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The Member Sales and Service Hourglass


“Value The Relationship More Than The Quota.” – Jeff Gitomer

Let me first frame this whole blog by stating: Being a great caretaker of our members’ success while also generating strong revenues are not mutually exclusive concepts.

I have had the privilege of working on both the for-profit side for 17 years, followed by seven years on the non-profit side. Fortunately, I was able to absorb a little from the best of both worlds. Interestingly enough, what I found was that both sectors have developed strong process funnels. The for-profits for the most part have highly detailed and controlled “sales funnels” for generating new business; while the non-profits have developed really solid “service funnels” for onboarding new members. Thus the “Membership Sales and Service Hourglass” was born.

Below is a list of the very basic practices that should happen along varying time frames through each section of the Member Sales and Service Hourglass.

TIP: When you go to map this hourglass over your process, always start with the outcome most desired in each section and then work your efforts to achieve that backwards.

1. A.I.D.A. (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action): This is every moment before we make that first connection with the prospective members. This is where all of your marketing, referral, networking and efforts exist. If these efforts are effective, our prospects now are aware our business exists and are hopefully interested in our solution. These folks are also at the stage in which they are about to take action and let us know they want more information.

2. Appointment: This stage is where the prospect calls, emails or messages your facility stating they want to learn more about it. If we are effective here, then we will have set an appointment with them ideally no later than seven days outs — preferably within the next two days.

3. Show: You guessed it, they’re here! The timeframe on this is hopefully “they join today.” Of course, not every prospect will do that, though.

TIP 2: Ideally, if they did not join on that first visit, you will want to treat them as a “hot lead” for the first seven days. Make sure to deliver elevated and consistent contact. If they still do not join then move them into your “cold leads.”

ANOTHER TIP: A “cold lead” does not mean give up on them. It just means you have to move them into your more passive, blanket marketing efforts.

4. The Sale: Congratulations. You now have a living, breathing human being who believes and trusts your solution will help them. Let’s not screw it up now.

5. Engage: After you take their payment on the very same day they join, the engagement phase begins. This stage will monitor and track behaviors in both frequency and participation over the first 45 days. These members must be plugged in quickly and intentionally if they are to be successful. Your goal should be that every single member has an appointment to meet with someone from your staff on their very next visit.

6. Retain: Retention efforts do not start 90 days before their expiration date. From day 46 and on, we begin to simply support them more passively with emails and more widely spaced check ins.

MORE TIPS: We certainly do not just abandon them at this point, but we also have to be judicious with our time. I’d love to call all 4,000 members every other week, but that’s not possible. Just make sure you are executing on your retention efforts.

7. Recapture HOT: Oh no, a member has just quit your facility! Assuming they did not quit due to a medical or relocation issue, you still have an opportunity to win them back. In the first seven days immediately after a member quits, studies show that just over 12% of them will reengage and likely rejoin simply because you reached out, listened and then asked them to.

EVEN MORE TIPS: 12% may not sound like a lot, but if you do some quick math on what the value is of saving 12% of your cancels last year, you’ll quickly realize this is a must-do business practice.

8. Recapture COLD: Whelp, they’ve moved on for whatever reason. That does not, however, mean they are gone forever. Just like the transition from the “hot lead” to the “cold lead” stage, move your old members into a less frequent and more generally communicated “we want you back” campaign.

WRITE THIS DOWN: “Prospective members enter your funnel as leads and they exit your business as leads.” Do not just toss them in the trash, people.

LAST TIP: Less frequent communication in the “cold lead” phase is important for a number of reasons. The two most important you should be aware of are:

A. Anything more than twice a month feels like spam. I know you think it costs nothing more to email a thousand people as opposed to just a hundred. But it does you no good if they get annoyed and simply unsubscribe.

B. Equally, if not even more important: If your email “open rates” are consistently lower than 24%, then all of your bulk marketing email campaigns will begin to be pushed into your contacts’ junk mailboxes.

Jason R. Stowell

Jason R. Stowell is recognized as one of the highest-grossing sales performers over the last 25 years in the health and wellness industry. As an award-winning leader, Jason provides strategic planning, talent management and expert-level sales training through his Empowered Fitness Sales System workshops and industry-leading sales presentations at conferences internationally. Connect with him now on LinkedIn here

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