Often, I am asked what is the biggest mistake that health clubs make in their marketing. If I could identify a single common weakness in health clubs around Australia and New Zealand, it would be sales. Sales play a pivotal role in growth rates, so here lies a simple opportunity to get an edge on your competition, improve your marketing returns and become a better business.
Sales is the under recognized part of a two part process. Many clubs believe that their fitness facility will do the talking, or that what they say to the prospect will have little effect on the end result - I will tell you otherwise.
As an avid golfer, I’d like to utilize this to illustrate our focus. Marketing is like driving, the perception is that the better golfers are longer drivers. Plus driving is fun, enjoyable to practice and thus this is where most golfers allocate their time. Sales is like putting, to get good at it, you need constant effort and the practice is less enjoyable. The truth is, good golfers know putting is where the opportunity for big improvement lies.
For the purpose of this article, let’s say your club generates one lead per day, 7 leads a week and of course, 365 leads per year. On a weekly basis, closing 4 or 5 leads would hardly be recognized, let alone be recorded. The reality is that this is the difference of 365 memberships per year and for many of you, it is the difference between winning and losing.
The opportunity and ease of improving the sales closing rate by 15%, is far easier and less expensive than generating 30% more leads to essentially achieve the same end result. So, how do we do this? How do you improve? The specific answer to this question for each of you is different, but the simple answer is the same - you develop a plan and you practice. If you currently sales train an hour a week, make it two. If you currently spend 15 minutes with a prospect, make it 30 minutes.
Many fear being labeled ‘salesy’ or ‘forceful’ within their respected communities. I feel that we have a responsibility as an industry to help prospects see the value of exercise in their life. This value can only be built by spending time with the prospect, understanding their needs and taking the time to show them that your club will benefit them. This is without the glamour of a long drive, but an integral part to improving your score.
Ben Revitt is the Business Development Manager of CFM Memberdrive- Australia and New Zealand. For over 26 years, CFM have provided a marketing solution to increase the membership base, monthly cash flow and ultimately improve the profitability of health clubs around the world. Ben has worked as a fitness marketing professional for over 9 years and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org