Every year brings with it a myriad of emotions and focuses. On one hand, everyone is pushing to grab new sales. On the other, we are trying to think how we get new members properly integrated so we don’t lose them. Lastly, we are dealing with current members complaining about the popular usage of the clubs. Not to mention the strain and stress our teams experience — which may border on burnout.
A thought back to high school brought a lesson that can change all that and possibly improve retention, drive new sales, help integrate new members and make current members happier and loyal.
This notion I will tell you is simple, however not easy. It will be uncomfortable and require full-on commitment. So what is this simple lesson? It’s love. That’s right: The dreaded words of any new relationship. Who will say it first, what does it really mean? Everyone remembers that first love.
Love is a universal craving we all have and when we receive it most of the time nothing else matters. So how do we apply some love to our clubs?
Lead from out front. You don’t impact members in the office. You need to be face-to-face.
Operationalize your business so it runs and you and your team can be out front making a difference. Remember you manage systems — you lead people. Spend time leading, not controlling.
Verbalize clearly and often your service standards. Your team must know your service statement, standards and daily expectations. Communication is the most cited employee complaint. Be clear in your goals and objectives. Make sure everyone knows why, what and how things are done.
Energy and execution go hand in hand. Don’t just execute systems. Energy needs to be combined to bring it all to life.
We all know when we cook with love, as our grandmothers did, everything tastes better. So this year cook up a great year. Start with love. Be the first to say it, the first to show it. Push that fear aside and embrace your love for your members. They will not only thank you, they will reciprocate.
Mark Miller is the vice president of Merritt Clubs. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.