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Focus On Sales/Marketing

How to Turn a Tour Into a Sale

The club industry is rapidly changing, evolving and growing. One of the best investments a club could make is in the education and training of its sales staff. Success in sales is 90 percent preparation and 10 percent presentation. Make sure you have a proven system that helps you generate prospects, set appointments, close sales, and provide quality, consistent service.

When a prospective member finally comes through the club's doors, it is the culmination of effective marketing, successful sales skills, quality service or a convenient location. It's an opportunity we've all been waiting for, so it's crucial that our sales efforts are very effective! Sales are not a matter of knowing what you should do - it's a matter of doing what you should do. Experienced salespeople know everything there is to know; the problem is they just don't do it consistently.

Here's what they need to know and do.

1. Eighty percent of sales are made because of the salesperson's enthusiasm, not the prospect's.

2. Make a good first impression (in the first 30 seconds) when you greet prospects:

a. Smile
b. Welcome them to their new club
c. Enthusiasm - it's contagious and sells more memberships
d. Learn a person's name and use it six times during the tour
e. Listen - sometimes they tell you in the first 30 seconds why they want to be a member at your club

3. Why you give a tour:

a. Ask the prospective member about their needs and wants

b. Make them feel comfortable and build rapport

c. Show them the club

(This is also the order of importance. Sell benefits not features. Sell benefits not price.)

4. Sell relationships not just services. Care more about the customer's wants and needs than just selling a membership. "People buy what they want, when they want it more than the money it costs." - Zig Ziglar

5. Each tour must be customized to each prospect's wants and needs.

6. Spend more time listening (60 percent) than talking (40 percent). Successful salespeople don't dominate the talking, they dominate the listening.

7. The sales process is composed of three phases:

a. Getting information: 60 percent of the tour should be focused on asking questions to determine their wants and needs. You should ask questions and then listen about:

Status: Who is buying the membership?
Aims: What results or goals do they want?
Lifestyle: What type of job? Where do they live/work
Exercise history: What have the prospects done in the past?
Source: How did they hear about the club? Are they a referral?

b. Giving information: 25 percent of your time is spent telling prospective members about your services and programs. This is a chance to show the prospects how the benefits they want can be achieved at your club. (Don't sell features. Every club has equipment.)

c. Getting commitment: 15 percent. You need at least six small commitments before you get a real commitment from someone to join. If you asked enough questions and then listened, you should be able to "listen them into a sale," not talk them into anything!

8. Present prices after the tour. Keep it simple, review the benefits the prospect wants and keep price a detail, not an issue.

9. Closing. Focus on finding the true objection and if they don't join today, set an appointment to use the club or for you to call them.

10. The real sale begins after they join. Now you must motivate them to use the club, get results and tell their friends (referrals).

- Ed Tock is a professional marketing and sales consultant, author, faculty member of the IHRSA Institute for Professional Club Management and a leading industry speaker. He is a partner in Sales Makers, an industry leader in marketing and sales training, which has worked with over 470 clubs with on-site seminars and training worldwide since 1979. He can be reached at (800) 428-3334.

The Top 5 Strategies in Giving a Club Tour

1. Sell benefits, not features!

2. Ask at least 24 open-ended questions

3. Listen them into a sale

4. Get six small commitments that lead to a sale

5. The sale really begins AFTER they join!

A New Spin on Group Cycling

Mad Dogg Athletics (MDA), owner of the Spinning trademark, and Voight Fitness and Dance Center, Henry Siegel, S&V International d/b/a Voight by the Sea, and Karen Voight (collectively defendants) have settled a case in which MDA charged that the defendants had infringed MDA's Spinning trademark.

In addition to paying an undisclosed amount to MDA, the defendants are prohibited from using all trademarks, trade names or service marks containing the words Spin, Spinner and Spinning. The settlement also permanently restrains the defendants from adopting or using MDA's Spin marks, including Spinning, Spin, Johnny G's Spinning, Spinner, Johnny G Spinner, Spingym and Spincircuit.

This outcome sends a clear message to the industry. Spin marks are valid and enforceable; they are not generic. So clubs that put together marketing which uses Spin terms in a generic sense to describe their group cycling classes may be opening themselves to litigation.

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