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How to Transition From Sales to Personal Training


PersonalTrainingKatie Smith, a hypothetical customer, walks into your club and wants to learn more about a membership. A member of your sales staff has Katie complete your guest courtesy card, which asks about her fitness goals, and then takes her on a tour of the facility. Two weeks later, Katie signs up. She arrives at her orientation appointment and the first question the personal training asks is, “what are your fitness goals?” Katie is annoyed. In her mind she can’t help but think “I already told someone that.” She feels like the club is just trying to sell to her and doesn’t really care about helping her reach her goals. Is it any surprise that after her orientation session, Katie does not sign up for any personal training (PT) services?

This scenario happens every day at health clubs. It’s a frustrating experience for new members and doesn’t help trainers sell PT. We know that personal training is essential to increasing revenue and improving member retention, but it’s hard to transfer information from your sales team to your personal training team efficiently. Streamlining the handoff of new members from sales to PT will help your trainers sell their services to a higher percentage of new members, and improve the member experience overall.

Booking Orientation

You collect a lot of valuable information about your leads when they fill out your guest courtesy card during the sales process. The answers to your guest courtesy card questions are particularly important post-sale, when trying to book new members for orientation sessions. Train your sales staff to zone in on people’s goals and share the profiles and credentials of trainers who have helped other members with similar goals. By doing a better job of matching new members to specific trainers for orientation sessions, your trainers will be able to sell PT services more effectively, and members will be more successful in reaching their fitness objectives.

Leveraging the Guest Courtesy Card

The key to a successful orientation appointment is to make sure the member feels like they were heard in the sales process. Members should feel like they are being given valuable information, not that they are being sold. To ensure this is the case, it’s imperative that the information from guest courtesy cards is shared with trainers in the handoff process. New members won’t feel like they’re being asked the same questions about their goals over and over again, and they will feel like your trainers are their partners in achieving their objectives.

Show Me the Money!

One of the biggest issues that clubs face is that they do not effectively follow up with new members who aren’t booking orientation sessions or miss their appointments. This can cause huge revenue and retention problems, as up to 80 percent of new members can be missed in the handoff process. A list of new members who have not been booked for an orientation session should automatically be given to your PT manager so trainers can engage them all in a PT follow-up process.

Along with PT sales rate, orientation booking metrics also need to be included in primary KPIs to see how effectively new members are being handed off from sales to PT. Looking at the orientation booking rates and orientation show rates for each salesperson allows you to see how well your staff is presenting orientation sessions and who needs coaching to improve their numbers. Improve orientation show rates by sending a text message to all new members reminding them of their appointment and letting them know who they will be meeting with. Text message appointment reminders improve show rates by 10 to 20 percent on average.

The first experience people have with your club after becoming a member is when they’re handed off from sales to personal training. You’re selling additional services and asking for referral leads, so you want them to feel taken care of — not like they’re just a number at your club. If you want to streamline the handoff process and make sure that no new members fall through the cracks, using an automated system to do so can take your club to the next level.

Scott Johnston is the CEO of InTouch Technology Inc. He can be contacted at 206.905.1244, or by e-mail at sjohnston@intouchfollowup.com.

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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