Instill a Learning Mindset in Your Health Club Sales Staff

You likely have spent time and money training your staff and developing resources to create a consistent brand for your health club. You probably assume that everyone knows what they need to know and uses the resources you have developed. Unfortunately, that is probably not the case, as many club operators discover that their sales, management and hospitality staffs are unaware of available tools—or are just not utilizing them.

According to the Harvard Business Review, 10 percent of the U.S. population has “the learning mindset,” which describes people who seek knowledge and then actually do something with that knowledge. The other 90 percent does not seek to improve their skills unless it is part of their job requirement.

Can you agree with the following statements?

  • All staff perform each aspect of their job with a high degree of excellence and consistency.
  • Results are predictable because training and skills are consistent.
  • All supervisors and employees would give a similar answer for each question or problem.
  • Club member treatment is consistent, no matter who the member deals with.
  • All staff members have an excellent performance record and attitude.
  • If you cannot agree with every statement above, you are not serious enough about training or are not following through on training your staff members.

You should have training materials, defined processes and plans that you expect all staff to deliver for consistent operations, and you should train everyone on them consistently. Once you have done so, you should implement a weekly quiz. Yes, weekly. Repetition is what makes training stick so staff goes from learning to doing. The simplest form of education is memorization. Once that takes place, then implementation/habit can occur with follow-through from management.

Inform your staff about the weekly quizzes, what will be expected and when those quizzes should be completed. All staff must complete the quizzes so you can ensure that everyone consistently represents the brand based on your training materials and systems.


The quizzes should be five to 10 questions each and should be relevant to the staff being quizzed. Consider the following topics for quiz questions:

  • The vision of the business
  • The mission of the business
  • The core values of the business
  • Your club’s points of differentiation
  • The history of the business
  • Member policies
  • Staff policies
  • Operating policies
  • Programs the club offers
  • Training protocols
  • Department issues/procedures

The tests can be done manually or electronically at or

Do not think of these quizzes as punitive. This program is designed to help staff do their best. Additionally, it can be a unifying force when you share the results with the staff each week in the spirit of, “Here is where we are as an organization with X percent being clear on (blank) and X percent not being clear. Let’s all help each other so 100 percent of staff knows and does the same thing on questions one and two by X date.”

The quiz results reveal what your staff knows and does not know, which in turn provides a platform for future training to provide the consistent and predictable results you expect.

This concept relates to every department in your club because it creates consistency in the member experience and brand. For your membership or program sales staff, it is especially critical in that successful sellers have to have their systems down cold. Systems allow consistent production. Too many clubs train the selling staff once and assume they have the skills down. That is a dangerous assumption. Through testing, you will learn what areas you must shore up, which will lead to a consistent increase in sales.

If you would like a sample quiz, email me at [email protected].


Karen Woodard-Chavez is president of Premium Performance Training in Boulder, CO, and Ixtapa, Guerrero, Mexico. She has owned and operated clubs since 1985 and now consults with and trains club staff throughout the world.

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