It goes without saying sales is one of the most important functions of your club. No one knows this better than Victor Poma, a Fitness 19 franchisee with 23 locations in California.
From an early age, the entrepreneur has had a passion for sales. As a kid he bred mice, crickets and other animals and sold them to pet stores. And when he worked at 24 Hour Fitness, he earned the accolades of “No. 1 in Sales” in the company and “Youngest to Achieve $1 Million in Sales.”
Here he shares insights into where his passion for sales stems from and his overall sales philosophy as a club operator.
CS: You said you instantly fell in love with the fitness industry and sales — what did you love about it specifically?
VP: I am such a big believer in the benefits of health and fitness. The fact I truly believed in what I was selling, combined with the highly competitive nature of our industry — I was hooked. I was able to help people with true preventative medicine, not just pumping them full of pills and never really solving the root cause of their ailments. We have such a unique opportunity to help people, and turn their lives around. I truly believe in the saying that the secret to living is giving, and we have a unique opportunity to give back and change people’s lives every day. And to think we can make a living doing just that is pretty special.
CS: What attributed to your early success in sales?
VP: Since I was young, I have always been extremely competitive at anything I did. When it comes to selling fitness, it’s something I believe in and feel passionate about, so sharing that with others is easy when it’s coming from a truly authentic place. I believe you really have to love what you do in order to fully commit and give everything that will be required to succeed at a high level. You must commit to never getting out worked, to always be the first to arrive and the last to leave. To always be a student of the business, constantly learning, constantly getting better, and willing to sacrifice anything to succeed. It takes grit, tenacity, drive, discipline and flat out hard work.
CS: What is your sales philosophy or strategy for your Fitness 19 clubs?
VP: Sales and marketing are the lifeblood of our industry, or any industry for that matter. We know the No. 1 quality in marketing is empathy and the No. 1 reason people buy anything is hope. Look no further than presidential elections for evidence of this. People buy with their hearts, so it’s imperative we connect with them emotionally and understand their “why.”
This must be done first and it starts with them knowing we genuinely care and are here to help them. People are smart and don’t care what you know, until they know you care. Furthermore, people want clarity, simplicity and certainty. These three desires are critical elements that can’t be overlooked throughout any sales process. Our sales process is built off of this basic understanding.
CS: Do you have a specific sales mindset? What are your sales keys to success?
VP: I think it’s important to shift your mindset from a tactics mindset whereas the purpose of a customer is to get a sale, to a strategy mindset where the purpose of a sale is to get a customer.
Lastly, once the member enrolls, we must deliver. The majority of revenue in any industry comes from referrals and the first step to getting more referrals is to deliver on expectation, or better yet — and what we strive to do — exceed expectation. To have others remark about you, you have to be remarkable.
At the end of the sales process, the true test as to how well you did is if the new member or prospect would invite you over for dinner that night. Did you connect with them on a deep enough level to create a lasting relationship whereas they know you genuinely care about them and are their biggest fan and support team as they embark upon their fitness journey?