What if every gym employee approached their job like a salesperson? How would that affect your health club’s businessevery day? Would it help or hurt customer retention?
Why would you even want to train employees in basic sales techniques? Wouldn’t that become annoying?
See, sales is not just about selling something. It’s an attitude. Employees are a core component of any marketing strategy.They reflect the composition of your gym, your target market.They are the face of who you are as a business and you hired them because of their skills, personality, and ability to relate to customers.
So take advantage of your advantage. As Zig Ziglar says, “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”
Shmaltzy as it seems, there’s truth in them there words. If youremployees see themselves as a ringer in your success, they will approach clients from an ownership perspective, understanding that what they know is valuable.
Overcoming Staff Objections
Sales has a nasty connotation in most people’s minds. The word conjures pictures of pushy, relentless money-grubbers. For most people, just the idea of selling something gives them the hives. But the truth is that sales is a trainable skill, just like any successful profession, and many salespeople are the most likeable people you will ever meet.
Employees need to understand what consumers have known for a long time: that it is the subject matter expert who closes the sale — the person with the most knowledge of a particular product or service — who truly persuades the buyer.
Why? Because their core competency gives buyers confidence in the purchase. They are the integrity behind your company — the unsung hero who fixes a problem; takes ownership of a bad situation; knows the key differentiators between products.
An employee’s core knowledge is their strength. It’s their sales power. By learning basic skills and following an established protocol, they can build a knowledge base capable ofsuccessfully preparing prospects to become members.
Design an Easy-to-Follow Process.
• Establish a protocol for greeting new customers. A basic meet-and-greet script includes key message points with enough flexibility to not sound, well, scripted.
• Encourage front line employees to ask each customer’s name and then use it in conversation.
• Train them to engage in a straightforward needs analysis. That’s a fancy term for a question as simple as “What brings you in today?” Others can include:“Do you have any friends who are members?” “Have you ever had a gym membership before?”
• Provide a method for employees to keep notes that can be accessed by sales management.
• Script everything from “what’s your price?” to contracts and cancellations. By smoothly and consistently communicating with customers, your employees will be free to listen to their needs and direct them to the right person without fumblingdetails.
• Train employees in critical knowledge: All employees should understand your gym’s full scope of services, who is in charge of which department, and what a new member can expect as part of the on-boarding process.
Teach Simple Sales Techniques
• Ask open-ended questions: The most effective way to get a prospect talking is to ask questions that do not have yes or no answers. Open-ended questions start with “how,” “when,” “where,” “what,” “why.” The goal is to elicit a multiword answer. Practice, though! Usually, we are more comfortable asking “yes” or“no” questions.
• Lead with the benefit: Brian Tracy’s top strategy stresses that people don’t buy products, or services, they buy results. What will they gain from your gym? Employees well versed in the advantages of belonging to your gym — better health, high-quality social interaction, skill building — are in a position to help prospects become excited about a membership. For example, child care may be a service of yours. But what is the benefit? Clients can attend consistently, which will allow them to reach their goals. It’s a simple one-two combination.
• Practice active listening: This means tune into what the client is saying by paying close attention. Then, restate what they’ve just said to confirm understanding and ask questions to further clarify the situation. This can be as easy as, “If I understand you right, Mr. X, you’re looking for a gym with personal trainers certified in cancer rehabilitation.”
• Rehearse, role play, practice: The more an employee practices customer interactions, the better they will do when faced with a new prospect, and the less chance you will lose a shot at signing them up.
Give Your Entire Team a Sales Kit
Your front line employees are probably not closers—they don’t give gym tours or cover contracts, fees, and terms of membership. But they are the first people your customers meet by phone and in person. They are, for all intents and purposes, your sales crew. By bumping up their skill level and expecting a professional approach to their job, you create a winning attitude that will be noticed by long-term customers and newbies alike.