Episode 321

How to Generate More Leads at Events with Pete Dupuis

In this episode, Pete Dupuis joins me to talk about how to generate more leads at events.

[00:00:00] Hello, my friend on today’s episode, I’m back with Pete Dupuis and we’re talking about how to generate more leads by attending other people’s events and by hosting your own events all too often. We participate in community events. We attend community events and we’re leaving a lot of leads on the table by not being effective at how we leverage our time and energy at those events.

So in this one, we are going to share a few great examples and a roadmap For how to generate more qualified leads by attending and hosting events. So if you want some really cheap leads without having to spend a lot of money as a great episode for you, keep on listening,

welcome to the business for unicorns podcast, where we help gym owners unleash the full potential of their business. I’m your host, Michael Keeler. Join me each week for actionable advice. Expert insights and the inside scoop on what it really takes to level up [00:01:00] your gym. Get ready to unlock your potential and become a real unicorn in the fitness industry.

Let’s begin.

Hello, fitness, business nerds. What’s up. Welcome to another episode of the business unicorns podcast. I’m back again with Pete. How are you, my friend? I’m doing well. And you? I’m having a kick ass week. The snow is starting to melt here, which is giving me hope that spring might be actually around the corner.

Fingers crossed. Oh, yeah. I got an email about the first Little League baseball practice this weekend. It felt like daylight savings is around the corner. Yeah. Before we dive into today’s episode, which is all about generating leads from events out in the world, let me just give a quick little shout out.

Our friends, Mike Boyle and Kevin Carr, both have been on the podcast before and they have a fantastic education system called the Certified Functional Strength Coach. And they are offering all of you, dear listeners, a fantastic discount to any of their courses for this year. The details are [00:02:00] down in the show notes, so click the link to go learn more.

But there’s a discount code for 25 percent off any of the CFSC courses. Courses that they’re offering this year, which we think is tremendous. And we’re such a big fan of theirs. We’ve had Kevin Carr come to Mark Fisher fitness, I think on more than one occasion to do in services for our team. We just know that their training for coaches really helps make the best coaches on the planet.

So if you want to level up your team of coaches, there’s nowhere better to go. I know Pete, you have a lot of. experience working with these guys as well? Yeah, I like the people for starters. And in my experience, I run into a fair amount of people who demonstrate an interest in our internship program, but they’re too far into their career to be able to just hit the brakes on all things that are happening in their life and take a several hundred hour internship to up their game from a coaching standpoint.

And so this is the path I tend to point people toward. Where I say, if you don’t have a couple of months where you can effectively live at a CSP or an MBSC or a similar internship type dynamic, the [00:03:00] fastest path toward upping your game from a coaching standpoint is investing in something like this. So they certainly have my blessing as far as being a quality product.

Yeah, they have great courses and certifications. You’re just not going to find better curated information about how to be a fantastic strength coach. So go check out the in details in the show notes below and check them out my friends, which brings us to today’s topic. Do you want to kick off today’s topic?

This came from some conversations you were having with unicorns out of numbers. So you want to kick it off here. Yeah. As we get into the spring here, I’m running a baseball gym and it’s not surprisingly, or I should say it’s not surprising to see that one of the growing parts of our community is performance training gym owners and specifically ones that work with baseball players.

We’ve got more than a handful of them in our group. And that means that this is the time of year where they’re getting out on field and watching their athletes in action. It’s a quiet part of the year where we have a little additional bandwidth to. Clean the gym, throw up a fresh coat of paint, get out to some games and interact.[00:04:00]

And what I’ve been a little bit surprised to find out when I talk to people about those dynamics is the fact that they haven’t designed any SOPs around optimizing the time and energy and bandwidth that they’re putting toward going out to the games. And I guess that sounds a little bit crazy because it’s not.

This part of the year should be a reward to yourself coming out of a busy season. Get outside, enjoy the fruits of your labor. Watch these people have success, but people fail to realize that they are swimming in business opportunity every time they go to these things. And I’ve been encouraging people to one, put on paper, their expectations for their colleagues, as it relates to what type of output should come from, This type of initiative.

So from a content standpoint, a series of boxes that you would like them to check some or all of each time they go out to make this a worthy endeavor. And then also I think that we could collectively be a lot more deliberate about how we [00:05:00] manage our social interactions at these events and the followup that comes thereafter.

Does that make sense? 100%. Yeah. And I’ll even loop in an example for non sports performance gyms. So while the sports performance gyms listening and that we work with are out going to games right now, and actually out in sports fields, talking to people in the audience and the crowds and the parents and the family members who are in attendance.

I think similarly, non sports performance gyms these days as spring is upon us are also often outside in the world and your community is going outdoors. And it means that you too should be thoughtful about how you engage with people outside of your four walls of your gym, whether that means you showing up at a local farmer’s market or the local five Ks or Spartan races in your community, or you yourself are hosting events out in the world, whether it’s community events for your members like bowling night or where it’s workshops in your gym where the community is invited.

I think all the things we’re going to talk about on this episode apply. And so the thing that I hope you all take away from [00:06:00] This conversation is when you are out interacting with the public who represent potential clients for your gym, you should be thoughtful about that. You should have a plan, you should have an SOP and your team should be on the same page about who you’re engaging with, how you’re engaging them and what you hope the outcomes would be.

So this is, I think, true across any type of gym, but we’re going to continue pulling this thread specifically relates to sports performance because I think being out on a field in the middle of a game is its own. Kind of unique environment, but you can apply the same thinking, I think, to any other context.

Yeah. So walk through pet. I almost called you Ben. Walk us through Pete. There’s too many dudes in my life. Walk us through Pete of if you were to make that SOP for yourself or for CSP. What are the most important touch points for how you interact with the crowd and what you do to actually walk away with some potential leads?

Yep. This started with us during the spring. I don’t lay anybody off. We don’t, and we’re not doing well. [00:07:00] I’m going to be honest. We’re not printing cash during this stretch where 80 plus percent of our clients go in season all at once, but we plan for it. We budget around it. We treat it as Almost a sabbatical of sorts.

But with my employees who work a certain number of hours a week, we pay people to go to games on the clock and we realized we need some basic guidelines to make them eligible for collecting those payroll dollars in association with it. Cause it would be very easy if we had no rules for them to just bang out at two o’clock and say, I’m going to the game and then do a whole lot of nothing and go see a movie and Come home the next day.

And so my rules are really basic. If you’re going to go on the clock to a game that we collectively agree upon, you’re going to do so in CSP apparel. You’re going to get at least one image with the athlete either before or after the game, and we’re going to get some social media content out of it. Now that’s the most baseline you do that it’s [00:08:00] eligible for payroll dollars.

That’s just the basics. And no one has a problem with executing on that. If we wanted to go deeper. Like today, as I was workshopping an idea, this concept with a Unicorn Society gym owner, I said, let’s just go as far as making five, six, seven examples of things that you would like to see. Make it a checklist and tell your employees, you have to check two of these five every time you go to a game.

And the first one’s the easiest. I want a picture of the field. And in a caption that says so excited to watch and then tag the athletes in question get after it on the field today Standardize the hashtag you want them to use and that’s your baseline. That’s check the box. I showed up here. That’s them warming up.

That’s the team in a huddle I don’t care what it is You are tagging the athletes in question on a clean visual and just basically checking the box. I am here Then the second one is I told him to prioritize Standardize Option A would be one of [00:09:00] your clients hitting a home run, or striking out an athlete, or doing something meaningful.

If you can get video of that, please do. Awesome. Put that up. That’s some really cool social proof. Tag the athlete, watch them repost it, and we’re off and running. Beyond that, it might be the picture with the athlete we mentioned. It might be a picture with the parent of an athlete. It might be, and I said at the bottom of this food chain, would be a picture of the athlete in a ready position on field.

So if you can imagine a baseball player at shortstop, the 10 seconds, or not even 10, the 2 to 4 seconds before the pitch is thrown, when they are looking athletic and they are locked in, that’s the the bare minimum example of checking a second box. But you’re there, and you tag the athlete. And you say hard work rewarded after a long off season in the gym.

CSP family, dah, But the point is there are expectations, rules, and guidelines. You tell the team, I want you to publish a minimum of this many posts. And if you’re not feeling creative, These are the six boxes you can [00:10:00] start with checking. Does that make sense? 100%. And I love that you’re stacking it up.

There’s a minimum baseline you got to do. And there’s also above and beyond. I’m also defining what it looks like to go the extra mile and get more out of this. And I think the fact that you’re starting was just simple content, social content that shows we’re here, we’re supporting our athletes. We’re showing you people who we work with as social proof for look, our Folks are on the phone on the field, actually doing the shit that we talk about in the gym all the time that goes such a long way.

And I can see that this above and beyond lists. I can imagine if I’m brainstorming, it can go so much further, right? If you get permission to walk around the stands and hand out some CSP merch and takes photos of whole families, wearing your hat, wearing your t shirt, handing out water bottles. Or whatever the case may be, I think there’s all kinds of things you can do with a crowd of people to get people to recognize that CSP is there representing.

That brings me to what I think is an even more important opportunity that I want to get into is parent interaction. Yep. [00:11:00] And this is something that you can’t do in a careless, haphazard way. In fact, I went so far as to suggest, Hey, if you’re quiet in the gym and you’re sitting, twiddling your thumbs, waiting for that game to start, because honestly, there are moments like that in the spring for us, and you’re sending a staff member out to that game.

I would suggest that you go several extra miles, pull the name of the athletes, list the athletes who are playing in the game that day, list the first names of both of their parents. If you have them. And if you really want to take this a step further, pull that parents headshot off of LinkedIn, put it on the sheet and tell the coach, I expect you to find this person and surprise them by knowing their first name in the stands.

And if you walk up to them in the stands and you say, Hey, Michael, I just wanted to let you know, it’s been such a pleasure having Michael Jr. in the gym this year. What a good leader and work ethic in the weight room. I wish I had a hundred kids just like him, but I just want to say kudos to you because you raised a real gentleman.

Thanks for trusting us with his development. Shake a hand, look him in the eye, [00:12:00] worst case scenario, you walk away and the person sitting next to that dad says, Michael, who was that? And what do you do? You start selling for me. You say, Oh, that’s Pete. Yeah. He owns the gym where my kid does his pitching lessons.

And honestly, it’s been a pretty amazing experience. And I don’t care where you go from there. You’re already spreading the word. But then the next step after that, Is the next morning you’re in their inbox with an email that just says, thank you. And you say, Hey, Michael, thanks for chatting yesterday. It was so nice to finally meet you outside of the gym.

Michael Jr. Was awesome yesterday. That’s awesome. I want to reiterate how much I wish we had more kids like him in the weight room. And I’d imagine he surrounds himself with people like that. And I imagine all the great dads of the nice kids. And I’d be thrilled to talk to any of them. If you’d be interested in making an introduction, it would really mean a lot to me as we build this business.

Anyway, thanks again for your time. Done. Nobody ghosts that email because you opened with, thank you. Your kids are real gentlemen. I wish [00:13:00] I had more like them. No one’s going to ignore that and you’re just layering the generation opportunities Yeah, I think it’s so well said Pete I think it’s such a great example of how to teach some people to go be in Be a networker in the real world, go talk to people who you maybe have not talked to in person yet, and to give them a roadmap for doing it, especially because I know that many of us and people listening to this podcast have kind of younger coaches and trainers, or maybe not as practiced interacting with strangers in the real world.

Maybe on the internet they are, right? So actually practicing and role playing, give them templates of what to say, give them templates of what emails to send, and help make it easy for them to go out and have those conversations with confidence, right? That’s a game changer. Because no other gyms are doing that.

No other gyms are going up and knowing parents names. Offering those kinds of compliments and then also following up. I think it’s huge. I just to bring it back to non sports performance gyms a little [00:14:00] while, like your clients are probably doing all kinds of things out in the world. I think of MFF, our clients are in shows from time to time that we could go to and use all these exact same strategies, right?

Our clients are doing things like Spartan races or five Ks for charity. We can totally go out and take a picture of them running and support them. If we know other friends of theirs and where they’re meeting up to support them, we can go. Make friends with their friends as a way of generating leads, right?

So while we’re not talking to parents, we can talk up to this, other people’s social circles, if we go out into the world outside of our four walls and go meet them where they’re at. So I think that the strategy is so smart and can apply on so many different ways. Let me ask this when it comes to going to games, do you all ever have to worry about getting permission to show up and be like selling people in that kind of environment?

Is that a thing that like you ever have to worry about? No, but you want to know why? Cause we don’t sell. We shake hands, we deliver compliments and we just, we are present. That’s all we [00:15:00] do. And in fact, I’d love the opportunity to have the conversation that I mentioned in the stands where I go up and I shake the hand of a parent and I say, Hey, it’s just a compliment to you.

You’ve really raised a nice young man. And then if they. instinctually say, Hey, this is the father of the third baseman out there. I just thought I’d make an introduction. I’d say, Oh that’s very nice to meet you. I don’t want to hit you with a sales pitch. In fact, I’d rather you ask the hard questions of him when I walk away.

And if it sounds like we suck, don’t ever send me an email, but if you want to reach out after the fact. Send me an email and tell me that Michael over here told you to do, and I’ll make sure you get a complimentary initial evaluation. And it’s, that would be as far as I would ever go for selling on the side of the field, unless a dad pulled me aside and was like, Hey, I’ve been meaning to reach out.

Can I ask you some questions? Sure. I’ll sell my off in that dynamic, but I’m not out there. I’m honestly not handing out flyers. I’m not pushing it. I’m honestly the, I’m the smiling face that shows you give a shit. And I’ll give you an example in the real world of how [00:16:00] I have finally sat in the other chair, the recipient on this, as my kids are getting into sports and they’re playing town events and they’re playing in these activities that they get so excited about.

We have a couple of members of the extended day program from the elementary school that we invest in so that I can pick my kids up at six and not three because my business is, it happens in the afternoons. And this one, Miss Carrie, just keeps showing up. She’s even showing up at games that are not at the school.

She’s getting into her car during the summer, when they’re not even in, in season, I say in air quotes. And they’re coming out and watching my kid play baseball. And it makes me want to go to war to introduce them to other parents, to show them how much these people give a shit. It makes me want to grab them and be like, Carrie, you need to show me, where do I write the extended day equivalent to a Yelp review?

Where do I go to make sure people know how much you guys care? Because it is not lost on me that you’re in the middle of your [00:17:00] summer vacation and you’re here on a Wednesday evening, two towns away from where you live, holding a sign for my son and two other kids on the field that doesn’t exist everywhere.

How can I scream from the rooftops what you do? And we get a version of that when parents see us at games, when we step out there and they realize we’re not just back in the weight room trying to run other people’s credit cards. We’re out there showing, Hey, we give a shit. Like the gym is operating at a lower efficiency without us there right now, but because we’ve prioritized showing that we give a shit.

Yeah. Listen, I, Pete, I think that’s a great way to end the podcast. I think it’s a great takeaway for all listeners. It’s certainly a takeaway for me as well, that just walking outside of your gym and supporting your clients out in the world, whether it’s sports performance and they’re at on a field or they’re in a local show, or they’re have a.

Table at a farmer’s market showing up and being present and using that as an opportunity to support them and also get to know other people around them in their life, parents, friends, neighbors, other [00:18:00] teammates is a great way to network, build your reputation, show you, give a shit, and it will generate leads, even if you’re not proactively selling out in these spaces.

And I think it’s a great reminder to all everyone that this kind of lead generation is available to all of us. We can all do this. And the law of reciprocity is a very real thing when it comes to these events. Yeah, that’s a real thing. Amazing. Thanks for a great conversation as always. And dear listeners, if you want that special discount from CFSC, click down below in the show notes, get that 25 percent off all their courses.

You won’t be disappointed. Thanks for a great call as always, Pete. Great call. Like we’re on a, like we’re in a meeting. Thanks as always for a great episode. And I will see you on the next one. Have a kick ass day. Take care.