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Does it seem like the only employees in your club who feel it’s their responsibility to sell are the sales staff? That’s not an ideal situation for most club owners. Let’s say you employ a total of 20 staff members, and three of them are in the sales department. Do you think adding 17 more people selling for you would add to your bottom line? Yes!
One reason your employees may resist “selling” is that they think of the process as a harsh and uncomfortable process where someone has to come out the loser. If the employee does not make the sale, they are the loser; if the member parts with their money, they are the loser. Nothing could be further from the truth.
So how do you change this mindset? First, your staff needs to not only be knowledgeable about your products and services, but they also need to have experienced them first hand. Yes, your employees need to know the club hours, class schedule, how to use your club software, how to sign members up for a program, etc. Just as importantly though, they need to have experienced a yoga class, met with the instructors, swam in your pool, tasted a shake from your juice bar, had a fitness orientation and worked with a personal trainer. It’s important for your staff to know what the differences are between classes, who the target audiences are and what benefits a member should expect. Do your employees know what the health benefits are of the ingredients in your shakes (different types of protein, vitamins, etc.)?
Next, employees must care about your members and want to help them reach their goals. Members quit your club because of a lack of results and because they are treated indifferently by staff. Imagine a member mentioning to one of your desk staff about how stressed out they are at work. Your employee responds by telling the member of a similar situation she was in, and how a particular yoga class helped her. The employee then grabs a schedule and points out a few classes she would recommend. Now that is powerful!
Additionally, when a member swipes their key tag to check in, the same employee notices that the computer software produces a different colored screen, which means this member hasn’t been to the club in more than 30 days. The employee welcomes the member and says that she has not seen them in a while. Do they want her to schedule time with a trainer to go over their fitness program again? The member responds with a “no.” However, the member has a hard time getting motivated and needs more structure. The employee then talks about another member with a similar issue. That member tried small group training and loved it.
There are so many opportunities every day to help your members. It’s not about the hard sell — it’s about showing interest in your members and providing them with different options that will keep them motivated and produce results. The added benefit to your club is that you retain happy members longer, who spend more money at your club, and then refer their friends to join!
The last piece of this is to add something to incentivize your staff. If you hire the right staff, they will naturally want to help people succeed. By implementing an incentive program, you show your staff how important this is to you and it will help them to remain focused and creative. You can have games or contests to see who moves the most of a certain product. The contests can be between individuals, or you can create teams. Come up with themes and specific time frames. Keep it fun and not too serious. Your rewards can be simple or elaborate. I recommend keeping it simple. Free training, products, a catered lunch, special t-shirts or buttons are all possibilities. You could have the people from the winning team pose for a picture that could be posted in the employee break room. The possibilities are endless.
In order to make this all work, you have to be able to measure what is happening. Your software should be able to track what is sold through POS and report on the specific items you are tracking by charge code, dates, who sold the item and the value of the item. The focus here is on helping the members and keeping it fun for your staff. If you can do those two things, everything else will fall into place.
Rick Hersom is a sales consultant for Twin Oaks Software, a former club operator and an industry veteran of more than 20 years. He can be reached at 866.278.6750 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information visit www.healthclubsoftware.com.