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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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
- 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.
- Motivation. Daily affirmations to help keep everyone excited and focused on getting results at your gym
- 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.
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!
The heart of true customer service is a commitment to deliver your members and prospects the most professional sales and service possible. But, there are some pitfalls. In working with many health clubs across the country, we work with many facilities with new or inexperienced salespeople, which may or may not include the front desk staff serving as salespeople.
We recently completed a study for a health club that was struggling with its newly hired membership sales reps. As you read our findings, think about your team stacks up:
- Thinking small. Want bigger sales? Think bigger. Ask these questions: “How high is high?” and “What is my maximum potential?” Over and over I see the new or inexperienced salespeople only selling the lowest price membership the club has to offer.
- Lack of preparation. There is an old saying: “Success happens when opportunity meets preparedness!” We find that too many health club owners are just throwing new sales reps in the fire with little or no training. I asked one sales rep to see her price presentation sheet and she informed me that she just writes the membership prices on a back of a piece of paper. Not exactly a prepared recipe for success.
- Failing to establish and/or maintain rapport. All too often the new sales reps just dives in for the sale. The key here is to talk about something you may have in common, be respectful, do some fact finding on the prospect’s goals and why they are important – and THEN move toward the sales message.
- Failing to really commit and establish themselves as experts in their field. Again, this is about preparedness. Naturally, you wouldn’t throw someone into sales for your club who knows nothing about fitness. Even a person who knows a limited amount, though, can be bolstered with information so as to exude confidence when talking about the club.
- Not listening. 90% of salespeople never listen, and are doomed to ineffectiveness. This one is a biggie, particularly when we’re rushed or feeling pressure. When new sales reps do nothing but talk, talk, talk, they most certainly will never find out much about the health club guest. Feature-dumping will only encourage the guest to check out other clubs.
- Failing to ask for the order. This may be hard to believe, but only 70% of all health club sales folks NEVER ask for the membership sale. Do yours? Such phrases as How does that sound…What do you think…Do you have any questions, don’t count. This isn’t asking for the sale. Asking for the sale requires decent boldness: “Let’s get you started today, Mr. Smith.” (Then be quiet).
- Poor or no follow up. Follow up and follow through truly sets the great salespeople apart from the mediocre ones. The ongoing responsibility of the health club owner is to continually come up with new reasons for the sales rep to call back previous club The club needs to have a plan to continually reintroduce the sales rep with the non member.
So, how do you and your team stack up? How can you help them make the changes they need to become a professional salesperson and provide value-added service?
Ask yourself how you fare on each of these areas. Would you give yourself a passing mark? Which ones would need a little work? How will you change to make sure you give your customers the most professional service possible?
Give your team a chance to win by reminding them of these success tactics. Remind them to keep focused and keep working toward their goals of helping the client make a decision that is good for the client and profitable for the company.