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Building the Dream Sales Team

sales talent

Finding top sales talent can be a challenge for any business — and the fitness industry is no different. 

At , their philosophy isn’t to go hunting for talent. Instead, they’ve created a culture that helps the right people find them. “We do this by owning our community and by introducing an all-for-one-and-one-for-all wellness experience in their own backyard,” said Scott Draper, the founder and owner of Club Northwest in Grants Pass, Oregon. “We maintain a world-class facility and we treat each and every member as the greatest member in the world, and we witness, respect and celebrate our team.”  

Top performing salespeople are picky when it comes to choosing where they want to hang their hat. They want a winning team with a mission. Draper said if they put the club’s energy into that, the right salespeople will appear. 

Retaining Talent

For Newtown Athletic Club in Newtown, Pennsylvania, retaining sales talent starts with hiring the right person. There are three main things they look for in potential salespeople: a sales background, self-motivation and passion about fitness.

“Those things are the top three characteristics I believe we really need to make sure are in place before we hire them,” said Denise Watkins, the membership director of Newtown Athletic Club. “Next, I would say they have to be relationship driven. Our club is selling a lifestyle here; it’s not just a fitness center. So, they really have to dig deep into the ‘whys’ of why people are walking in the door.”

A key factor to retaining top sales talent is hiring people who are good team players. “We’ve had situations in the office where some sales team members wouldn’t play very well in the sandbox,” said Watkins. “That could really spoil the whole group.”

Another way to keep top salespeople on your team is to invest in their education and training. Newtown Athletic Club does continuous training and follow-up with the sales team, specifically in terms of maintaining communication and knowledge of the club. “Our communication has to be similar and they have to follow protocol, which is very important here,” said Watkins. “If you have someone who isn’t following protocol, it can make for some risks in the office.”

Club Northwest also keeps its salespeople motivated and challenged to prevent burnout and risk. “We introduce new programs, equipment and events they can promote to help boost sales momentum,” said Draper. “We increase employee engagement with monthly company dinner gatherings.” 

Additionally, Club Northwest practices the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) method in meetings, keeping every team member inspired and on track. The team also celebrates the small victories every day in a group huddle where they report daily KPIs.

Effective and Efficient

While having inspired, motivated and well-rounded salespeople is key, it is also important to make sure your sales team as a whole is running efficiently and effectively. 

One way to ensure this is happening is through a customer relationship management (CRM) software. 

“We have specific templates we put in our GymSales software,” said Watkins. “There are quite a bit of templates and to-dos salespeople can set for themselves, and I follow-up with them to make sure they are doing all of that.”

Since the club has a live CRM, Watkins can see everything her sales team does. For example, she can pull reports on how many Myzone belts were issued each month and see if her team is meeting their specific goals.

Every 30 days, Watkins changes up the bonus to incentivize her team. “We had a month where we incentive what we call the ‘Slam Dunk,’” she explained. “That’s when someone walks into the club and they sell them a membership right off the bat — no trial, no conversations via email or text.”

Watkins said that was a good incentive for their club. Not only was the team paid a little more for each “Slam Dunk,” but they also realized the best opportunity to sell a membership is the very first day someone walks in the facility. 

For Club Northwest, making a sales department run effectively and efficiently is based on communication and trust. “When trained with integrity and knowledge of a like-minded goal, everyone can work in harmony and celebrate community wellness together,” said Draper. “The core values at Club Northwest say it all: Choose Abundance. Practice Excellence. Own It. Well Together.” 

Overall, building and retaining an all-star team is simple. As long as your sales team functions as one working toward the same goal, you will be successful. 

Taylor Brown

Taylor Brown is the assistant editor for Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at taylor@peakemedia.com

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