How To Use Social Media To Find New Leads For Your Gym

What is Social Prospecting?

As a gym owner, you already understand the importance of social media as part of your sales strategy. With more than one billion monthly active users on Facebook, and over 230 million monthly active users on Twitter, smart gym owners know there’s more potential than ever to use social platforms to get their name out there, showcase their expertise, and pique curiosity. Hey, it’s your job to make people aware of what your gym can offer, right?

Right. So that’s why smart gym owners practice social prospecting – the art of scouring the social web, identifying potential prospects for your gym, and guiding them through the buyer journey.

About This Information Sheet

This social prospecting information sheet will teach you the fundamentals of how to listen to social media conversations in order to generate leads for your gym. It’s about engaging people that may or may not know what your gym can do for them.

We’ve identified the quickest way to find potential prospects on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+. We hope you can use the worksheets to help you get started with social prospecting.

Every information sheet includes:

• Short preparatory work to make the actual prospecting easy
• Visual instructions on how and where to find prospects
• Pro tips that will help you get the best results
• Prescriptions (Sales Rx) for success
• Take-home exercises for follow-up prospecting

Getting Started

To get started with any one of these worksheets, you’ll need:

• A social profile for that network
• Keyword phrases that people use to find you on search
• Organic content related to those keyword phrases

Twitter

(1) Prep:
Write down the top three keyword phrases that people use to find you on search.
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Pro tip: Remember, shorter keyword phrases work better for Twitter.

Write down three pieces of content that are related to the search results of your keyword phrases. You’ll be able to use this content to draw prospects back to your website.
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(2) Get Started:

Head on over to Twitter and type in your keywords and hashtags using any combination you would like.

Pro tip: Mix and match searching your keyword phrases with a hashtag and without a hashtag for the most diverse results.

Please Note: Twitter has a couple options to sort your search results (see below). It automatically shows you “Top” results. If you’d like to see more results, click “All” at the top of your search. Or, just to the left of your search results, you can click “People” to only see other profiles, not tweets,that match your search.

Notes:
Based on their profiles, identify five Twitter users that could be potential leads for your business. Then follow them!
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(3) Take Action:

Now it’s time to start sharing the pieces of content you identified earlier. Start engaging with potential prospects by:
• Retweeting some of the content they’ve shared on Twitter, especially if what they shared is relevant to your industry (remember, these will appear to your followers)
• Clicking “Favorite” for relevant tweets to your industry or tweets you appreciate for being interesting or funny (these will not appear to your followers)
• Responding to any questions they may have tweeted to establish thought leadership

Sales :

Create a Twitter list of all the potential prospects you’ve identified to make checking in on them easy for you. Make sure to name your list something that is relevant to your industry. (You do this from your own profile page.)

Please Note: Twitter lists can be public or private. If you make a public list, name it something you don’t mind others seeing (so do NOT name a public list “My Prospects” for instance – name it, “[Your Industry] Leaders” or something equally complimentary.) When you add someone to a public list, they get an alert the same way they get alerts for retweets, favorites, and @-mentions. (If you’d rather create a private list, feel free to name it whatever is best for your Twitter usage.)

[Take-home exercise]
Spend 20 minutes a week:
- Repeating this exercise and adding more prospects to your list (5 mins)
- Retweeting relevant content for your industry from this Twitter list (5 mins)
- Favoriting tweets from potential prospects from this Twitter list (5 mins)
- Engaging with potential prospects by posing or answering questions from your Twitter list to establish thought leadership (5 mins)

LinkedIn

(1) Prep
Write down the top three keyword phrases that people use to find you on search.
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Pro tip: Remember, more business-focused keywords are favored on LinkedIn.

Write down three pieces of content that are related to the search results of your keyword phrases. You’ll be able to use this content to draw prospects back to your website.
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(2) Get Started:
Sign into LinkedIn, and to the left of the top search bar, select “Groups” from the drop-down icon menu, which will search all LinkedIn groups.

Pro tip: You can narrow your search results in the menu on the left by choosing what your relationship is to members of the groups, for instance if you want a category of “Open” or “Members only,” or if you want search results for groups that are in one or multiple Languages.

Notes:
Based on the group’s description (and a quick scan), identify five LinkedIn Groups that could have potential prospects for your business and join them.
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Don’t forget: Some groups are private, so you may need to wait until you are accepted into the group to complete the worksheet.

(3) Take Action:
Now it’s time to start sharing the pieces of content you identified earlier. Start engaging with potential prospects by:
• Joining in on conversations in the group where you can add value with your content
• “Liking” content that others are sharing in the group
• Sharing your own content and posing your own questions to the group

Sales :
When you find a particular post within the group you want to monitor, you can choose to “Follow Discussion” so you’ll be updated when content for that post is added.

[Take-home exercise]
Spend 20 minutes a week:
- Reviewing the content in the groups you’ve joined (5 mins)
- Commenting and adding value to posts from others in the group (5 mins)
- Evaluating those you engage with the most to see if a connection is a good fit (5 mins)
- Share one piece of organic content to the groups you’ve joined (5 mins)

Facebook

(1) Prep:
Write down the top three keyword phrases that people use to find you on search.
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Write down three pieces of content that are related to the search results of your keyword phrases. You’ll be able to use this content to draw prospects back to your website.
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Write down 3 long-tail search queries that are created from those keywords.
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Definition: Long-tail keywords are search queries composed of 3 or more words that are more specific than the keyword alone.
Example: “HubSpot” (not long-tail) vs. “inbound marketing software” (long-tail)

(2) Get Started:
Sign into Facebook and type your long-tail search queries into Graph Search and see what comes up.

Pro tip: If you’re not familiar with Graph Search, spend a few minutes and take the tour. Worth it! You can find that tour here: https://www.facebook.com/about/graphsearch

Notes:
Identify three pages could potentially have leads for you and “Like” them.
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Identify three groups could you join that prospects could potentially be in & join them.
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(3) Take Action:
Now it’s time to start sharing the pieces of content you identified earlier. Start engaging with potential prospects by:
• Joining in on conversations on pages and groups where you can add value with content
• “Liking” relevant content on pages that is relevant to your industry
• Asking questions on pages and groups to engage others

Sales :
If possible, subscribe to the pages’ or the groups’ RSS feed (if enabled) so you don’t miss any relevant content.

[Take-home exercise]
Spend 20 minutes a week:
- Scanning the pages you’ve “liked” for any opportunity to join the conversation (5 mins)
- Searching the groups you’ve joined for opportunities to offer help or content (5 mins)
- Engaging with people from the groups or pages directly on their profiles (if possible) (5 mins)
- Share one piece of organic content to the groups or pages you’ve joined (5 mins)

Pinterest

(1) Prep:
Write down the top three keyword phrases (with a hashtag) that people use to find you on search.
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(2) Get Started:
Go to Pinterest search and type in the keyword phrases with hashtags (and try without hashtags, too).

Pro tip: Use the left-hand menu of the Pinterest search bar to drill down into specific industries that could be a good fit for you.

Notes:
Based on Pins found, identify five pinners (businesses or people) that could be potential prospects and follow their boards.
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(3) Take Action:
Now it’s time to start sharing the pieces of content you identified earlier. Start engaging with potential prospects by:
• Scanning your new dashboard filled with the boards you follow for any relevant content
• Re-pinning any content from prospects that are useful to your followers
• Adding value through comments to pins by your prospects

Sales :
Sign up for PinAlerts to see what’s being pinned to Pinterest from your website by potential prospects. You can learn more here: http://pinalerts.com/index/login

[Take-home exercise]
Spend 15 minutes a week:
- Scanning the boards you follow to see any new pins (5 mins)
- Re-pinning any relevant content that your prospects are posting (5 mins)
- Evaluating anyone as a prospect who has pinned something from your website (5 mins)

Google+

(1) Prep
Write down the top three keyword phrases that people use to find you on search.
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Write down three pieces of content that are related to the search results of your keyword phrases. You’ll be able to use this content to draw prospects back to your website.
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(2) Get Started:
Head on over to your Google+ account and search your keyword phrases.

Pro tip: Get context for your search results by toggling between All, Friends, Family, Acquaintances, and Following.

Notes:
Identify three people and pages that could potentially have leads for you and “follow” them.
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Identify three communities that could potentially have leads for you and “join” them.
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(3) Take Action:
Now it’s time to start sharing the pieces of content you identified earlier. Start engaging with potential prospects by:
• Digging into the pages and people you’ve followed and adding value when possible through comments
• Liking (“+1”) any content that’s relevant to you and your business
• Identify regular contributors in your communities and engage with them through answering questions or providing helpful content

Sales :
Save all your Google+ searches for easy access later. (Just bookmark or save the URLs of your searches.)

[Take-home exercise]
Spend 30 minutes a week:
- Scanning Google+ posts and commenting on one relevant piece content (15 mins)
- Work on building relationships with regular contributors in communities by adding thought leadership to content they’ve shared (15 mins)

Why Sales Training in your Gym is a Good Investment

There’s a direct connection between a gym’s sales training programs and its member growth, industry competitiveness, and financial profitability. Here are some reasons gym sales training in general is a worthwhile investment:

  • Sales training increases the effectiveness of marketing, referral and promotional programs.
  • Sales training increases staff retention.
  • In general, sales training increases sales rep job satisfaction, motivation, and morale.
  • Motivated and well-trained health club sales reps are loyal staffers, which means turnover goes down.
  • Employee sales training and development provides you with a pool of skilled and knowledgeable people who can move up in the organization and fill critical jobs and perform critical functions.
  • Sales Training helps your organization ride the crest of technological change and innovation.
  • Well-trained, highly skilled salespeople are more efficient, productive, and creative.
  • A trained workforce provides the human resources to expand into new markets and seize opportunities in a highly competitive marketplace.
  • Sales Training helps develop a positive organizational culture in your gym in which confident, knowledgeable, creative staffers are poised to provide superior service to club members.

Five ways you can increase the payback of your training dollars. To make sure your employee sales training is always successful and cost-effective…you need to:

  1. Make sales training on ongoing process in your health club, and reassess sales training needs on a regular basis to be sure you’re addressing what’s needed right now.
  2. Encourage your salespeople to discuss their sales strengths and weakness in membership sales and then request additional gym sales training.
  3. Provide gym salespeople with an opportunity to use newly learned sales skills right away.
  4. Be sure your gym sales training is comprehensive, applicable and interactive, and be sure to role play with salespeople in a safe setting.
  5. Send your gym club salespeople back to the club with sales checklists, step-by-step club sales instructions, and reminders that help them effectively apply their new industry specific sales skills.

The only thing worse than training your staff and having them leave is to not train your staff and have them stay.

Now, go get some gym sales training!

www.fmconsulting.net | www.fmconsulting.netgymsforsale | www.fmconsulting.net/myfitnesscareer

Getting Ready for the Peak Selling Season

Anyone in the fitness industry knows that with New Year’s right around the corner, it will soon be the busiest time of the year for sales traffic. On one hand, more traffic simply means more membership sales and more revenue. On the other hand, a potential problem lurks; high prospect traffic often results in a drop in closing rates.

During busy times salespeople have a tendency to cut corners with the selling process. Perhaps they are trying to rush because another guest is waiting, but often the reason stems simply from the fact that they can cut corners without “feeling” the effects of a weaker sales presentation. That is, their closing percentage may go down (and I am shocked at the number of salespeople who do not track their own closing percentage) but because they are seeing more prospects, their numbers still look good. Hence, they are not “feeling” the pain of the decrease in overall success.

As a quick review, remember there are 8 steps to the professional fitness sales presentation;
1. Find a prospect
2. The meet and greet (which is the pre-qualification)
3. Qualify
4. Tour
5. Membership presentation
6. Overcome objections
7. Point of sale referral process
8. Establish a clear course of contact

Although every step of the sales process is important, and requires specific skills, tools and techniques to properly complete, the two areas of the sales presentation where salespeople have a tendency to first cut corners are on the qualifying stage and the tour.

The Qualifying Stage

Mistake #1: Trying to qualify while standing at the front desk.

This is a huge mistake for number of reasons. First, with many prospects there is a level of DIS-comfort at being inside a club. Therefore, making sure the prospect is at ease is very important. As a result, the qualifying process should happen in a quiet and private area of the club as possible, if you use an office, keep the door open so the prospect doesn’t feel “locked in.” In addition, if the salesperson will be sitting with the prospect in an area where guest traffic walks by, try and position the prospect so their peripheral vision has the LEAST number of distractions. Finally, when choosing desk space, know that round tables are the most inviting for rapport building and if a desk must be used, sit caddy-corner with a prospect NOT across from them

Mistake # 2: Not using a printed Needs Analysis Sheet or Guest Profile

Using a printed, professionally looking needs analysis form is imperative for a number of reasons. First, it ensures a consistent, effective and PROVEN sales presentation with every prospect no matter which salesperson is on the job. Second, it looks professional; let’s face it, when you go to your doctor they have forms they use! Third, when a salesperson asks questions AND writes down the answers, it conveys a feeling of caring to the prospect, and therefore creates a greater level of rapport. And fourth, using a form to capture the prospects information allows for effective follow up.

Think abut it, if a salesperson works with five prospects a day, it will be almost impossible for them to remember details about someone one or two weeks later. So, for all these reasons, and many more, it is imperative that salespeople use a needs analysis form.

The Tour

Tour Mistake #1: Touring the prospect before qualifying

Yes, I know some of you are saying, “Wait a minute, if qualifying is step #3 and touring is step #4, then how (or why) would a salesperson reverse the order?” That is a great question and one that has NO logical answer. What salespeople will often say is that because the prospects say, “I’m here to see the facility,” they feel obligated to show them the club so as not to “upset” them. To ensure that a full understanding of why one tours ONLY AFTER qualifying, think of this scenario. You go to the doctors because you don’t feel well. You are sitting in the examining room and the doctor comes in and says, “So, I hear you don’t feel well.” After simply saying, “No, I don’t.”” the doctor turns around, grabs a syringe, fills it up with something and comes over to give you a shot in the arm. What is going through your mind right now? Yea, “This guy is a whacko – he’s trying to give me treatment without even knowing what is wrong with me.”

Well, the same analogy applies to selling health club memberships. How can you give a prospect a customized, personal tour without first knowing what the prospect wants and why that it is important to them? You can’t, so always make sure your sales team is ALWAYS QUALIFYING BEFORE TOURING. Not only will it result in greater success, but the prospect will feel better about the process as well.

Tour Mistake #2: Giving the “Museum” Tour

The museum tour refers to the situation when a salesperson walks through the club and simply “feature-dumps” information to the prospect. “Over here we have 55 cardiovascular pieces of equipment and we have 112 different classes per week, and we have only certified trainers, “ blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. WHO CARES! People don’t buy features – they buy what those features are going to give them in terms of benefits.

Therefore, salespeople need to stop blabbing about a ton of features and, instead, focus on the key things that the prospect indicated were important to them (Super Objective) during the qualifying stage. Then once the salesperson has explained the benefits of a particular club feature, they need to get the prospect to verbally give feedback as to the importance of that feature.

Take the time and tune-up the qualifying and touring aspects of your clubs sales presentation and it will result in a higher level of sales success.

 

Membership Consultant Seven Day Jump Start

Day 1)

  • Full uniform
  • Copy of training manuals
  • W2 info and I9
  • Set goals with sales manager
  • List 50 names and #’s of friends and family
  • Telemarket these 50 names and #’s
  • Receive guest passes and flyers
  • Walk through daily productivity report with sales manager
  • Read training manuals cover to cover and take sales test
  • Three hours of outside prospecting

Day 2)                                             

  • 2 to 4 hours outside prospecting
  • 4:00 heads – up meeting
  • Put out lead boxes and fish bowls
  • Role play – telemarketing
  • Begin to set appointments
  • Collect names and #’s from floor (floating)
  • Fill out daily productivity report
  • Learn how to do a “first” workout

Day 3)

  • 12:00 sales training
  • 2 to 4 hours external prospecting
  • 4:00 heads-up meeting
  • Role play – meet & greet
  • Collect names & # from floor
  • Train 3 members
  • Set appointments by phone (5 or more)
  • 5 names and numbers from outside prospecting
  • Fill out daily productivity report

Day 4)

  • 12:00 sales training
  • 2 to 4 hours external (lead boxes/fish bowls)
  • 4:00 heads-up meeting
  • Role Play
  • Pre-tour sheets
  • Collect names and #’s from floor
  • Train 3 members
  • Follow everyone on tours
  • Must have 5 – 7 appointments from now on!!
  • Fill out daily productivity report

Day 5)

  • 12:00 sales training
  • 2 to 4 hours prospecting (Buddy referrals)
  • Role playing
  • Train 3 members
  • 4:00 heads-up
  • Follow everyone on tours
  • 5 –7 appointments
  • Fill out daily productivity report

Day 6)

  • 12:00 sales training
  • 2 to 4 hours prospecting
  • Role play objections
  • Learn prices and how to use drop sheet
  • 4:00 heads-up meeting
  • Collect names & numbers on floor from workout members
  • Get 2 guest in the club
  • 5 – 7 appointments
  • Fill out daily productivity report

Day 7)

  • 2 – 4 hours prospecting (lead box/fish bowl)
  • Complete tour (overcome objections)
  • Fill out agreement
  • Train 3 members
  • Your first full tour day

Are You the Complete Sales Package?

Are you the complete sales package?
Are you the consummate sales professional?
Do you have what it takes to do what it takes to run circles around your competition?
Can you pass this sales (Fundamentals of selling) test?
I’ll be using the word “System” a few times. A system is defined as a method or a plan, an established way of doing something – in writing.
Whereas, to improvise is to do things on the spur of the moment
1. Do you have a system for working new leads? Or do you improvise?
2. Do you have a system for making appointments using the telephone? Or do you improvise?
3. Do you have a system for qualifying your prospects? Or do you improvise?
4. Do you have a system for quantifying your prospect’s pain? Or do you improvise?
5. Do you have a system for presenting your products/services as solutions? Or do you improvise?
6. Do you have a system for dealing with the price objection? Or do you improvise?
7. Do you have a system for working your tickler file? Or do you improvise?
8. Do you have a system for following-up? Or do you improvise?
9. Do you have a system for securing the commitment? Or do you improvise?

Which of these pieces (Systems) are you missing? Congratulations if you already have these NINE systems.

One final thought about this – if you’re not complete you can’t compete!

Let’s go out and sell something . . .

Jim Thomas’ Fitness Management & Consulting
www.fmconsulting.net | jthomas@fmconsulting.net | 800-929-2898

Is Selling a Membership Simple or Complicated?

It’s always interesting to see the different ways facilities across the country go about selling a membership. Most that struggle in the sales process have made the process overwhelming and complicated without even realizing it. Most that do well in the sales process seem to have figured out a way to make the entire process very simple.
So, before you continue reading, I’d like you to take a moment right now and decide whether you think selling a membership is simple or complicated? Ok, please continue.
People demand the simple in their lives and they see the value in simple. Simplicity sells and people who visit your center are even willing to pay more money for the simple.
Now let’s come back to selling a membership and whether it is complicated or simple.
I think that many owners have been convinced that selling a membership is difficult and complicated but we also use the perspective that selling a membership is complicated as an excuse to miss the sale. Let me explain this a bit further.
Many owners have been told selling a membership is difficult, overwhelming and complicated. They have been convinced that:
• As the facilities and services we are selling get more and more complicated…and the competition increases, the selling of these complicated and highly competitive facilities and services must by definition get more complicated as well.
• As the number of people involved in making a single buying decision increases (husband/wife, corporate sales), the more complicated the selling of a membership becomes.
Since many owners have been convinced that selling a membership is complicated, they start to believe they need a complicated membership sales process and complicated sales tools in order to effectively sell. As a result, lots of centers do not maximize an opportunity that is right in front of them.
Complexity in the sales process provides us with many additional sources of excuses and gives us the ability to cover up our failures in the sales process. If you are selling complicated facilities and services at your center, you can use the excuse that a prospect failed to see the value of your facility because the facilities and services are so complicated and overwhelming. If it is taking a long time for your prospect to make a decision to join, you can make the excuse that selling a membership is complicated as there are lots of people involved (husband/wife, corporate). You could go on and on making excuses because selling a membership is complicated.
I would like to say to any owner, manager or salesperson that selling a membership is not in fact complicated; it is in fact quite simple.
Even if the facilities you are selling are overwhelming and complicated, so what? You are not selling a complicated facility or service; you are selling a solution to a problem. You’re selling strategy, a plan and focus is around the solution to your prospect’s problem and not around your complicated or overwhelming facility. Whether your center is complicated with every class imaginable or just a simple workout studio should not be relevant to the membership sales conversation.
If you are willing to take on the belief that selling a membership is simple and you are prepared to give up the excuses you can use if you believe selling is complicated, then what is your next step?
I suggest that you look at the membership sales process you are using and if it is complicated, replace it with a proven, simple membership sales process. Find something that can be effectively used by everyone on your staff.
Commit yourself to finding and learning a simple, beginning-to-end, membership sales process that focuses on selling solutions, benefits and results to the prospect (as opposed to selling facility and price) and which works whether one person or more people are involved in the buying decision. If you do, you will naturally be a lot more successful at selling memberships and you will enjoy it a lot more too.
Selling a membership really is simple. Simple sells, really.
Now, try it and see.
Jim Thomas’ Fitness Management & Consulting
www.fmconsulting.net | jthomas@fmconsulting.net | 800-929-2898

Should you invest in Sales Training for your Facility Staff?

Sales training is a must for any facility wishing to secure a competitive advantage in their marketplace. This has always been important, but it’s even more important now than ever.

The ability to sell memberships, personal training, etc. is fundamental to success in the fitness business and the full effort of the sales team is essential. The sales team brings in the revenue that writes the check of everybody in the company from the administrative staff to the cleaning crew to the owner. Unless a facility can generate membership sales there is no revenue and there is no business.

The only thing worse than training your membership sales staff and having them leave….is NOT training your membership staff and having them stay,

Here are some thoughts why facilities should consider investing in regular sales training:

• Improve membership sales and productivity: Just a 10% increase in the membership sales of one membership rep would offer a quick return on investment.

• Gain a competitive advantage over other clubs: Many facilities do not properly train their membership sales team. Clubs and gyms that train and invest in their employees are also strengthening their own competitive position. A competitive advantage could mean the difference between success, survival or disappearance. New sales ideas and strategies learned from a proven club sales training program give your fitness facility a strong advantage against other gyms in your area…even a slight advantage can make all the difference in that next membership sale.

• Increase employee satisfaction and staff retention: Everybody wants to feel good in their jobs. Club sales training develops the abilities of membership sales personnel and encourages them to use their natural talents and abilities in the membership sales process. This helps to establish better relationships with guests and members.

• Confident membership sales staff: Confidence is a must when it comes to club sales. A confident membership sales rep feels good about what they do, speaks with authority about the facilities services and products and transfers the same confidence to guests and members. This confidence is crucial in making membership sales and in getting guests and members to join your club.

• New creative ideas and inspiration: Implementing the new ideas and strategies learned in club sales training makes selling memberships more exciting and simplifies the process. Working in sales should be fun as well as providing an exciting daily challenge and opportunity. The idea is to create an atmosphere that allows a motivated person to act. Sales training will help to do this.

• Motivated membership sales team: Membership sales reps are always more motivated when they can see a positive outcome as a result of their actions. This combination of confidence and motivation is a very powerful mixture in any club situation.

Club membership sales reps that have the motivation and confidence in themselves will sign up new members who are not only satisfied members but members who will also refer their friends. We all know that there is no better way of marketing your club than word of mouth advertising. We instinctively have more confidence in a facility when it has been recommended by somebody we know. This is particularly the case where the club we are selling is a more expensive one. For those of you competing against lower-priced competition, this can be the difference-maker.

Now, go get some club sales training!

Jim Thomas
www.fmconsulting.net | jthomas@fmconsulting.net | jimt@kravmaga.com |800-929-2898

The Power of Questions in the Sales Process

Sales training participants in our workshops often ask how they can better control the membership sales process. Although many have been trained to spend the majority of their time talking about their club features and programs believing that telling is selling… it is an ineffective approach. The most effective way to control the membership sales process is to ask more questions.

Selling is like driving a car: The person who asks the questions sits in the driver’s seat and controls the direction of the sale, while the passenger—the person who answers the questions—goes along for the ride. Unfortunately, many sales people feel that they are selling when they respond to their prospect’s questions. They mistakenly believe this will demonstrate how smart or knowledgeable they are and will help their prospect make a membership buying decision. In actuality, the prospect takes control of the sale whenever he moves into the driver’s seat by asking questions.

You can also lose control of the membership sale if you aren’t asking the right kinds of questions. Many sales people have learned to ask questions, all too often they sound like this: “If I could save you money, would you be interested?” “Is this the one you want?” “What will it take to earn your business?”

The problem with questions like these is that they do not help you gain the knowledge you need to effectively present a solution.—and these questions only demonstrate a lack of sales ability that will quickly cause the prospect to lose interest in the discussion.

Instead, you need to ask high-quality questions that will make your prospect think and will demonstrate your club’s knowledge and expertise. For example, focus on learning more about the prospect’s goals and challenges. This approach helps you gain more insight to your prospect’s situation which means you will be able to present an attractive solution.

Here are three tips to developing good sales questions:

1. Determine your key objective.
What information do you require in order to move the sales process forward or determine the best solution for your customer? You questions may vary depending on the customer.

2. Consider the person you will be speaking with.
Questions about the individual’s goals and objectives and the challenges and barriers that are preventing them from reaching those targets will give you valuable insight.

3. Use “what” questions.
What caused that problem? What action are you taking to achieve your goals? What specific challenges are preventing you from reaching your targets? What results are you expecting? By determining the cause of their problems, you will be able to better tailor your presentation and show your prospects how your program is a solution.

Another mistake membership sales reps make is that they tend to move backwards through the sales process. Oftentimes, reps start a sales presentation to a client followed by a Q & A session. This is a recipe for failure and sets the prospect up to ask questions and take control of the sale. Instead, ask questions about your prospect’s needs first and then adapt their presentation to address those needs. If you can offer a prospect a definitive solution, closing the sale will be a certainty.

In today’s competitive business world it is actually easy to stand out from the competition. Most sales people are so focused on trying to get the sale that they don’t learn anything about their prospect’s situation. If you truly want to control the sales process and positively influence the outcome, you must teach yourself to ask questions instead of talking. Contrary to popular belief, telling is NOT selling.

Jim Thomas’ Fitness Management & Consulting
www.fmconsulting.net

Strategic Tune Up for your Business


It happens every year…

What will you do differently during the second half of the year to improve your selling results in your business? If you don’t take time to think about what you’ll do differently, you may not do anything different. Now that’s okay if you’re happy with your year to date results. If however you’d like to do more during the second half of this year you’d better think about making some changes now.

One of the keys to raising the bar is effective sales planning. For most of us selling is fun and planning is not. Remember that selling success doesn’t come from doing what everyone else is doing. The most successful salespeople do the things that few salespeople take an interest in doing. There are two requirements for planning. First set aside some quiet time for creative thinking. Second, be sure to put your thoughts on paper.

At least once a year professional membership salespeople should dedicate a minimum of one-day to strategically think about their business. Don’t be too quick to say you’re already doing it. Most membership sales reps acknowledge they think about their business and customers daily. When pressed however most will admit they don’t have time to creatively think about blue sky scenarios that may happen a year from now. If you can’t devote one solid day for unrestrained creative thinking, don’t think about aiming for the stars. Your best bet is to wait for a shooting star to come your way.

Begin your planning process with these six critical questions. Direct these questions at your business, your accounts, your customers, and naturally your competitors. These questions will raise more questions and you should consider this process a success if you end up with more questions than answers. Here are the six questions.

1. Where are you are now? Where are you now relative to your sales results and selling skills? How’s your performance? What’s your rank within your company? What kind of overall growth do you have in your business? Where are your competitors making inroads in your accounts? How well are you managing your time in your business? What are your biggest challenges and best opportunities for growth?

2. Where are you headed if you don’t change anything? What’s the implication for you if you don’t acquire new skills? What happens to your overall performance next year? How will your customers react to a strategy that is really based on a “more of the same” concept, especially when your competitors are becoming more creative in their approach?

With more work and less time available, how are you planning to manage next year when your business is expected to grow 10 percent across the board? If you can’t handle the sales challenges and opportunities this year, how will you respond to the one’s you face next year?

3. Where should you be headed? Do you have specific personal and professional goals? Are these goals specific and clearly defined? Are they in writing? Do you have completion dates established? Have you made a commitment to read sales books and to subscribe to sales publications?

4. How will you achieve your objectives? You really can’t “do” a goal or an objective. What you can and must do is create an action plan detailing how specifically you plan to achieve the goals you outlined when considering question three. For example, if your goal is to increase your sales by 12 percent, how specifically will you do it? How many “how’s” will it take to achieve your goal? Your goals define (what you want to achieve) and your strategies define (how specifically you’ll do it.) Without proper linkage between goals and strategies, your goals begin to look like dreams.

5. What are the specific details involved? The details referred to are the who, what, where, why, when, which, and how as they relate to initiating and implementing your strategies. Ben Franklin once said, “Small leaks can sink big ships.” In sales, minor adjustments often create big impacts and higher sales in your territory.

6. What should you measure? Always measure what matters. One of my favorite sayings is “what gets measured gets done.” To keep you on your stated course (objectives) how will you measure your progress? What key elements of success should your review monthly? Personal growth and development are often the result of careful measurement and evaluation. The difference between first-place and second place is often a very narrow margin.

These questions can make a significant contribution to your selling results, but only if you invest the time to ask them. The favorite day of the week for procrastinators is tomorrow. Action-oriented people, the real doers in life, recognize, if you focus your energy on today, tomorrow takes care of itself. The future is yours to live one-day at a time. The shape of your future depends on the foundation of your plan.

Are you planning your future today or waiting for tomorrow to do it? It’s a clear choice and it’s all yours.

Jim Thomas | www.fmconsulting.net | jthomas@fmconsulting.net

Behaviors of the best Club Salespeople

I have had the opportunity to witness many different club salespeople in many different situations and I have seen some common habits and traits that over and over will define the best salespeople in the club industry. Many times it’s these small differences that separate the winners from the losers in the club business. Here is what I have seen (let’s hear your thoughts):

1. Winning Attitude. It all starts with you. If your attitude is not right, your prospect will not respond in the way you want them to. Your attitude determines everything. Your attitude decides your altitude.

2. Plan of action. The great ones all have a plan on how they want to get things done. No flying by the seat of their pants. They have studied their training materials… and practiced (over and over) their tour and membership presentation until it’s nearly second nature. They know and participate in their product.

3. They keep their pipeline full. They are good at prospecting and they have a strategy for lead generation and making appointments. The top club salespeople have learned to embrace and enjoy prospecting. They don’t simply wait for the next walk-in.

4. They bring prospects up to their level of enthusiasm. What I mean by enthusiasm is passion, conviction and belief. They develop rapport with club prospects by asking questions and by using their voice, their gestures, and their posture when interacting with a club guest.

5. They use a Needs Analysis and qualify their prospect. They find out exactly what the goals of the prospect are and why it’s important to them. They also work to remove any obstacles that might prevent someone from joining the club. They are friendly, they respect the prospect’s time and they don’t waste their time on things that aren’t productive.

6. They have integrity. This should be pretty straightforward….it means they are honest, and trustworthy. They do what they say and people believe and trust them.

7. They create desire. By understanding why their goals are important to them, they make prospects hungry for what they have to say and to join the club. They find out what prospect’s hot spots are and they take them on an emotional journey, which results in the membership sale.

8. They understand and us a strategy to close the sale. They have sales techniques they use that involve questions based on the prospect’s needs and desires. They offer the prospect a simple choice at point of sale and avoid confusion.

9. They make it important to the prospect. Prospects will do whatever is important to them. The great sales reps make it this important. Prospect’s will only buy if they can justify doing it in their mind. The top club salespeople give the prospect plenty of reasons to justify making the decision to buy.

10. They start a relationship. They don’t simply look at it as making a sale, they look at is starting a new relationship. They build friends and relationships… they get repeat business and renewals. They also get referrals to create new business for the health club.

No, go take action!

Jim Thomas
www.fmconsulting.net | jthomas@fmconsulting.net | jimt@kravmaga.com