Autumn has always been my favorite season. Rather than negatively thinking about the imminent cold and snow that is coming to Minneapolis, I choose instead to view the signs of this changing season as a time to focus on any changes I may need to make, both professionally and personally.
As a fitness business owner or employee, this is a great time of year to analyze your systems and processes, so you can ensure they are optimal before the inevitable New Year’s rush.
The three big ones related to production are first impressions (telephone inquiries and tours), referrals and member onboarding.
First impressions: When the telephone rings, are you and your staff always friendly, enthusiastic and skilled at scheduling appointments for tours? On tours, are you and your staff asking the right questions and properly listening? Evaluate your calls and tours, and coach up any and all employees so they are maximizing all of their leads to the fullest.
Referrals: A recent gym I coached had a referral process that involved simply asking a new member to write down five names and numbers. Their results were terrible for three reasons. One, staff didn’t always ask. Two, leadership didn’t inspect. Three, asking for names and numbers without providing something in return is never effective.
Member onboarding: Sign them up and forget them? No, that won’t cut it. If you have been doing that, this is the time to stop and get serious about helping members get started down the right path. Your goal should be to schedule 70 percent or more of new members to meet with a coach. This one hour with a coach is to learn some exercises, discuss goals and present personal training options.
Change is good if you continue to focus on changing for the better.
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. Text “referrals” to 612.310.1319 for a video to help with your referrals. For questions on sales, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.