By: Jim Thomas
President/Founder of Fitness Management and Consulting
It sounds simple, doesn’t it? On the flip side, what happens when you don’t ask a guest to join your club? The short version is that you don't get the sale. The longer version is that the potential member doesn’t join, joins another club, or continues putting off his or her decision. In any of these cases you have dropped the ball in your role as a health club salesperson.
One of the most interesting sales questions for health club owners, managers, and salespeople is simply “Why do owners, managers and salespeople spend such a great deal of time, effort, energy and commitment to get in front of a prospect -- only to let the opportunity to sell a membership sail on by?”
Maybe you’re thinking that the cause of losing a sale is a sense of fear driven by a desire not to offend - or to avoid being offended yourself when your guest says "No.” But that’s not quite correct. Or maybe the sale slipping away is due to the inability to establish benefit and value in the prospect’s mind, not to mention the salesperson never really knowing when or even how to ask someone to join the club. That’s not really the reason either.
It’s also easy to blame poor marketing, pricing, the club, the boss, the competition or anything else. Generally speaking, though, the sales problem is usually traced back to the salesperson. Let's look at some of the qualities, or lack of qualities, that cause this:
- A lack of selling benefits and results on the part of the salesperson - selling on price and facility will rarely work
- A lack of boldness (“decent” boldness, mind you) on the part of the salesperson
- A lack of confidence or low self-esteem on the part of the salesperson
- A lack of personal accountability
- A lack of true belief in the club on the part of the salesperson
- A lack of a proven sales system that leads to the sale
- Letting the guest convince you they’re coming back
That being said, how do you fix the problem? If it is to be, it’s up to me! Here are some strategies to help you begin closing membership sales today:
- Understand and stay focused what your real job is. It’s making sales. Period.
- Learn how to use feedback questions ("How does this look?") to be sure you're on target as you move through your tour.
- Learn how to listen and observe better. Listen to what your guest has to say.
- Don’t just wait for your turn to talk. Be sensitive to body language.
- Take notes on the tour. It tells your guest they are important, plus you can use theinformation later in closing the sale. Use an actual guest profile or needs analysis form. Be sure to find out the REAL reason the guest is in your club.
- Learn how to anticipate the guests’ and address them on the tour, before they even come up.
- Develop the art of value-added selling so you can show your club in a way that makes it irresistible.
- Learn, apply and become comfortable with several different ways to ask for a sale and use them consistently. Statistics show that more sales are made after the fifth attempt than any other time.
- Believe in yourself, your sales process, and club so much that you badly want others to become a part of it - and ask them to do so, with enthusiasm and decent boldness.
Are you ready? Go close a sale today!