Club Insider

What Do You Need to Do As a Gym Owner?

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Jim ThomasJim Thomas

Disclaimer: As this article is being written, many gyms across the country have opened to strong sales, and others will be opening in the coming weeks. As this occurs, we want be sure our head is right, and we are accepting full responsibility for our success or responsibility for our struggles.

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One of your primary responsibilities as a gym owner or operator is to make sure the door is swinging, the phone is ringing, the email is dinging and the text is pinging (and the cash register is ringing as one of my long-term clients like to say).

In talking with many gym owners, I will remind them that 50% of their job is to be thinking, planning and implementing sales and marketing programs for their gym. You simply can't survive without oxygen (i.e. revenue).

With that in mind, here are four tell-tale signs that help you with prospecting, marketing, advertising, lead generation and driving prospect traffic into your gym.

  1. 1. Your membership sales have dipped (and overall traffic is down) - This is the most obvious issue. Your sales numbers aren't where you want them to be. However, you're still confident that you have a strong sales team (including management) in place and you want to ensure that you're giving them everything they need to succeed. It may be time to examine your policies and sales procedures to find any gaps or opportunities, while also looking at your sales culture and selling capability. One of the common mistakes to be on the lookout for... is in an attempt to provide good customer service; we give up key steps of the sale process. Think about that one for a moment.
  2. 2. You feel that you've plateaued - Maybe your sales numbers are fine. But, they've remained "fine" for a while, and you feel like your team is capable of more. Not only more in sales volume but also more in more revenue per customer. You may have done a great job of recruiting and training your current staff of membership sales superstars, but they must continue to grow and develop. Complacency is a common killer to top notch sales and management staffers. Many times, bringing in a fresh, objective perspective can be invaluable when you're looking to take your gym to the next level.
  3. 3. You're chasing unqualified leads - Everyone wants a sales funnel that is overflowing with nothing but qualified leads (usually defined as ready to buy). However, we don't have to tell you that this is not how the real gym world works. Unqualified leads remain a major challenge in every gym. Although, many times, we will mistake "not ready to buy today" with "unqualified leads." In fact, many gym owners say that increasing their lead-to-customer conversions is their biggest challenge and their top priority. The key here is to follow a program of lead nurturing whereby you are working to maintain interest and desire. It's not unusual for it to take 12 contacts before a prospect is ready to join, and many gym staffers will stop calling after just a couple calls! This is something to really work on as it can result in as much as a 20% increase in sales performance... on leads that you already have. Get in the habit of being a resource center for your prospects to help them get the results they are seeking.
  4. 4. Your sales team is spending less time... selling - Is your full-time sales staff only selling part-time? This is another major issue that plagues many gyms. The average membership salesperson today is only spending about a third of their time on actual selling (or maybe even less). The rest of the time, they're performing non-revenue generating activities. Two-thirds is too high. You can do better.

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Failure to properly implement sales and marketing programs is the number one reason that so many gyms struggle. So, utilize 50% of your time thinking, planning and implementing sales and marketing programs.

Now, let's start selling!

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