Merriam & Gerry the Gym Owner: The Difference 5 Minutes can Make

Reading Time: 5 minutes

When we last left Gerry and Merriam, the latter had closed Gerry on her proposal to reactivate his database, and was beginning to reveal to Gerry what she referred to as her company’s secret sauce – namely, the foundations of nurture.

Nature Vs. Nurture

“Prospects,” Merriam suggested, “are just like babies. While nature influences much of what they do, nurture influences the rest. Neglected children, well, they don’t often turn out the way we might hope, even though they turn out exactly as we might expect.”

Merriam had listened closely to Gerry’s situation over the course of their discussion, and the strength of her current position, she knew, rested on a few key assumptions she had made along the way.

Gerry didn’t know he was sitting on a list of lucrative contacts.

If Gerry didn’t know he was sitting on this list, Gerry also didn’t know how this list was formed or where the people in the list came from.

Since Gerry didn’t know he had a list or how the list came to be, then Gerry must also have no process in place to engage newcomers to that list.

Therefore, if I, Merriam, can implement and own that process, and control what happens to contacts at the point of entry, then not only can I help Gerry make more money, but I can further embed myself into his operations…

“Hm – you say prospects are like babies…I’m not sure I see the connection.”

Merriam had the odd habit of philosophizing on the job and, having now thoroughly confused Gerry, she tried another angle.

“Think about it, Gerry. We’ve spoken at length about your list, and how we are going to reactivate it, but let’s focus for a minute on the prospects themselves…”

Merriam indicated to Gerry that, above all else, prospect intent level determines whether he or she will become a paying customer at Gerry’s Gym.

The Importance of Intent

“Some prospects,” continued Merriam, “are ready to buy from the outset. Their intent level is high, and they’re going to enroll with your gym right away. Other prospects, however, are still exploring their options, or are on the fence, or have urgent questions about your services. These prospects need a little more love. Other prospects, still, have even less intent to purchase from you – they’re merely curious or are flirting with the idea of working out again. These folk need even more love. Do you see what I mean?”

Gerry was beginning to see what Merriam meant, and told her as much.

“Good. So, in a word, Gerry, the aim of nurture is to transform low and mid-level intent into high intent, and to capitalize on high intent as soon as it’s discovered.”

Gerry nodded his approval, and Merriam, confident that she had armed Gerry with enough context, launched into a series of calculated questions, rooted in the assumptions mentioned above.

The Interrogation

“Do you currently have a process in place to engage immediately with someone who shows interest in your services?”

“Not that I know of…”

“How long does it typically take you or someone on your staff to respond to a new lead, whether he or she has sent an email, left a voicemail, or left a call-back number at the front desk?”

“I don’t know…maybe thirty minutes to an hour?”

“And why is that, Gerry?”

“Well, because we’re pretty busy doing other things around the gym…”

“Of course. And where do those leads go when they don’t hear back from you fast enough?”

“Well, I guess they go workout somewhere else…”

“That’s right, Gerry. Or, as we’ve discussed, they become part of your list for reactivation later.”

“Ah, yes, true.”

“But, Gerry…” Merriam held her pause for dramatic effect. “How much more effective would our database reactivation campaigns be if our prospects, at the time of reactivation, were already organized according to intent level?”

“Much more powerful, I imagine, but how do we ensure that they are?”

“We do that, Gerry, by segmenting prospects as soon as they enter your database – we control the conditions, dictate the flow, and leverage speed to filter for intent: converting high-intent prospects immediately and saving low to mid-intent prospects for a little extra love later on down the line.”

“I see,” replied Gerry.

The Need for Speed

At this point, Merriam asked her most poignant question yet.

“Do you know, Gerry, how much time you have to convert a prospect before he or she moves on to one of your competitors?”

“Uhm, I’m not too sure…”

“Five minutes, Gerry. Five minutes. After five minutes, the odds of closing your prospect drop by 80%.”

“Wow, I had no idea…”

Thoroughly satisfied with the impression she had made on Gerry with this line of inquiry, she explained to Gerry that what hurts businesses the most is not lack of consumer interest, but rather the absence of systems to manage consumer interest. 

The Fast Five Workflow

She reminded Gerry of the nuts and bolts of database reactivation campaigns. 

Prospects receive an offer.

If they express interest in the offer, they are prompted to claim the offer. 

If they reject the offer, they are removed from the workflow and filed away for future contact.

If they take no action, they are followed up with until they reply. If they do not reply at all, their silence is taken as rejection and they, too, are filed away for future contact.

“This, Gerry,” said Merriam, “is what we do to manage the interest of your existing contacts. We do the exact same thing for new contacts, except we do it within 5 minutes of the prospect entering your list.’”

“Assuming, for example,” continued Merriam, “your prospects enter your list through some promotion you are offering – they will, because together we will control the flow of leads and their entry ports – here’s what would happen…”

Prospects immediately receive an email confirming their interest in the offer and requesting that they take the required next steps to claim their offer.

At the same time, they receive a conversational text message designed to elicit a yes or no response – something like: “Thanks for claiming our free day pass – is now a good time to get you scheduled in, Gerry?”

Then, if two minutes pass and they’ve replied positively, they receive a booking link.

If two minutes pass and they haven’t replied, an automatic call is directed to your front desk prompting them to press any key to connect with your new lead in an effort to put them on the phone with the prospect right then and there.

If that effort fails, prospects automatically receive a voicemail message, which informs them of your previous efforts to get ahold of them, and invites them again to take the desired action.

“This process, Gerry,” concluded Merriam, “we call the Fast Five.” 

Some prospects will convert straightaway. Some leads will respond with further questions. Some will enter a long-term nurture sequence for later reactivation.

A recipe provided by HighLevel, but perfected by Merriam, who by the end of her discussion with Gerry had landed herself a most valuable account.

How Services Converge & Multiply

To sell Gerry database reactivation services long-term would require that Merriam also ensure that Gerry’s database continued to grow between reactivation campaigns. 

To ensure this, Merriam would have to control the flow of contacts into Gerry’s database and diagnose early their likelihood to convert.

What better way to do this, Merriam reasoned, than to draw Gerry’s attention to the first five, crucial minutes of the buyer’s journey. 

What happens here determines the percentage at which high-intent prospects convert to customers, dictates the future composition of Gerry’s list, and sets the terms for how prospects are treated in the interim between lead capture and database reactivation.

To have jurisdiction over these powers alone would be enough to make the ‘Gerry’ account sustainable and profitable for years to come. 

But these powers, represented by Merriam as quick and painless wins, were signs of a much deeper integration between the two businesses.

With reactivation now deemed essential, and the Fast Five workflow agreed on as necessary, and Gerry’s list secured in Merriam’s whitelabel version of HighLevel’s software, it would not be long before Merriam consolidated Gerry’s website, calendar, pipeline, communication channels, and traffic outlets there too.


While database reactivation is a powerful tool for converting existing contacts, leading research from MIT indicates that what happens, or does not happen, within the first five minutes of the customer journey has the greatest impact on whether a new lead buys from you or from someone else. Through HighLevel’s ‘Fast Five’ workflow recipe, prospects are contacted immediately upon sign-up, at multiple touch points, to capture intent, segment the customer journey, and maximize conversion percentage.

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