Does your club's sales pitch sound something like this? "Make this year the year you fulfilled your New Year’s Resolution!" "Come in to get beach body fit for the summer!" "Back to school, back to the gym, join today!" "Eat too much turkey, we have just the thing, join the gym today!" You probably at some point or another have run a similar promotion. Not that there is anything wrong with that. But if you are wondering why you constantly having downward pressure on your prices…
Well maybe you should have thought about that when you stopped being original. And that’s what this blog is about. It’s about being original. It’s about taking some time, putting some effort into understanding what your value proposition is. Because let me tell you, if you can’t figure out what makes you better than the gym across the street, don’t be surprised when the only way to bring in new members is by lowering your prices.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating being original for the sake of being original. It has to be based on some sort of reality. I can’t imagine there are a huge number of people out there who are interested in getting in shape for National Lumpy Rug Day. You think I’m kidding? If you are curious, you can learn more about Lump Rug Day, which coincidentally is tomorrow. So that should give you more than enough time to buy your significant other a gift! Maybe a nice throw rug.
And I’m also not advocating being over the top. Last year we came up with these holiday promotions. If you do decide to run one, please let us know how it goes. Just because we are that curious!
But this blog isn’t about marketing. It’s about sales. And the fact remains that most health clubs don’t train their salespeople how to sell memberships. I’m sure there are plenty of good reasons for this, just none that I can think up. You take time to educate yourself so that you buy the right equipment. You invest heavily in locker rooms, the right color palette and good front desk design. Your attention to detail to make the member experience is top notch. And it goes without saying you buy the best gym management software from Motionsoft – MoSo.
So why is it when it comes time to salespeople, you don’t have training manuals? You haven’t taken the time to teach them about your unique and ORIGINAL value proposition. I’m also not advocating going back in time when health club sales were like used car guys. But there isn’t anything wrong with a bit of salesmanship.
Your sales people aren’t and shouldn’t be order takers. If that’s the case, set up a bunch of iPads in the lobby. Use Motionsoft’s MyClub on line portal. And let prospects self-service.
Or you can follow these five tips:
- Teach them about your product and your service – You can’t effectively sell, if you don’t actually know what you are selling. This problem is far more common than you would think. And don’t rely on one salesperson to teach the new guy. You should have documentation and manuals that each new person can read.
- Teach them about the competition and your advantage – I’ve always said it doesn’t matter what club you go to, a 40-pound weight always weighs the same. But there are differences and you need to make your employees aware of them.
- Mine your existing client database – Salespeople should be hunters not farmers. They shouldn’t be sitting there waiting for people to come in. They need to be proactive. And the best place to start is your existing client database.
- Teach them how to cross-sell/up-sell – I call this the PoLR – path of least resistance. The theory is simple. Why risk the whole sale by trying to sell PT, or towel service when it’s just as easy to let them buy the membership and call it a day? I have to wonder how much money clubs leave on the table everyday because they take PoLR.
- Track progress and results – In baseball they call it cybermetrics. In fitness they call it tracking. In business they call it a data warehouse (NOT REPORTING) and it gives you insight into your business. You need to do the same thing with your salespeople.
It’s not a sales bible but if you are looking to get started nothing could be better. Or you can hope that a bunch of people are planning on joining your gym for National Candied Orange Peel Day on May 4th!
Hossein Noshirvani is the executive vice president of Motionsoft Inc. Learn more about Motionsoft's club management software at motionsoft.net.