Nutritional supplements are the only profit center where customers are begging you to sell to them. Think of it this way: Facility owners spend thousands of dollars a year on marketing — marketing to drive new memberships, group fitness, personal training and nutrition services.
Yet one of the most common questions gym-goers ask is, “What products should I take?” The customer has basically teed the ball up for you in the middle of the fairway. When else does this ever happen? Nutritional supplements are truly one of the only areas in your business where it’s not necessary to drop money on marketing. And, even if a customer isn’t asking, they still want support. They really don’t want to go to the store and blindly buy something they’re not sure will offer a benefit.
Fitness business owners often ask how to make real money with their supplement profit center. The fact of the matter is, questions like this are really the wrong questions to ask. The real question should be, “Do the staff members servicing my customers understand the benefits our supplements provide?”
When a consumer asks a question such as, “What products should I take,” what they’re really doing is communicating they have a want, a need or a problem they need solving. So, let’s solve their problem. But if it were this simple everyone would have a solid supplement profit center. So, let me offer up two quick wins for you.
First, educate your staff on the benefits your supplements provide based on the want, need or problem your customer needs solving. If there is no problem there can be no solution, and if there is no solution there is no value.
To say it another way, benefit equals value. A customer who has a strong understanding of the benefits will place a high value on your solution. Also, it’s important to teach your staff how to communicate those benefits authentically and passionately, which will build trust and long-term customer loyalty.
Second, take a close look at the supplements or brand choices where you’ve created a partnership. Too often, there are product lines in facilities that don’t resonate (solve a problem or offer a solution) with the core clientele. By taking a closer look at your customer demographic, you can determine if your core client will truly benefit from your supplement offerings.
For example, let’s say your demographic is 60 percent female, with members who want to lose weight and fall between the ages of 35 and 55. Most likely your members are married with children. Will your products make a difference for that member and her family?
It’s pretty common the supplements being offered cater to the bottom 5 or 10 percent of the club’s clientele (young males, bodybuilders, ages 18 to 25) versus the masses.
These are just two avenues where clubs can fine-tune to increase supplement profits. Ultimately, having a well-educated staff who understand the basic benefits of the supplements you carry, coupled with the right supplements, will be an added value to any club owner and their members.
Christopher Page has 25 years experience in the fitness industry and is the co-founder of S3 Supplement Success System.