them as a client to begin with so if they don’t buy from you, you haven’t lost anything. You just didn’t gain anything. But if you do create some value for them they might not only become a client they might be your biggest fan and referral source.

Whatever you do, don’t make it difficult for people to do business with you. As a TopLine trained consultant you have more than two-dozen different special reports and lead magnets that you can use to let others learn about what you do and open the door to allow you to provide a “sampling” of what you can do for them.

Be generous with your information and knowledge and you’ll no-doubt find that your customers, clients and prospects will in turn be generous with their business and their money.

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