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Pre-sale proves to be an enjoyable learning experience

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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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Guest Monday, 11 December 2017

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