Monday, May 9, 2011

A Fit Proposal

Okay, Fitness Together, you got me. After literally TWO years of me ignoring calls from “Scott at FT”, you finally managed to get me at least interested enough in you again to go re-check your website to see if you had lowered your astronomical rates. Note: They had not. I guess I can’t be sure, though, because they don’t post their rates online. In the wise words of my mother, “If you have to ask, you can’t afford it.” (Second Note: Fitness Together is a place where you basically work out with a certified personal trainer every session “who will push you just hard enough to get results.” Sounded lovely at the time, but it costs an arm and a leg to work out there – quite possibly the reason for the literal weight loss.) The fact is, though, that they at least got me to go back to their website. That should be considered a victory for them. How did they do it, you ask? How did they, after roughly 2 years and 36 voicemails, manage to FINALLY leave an impression on me?

Scott told me I had won a contest wherein I was voted one of their Top Ten Least Favorite People.

His voicemail (yeah, I ignored his call for the 37th time) was a whole mess of marketing ploys – like throwing a bunch of ideas at the wall, hoping one would stick. He started by trying to appeal to my sense of Minnesota pride. “The Twins are doing terribly, amiright?! Let’s share in their misery!” He followed that up with a whole bunch of blah blah blah about vague sports references. As much as I like the Minnesota Twins, their horrible record right now does not exactly get me fired up enough to whip out my wallet and drop $100 a week for personal training. I’m still not even sure how those two things “fit together” anyway. (Get it? FIT Together? FITNESS Together?!)

Then came the numbers game. “For $99, you get two free weeks of training!” Hmm, I’m listening. “Okay, technically it’s three sessions for one week, and you have to bring a friend to all those three sessions,” Uh, okay, so that’s where the “two weeks” came in. It’s not two weeks for ME, it’s ONE week for TWO people. “Blah blah blah, burn this many calories, $75,000 value, can’t put a price on fitness, this incredible ‘deal’ is only available this week”. Yup, you lost me again.

Just as I’m about to preemptively dial 7 to delete the message, I hear Scott quickly add on one final ploy. “Now Pharon, the reason you were chosen to get this offer is because you were voted one of our Top 10 Least Favorite People!" Hold the phone (literally). Now THAT’S got some fire to it. Moi?! Least favorite!? How dare they! I’ve only been playing HARD TO GET for 2 years…and now, not only are they sitting around hating me – ME! – but they are willing to actually reward me for it?! I jotted down Scott’s number, and momentarily thought of calling him back to both demand an explanation and sign up post-haste for the training sessions to redeem myself.

Keep in mind, I have never met these people before. I made one little phone call to them 2 years ago, asking how much their program costs. They said something like “A zillion dollars. Cash or credit?” So, natch, I decided to never talk to them again. Now I find out they’re all talking about how much I suck? In the words of Stephanie Tanner, How rude!

I gotta say, though, Scott at Fitness Together, I saved your voicemail. I will never actually sign up with Fitness Together, mind you. You just can’t argue with numbers. But I am considering calling to tell them that this particular marketing tactic just might work on someone. If you can’t lower your rates, I guess the next best effective method would be to insult your potential clients? Does that sound right? Because, uh, it kind of worked. It definitely helped that Scott actually CONGRATULATED me on this prestigious award, and he sounded downright cheery when he broke the news to me. So it’s like, “Hahaha, we know you’re avoiding us, and we’re totally on to you. But we refuse to give up on you, Slacker!” And I mean, I really can’t fault them for that. It’s like they want me to be a part of their circle. And it’s the kind of circle where they playfully make fun of me while also helping me get rid of my back fat. That sounds like a pretty good circle!

Like I said, though, you can’t argue with numbers. Money is money. And because I’m the kind of person who aspires to use coupons, never throws away a holey sock (they still WORK, sheesh!), never buys new sports bras (they hardly get used anyway), and who can’t justify buying a new pair of $80 running shoes because “I’d never wear them!”, I hardly think I’m the kind of person who can work “personal trainer” into the budget.

I tip my hat to you, Fitness Together. If there was ANY way I’d sign up with you, outside of you lowering your rates considerably, it would have been this very voicemail. Not the Twins crap, or the math-heavy “deal” nonsense, but the simple and loving way you shamed and insulted me. Well played!

No comments: