Often sales people don’t utilize all their resources. Many, when left to their own devices, keep doing the same things they have always done, even if they don’t work. The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again but expecting a different result. I clearly don’t want anyone to go insane so let’s talk about things to do outside of handling walk-ins and telephone inquiries.
1. Corporate sales — Every community has an opportunity to explore corporate memberships. The fun part of seeking corporate memberships is that when you land one account it is normally going to bring in multiple members, so even if it takes longer to cultivate, the rewards are worth the effort. Send out at least one corporate letter per day.
2. Outsource marketing — This where you simply go outside to your local strip plaza or mall and visit store managers. Simply ask each manager how many employees they have and give them passes for each one. You create value by suggesting that the company gives the passes to each employee as a company benefit, not just as a drop-off pass. Sales reps should spend at least one hour per day doing outsourcing.
3. In-sourcing — Give passes to existing members before they leave the club. Set aside a part of your day to work the existing clientele. There are many ways to establish relationships, but one way to break the ice is to ask someone if they know of anyone that would enjoy the benefits of your club as much as they do. Spend 30 minutes every day on this.
4. Build ambassadors — Every sales rep has the ability to build their own sales staff. There are so many members that love your club that they would be willing to hand out passes for you. Imagine if each sales rep had 25 ambassadors. If your club had six sales people, that would be 300 extra reps in the marketplace representing your club. Spend 15 minutes a day to create one new ambassador.
5. Attend community events — Every market has a local chamber of commerce, or other business networking opportunities. Just having the chance to be seen and heard in a professional environment for your club creates great exposure. This will also assist you in your potential corporate sales. Try to hit at least one community event per month.
6. Create events — Help your members become educated. Create seminars with existing staff that would be appealing to your member base. For example, if your club has a lot of seniors, then create seminars on nutrition for seniors. Or, seminars on staying young and healthy. You build it and they will come. They will also provide referrals. Try to create one event per month.
7. Provide articles — Members should see you as a resource. Every time they come to your office they should receive a different article on wellness. Put together ten different articles and keep pulling new ones. Have an article on nutrition, diabetes, health challenges, stretching, strength training, yoga, core training, TRX, etc. Members will rave about your service and bring others to get the same. Make your office a sanctuary. Invite people into your office every day.
8. 60-day follow up calls — Makes sure you are calling every new member at least three times per month for the first two months. Engage with your member, talk about little success’s, share stories and build rapport. You will be amazed at how many people will want others to share the same experience. Invite others into your office daily.
9. Have giveaways — Challenge members to bring a guest. Work local businesses to offer small gifts when someone brings a guest, and in turn give them free time at the gym for them or their employees. I had one sales rep who gave away a TV. Every time a member brought in a guest they would get two chances to win the TV. At the end of the quarter, they had a drawing. It was a big deal, a lot of fun and very effective.
10. Thank you — Take the time to show your gratitude. Always send a thank you to a new member, and always send a thank you when they bring a friend. Always send a note when you see them on a regular basis.
So the next time a sales person SITS AND STARES at their computer screen, give them this list and get them to work. Yes, I am having a little fun, but they have to be taught to think this way. Once you teach a sales rep to understand his/her resources, productivity will increase and that is always contagious in a sales office.
Chuck Hall is the executive director at Big Vanilla Athletic Clubs.