The new Merriam-Webster's dictionary defines the word promise as: a pledge to do or not to do something specified. If I were to have my own dictionary, the new Todd-Brown's dictionary (as goofy as that sounds), I would define the word promise as: the exact element of a marketing piece that determines whether it will be highly effective or a complete failure, especially when marketing your nutrition program. I know that sounds harsh, but let me explain why I put it that way.

Remember, your members don't want a nutrition program. They don't want to meet with your nutritionist, monitor their food intake, or have their body fat taken once per week. What they want are results. What they want are the benefits of a nutrition program. The promise, in a marketing piece is when a business states that it can and will deliver to the prospect the main benefit that the prospect is looking to obtain from the product or service. The promise is when the exterminator states in his marketing that he guarantees your bug problems will be over within 24 hours. The promise is when the chiropractor states in her marketing that your back pain will be gone in 12 visits. When your marketing piece, like a brochure or flyer does not contain a significant promise, the marketing piece lacks the emotional appeal that's needed to draw significant numbers of people into your program. Remember, people buy out of emotion, not out of logic. The promise is what hits the prospect or member on the emotional hot button needed to push them to take action.

MAKE BIG PROMISES AND THEN DELIVER

If you really want to have an incredibly effective, magnetic marketing piece for your nutrition program, then what you need to have within the marketing piece is the largest, most incredible promise possible. And, the larger the promise, the more effective the marketing piece will be. Let me give you an example of what I mean by a tremendous promise vs. just an ordinary, mundane promise.

If you were debating whether to read this article, and I started the article by saying that when you were done reading the article you would be able to get more nutrition clients, would you be excited about reading the article? Probably not. Instead, what if I started the article by saying that when you were done reading the article that you would be able to triple the number of nutrition clients that you currently have, in 45 days or less…guaranteed. Would you be more excited? I'm not a betting man, but I'd bet that you would be. Why? Because I made a much bigger promise with the second article intro. Not only that, but I promised exactly what someone reading an article on how to run a successful health club nutrition program would want, and that's how to get clients and get them fast.

Let me clarify one important element of the promise. I'm not telling you to make promises to your members that you can't keep. Don't ever tell any member that you can get them into the best shape of his or her life in 60 days, if you can't. Doing that is the quickest way to go out of business. Only promise what you absolutely, positively know you can give to the member in an exciting and dramatic fashion. Take a moment to think about what your members want to get from your nutrition program. Then put together a promise that conveys the message that you can and will deliver what your members would want from your club's nutrition program. That's the ticket.

By clearly and concisely stating, in all of your marketing pieces, a strong, powerful, tremendous promise to deliver the main benefits that you know your members are looking to obtain from your nutrition program, you will double the number of members that are enrolling in your nutrition program each month…I guarantee it. Now how about that for a promise.

Todd Brown, CCN, CSCS, MES, is the director of personal training for the seven New Jersey WOW! Work Out World facilities. Todd can be reached via tbrown@workoutworld.com or 732-390-7390 ext. 19.