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How to stop delivering nuisance follow-up calls

When it comes to selling, the old mantra ‘No means next one’ is widely used to help keep the faith amongst sales teams.  However, when...

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Beyond the Treadmill - Focus on Relationships not Tasks

There are many fitness professionals within the fitness industry ...

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Pre-sale proves to be an enjoyable learning experience

Nurturing Skills recently joined forces with Leisure-Net Solutions, and we proudly won the tender to provide pre-sales business development to ...

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Lesley Aitken

Lesley Aitken

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How to stop delivering nuisance follow-up calls

When it comes to selling, the old mantra ‘No means next one’ is widely used to help keep the faith amongst sales teams.  However, when you or your membership sales team make those all-important follow-up sales calls and are consistently met with negative reactions and rebuffs, it’s only natural that those motivation levels will take a battering.

You’ll be pleased to hear that with a little careful thought and planning, and a tactical change to your approach to making follow-up calls, you and your membership sales team will see a noticeable improvement in prospective members’ responses – as well as your crucial membership numbers too.

As the founder of Nurturing Skills, I’ve had the pleasure of helping a number of health clubs, gyms and leisure centres to boost membership numbers and successfully train and motivate membership sales teams.  I’m a coach, trainer and mentor, and I understand that typical follow-up call responses can leave you or your team feeling as though you’re nuisance callers.  Furthermore, the greater the number of rebuffs and rejections you and your membership sales team receive, the harder it becomes to maintain a positive attitude and those crucial motivation levels.  It’s time to take action.

Stop nuisance sales calls… Start personal, positive and helpful follow-ups today

Usually, a follow-up call sounds a little like this… “Good morning, it’s Lesley from the X Club.  I’m just wondering whether you’ve had a chance to think about joining yet”.  Would that make you want to hand over your bank details and sign on the dotted line… thought not!

It’s a fact that focusing on the negative won’t get you anywhere – and neither will sounding apathetic and downcast on the phone.  Instead, why not try turning your follow-up calls around by being personal, positive and helpful, and aiming for an upbeat and positive message.

How to do positive and personal follow-up sales calls...

There are countless reasons as to why a prospective member will enquire about joining your health and fitness club, gym or leisure centre.  From weight loss to social outlets, each reason is personal and, for many, taking the first step to joining is often quite a daunting one.

It’s important to remember that, whilst the prospective member is obviously interested in joining your club (and let’s face it, they wouldn’t have enquired if they weren’t), there’s more often than not some nurturing and relationship building work to be done in order to secure the sale.  And being positive, personal and friendly is the best place to start.

Begin the follow-up call by saying how great it was to meet the prospective member, and to chat about their goals and desires.  Now add in the personal touches by acknowledging that they want to lose weight for a summer wedding, or perhaps get in shape for a holiday.  It shows you’ve listened and are interested.  And finally, ask if they have done anything about achieving their goals yet.  Invariably, the answer is a no, and they instantly feel guilty!  This is your perfect opportunity to be friendly, positive and assertive enough to close the sale.  So say how pleased you are that you’ve called as it’s great timing to help them on their way to achieving their goals.  And offer to get them booked in for their first one-to-one with a personal trainer.

There are times when assumption is a bad thing.  However, in this instance, making the assumption that they will join is the right approach so you’re able to get the joining process under way.

In the event that the outcome is still a firm no, then appreciate their decision and rest assured that at least you know it’s a no and you’ll not waste any more time calling them!  It also means you won’t be seen as a nuisance caller either.

How to do helpful follow-up sales calls...

The best sales people are kind and considerate and, whilst having a thirst for success, also have a desire to help people.  So by going out of your way to provide the prospective member with valuable information and support to help them on their new fitness journey, you are also doing a great job in securing a new sale.

So thinking in terms of ‘being helpful’, why not send a short and quick ‘service email’ which contains a brief ‘hope you find this helpful’ message, plus useful tips and information on how to… tone up quickly, lose weight effectively, get fit safely etc.  This isn’t selling, it’s helping.  And helping can help to sell!  So when the time is right to join, then your health and fitness club, gym or leisure centre will be the one that sticks in the prospective member’s mind.

To find out more about how your health and fitness club, gym or leisure centre will benefit from the Nurturing Skills team’s knowledge, or for further information on the importance of effective sales calls, leadership and sales coaching, training and mentoring, please call +44 (0) 7815 800 939 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. today.

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Beyond the Treadmill - Focus on Relationships not Tasks

There are many fitness professionals within the fitness industry that are experienced, skilled and have an impressive CV, yet fail to support members and clients towards their goals effectively because they fail to pick up on feelings or issues beyond the training environment. This is probably because they are lacking in Emotional Intelligence (EI), the ability to understand your environment, succeed in the here and now and get the best from others.

Often people focus on their intelligence or personality i.e. improving their knowledge by doing very technical based qualifications. EI is what will turn those resources into an effective performance and ultimately results. Research from the USA has highlighted that those with a greater emotional intelligence earn more than those with a lower emotional intelligence!

The qualities traditionally associated with success at work, such as toughness, determination and vision, are “threshold capabilities”, so while they are essential they do not distinguish the exceptionally effective coaches or leaders. EI provides the next layer of effectiveness in getting results for members and clients.

Some of the key components of EI include empathy (understanding other’s feelings to get better results), social skills (friendliness with a purpose to get cooperation and agreement), self awareness (understanding your emotions, strengths and weaknesses so you are truly honest with yourself) and self regulation(managing your feelings and emotions so you act on them in a thoughtful and constructive way).

Empathy is particularly important, as coaches and leaders increasingly need to be able to lead teams, get them to work together and make good use of different views. Equally as health clubs, leisure and sports centres increasingly work across cultures the scope for misunderstandings rises, yet being able being able to tune into others’ unvoiced concerns is invaluable.

The low EI coach or leader may have less awareness of emotions and how these impact behaviour, can be rigid and rely too heavily on technical expertise, focus on tasks rather than relationships and not look after themselves and their teams in challenging times.

The good news is that you can develop your EI! Changing behaviours can improve it, yet over time you are likely to revert to type, therefore to make it stick you need to change your attitude and not just your habits (people tend to behave in ways that match their attitudes).

This can mean taking time to reflect on and understand what really matters to you, reset your values and then align your behaviour to these values. To learn EI you also need feedback. It is important that the feedback comes from someone you can trust to be objective with their comments as often people take feedback personally and can get defensive.

Interestingly many large, global organisations are moving away from providing training on the hard skills and are now focused on the human side i.e. Emotional Intelligence.

The global business psychology consultancy JCA commissioned a study around EI on more than 25,00 people in the workplace and found significant differences between groups.-

Self Employed people scored highest in EI, perhaps because they need strong interpersonal skills and awareness to be successful. Graduates scored lowest, particularly around interpersonal skills and confidence. While EI increases with age and experience (as you would expect) this suggests that there is a need for the education sector to develop EI before graduates and young people enter the workplace. Also of note the financial sector scored lower in EI than many sectors with people being more critical, less flexible and less people orientated, although this has improved over the last decade.

Six Simple Steps to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence:

1. Be Self Aware: This involves realising that your life would improve if you worked to develop your EI.

2. Be Open to Change: This is really listening and accepting that you have areas that you need to develop and realising this will take effort and time.

3. Identify a SIMPLE Change: Often people identify a major issue, like tackling a conflict and then become too demoralised when it is too challenging. So make a simple change, such as creating time to talk to new colleagues can be effective.

4. Practise, Practise, Practise: Committing to a simple change, and practising it every day without fail, is likely to build your belief in your ability to develop and also provide some timely results.

5. Broadcast: Tell trusted friend or colleague that you are going to make changes and check in with them after a few weeks.

6. Find a friend: Find someone you trust to prompt you and do the same for them.

For fitness, sales, leadership or service training, coaching and mentoring for your health and fitness club, leisure centre, call +44 (0) 7815 800 939 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 

 

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Pre-sale proves to be an enjoyable learning experience

Nurturing Skills recently joined forces with Leisure-Net Solutions, and we proudly won the tender to provide pre-sales business development to the new Queen’s Park Sports Centre, Chesterfield Borough Council (CBC). 

With a high pre-sales target, we set to work immediately and delivered some impressive results. Not only did we beat CBC’s target of 750 new memberships, but we exceeded it by an incredible 30% and delivered 1000 new memberships.

So if your health and fitness club, leisure centre or gym is looking to boost membership numbers, and you’re interested in the countless benefits to be had from Nurturing Skills’ professional sales coaching, sales training, customer service development, and membership team mentoring, then read on.

Nurturing Skills exceeds Chesterfield Borough Council’s pre-sale membership target… Here’s how:

“When would you go shopping and buy something you can’t see or try? That was the challenge presented with selling 12-month memberships for the new Queen’s Park Sports Centre”, said Cathy Hinde, Marketing and Communications Officer at Chesterfield Borough Council.

Cathy went on to add, “Working with David Monkhouse from Leisure-Net Solutions and Lesley Aitken from Nurturing Skills really demonstrated how it could be done. Since contracting them both in early October, it’s been a hectic three months of fast-paced work and actions.  However, it’s also been one of the most valuable and enjoyable learning experiences I’ve ever had working in the leisure sector.

The centre was an £11.5 million project, and a brave move for Chesterfield Borough Council to back the building of a new sports centre when other authorities are cutting back or closing. It was imperative the centre could support itself financially, and a key step to financial independence was to significantly increase the numbers of direct debit memberships taken out before the centre opened in January 2016.

In my mind, there were two major steps to making the project work.  First, it was crucial we didn’t just hit, but rather smashed, the sales targets set by the council. And second, the management, development and nurturing of the Business Development team was essential – as was the outreach initiatives undertaken.

The Business Development team was on the shop floor, and acted as the public face of the project by being directly tasked with selling memberships. Witnessing the team’s development is testament to Lesley’s positive attitude and her killer sales skills! People never get tired of receiving compliments, and what was evident was the focus on the team’s positive skills and attributes alongside the learning skills to help develop their weaknesses.

From a marketing perspective, I also learned a huge amount from Lesley’s sales style, both in practical skills and in the confidence to deliver. Big ideas…small budget. Maximising contacts with nothing but a smile and a flyer!

The versatility Lesley demonstrated in delivering a marketing campaign on a very tight budget primarily maximised on what we had freely available. Developing the outreach and corporate marketing in a strategic way was something we had not done before – and I shall take it forward into next year’s marketing plan.

Seeing first-hand the benefits of working with local businesses, the skills and techniques used in linking in to local workforces and companies, and tapping into the business market through Destination Chesterfield was truly inspiring.

As the first busy weeks following opening are starting to calm down, I can reflect on the project and think what have I learned, what I need to permanently instil in my own work, and what I can do that will enable us to retain the customers we have gained by listening and finding a solution to all customer challenges.”

For proven pre-sales coaching and mentoring, or to increase your health and fitness club, leisure centre and gym membership numbers, call +44 (0) 7815 800 939 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. today.

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Boost your new membership numbers and beat your targets…

Nurturing Skills shines again by winning collaborative tender and beating Chesterfield Borough Council’s high pre-sales membership target.

Case Study: Pre-Sale for Queen’s Park Sports Centre, Chesterfield Borough Council with Leisure-Net Solutions and Nurturing Skills

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There are times when two brains are better than one.  So when Leisure-Net Solutions and Nurturing Skills joined forces, the outcome of an impressive team effort was monumental.

We proudly won the tender to provide pre-sales business development to the new Queen’s Park Sports Centre, Chesterfield Borough Council (CBC).  By working together, we achieved a high tender score of 99.4%, which meant our collaboration was the perfect match with which to accomplish CBC’s desired target.   

About us…

Leisure-Net Solutions is the leading provider of Customer Insight, Business Intelligence and Consultation services to the cultural services, active leisure, and health and fitness industries.

Nurturing Skills specialises in generating leads, increasing conversions and boosting sales by providing essential tools to the health and fitness industry, including sales systems, sales training, sales management, and lead growth strategies to improve business. Nurturing Skills proudly boasts the completion of FIVE successful pre-sales projects in less than three years.

Our client… Chesterfield Borough Council (CBC)

Chesterfield Borough Council has built a modern, replacement Queen's Park Sports Centre on the site of Queen's Park Annex.Building work began onsite in autumn 2014 and the new sports centre opened in early January 2016.

The centre is funded by £6.725 million from Chesterfield Borough Council, £2.5 million from Chesterfield College (as part of a dual-use agreement), £2 million from Sport England’s Strategic Facilities Fund and £25,000 from Squash England.

The scope of our work:

David Monkhouse from Leisure-Net Solutions and Lesley Aitken from Nurturing Skills were tasked by Mick Blythe, CEO and his management team at CBC to quickly recruit, train and lead three pre-sales people.  This enabled rapid membership sales growth of 750 new members, including 100 corporate memberships and 50 student memberships from mid-Oct 2015 to early January 2016 when Queen’s Park Sports Centre opened.

We were also tasked with creating and delivering a marketing pre-launch plan, and to work in partnership with Cathy Hinde, Marketing and Communications Officer at CBC, to generate enough high quality leads to achieve the sales target.

Duration/Scope:

3 months, working via a monthly retainer averaging 3.5 days each week.

Outcome

We exceeded CBC’s sales target of 750 new memberships by 30%, and encouraged 1000 new members to participate in physical activity.

Our approach:

Recruitment and Foundation Sales Training

Our goal was to quickly find three members of staff from existing centres. Key skills included superb communication skills, determination, good product knowledge, a passion for health and fitness, and  a willingness to learn.

We managed CBC’s expectations by advising that initial sales training and recruitment activity would take at least two weeks. One-day of sales training and pre-sale expectations were delivered to staff including gym, reception, and duty officers. Then all staff were invited to apply for a Business Development role during pre-sale. Applicants were invited to attend an intense recruitment day, comprising an interview and various sales tasks.

We offered the roles quickly to a receptionist, fitness instructor and attendant, who are now top-performing sales professionals.        

All members of the pre-sales team received the highest quality sales training and coaching, as well as unrivalled ongoing support.  By playing such a hands-on role, we empowered all team members and enabled them to succeed.

Pre-opening offers  

To generate volume membership sales prior to opening, we used marketing tactics to create urgency and scarcity in the market place. This encouraged people to join at a special and limited pre-opening membership rate. Many budget gyms cost under £10 per month to join in pre-opening; however, we had to maintain CBC’s existing average yield price of £20 per month. Therefore, we designed the pricing strategy to protect the yield. We sold  the pre-opening, all-inclusive memberships in three phases ranging from £19.99 per month up to £26.99, and one month free before opening.

Marketing

The pre-launch integrated marketing plan is integral to any pre-sales success. So we worked exclusively on this to generate and capture enough high quality leads to achieve monthly sales targets set, whilst considering the following elements:

  1. No online joining available
  2. A small marketing budget
  3. An informative council website but with no ability to capture leads 
  4. No sales and lead management system

With no online joining available,  the pre-sales team had to capture, follow-up and convert every generated lead. 

With a small marketing budget and the need to capture leads, we cleverly created a new cost-effective website. This consisted a landing page with new site visuals and video, FAQs, and ample action buttons to a pre-opening registration web form. It quickly became a proven marketing, lead and sales generation tool when compared with the old council informative site, which only generated a small number of email enquiries and  lacked full lead data capture of full name and telephone number. 

All marketing was aligned with the pre-opening pricing offers and ensured a consistent marketing message across all channels and methods, such as social media, press-releases, flyers and referral incentives.    

It was important all online marketing, including social media, and offline traditional marketing drove as many people as possible to the website landing page to capture their full data. This was then sent electronically to a sales and lead management system, which immediately alerted a member of the pre-sales team to make contact. We provided CBC with a sales and lead management system designed for selling memberships, and could track and monitor our valuable leads, which was critical to the success of exceeding our target.     

The speed at which the pre-sales team responded to website leads was paramount to conversion success of the prospect into a fully-fledged new member. 

Furthermore, the quality of the response was key too.  Friendly, approachable, supportive and knowledgeable are all essential attributes.  And with competition amongst health and fitness clubs in Chesterfield at its most fierce, giving great customer service was critical. Every prospect who registered online for a pre-opening offer received an auto-responder first; this explained that a member of the team would call them. 

No online joining meant we had to work harder. Many prospects would have joined online – and at any time. However, even without online joining we still exceeded our target and all new members received the personal touch!

Low-cost marketing activity

The business development team had flyers, posters and banners. Plus, banners were strategically placed close to the new build. Every day a member of the pre-sales team would network with small businesses in Chesterfield, plus canvassing in well-known supermarkets, Chesterfield market, and large local organisations such as the NHS and Royal Mail to promote the new sports centre.  Even if they weren’t signing people up immediately, they were influencing them to visit the website or pre-sale membership suite.

We generated many referrals from new members, and trained pre-sales team to generate and convert referral leads. As a result of the training and volume of referral skills and activity delivered, we received a constant stream of new members via referrals.    

Other marketing activities used were press releases, emails and texting.

What we didn’t do  

We didn’t spend our small marketing budget on radio or large newspaper advertising. We believe traditional advertising methods no longer offer a good return on investment.

Summary

We consistently marketed both online and offline. And combined with a mix of tactics we ensured people understood our pre-opening marketing message and how to join, which lead to a great result and return on investment.

We empowered the highly trained and consistently coached pre-sales team to be creative, accountable and responsible for hitting their numbers.  Yes, they made some mistakes along the way, but they quickly responded with a positive attitude and learning outcome which enhanced their performance. Their morale and confidence was boosted by every small achievement, which lead to a huge celebration and acknowledgement of achieving 1000 new membership sales.       

For proven pre-sales coaching and mentoring, or to increase your health and fitness club, leisure centre and gym membership numbers, call +44 (0) 7815 800 939 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. today.

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Nurturing Skills receives a little nurturing…

Nurturing your health and fitness club, gym, or leisure centre is what Nurturing Skills does best.  We nurture your membership sales teams to ensure that the successes keep on flowing.  We develop and support your membership sales teams, as well as management teams, so that confidence levels go up – and stay up!  And we boast a proven track record amidst what is undeniably a competitive and challenging industry when it comes to boosting membership sales – the numbers speak for themselves.

You’ll no doubt appreciate that nurturing your business and team is the first, and most important step, to achieving your membership sales goals and boosting those crucial numbers.  However, at Nurturing Skills we’ve been so busy over the past 3 years helping our countless happy customers that we thought it was about time our own business received a little nurturing and TLC of its own.

Meet Adam Daniel. We like to think that the past 3 years have been akin to a marathon for the Nurturing Skills’ team.  Thanks to some remarkable stamina, and periods of sprint-like speedy growth, Nurturing Skills has gone from strength to strength.  And as a result of some pretty impressive development we’re in our strongest position yet and are delighted to welcome Adam to the team.

We are proud of our consistent track record; achieving fantastic and proven results for our customers day after day is no mean feat.  Furthermore, we have just taken on board a major contract to supply training for a Facility Management Group, so it’s a great time for Adam to join us.

Nurturing Skills is now one of the UK’s most respected providers of leadership and sales coaching, training and mentoring within the health and fitness club, gym, or leisure centre industry.  And as a result we are regularly asked to help develop health and fitness teams, personal trainers and leaders with our bespoke training plans. We also offer personal training and fitness programming – and thanks to Adam’s sporting experience he’s a real asset to the team.

With an extensive background within the fitness industry sector, Adam adds to the Nurturing Skills team’s pool of corporate knowledge.  Furthermore, Adam recently completed an International Sports Management MBA from Loughborough University.  He is now combining his industry knowledge and experience with the theoretical aspects of the MBA as he joins Nurturing Skills – and opens his own multi-faceted training hub.

Adam prides himself on providing outstanding customer support, and places great emphasis on developing exceptional working relationships.  What’s more, he has spent the last few years juggling the demands of work, family and study, which will serve him well when it comes to balancing the needs of the many companies now working with Nurturing Skills.  He believes in a strong work ethic, continuous learning and connecting himself with positive and inspirational leaders who help shape and define his future.

In recent years, Adam’s excellent communication skills, analytical thinking, innovative ideas and advanced organisational skills have lead him into team leadership, and presenting and programme development – all whilst maintaining a personal training business. Adam is a highly motivated, self-sufficient individual and team member who thrives on new responsibilities and challenges.  He always strives to maintain the highest standard of work, with exceptional accuracy and impeccable attention to detail – and a reputation for results.  These attributes have seen him featured in ES magazine as one of London’s top 6 personal trainers, and also explain why he is such a sought after presenter and consultant.

On joining Nurturing Skills, Adam said, “I am delighted to become a part of the Nurturing Skills team and I am particularly looking forward to building new relationships with clients looking to book leadership, fitness training and fitness programming development.  It is an exciting opportunity to be working with a company that values my varied skills and I look forward to further business growth”.

Adam has been fortunate enough to have accumulated a wealth of experience in both his sporting career.  He competed as an international athlete and semi-professional rugby player, as well as his professional career where he has worked in countless environments, including one-to-one training, group training and management.

To find out more about how your health and fitness club, gym or leisure centre will benefit from the Nurturing Skills team’s knowledge, or for further information on the importance of leadership and sales coaching, training and mentoring, please call +44 (0) 7815 800 939 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. today.

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Achieving success within the health and fitness club, gym, and leisure centre industry is all about creating truly effective, experienced and knowledgeable sales teams – as well as equally skilled and efficient customer service teams.  There’s a huge distinction between the roles that sales teams and customer service teams play, and the two should not be confused, overlapped, or merged (as is often the tendency).  So with this in mind, it’s time to take a look at where sales teams stop, and excellent customer service teams should start.

Done well, the transition for the customer from sales to outstanding ongoing customer service and support is seamless and impressive.  However, done badly, it’s a recipe for disaster and could result in a loss of those all-important members.

We all like to feel as though we’re receiving a great level of customer service.  It’s human nature that we want to be made to feel as though our purchase – whether it’s an object or a service – is of paramount importance, and as a customer we are valued.  So ensuring your customer service team is equipped with the skills to nurture new and existing members is a truly vital component in your retention plan.  And employing a dedicated person who is responsible for taking care of each new member’s needs is one key way to achieving great customer service. 

It’s often very common for health and fitness clubs, gyms, and leisure centres to confuse the distinction between sales teams and customer service teams.  However, expecting sales or customer service team members to both sell and then take responsibility for the after care is both exceptionally risky and ineffective. 

You need to consider that both the profile and job description of a sales team member is poles apart from that of a customer service team member.  Sales team members are trained and skilled in the art of persuasion and closing a sale.  They understand how to empathise with the prospective member in order to achieve the correct level of membership.  And they know how to promote the benefits of joining your health and fitness club, gym, and leisure centre to maximum effect.

Yet a customer service team member is highly skilled in the art of nurturing and retention.  And it’s the all-important retention rates which need to be given as much attention as the sales process itself.  It will come as no surprise that the most effective and profitable health and fitness clubs, gyms, and leisure centres operate both sales teams and customer service teams.  Each sales team member understands the important role a customer service team member plays, and conversely each customer service team member understands exactly what a sales team member is responsible for doing. 

Remember: Sales skills include the ability to influence, assert and close sales.  Whereas customer service skills include attentiveness, complaint handling and administrative knowledge.

It’s important, though, to appreciate that each customer service team member should receive some basic sales training.  And, of course, each sales team member should receive customer service training too.  Whilst the two teams are completely separate, and each function is entirely different, to ensure your overall business success, continuity and also reputation, it’s crucial that each member of your sales and customer service workforce understands the critical role they play in, and the impact they have on, the customer’s joining experience.

And the role of your reception team…

First impressions count.  So ensuring your reception team is skilled in both basic sales and customer service is, again, vital to the ongoing success and profitability of your health and fitness club, gym, or leisure centre.

The reception team is the first point of contact for both prospective, new and existing members.  So to receive a warm welcome, as well as competent support and advice, and someone to which queries can be directed is, for most people, an essential requirement.  Many a time, a receptionist has handled a prospective member as they are seen as the first point of contact, so it’s vital that your reception team has the skills, training and knowledge to handle enquiries effectively, and to create a highly professional and friendly first impression – as well as a truly seamless buying experience.

Failure to train your reception team effectively could result in your health and fitness club, gym, or leisure centre missing out on securing new memberships.  It can also have a knock on effect, as that missed member won’t recommend their family or friends, and additionally they won’t have the opportunity to use your facilities to reach their health, wellbeing and fitness goals.

To conclude… Where sales teams stop, and customer service teams begin

It’s time to build a small, in-house sales team which is focused on achieving (and exceeding) sales targets.  Recruit sales team members with the drive, determination and hunger to succeed by finding leads, qualifying leads, and converting them into new members.  And focus your attention on creating a customer service team too which includes skilled members capable of effectively caring for customers, handling complaints, answering questions, booking activities, and acting as ambassadors for your business.

To find out more about how your health and fitness club, gym or leisure centre can benefit from effective sales and customer service teams, or for further information on the importance of leadership and sales coaching, training and mentoring, please call +44 (0) 7815 800 939 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. today.

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If your health and fitness club, gym, or leisure centre team hates selling, then all is not lost.  That’s because there are a number of tools you can use which will ensure that every member of your team has the understanding and capabilities to be able to subtly promote your health and fitness club, gym, or leisure centre to those all-important prospective new members.

The key to selling – especially when you’re not working as a sales person – is to think, act and believe that you can do things differently.  In the past, selling has had a bad reputation with pushy door-to-door and home improvement sales people top of the most hated list!  However, life has changed, and so has our attitude towards selling effectively.  Gone are the days of hard core and pressured sales (where invariably those new customers would cancel the purchase as soon as they arrived home).  Instead, a new generation of subtlety, educating, and nurturing is evolving.

Everyone can sell.  And every single member of your health and fitness club, gym, or leisure centre team should be developed and recognised so that they receive the training, skills and knowledge required to spot a prospective customer and begin the nurturing process.  From receptionists to admin staff, and personal trainers to your sales team, of course!  It’s essential you take the time and energy to invest in every member of your team.  Think of it as speculating to accumulate as you’ll reap the rewards in the medium to long term future.

Everyone can sell… So how do you encourage your team to think differently?

It’s important to start by coaxing and coaching your team members to think differently.  They are not pushing prospective customers into joining; they are simply helping them with the decision-making process and acting as great ambassadors and experts for your business. 

Furthermore, it’s important that every member of your team understands that by playing a small role in winning new business they are consequently securing the future of your health and fitness club, gym, or leisure centre – as well as their own job roles.

  1. For a start, ask your team members whether they have either ‘sold’ something to a friend, colleague or family member, or influenced them to do something they wanted them to do.  It could something as simple as persuading them to make a cup of tea or take on some extra work.  Maybe they influenced someone to try a new restaurant.  Perhaps they encouraged their child, or a niece or nephew, to do something new, such as an activity.  Or possibly they influenced their partner or family member to make a big lifestyle change, such as a new job.  This is an excellent demonstration of their ability to persuade, influence, and subsequently sell.
  2. Now, ask your team members to put themselves in their prospective customers’ shoes, and encourage them to change their mind-sets too.  For example, reception or admin staff are often the first representatives to greet a prospective new customer.  So to give them the skills they need to establish a relationship and create buying opportunities is crucial.  Your team members need to really understand the reasons why prospective customers will be looking to join your health and fitness club, gym, or leisure centre.  A new mum is struggling to shift her baby weight and she’s becoming depressed.  A retired man feels lonely and wants a new social outlet.  Or perhaps a lady has recovered from cancer and now feels she wants to do something big, such as running a marathon in aid of charity.  Exercising is daunting for those who are new to it, and for the three people in the examples above, fitness will have a truly profound effect on their lives.  And your team can help them.
  3. Prospective members are humans – not numbers or targets.  Encourage your team to think about their passion for fitness, and to employ this same level of excitement when talking to prospective customers.  Regular physical activity offers an array of essential body and lifestyle benefits, such as weight loss, muscle toning, a newfound confidence, a reduction in stress and tension, and improved sleep.  So with this in mind, it’s easy to promote the benefits to prospective customers – and there’s not even a hint of hard sell anywhere!
  4. Encourage your team members to practice influential communication techniques, and reassure them that selling is not being pushy… It’s merely helping prospective customers to make the right choice.  Practice makes perfect after all!  So inspire them to put their own ‘spin’ on these essential influencing, persuading and selling strategies as it’s important they sound natural, convincing and uncontrived.
  5. Brainstorm the products and services you and your team can sell – and encourage them to promote these ‘add on elements’ too.  Obviously, memberships are number one.  However, what about spa treatments and spa products, new fitness classes, coffees and post-workout snacks, personal training sessions, or protein bars and shakes.  The list is endless.
  6. And finally, reward your team for doing well.  Something as simple as a voucher or bottle of wine will go a long way towards ensuring effective sales become an established part of everyone’s daily job roles.  Furthermore, encourage your team to share their positive experiences and to inspire each other as a result.  And rather than hearing ‘I hate selling’ or ‘I can’t sell’, you will find there’s a positive shift towards a ‘can’ and ‘will’ attitude instead.

To find out more about how your health and fitness club, gym or leisure centre can get every team member selling, or for further information on the importance of leadership and sales coaching, training and mentoring, please call +44 (0) 7815 800 939 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. today.

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As any good health and fitness club, gym, or leisure centre will know, the competition to secure those all-important new members is fierce.  However, amongst some operations there’s a tendency to err on the side of pushiness – rather than the side of influence.

This month, I’ve decided to explore the very best sales techniques for your health and fitness club, gym, or leisure centre.  With the summer here to stay for a few more weeks, many people are now thinking about joining a gym to quickly get fit and tone up ready for their summer holiday.  Or they might even be returning from a week or two in sunny climes and now in search of the ideal way to undo the damage caused by a margarita too many!

So it’s a prime time of year to capture potential members’ attention.  However, that’s the key… Capturing their attention, getting and keeping them interested in the benefits and reasons as to why joining your health and fitness club, gym, or leisure centre is a great idea, and influencing them with convincing cases, interesting facts, and helpful information so that they sign on the dotted line.

Can you influence people to buy?  Yes you can…

To be a good and influential sales person, it’s important that you create a feeling of demand, desire, and need by using cleverly chosen words and building a crucial rapport.  For a potential new member to make an enquiry into joining your health and fitness club, gym, or leisure centre, they must already have done some research and will no doubt be aware of the countless benefits of enjoying a regular exercise schedule.  So you have a delicate task on your hands in persuading and influencing them to commit.

However, rather than pushing your potential new members into signing up, why not empower them with interesting facts and information – and ask them smart, intelligent questions to find out the true reasons behind their need and desire to exercise at your health and fitness club, gym, or leisure centre.

Potential new members look into joining health and fitness clubs, gyms, or leisure centres for a whole multitude of reasons.  It could be a desire to lose weight, perhaps they want to take control of their lives, health and wellbeing, maybe they’re in training for an event, or possibly it’s a social or status factor and they want to make new friends – or be seen to be doing the ‘right’ thing.

So what’s the difference between influencing and pushing?

There’s a very distinct difference between influential selling techniques and pushing.  Pushy salespeople are universally detested!  So whereas influential selling informs, empowers, engages and advises, pushy sales techniques quite literally push customers away from you.

Influential selling = asking questions, focusing on what your potential new member needs, making your solution realistic and providing the necessary support to ensure your potential new member makes the right decision for them.  Whereas pushy selling = telling your potential new member what to do, focusing on what you want, and applying pressure and not accepting ‘no.’

Whether you know it or not – and whether you like it or not – you are influenced into making numerous decisions on a daily basis.  From how you shop in a supermarket, to the work you carry out in the office, influential people and factors are all around you.  Furthermore, no doubt you are responsible for influencing people and decisions too – although perhaps you may not know it!  Maybe you used your influential skills this morning to get your partner to make you a cup of tea, or perhaps you delegated work to a colleague and used your influential skills to ensure it is bumped up their ‘to do’ list…?

To influence potential new members into making the decision to join your health and fitness club, gym, or leisure centre, you need to use persuasive language and provide them with empowering detail in order that they feel they are making the right decision themselves.  A good analogy is to put it all on a plate, but let them eat it!

By communicating at a deeper level, the potential new member feels you actually care about their personal reasons for wanting to join your health and fitness club, gym, or leisure centre.  People buy from people, so it’s crucial you keep this mantra at the forefront of your mind, and approach every potential new sale from a very human aspect with long-term customer relationships as your top priority.

And the conclusion as to why influencing is better than pushing…

Well, for a start there’s nothing worse than a pushy salesperson.  Countless businesses have finally learned the hard way that pushy sales people push potential customers away as it screams of desperation.  Too much pressure can have the opposite effect on closing a sale – and it can also force potential members into agreeing to commit, only to cancel as soon as they’re home.

It’s human nature that we all want to feel as though we’re being taken seriously.  As consumers we are pretty savvy nowadays when it comes to searching around for good deals.  So sales techniques that worked 10-years ago will definitely no longer cut the mustard today.  And that’s why influence wins hands down over pushiness.  OK, it might take more hard work and effort to build those all-important rapports, but it’ll be worth it in the long run.

To find out more about how your health and fitness club, gym or leisure centre can benefit from using influential sales techniques, or for further information on the importance of successful and influential sales, please call +44 (0) 7815 800 939 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. today.

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Streamline your joining process to attract members…

The health and fitness industry is competitive.  So not only does your health and fitness club, gym, or leisure centre need to offer great facilities, excellent customer service, and flexible membership options, but you also need to give your joining process some serious thought.

It goes without saying that a good sales strategy is based on creating the best customer service experience possible.  And communication is key!

Making things too complicated for potential new-joiners is a turn off.  As is a cold, unfriendly, and unwelcoming joining process that feels detached from any ‘human element’.  It screams ‘numbers’ rather than a personal level of service and support.

Whilst your health and fitness club, gym, or leisure centre is no doubt a large operation, ensuring you position customer service at the core of your operation is essential to your ongoing success.  And excellence in customer service starts from the very first enquiry; potential new members will consciously or unconsciously judge you on your team’s response so it’s crucial to get it right from the start.

Members join gyms for many different reasons.  However, it’s important to remember that the overriding factor here for joining is one of emotion.  From wanting to lose weight and tone up, to increasing social lives and enjoying a new hobby, there are countless driving factors for why potential members will want to explore joining your fitness facilities.  So streamlining your joining process to attract new members is a must.

How do you streamline your joining process to attract members…?

Everything nowadays is available online.  And an online joining system will work really well for your health and fitness club, gym, or leisure centre – if it’s done right. 

Whilst joining online is automated, quick and easy, it’s a pretty cold way of doing business when you consider that members join gyms for very personal and emotional reasons.  So what’s the answer?  Well, add friendliness, warmth and personality.

It’s easy to be side-tracked and it happens to us all.  So just imagine a potential new member is in the middle of joining online and suddenly the phone rings, there’s a knock at the door, or the children have fallen out with each other!  These things happen – it’s life – and so your online joining system needs to be adaptable. 

To add an injection of human personality and warmth, why not set up an auto response email from one of your team members.  It doesn’t need to be complicated, but simply say that you noticed the potential member was in the process of joining and encourage them to try again or make contact direct for further support.

What’s next if you still can’t convert from potential to new member?

If you are still struggling to convert your potential member to new member status, then why not bring out the big guns?!  Meet automated, auto response, and educational emails which can even be linked to a blog article or two.  Create a set of up to 12 well-written and informative emails – from the same member of the team in order to build a personal rapport, trust and consistency.  Add in a photo too for an extra personal touch.

Make sure the email series is friendly and encouraging.  It should be written in a fast-paced style with plenty of incentives, tips and advice to ensure your health and fitness club, gym, or leisure centre team stands out as being experts.

Use friendly and reassuring language as, after all, the potential new member could feel a little daunted by committing to a gym membership.  Phrases such as ‘don’t worry’ and ‘talk to us’ offer comfort to an apprehensive audience.

It’s also important to include ‘human’ aspects in the communication series.  So rather than everything being done by email or online, make sure that a member of the team calls the potential new member.  A friendly chat over the phone can help to allay no end of concerns, worries and fears.  It’s the ideal opportunity to answer their questions and queries – and to showcase your team’s knowledge and expertise at the same time.  And it’s also the perfect time to capture their interest by inviting them in for an activity, a coffee and chat, or to book them in for a review.

Don’t forget, the streamlined joining process needs to continue once your new member has signed on the dotted line…

It’s crucial not to neglect new members.  That’s because new members equal happy, loyal and long-standing existing members which boost your health and fitness club, gym, or leisure centre’s retention rates.

So once you’ve converted your potential new member to a fully-fledged new member, then it’s time to promote your club – and say thank you!  It might seem obvious, but so many clubs fall short here and it’s a vital communication tool.

For a start, invest in a good quality new member pack.  This should be full of information about activities and services, as well as fitness class timetables, events, a map of the premises and / or gym layout, and even advice for getting the best out of their workouts.

Next, send an email, pen a letter, or give them a call.  However, ensure that whichever ‘thank you’ method you choose, you add in a referral opportunity to recommend a friend or relative, as well as some incentives too, such as vouchers for the spa, restaurant / café, or personal training sessions.

This may all sound simple, but it’s so easily forgotten.  So incorporate these simple steps as part of your protocol and it’s a sure-fire way to make certain your joining process is streamlined – and effective.

To find out more about how your health and fitness club, gym or leisure centre can benefit from a streamlined joining process, or for further information on the importance of leadership and sales coaching, training and mentoring, please call +44 (0) 7815 800 939 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. today.

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Many health and fitness clubs, gyms, and leisure centres operate ‘refer a friend’ schemes, but do they really work? Well, the simple answer is yes. However, there is a proviso: A ‘refer a friend’ scheme will work brilliantly only if it’s implemented, managed and marketed correctly.

Countless health and fitness clubs, gyms, and leisure centres seem to operate a ‘refer a friend’ scheme with lethargy, when in all truthfulness it could be a profitable and successful way to generate interest and boost membership sales.

‘Refer a friend’ schemes appear to be add-ons at many health and fitness clubs, gyms, and leisure centres. Competitors are doing it. But rather than really thinking about a unique and enticing way in which to run a ‘refer a friend’ scheme, health and fitness clubs, gyms, and leisure centres’ sales teams just jump on the bandwagon and offer the same hook.

However, times are changing. The health and fitness industry is becoming increasingly competitive. And, as a result, it’s noticeably more difficult for health and fitness clubs, gyms, and leisure centres to attract and retain new members. So that’s why I thought it was a good opportunity to address the reasons why you won’t be getting enough referrals – and the concerns and issues you need to overcome in order to transform your ‘refer a friend’ scheme into a profitable method by which to increase membership sales.

Let’s take a closer look at how to rejuvenate your ‘refer a friend’ scheme:

Fear factor. First and foremost, it’s human nature to be concerned about recommending products or services to friends and relatives if there’s any possible fear of blame or disapproval. For example, your members may fear their friends won’t receive an excellent level of customer service. Perhaps your members fear their friends won’t like their workout experience or the advice provided to them, or there’s a lack of trust and little rapport. Or maybe your members fear their friend could misinterpret their recommendation to join, and perhaps they are seen as wanting to achieve personal gain.

Address your members’ fears with reassurance and confidence. Your ‘refer a friend’ scheme has everyone’s best interests at heart, and it’s a fantastic way for members – and friends – to enjoy working out together. Why not promote your ‘refer a friend’ scheme as a gym buddy scheme instead. It’s proven that working out with a gym buddy can help to increase efficiency and boost results, so here’s your opportunity to explore alternative marketing methods.

Comfort factor. How comfortable do your members feel with your membership sales team and your health and fitness club, gym, or leisure centre as a whole? There’s no denying that health and fitness clubs, gyms, and leisure centres can be daunting places, so it’s important that you and your teams establish a friendly, customer-focused environment. Furthermore, it’s crucial that your ‘refer a friend’ scheme is well marketed and very clear. Members don’t have the time or the inclination to read long-winded spiel. So make sure your ‘refer a friend’ scheme is quick and easy to both explain – and for members to follow.

Enthusiasm factor. Sometimes there’s no denying that membership sales teams simply can’t be bothered to encourage members to refer a friend, or that it’s too much effort for them to sit and explain how it works to members. Address this by incentivising your membership sales team, and providing them with clear, concise and simple instructions on what should be an easy-to-follow process.

To find out more about how your health and fitness club, gym or leisure centre can benefit from an effective ‘refer a friend’ scheme, or for further information on the importance of leadership and sales coaching, training and mentoring, please call +44 (0) 7815 800 939 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. today.

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There’s no quick fix to winning new corporate health and fitness clients, and it’s possible the nurturing process could take a few months. You need to consider a whole host of things, and a far more professional approach is required when it comes to promoting your health and fitness club, gym, or leisure centre to a large business, SME, or multi-national organisation. It’s not easy attracting new corporate health and fitness clients; however, with some careful thought and preparation, as well as a targeted campaign and attractive proposition, the rewards of your persistence, motivation and hard work are there to be had.

Furthermore, whilst there’s little doubt that standing out in the corporate health and fitness market can be a challenge, it can also deliver tremendous rewards for your hard work, patience and tenacity.

Last week I discussed the reasons why it’s important to stand out from the crowd in the corporate health and fitness market. So with appetite whetted and motivation levels high, here are the in-depth strategies and ideas you can employ in order to achieve results in the corporate health and fitness market, as well as what you can do in order for your gym, health and fitness club, or leisure centre to be recognised as a corporate wellness specialist.

Here’s your top 10 tips on how to stand out in the corporate health and fitness market:

  1. Start by making a list of what your health and fitness club, leisure centre or gym can deliver to the corporate market, and how each point shows measurable results.
  2. To entice your first corporate health and fitness client, why not offer a pilot corporate wellness programme free of charge. For example; take 10 corporate members through a 10-week intensive programme and measure the results. Use your new client as a success story and promote using testimonials.
  3. Alternatively, or additionally, why not invite companies to ‘experience your centre’ and offer fun fitness tests, group fitness sessions, or an early exercise class and breakfast.
  4. Introductory membership rates should be competitive, and include add-on services such as nutrition advice, smoking cessation, and health and wellness coaching.
  5. Research: Learn as much as you can about corporate wellness and the current economic benefits of corporate wellness so that you can talk confidently and knowledgeably on the subject. Surely prevention is better than cure!
  6. Refer a friend scheme: Work your relationships with current members. Provide an incentive, and ask them to complete some information about where they work, whether their company has a corporate wellness partner in place, and relevant contact information.
  7. Networking is essential to building any business. So get out there, join local networking groups, and promote your corporate wellness package to businesses of all shapes and sizes.
  8. Education: Create an education pack or brochure on the benefits of corporate wellness, and ensure your prospective corporate partner has plenty to distribute to employees. Post messages and success stories via Twitter, Facebook and blogs. Companies want to see a return on their investment so shouting about proven results is the way forward. Furthermore, why not offer virtual wellness assessments on your website – it’s a great way to educate, as well as capture potential corporate members’ data.
  9. Manage your corporate numbers: Know who is a member from each company and record as much information as you can so that you’re able to run concise monthly reports.
  10. And finally, post-sale it’s important to thank your corporate partners and build on relationships. So why not hold a quarterly or six-monthly pamper day and invite feedback on what you’re doing well, and what you can improve upon.

To find out more about how your health and fitness club, gym or leisure centre can stand out from the crowd in the corporate health and fitness market, or for further information on the importance of leadership and sales coaching, training and mentoring, please call +44 (0) 7815 800 939 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. today.

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Standing out in the corporate health and fitness market can be a challenge. There are many things to consider, and a professional, organised approach is required when it comes to marketing your health and fitness club, gym, or leisure centre to large businesses, SMEs, or multi-national organisations. So that’s why I thought I would share with you my top tips on how to stand out from the crowd in the corporate health and fitness market.

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be discussing the in-depth strategies and ideas you can employ in order to achieve results in the corporate health and fitness market. Week one focuses on reasons why it’s important to stand out from the crowd in the corporate health and fitness market. And week two focuses on what you can do in order for your gym, health and fitness club, or leisure centre to be recognised as a corporate wellness specialist.

It’s not easy attracting new corporate health and fitness clients; however, with some careful thought and preparation, as well as a targeted campaign and attractive proposition, the rewards of your persistence, motivation and hard work are there to be had.

Want to be a corporate wellness specialist?

It’s a well-known fact that countless gyms, health and fitness clubs, and leisure centres up and down the country are so caught up with focusing on increasing private membership sales that they overlook targeting the all-important, and very lucrative, corporate health and fitness market.

Furthermore, the gyms, health and fitness clubs, and leisure centres out there which are sensibly focusing on trying to attract new corporate health and fitness clients sadly give up at the first hurdle. Many apply a scattergun approach to their marketing activities, hoping that some of their work will come to fruition. However, this unfortunately is not viable and certainly won’t deliver the results you are looking, or hoping, for.

Standing out from the crowd in the corporate health and fitness market requires a really well thought-out plan of campaign, with the right marketing and membership sales tools in place to ensure you achieve the results you want.

The health, fitness and leisure market is becoming increasingly competitive. Every day, we are subject to press reports which state we’re not exercising enough, or that our sedentary lifestyles are at the root cause of a whole host of medical problems and complaints, including obesity, stress and anxiety, certain forms of cancer, type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels.

So it comes as no surprise that businesses of all shapes and sizes are seeking ways in which to keep their employees healthier and happier. It goes without saying that if we are in good health and shape then we are able to manage stress better, we sleep sounder, and we’re able to focus and concentrate more effectively.

Furthermore, the impact that good employee health has on a business is tremendous. Not only do healthier and happier employees take fewer days of sickness leave which, consequently, has an enormous impact on a business’s productivity levels and finances. But employees that are offered access to a corporate health and fitness membership are more likely to stay with their employer, thus increasing commitment levels, and reducing staff turnover and recruitment costs.

Surely it’s better to prevent illness and medical complaints than it is to fix them. And what about offering smoking cessation services, nutritional advice, complementary therapies, and health and wellness coaching too as add-on services.

The corporate health and fitness market is ready for you to target. Positioning your health and fitness club, gym or leisure centre as a corporate wellness specialist requires a great deal of thought, consideration, patience and tenacity. However, offering a fully comprehensive corporate wellness service to organisations is a great place to start – and will deliver the rewards you deserve.

To find out more about how your health and fitness club, gym or leisure centre can stand out from the crowd in the corporate health and fitness market, or for further information on the importance of leadership and sales coaching, training and mentoring, please call +44 (0) 7815 800 939 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. today.

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The key words that work for your health, fitness and leisure club membership sales

There’s no denying that effective selling techniques go hand-in-hand with excellent communication skills. What you say, how you say it, and the vocabulary that you use can have a dramatic impact on your membership sales success rates. And how do we communicate with prospective health and fitness club, leisure centre, or gym members? Well, the list of communication methods is pretty long: From talking, writing, promoting, and emailing, to telesales, marketing, websites, and even our body language.

However, it’s the words that we use, how we use them, and the bearing they have on your success levels that I most want to focus on here.

Whether or not you secure that new health and fitness club, leisure centre, or gym member depends hugely on the levels of communication displayed from the initial enquiry, through to the show-round, and up to the point of joining. Furthermore, retention of members is key, so continuing to look after them with great customer service, tempting and exclusive members’ only offers, as well as regular, yet subliminal, reminders of how excellent your fully equipped facilities are is a sure-fire way of ensuring you hold on to their valued custom.

And there’s no better armour in your sales and marketing arsenal than some really strong, persuasive, and hard-hitting key words. Regardless of how you use them – written, spoken, online, or offline – there’s no doubt that powerful and influential language should be on your list of membership sales must-haves.

Let’s take a closer look at the key words that will ensure you secure more membership sales at your health and fitness club, leisure centre or gym.

Start by asking prospective members ‘why’ they want to join your health and fitness club or leisure centre. It may be for extreme weight loss, or simply shedding just a few pounds. It could be a boost to their confidence and some well-deserved ‘me’ time. They may have suffered an illness or injury and are looking for the necessary support to help with their recovery and recuperation. Their relationship or marriage could have broken down and, being single again, they’re now desperately wanting to get in shape. Or perhaps it’s simply a case they just want to get fit – or get in training for a forthcoming event.

This is your chance to tune in to the prospective customer’s wish list, to get in the following key words, and to inform prospective members of:

  1. How effective and well-equipped your facilities are with the very latest, innovative state-of-the-art machines and group fitness activities.
  2. How helpful and supportive your team members are.
  3. How to use the equipment and reassure them that they will receive a full orientation which will include everything from the right exercises and how to do them, to how to get to grips with the equipment. Remember, gyms can be scary places for the uninitiated, and gym equipment can look pretty daunting!
  4. How quick and easy they will find shifting the pounds.
  5. How amazing they will feel once their goals are within sight.

Successful membership sales is all about selling a solution…

Joining a health and fitness club, or a leisure centre, is all about looking and feeling great. It can sometimes take a lot of courage for prospective members to take the first steps to fitness. So it’s important you tune in quickly to their requirements and reasons for enquiring, and you use the right language to encourage, reassure and persuade.

It’s not just the facilities that sell memberships, it’s the people too. So remember, friendly, approachable, interested, helpful, specialised and knowledgeable are your keywords to ensuring prospective members warm to your health and fitness team.

What’s on offer?

The health, fitness and leisure market is exceptionally competitive, so here’s your chance to ensure it’s your club that secures the member’s signature – not your competitor!

We all like to know that we’re getting a good deal. And nowadays, more than ever, consumers are putting greater thought into purchase decisions. So that’s why it’s crucial to really emphasise and reiterate all the facilities on offer – and why they will benefit the prospective member.

This is the time to talk about reduced or no joining fees, competitive monthly membership options or pay as you go flexible monthly options. We all like to get something for nothing, so it’s also the perfect opportunity to highlight members’ only benefits, including savings in the coffee shop and beauty salon or added value additions, such as personal training or advanced class booking system. Assess whether you need to focus on good value for money, savings, exceptional quality of product and service or results as consumers are driven by differing requirements.

Close the sale…

After all your hard work building a relationship with the prospective member, don’t let poorly chosen words or a weak ‘closure’ lose you the membership sale.

Emotions play a huge role in consumers’ purchase decisions. So never lose sight of how the prospective member wants to feel: Fitter, slimmer, healthier, leaner, confident.

Desperation is a turn off for prospective members. Yes, you may be extremely keen to make the sale, but don’t push! Instead, focus your energy on talking through with the prospective member their needs, motivations and concerns.

And finally, focus on you not I. Remember, it’s all about the customer!

To find out more about the key words that will work for your health and fitness club or leisure centre, or for further information on the importance of leadership and sales coaching, training and mentoring, call +44 (0) 7815 800 939 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. today.

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Everyone can sell… The importance of giving your entire health and fitness club team the chance to learn sales techniques

When Regency Fitness made contact with me last year asking me to help get the new Blackburn Sports and Leisure Centre membership sales team up and running, I naturally jumped at the chance. The new leisure centre on Feilden Street will open in March 2015. So it’s all systems go and I’ve been hard at work training, coaching, and motivating not only the membership sales team, but also the entire workforce, so that everyone is focused, ready and raring to work together and boost member numbers as rapidly as possible.

Everyone can sell… And you’d be surprised at where your superstar membership sales team members really come from!

As an experienced health and fitness club leadership and membership sales team trainer, I’m regularly drafted in to help health and fitness clubs, leisure centres and gyms boost those all-important membership sales. And I achieve impressive results through one-to-one coaching, group training sessions, seminars, as well as ‘outreach’ sales work, such as hitting the high street – to name but just a few techniques.

So the opportunity of working with a brand new, soon to open sports and leisure centre was a truly exciting prospect. And it all started with a sales training day!

The Regency Fitness team, which includes new recruits and existing transferred members alike, was invited to attend one of my sales training days. It was open to anyone and everyone, regardless of rank and role. And it’s where I discovered my latest protégé, Megan Ellison.

Employed by Regency Fitness for the past few years, Megan’s background has always been in leisure; however, her previous roles are as far away from sales as it’s possible to get. A former lifeguard turned gym instructor, Megan has worked her way up through the fitness ranks impressing her bosses with her no-nonsense yet sensitive and people-focused approach. She was soon taking responsibility for writing up new class programmes, and also voluntarily took on management-style elements to her role, which included developing a system of tracking clients’ progress to ensure greater retention for the club.

Megan said, “I knew the sales training day was happening, and whilst I’m definitely not a sales person I thought I’d go along and investigate as I’m always keen to learn new skills”. What Megan didn’t expect was to become totally mesmerised by the psychology behind effective sales techniques. She went on to say, “Lesley was incredible; she was selling memberships to us all within a role play environment and I was just amazed at how she did it. I couldn’t say no to her!”

I actively encourage all sales training day attendees to throw examples, ideas, and techniques around the room. It works very well for inspiring, motivating and teaching essential sales skills.

It was clear that Megan had a real flair for selling – even though she kept assuring me she wasn’t a sales person! However, thanks to her knowledge of, and background in fitness, and the very simple fact that she has excellent communication skills and an infectious personality, it’s an ideal recipe from which to develop a raw but promising talent.

During her days as a fitness instructor, Megan loved motivating people. She found that by pushing them beyond their comfort zones in order to achieve their goals they would grow dramatically in confidence as their bodies changed. She gained enormous satisfaction from helping people, and now sees membership sales as the first, and most crucial, point from which members can start making dramatic lifestyle, fitness and wellbeing changes.

Megan agrees that her perception of sales has completely changed. And whilst she’s not motivated by money, she is motivated by meeting, and beating her sales target. She said, “I get a huge buzz from selling. I’ve beaten my own sales targets by at least 50% - and when Lesley says sell 8 memberships a day, I’ll think ‘no, that’s 10 to sell today’. Even the CEO came by to say thank you to me for my efforts, which was a massive morale boost”.

Everyone can sell… Enjoy the long-lasting and widespread benefits of membership sales team training

And the moral of my story. Well, it’s true that anyone and everyone can sell – with the right training, of course. So don’t miss out on vital sales opportunities as you too could have a superstar sales person lurking undetected within your team.

As a result of the sales training day, and ongoing continual membership sales team support the entire Regency Fitness Blackburn Sports and Leisure Centre team has been brought together. Megan said, “We now work as one and communicate together better than ever. We’re a real team and morale is second to none. The reception team now proactively take membership enquiries and referrals to the gym team to follow up, which was something that didn’t happen before. And, as a result, everything we do is far more focused on the customer.

So to increase your health club membership sales team’s chances of boosting health and fitness club, leisure centre and gym membership numbers, or for further information on the importance of leadership and sales coaching, training and mentoring, call +44 (0) 7815 800 939 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. today.

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Stand out Personal Trainers

I often get asked by new or etablished Personal Trainers, Dan, how do I stand out from all of the other Personal Trainers on the gym floor and get new clients? My first and simple answer is always Talk to everyone.

The Personal Trainers who are doing well talk to everyone. And I mean everyone even the people who you could tell wouldnt sign up for personal training sessions if you paid them. They know that clients want to train and be seen with the popular trainer so they work on being seen to be the most popular Trainer in the gym. When you are not working with a client why would you sit at a gym desk and not talk to anyone when when you could be circulating on the gym floor with a purpose of getting to know more people and help more people? Step out of your comfort zone daily, build a conversation, rapport and trust with as many people as you can. Remember, even the people who dont want Personal Training may know of someone who does and give you referrals because they like you and trust you. To be trusted is to have people referring you, choosing you and willing to pay more... 

Make sure everybody at the gym knows your name and learn theirs. Look at them in the eyes, smile and make conversation. Be interested in them ask about their hobbies, interests and goals. Get engrossed in the art of conversation. When youre finished talking write down their name on a piece of paper and one or two details about them that they mentioned to you. Learn their name and use their name the next time you see them. They will be impressed that you have remembered their name.

The people that I get to know often come to me and ask for advice on exercise technique, programming, nutrition, etc. Not all of them converted to fully paid sessions. What it did do was help me to become an expert, a sort after Trainer and one of the most popular Trainers. Others started to notice that people were asking me for advice and were intrigued.

Until next time.

Dan

Dan Hooper is Nurturing Skills sort after presenter, trainer and consultant in the Fitness Industry, specialising in helping Personal Trainers to grow and maintain their client base. He is a highly experienced Personal Trainer and has worked with many celebrity clients in T.V. and Sport and knows what it takes to be a highly successful Personal Trainer. Dan helps Personal Trainers who work in Micro Gyms, Leisure Centres and Health Clubs. If you would like to discuss how Dan might be able to help you, your Personal Trainers or Personal Training Business please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Lesley on 07815 800939. 

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Once the January 2015 gym membership rush has died down, where does that leave your gym, health club or fitness centre?

For many health clubs, gyms and fitness centres throughout the UK, the January gym membership rush is without doubt the busiest time of year. As a result of regular press coverage, which reports that we’re living increasingly inactive and sedentary lifestyles, coupled with our overindulgences and a lack of anything remotely physical throughout the festive period, it’s easy to understand why January is a boom time for gym memberships.

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View the 'Break the rules of selling' presentation:

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A partnership between Big Wave Media and Nurturing Skills has been made to bring you the very best and latest marketing methods to our blog posts.

Lesley Aitken, Founder of Nurturing Skills says, "Sales and marketing alignment is crucial for business development. Marketing and sales should be working together daily to grow quality leads and sales. There is often scepticism about the quality of leads marketing generate, especially in the health and fitness industry, for example, leads generated online for a free day pass offer. When these two important functions come together sales professionals are more likely to see the value in the leads generated by marketing."

With all this in mind we hope you enjoy the blog posts and share with your like minded social media followers, as well as your sales and marketing colleagues. The posts might just encourage that additional activity within your business to connect with people in ways that positively impact sales performance.   

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Your knowledge, passion and expertise in helping us to find the right front of house staff has been invaluable. You have trained, inspired and developed our front of house staff to deliver exceptional service. How do we know this? Feedback about customer service from our tenants have improved and we will continue to work with you in the future. Thank you Nurturing Skills.

Rob Court, Training development for Guardian News and Media

Since the training has been delivered by Nurturing Skills we are monitoring sales and the process more closely. For example sales targets, enquiries to appointments, appointments to sales, and sales to referral are all monitored daily and as a result of the process we have increased.

  • Sales by 30%
  • Enquires to appointment by 70%
  • Appointment to sale by 55%
  • Point of sale referral by 45%

Barnsley Premier Leisure

For anyone looking to improve the sales performance, customer retention or customer service within their organisation, then there is no place better than to start with Lesley Aitken. Not only is she a charismatic trainer who is commercially astute but she quickly understands the needs of your business and puts them first before considering any monetary gain for her own organisation.

Trafford Community Leisure

Lesley Aitken is a very professional influential and highly passionate speaker. Highly interesting and motivational group coaching skills. Lesley has the ability to improve all major aspects of selling and the latest techniques to dramatically improve your business in just one day. An expert in her field and will get you and your colleagues the vital KPI's to improve your business.

General Manager at The Gym Group