How to Create a Sales Culture in your Gym

When a gym commits to creating a sales culture in order to increase sales and profits, there are some fundamental rules that should be the foundation of any successful implementation. Once these rules are established other items can be addressed as the health club moves toward the full adoption of the new sales culture.

  1. All staff in your facility must be involved. Any successful gym sales culture needs to include each and every employee from the owner to the lowest paid person. No one can be exempt. Some gym owners think that the idea of a sales culture is a membership sales department function that doesn’t affect other club departments. However, a true sales culture means that everyone takes responsibility for increasing sales by adopting a member and guest-centered attitude in doing their individual jobs.
  2. All staffers must have a real stake in the game when it comes to the performance of the gym. No matter how much your staffers hear about a sales culture in your gym they won’t be committed to taking daily sales-enhancing actions if they don’t feel that they will be rewarded. That’s why incentives and profit participating programs are indispensable to any successful gym sales culture. Let your staffers know what the goals are and what they will receive when the goals are achieved and you will see them put forth their best efforts.
  3. The health club must provide its staffers with specific tools and training for the successful transformation to a sales culture. No matter how much buy-in you might get from staffers, if they don’t have the specific tools and training to put your gym sales culture into action, your efforts will be doomed. Examples of the tools they will need include product training sessions, sales training workshops, guest information such as brochures and marketing information, scripts for up-selling and role playing sessions, just to name a few. Tools such as these combined with departmental profit bonuses and frequent sales updates will put a positive charge in your gym workforce.
  4. The member is king in a true gym sales culture. One of the primary misnomers concerning a gym sales cultures is that they are built upon increasing sales at any cost to the detriment of long relationship building activities in the gym. But a true gym sales culture is focused upon nurturing members and guests by delivering solutions each and every day. The club sales manager’s most trusted tool is the Lifetime Member Value equation that shows what a good member can return on an investment of time.  Every member question should be answered in the context of what impact will it have on the overall income from the member over the typical lifetime of the membership.
  5. Cultural change in your gym starts with you. Only a complete commitment from the gym owner or top management will initiate a transformation to a sales culture. Not only should this person be verbally committed to the change, but they must be leading the change. Seeing the gym leaders driving the cultural change will have a big impact on others in the club. Everyone should hear the gym owner pledge to serve the members and provide staffers with the tools and training to institute the sales culture.

Increased marketplace competition, shrinking margins, increased regulation and other economic factors make creating a sales culture in every gym a priority for profits and sometimes even survival. By following these basic rules, any health club, fitness center or gym can begin the process of building a successful sales culture.

Do you have questions? What haven’t we covered yet that is important to you? If you would like to talk about creating a sales culture for your gym and fitness center, or a related topic, please contact us.

An Outsourced CEO, Jim Thomas is the founder and president of Fitness Management USA Inc., a management consulting, turnaround and brokerage firm specializing in the gym and sports industry. With more than 25 years of experience owning, operating and managing clubs of all sizes, Thomas lectures and delivers seminars, webinars and workshops across the globe on the practical skills required to successfully to overcome obscurity, improve sales, build teamwork and market fitness programs and products. In addition, his company will buy gym equipment from gyms liquidating or closing. Visit his Web site at:

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