True to the name of the Club Industry Master Class Series, moderator Maria Turco recently offered webinar attendees a master class in three of the most important topics to any fitness business operator: sales, marketing and retention.
During the Jan. 28 webinar, "Keys to Your Success Are Found in How You Market, Sell and Retain," Turco, the CEO of Honor Yoga, shared many of the lessons she's learned during her 25-year career. The free presentation is now available for on-demand viewing.
Sales should never be handled arbitrarily, Turco said in the webinar. It's important to cultivate tried-and-true sales processes that are wholeheartedly adopted by your entire staff.
"No matter who you are, you want to have a process for everything you're selling, whether it's shakes, personal training sessions or memberships," she said. "Everything needs a process, and your staff should master that process. If you want to increase conversion and sales, you need to focus on the process and the people."
Turco shared an example of a successful sales process that is used at her Honor Yoga studios. First, studio employees attempt to thoroughly understand new members as opposed to simply turning them loose. Is a new member discontent with their current yoga practice, fitness level or personal life? What do they want to gain from their membership from a spiritual, mental and physical perspective? Answers to these questions help employees create a personalized journey for each member that incorporates the various programs, workshops and meditations that each studio offers.
On the topic of marketing, every club operator should focus on both strategic brand marketing as well as tactical marketing, Turco said. The former is any messaging that articulates what your business or employees are known for or what makes them unique. Conversely, the latter targets specific groups.
Strategic brand marketing could tell the story of how a studio has taken steps to become an eco-friendly business. Or it could highlight a personal trainer who is known for their expertise with mobility. The club could highlight this trainer in marketing materials, and the trainer's own social media profiles could also reflect this theme. Turco encourages club operators to ask themselves, "What position does our business occupy in the mind of consumers?"
Tactical marketing, on the other hand, involves analyzing and segmenting one's client base into various categories. For example, club operators should communicate with low-usage members as well as members who have birthdays or membership anniversaries. You should also communicate differently to members who are looking to build muscle versus those who are looking to lose weight, Turco said.
"When I look at a successful organization or individual, they're doing both of these [forms of marketing]," she said.
Lastly, Turco ended the webinar by sharing a list of 10 tips for achieving better retention.
"Retention is still our biggest opportunity as an industry," she said.
One of Turco's main retention tips is to become better organized internally. If a fitness professional is organized, disciplined and committed to self-care, they will be much better at helping their clients achieve those same things.
You don't have to spend 12 to 15 hours at your club per day in order to retain members, Turco said. The key is to work smarter, not harder. Prioritize efficiency and display high energy and confidence.
For more insights, view Turco's full 45-minute presentation here.
Turco was also the subject of the June 2019 episode of The Club Industry Podcast in which she discussed franchising, recovery and technology, among other topics.
Don't miss Club Industry's next free webinar at 2 p.m. Eastern on Feb. 27. Presenter Stephen Tharrett, co-founder of ClubIntel, will forecast where the fitness industry is heading in 2020 and beyond based on various data from recent industry studies. Register for Tharrett’s presentation here.