Webcast Invitation from Fitness Management & Consulting and jimthomasondemand.com

Ready to take sales to the next level? @GymConsultant and jimthomasondemand.com can help you! Sign up for a FREE webcast at https://108.174.154.48/~fmconsul/webinar-registration

Webcast Invitation from Fitness Management & Consulting and jimthomasondemand.com

Would you like to take your sales production to the next level?  Our free webcast series “The Perfect Membership Sales Process – How to Double Your Sales Production” will help your team take immediate action. Register here: https://108.174.154.48/~fmconsul/webinar-registration/

Date: May 22, 2015 Time: 2 PM Eastern/1 PM Central/ 11 AM Pacific

In this webcast you team will learn;

How to Handle a Proper Greeting

Evaluation and the Importance of the Powerful Why

The Tour and Why you Sell Benefits and not Features

Analysis and Helping the Customer Understand What They Need to Do

Presentation of the Membership with all the Do’s and Don’ts

The Close and the trouble spots many salespeople face

Bonus Tips to Help Double Sales

This webcast will help put a spark in the veterans and help jump-start your new hires.  Q&A will be available on the webcast.

The webcast is free.

Just say “yes” and we’ll make plans to get you on our schedule. Click here to register: https://108.174.154.48/~fmconsul/webinar-registration/

Thank you.

Jim Thomas

P.S. If you can’t wait for the webcast, please check out jimthomasondemand.com for over 600 training modules that you can access at anytime at your convenience.

 

Are you watching your monthly membership sales decline and don’t know why?

We recently took on a client club whose sales were on a steady decline.  Of course, we heard the normal push-backs such as to much competition, time of year, rates are too high, marketing is not working, etc.  One of the first things we will normally do is listen in to call-tracking results on incoming calls – most of this is tied to direct mail marketing.  In this particular case, a prospect called in asking about membership rates.  Not only did the club representative not follow the provided script, but when the caller volunteered that she may have called the wrong club, the club rep offered to find the phone number of the competitor. You may be thinking this was a new rep that was answering the phone prematurely…..unfortunately, it was the club manager.

Do you know what your salespeople and front desk staffers are saying over the phone?

92% of customer interactions happen via the phone.  85% of customers report dissatisfaction with their phone experience.

Do you have a written phone script? If not, you need to get one and it should be memorized to the point of being second-nature. Regular training and role-playing should be done to be sure everyone is on track.  And be sure to listen to your call tracking notes…this will only be important to your staff, if it’s first important to you.  You must inspect what you expect.

A customer is 4 times more likely to buy from a competitor when ignored.

Are you ignoring your customers?

Many clubs will put a significant effort into getting the phone to ring and people to walk through the door, but then don’t maximize the opportunity to increase membership sales when the salespeople fail to follow up.

48% of salespeople never follow up with a prospect.

25% of salespeople make a second contact and stop.

12% of salespeople only make three contacts and stop.

Only 10% of salespeople make more than three contacts.

80% of sales are made on the fifth to twelfth contact.

The biggest reasons we find salespeople do not follow up like they should – they simply don’t know what to say.  Web leads, for example, on average, require 8 attempts before contacting….you may speak to some web leads right away which means someone else make take 16 attempts.

The key to successful follow up is to commit to it, get creative on different ways to do it and understand that speed is power.

Do you know what your salespeople are saying? Can your salespeople pass the test?  If you would like for us to phone shop your club, just email jthomas@fmconsulting.net or call 800-929-2898.

Now, go learn that script!

Jim Thomas is the founder and president of Fitness Management USA Inc., a management consulting and turnaround firm specializing in the fitness and health club industry. With more than 25 years of experience owning, operating and managing clubs of all sizes, Thomas lectures and delivers seminars and workshops across the country on the practical skills required to successfully build teamwork and market fitness programs and products. Visit his Web site at: www.fmconsulting.net.

 

What’s the #1 Problem for your Gym? Obscurity

That’s right!  We see it frequently in clubs.  No one knows that you’re out there and those that do don’t have you at top of mind.

Many clubs are only doing a couple things to drive guest traffic and most do not have a specific plan for retention.  They vastly underestimate what it will take to avoid obscurity and attract attention to themselves.

We received a call from a gym owner recently.  He said he had been going back and forth to our web site and considering hiring us to help him get his gym back on track.  When asked what finally prompted him to call, he said a guest came into his gym the previous evening, was very impressed and joined.  Upon joining, they said, “this club is the best kept secret in town.”

Is your gym the best kept secret in town?

Here is the simplest and easiest way to begin your quest to avoid obscurity, attract attention and stay top of mind;

Get yourself a Club App.  Market and promote to your member base.  Follow up with club guests that did not join.

  1. You must get people to download your app.  Too many clubs don’t have a club app…and those that do aren’t doing enough to get people to download it.   Include a paragraph in your new member letter letting your new member know this is your primary communication tool with members…such things as inclement weather, class changes, special offers, etc.  For people who do not join, let them you provide information on the club app on how to lose weight and stay in shape.
  2. Prime Real Estate.  How many people have a smart phone?  If watching people at the airport or in restaurants is any indicator, it seems like everyone does.  So, your message is pushed to the best of all real estate – right in the palm of the members or prospects hand.
  3. Geo-Fencing.  You set your club app to deliver a push notification every time your member enters you gym with encouragement to take a class, try a personal trainer, bring a friend or maybe a discount on a smoothie when they are done working out.  Or how about this, every time your member gets within a specified distance from your competition, they get a notification reminding them about your gym?
  4. Club Concierge Service.  This is a great way to improve member loyalty (member retention). Notifications to encourage regular attendance.  Celebrate birthdays, membership anniversary dates along with announcements of members who are getting great results.  Use your app as the primary source of member communication for changes in schedule, weather related closing or anything exciting going on at your gym
  5. Resource Center.  This is a great follow up tool for those that don’t join your club right away.  Provide daily tips on exercise and proper eating for those that travel, have limited time, are trying to do it on their own.  This will help with member retention along with staying at top of mind for prospects that may eventually join your gym.
  6. Motivation. Daily affirmations to help keep everyone excited and focused on getting results at your gym
  7. Sell a membership (or anything else).  Of course, links to sell membership, personal training, etc.

Check out Club Apps at www.clubapps.com.  And by the way, our new app will be released soon.  Follow us on Twitter @GymConsultant for details.

Now, go attract attention to your gym!

Jim Thomas is the founder and president of Fitness Management USA Inc., a management consulting and turnaround firm specializing in the fitness and health club industry. With more than 25 years of experience owning, operating and managing clubs of all sizes, Thomas lectures and delivers seminars and workshops across the country on the practical skills required to successfully build teamwork and market fitness programs and products. Visit his Web site at: www.fmconsulting.net.

 

I Have a Question for You: Who’s driving the sales process – you, or the health club guest?

Selling a health club membership is like driving a car down the highway: the person who asks the questions gets to sit in the driver’s seat and control the direction of the sale, while the passenger—the person who answers the questions—goes along for the ride. Unfortunately, many health club sales people feel that they are selling when they respond to their prospect’s questions.

With the belief that “telling is selling,” many health club salespeople have been trained to spend the majority of their time talking about their clubs features and programs. It is an ineffective approach, though, and will only invite comparison to other clubs. The most effective way to control the sale with a guest in your health club is to ask more questions. It’s that simple.

We want to be careful to not mistakenly believe that demonstrating how smart or knowledgeable we are about the club and will help our prospect make a buying decision. In reality, the prospective new member takes control of the sale whenever he moves into the driver’s seat by asking questions.

You can also lose control of the sale if you aren’t asking the right kinds of questions. Many health club sales people who have learned to ask questions all too often sound like this:

“If I could lower that joining fee and save you money, would you be interested?” “What will it take to earn your business?”

The problem with questions like these is that they do not help you gain the knowledge and information you need to effectively present a solution to your prospects problem— and these questions only demonstrate a lack of sales ability that will quickly cause the prospect to lose interest in the phone call, the tour or the membership price presentation – or stop driving and get out of the car.

Instead, let’s ask high-quality questions that will not only make your prospect think but will also demonstrate your health club’s product knowledge and expertise. For example, focus on these:

  • the prospect’s goals,
  • his super objective (hot button)
  • his fitness challenges

This approach helps you gain more insight to your prospect’s situation, which means you will be able to present an attractive solution while selling on benefits and results, not features and price… and get him to join your club today.

Here are some proven tips to help you develop good sales questions when touring your health club with your prospect::

  1. Consider the person who is touring the club. Probe. Probe. Probe. Questions about the prospect’s goals, super objective and the challenges and barriers that are preventing her from reaching those target goals will give you valuable insight. Remember, professional health club salesmanship is more about gathering information than giving information.
  1. As a professional health club salesperson, determine your key objective with your guest. What information do you require in order to move the sales process forward or determine the best solution for your prospect or guest? Your questions will vary depending on the prospect. I remember first starting in sales, and if I could find out the first thing they were going to do when they lost the weight, I knew I could close them today.
  1. Use “what” questions. What caused the weight gain? What were you doing when you were in your best shape? What action are you taking right now to achieve your goals? What specific challenges or obstacles are preventing you from reaching your goal? What kind of results are you expecting? By determining the cause of your prospects problems, you will be able to better adjust your tour and presentation…and then show your prospects how the program at your health club is a solution.

In today’s ultra-competitive health club world it is actually easy to stand out from the competition. Most health club sales people are so focused on trying to get the sale that they don’t learn anything about their prospect’s situation. If you truly want to control the sales process in your club and positively influence the outcome, you must teach yourself to ask questions instead of talking. Contrary to popular belief, telling is NOT selling.

Now, put yourself in the driver’s seat go ask the right questions!

Should you invest in Sales Training for your Health Club Staff?

Health Club sales training is a must for any fitness facility wishing to secure a competitive advantage in their marketplace. This has always been important, but it’s even more important now than ever.

The ability to sell memberships, personal training, etc. is fundamental to success in the fitness business and the full effort of the sales team is essential. The health club sales team brings in the revenue that writes the check of everybody in the gym from the administrative staff to the cleaning crew to the owner.  Unless a health club can generate membership sales there is no revenue and there is no business.

The only thing worse than training your health club membership sales staff and having them leave….is NOT training your membership staff and having them stay.

Here are some thoughts why health clubs and gyms should consider investing in regular sales training:

  • Improve membership sales and productivity:  Just a 10% increase in the membership sales of one membership rep would offer a quick return on investment. 
  • Gain a competitive advantage over other health clubs: Many fitness facilities do not properly train their membership sales team. Health clubs and gyms that train and invest in their employees are also strengthening their own competitive position. A competitive advantage could mean the difference between success, survival or disappearance. New sales ideas and strategies learned from a proven health club sales training program give your fitness facility a strong advantage against other gyms in your area…even a slight advantage can make all the difference in that next membership sale. 
  • Increase employee satisfaction and staff retention: Everybody wants to feel good in their jobs. Health club sales training develops the abilities of membership sales personnel and encourages them to use their natural talents and abilities in the membership sales process. This helps to establish better relationships with guests and members. 
  • Confident membership sales staff: Confidence is a must when it comes to health club sales. A confident membership sales rep feels good about what they do, speaks with authority about the fitness facilities services and products and transfers the same confidence to guests and members. This confidence is crucial in making membership sales and in getting guests and members to join your health club. 
  • New creative ideas and inspiration: Implementing the new ideas and strategies learned in health club sales training makes selling memberships more exciting and simplifies the process. Working in fitness sales should be fun as well as providing an exciting daily challenge and opportunity. The idea is to create an atmosphere that allows a motivated person to act. Health Club sales training will help to do this. 
  • Motivated membership sales team: Membership sales reps are always more motivated when they can see a positive outcome as a result of their actions. This combination of confidence and motivation is a very powerful mixture in any health club situation. 

Health club membership sales reps that have the motivation and confidence in themselves will sign up new members who are not only satisfied members but members who will also refer their friends.  We all know that there is no better way of marketing your health club than word of mouth advertising. We instinctively have more confidence in a fitness facility when it has been recommended by somebody we know. This is particularly the case where the health club we are selling is a more expensive one.  For those of you competing against lower-priced competition, this can be the difference-maker.

Now, go get some health club sales training!

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