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How to Properly Market SGT

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Members buy based on feelings. This is a fact.

Books such as “How Customers Think: Essential Insights into the Mind of the Market” by Harvard Business School professor Gerald Zaltman, “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek, and “What Great Brands Do” by Denise Lee Yohn make various cases that overwhelmingly prove people base a majority of their purchase decisions on emotions, not logic.

Simply having the best product or service is not enough. Health clubs, and especially the products we offer within our clubs, must appeal to the right emotions to have a serious sales effect.

Although we see examples of this everywhere now, health clubs must audit what their members see and experience within their walls. Those who fail will fall further and further behind. A club can have world class equipment and design, yet still fail. The right price point, market conditions and location are important of course, but businesses may still be missing a massive opportunity if they don’t communicate positive feelings to their target market on a regular basis. 

Take personal training as an example, a premium offering for most health clubs.  People will spend $60 to $100-plus per hour for two reasons:

  1. They believe your trainers are smart enough to make a program that will yield results.
  2. They like the trainer. If the trainer is able to make the member feel positive after every experience, they will obviously continue with that trainer for much longer.

So why are clubs still selling generic small group training (SGT)?

Selling SGT as “SGT” is a perfect example of how to fail, especially if the SGT offering is set up in the same format as your large Group X classes, where members feel like another anonymous face in the crowd. There is no perceived value from the member here because there isn’t any value.

Although people are seeking value and tangible results, they are motivated to buy things like connection and sense of belonging with a community of people with similar interests. Members will spend the cash when they feel inspired and accomplished. Members will buy with confidence when they feel supported by staff and other members alike.

Do your SGT department marketing and services evoke these types of emotions? If not, why not? Industry stats are proving a robust SGT department can become one of your most valuable departments in 2020 and beyond.

J.P. Richard is the president and CEO of TRIBE Team Training® USA. He can be reached at jp@tribeteamtraining.com or visit tribeteamtraining.com.

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