I had a business review call with a gym last week. These calls are free and open to all fitness businesses, so please email firstname.lastname@example.org with “business review” in the subject line and we will set one up.
During this call, I asked the gym owner my standard questions. “Tell me how you handle telephone inquiries, tours, referrals, etc.”
“Well, we don’t have a sales system. Our front desk staff does everything. They take phone calls, give prices over the phone and take walk-ins.”
“Ok, do they try to schedule appointments from phone calls?”
Needless to say I am headed to Southern California to help this club implement some standard and basic systems that will enable them to sell more memberships, more coaching and change more lives.
A person who worked in the 90’s for a popular big box chain owns this gym. He didn’t like what he considered their high pressure “numbers, numbers and numbers” approach.
I told him that I agree, but going completely the other way is not a smart approach either. I am going to teach him a happy medium.
-You need at least one person dedicated to membership sales. The number of salespeople depends on the size of your gym and your market. In an Anytime Fitness, you can get away with having only one. In a 20,000-square-foot gym, you may need two or three.
-This person or persons take telephone inquiries, use a script, book appointments, give tours, sell memberships, ask for referrals and schedule fitness consultations.
So, after training with me for a day or two, this is how I expect the gym I reference above to answer the following questions:
Tell me how you handle telephone inquiries: “We have front desk people answer the phone. If it is a membership inquiry, the front desk people are trained to transfer the call to a membership salesperson. All membership salespeople are trained to use a script. I role-play with them often and we hold them to a benchmark of 70 percent for appointments from telephone calls.”
Tell me how you handle tours: “Whether a walk in or appointment, the guest is greeted by front desk, asked to have a seat and while waiting for a membership salesperson, they get started on filling out a guest profile sheet. Membership salespeople sit down with the guest, go over the profile, then take a tour focusing on the prospect’s goals and needs. After the tour, the guest is presented pricing options and asked to get started today. We train on this system and process quite often. Our benchmark for closing percentage is 65 percent within 30 days of their first tour.”
Tell me how you get referrals: “After a guest joins, whether it be a paid trial membership or longer term, the last thing, before we part ways, is to ask them if they know anybody who may be interested in trying out our gym. For every three names and phone numbers, we give them a free t-shirt. This is also something we train on regularly. Our benchmark is one name and number per new member average.”
Tell me how you sell coaching/training: “The second to last thing we do with new members, right before asking for referrals, is schedule the next step appointment, which we call a ‘free workout and assessment.’ We know that in order to hit our benchmark of 60 percent of new members meeting with our coaching salesperson that our membership salespeople must talk about this next step during the sit down and the tour. So we train and role play on this at least two times per week.”
Systems and processes are critical to success in any organization. What you make important becomes important. Tighten up your systems, and make more sales.
Keep changing lives.
Jason Linse is president and founder of The Business of Fitness, a consulting company. He also owns a personality assessment company called People Plus+ Fitness. He can be reached at email@example.com or at 612-310-1319. Visit www.jasonlinse.com.