Thomas Plummer, industry consultant, has said dozens of times: “You are a production-based business. Sell somebody something every day.”
Truer words about the fitness business have never been spoken. Sales are essential for the fitness business. To improve sales, you need to track some basic numbers. Although you can track dozens of numbers, I recommend that you track as many as you feel comfortable tracking as long as the tracking does not interfere with production but instead increases production.
Do you have daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals? If you don’t, please start there. You must have set goals because having these allows you to run the club by the numbers each day and moves you to a production-based mindset. And more importantly, it allows you to become proactive in your business instead of reactive.
Here are the three most important numbers to track when it comes to production from membership sales and training/coaching sales:
1. Membership sales. Base this goal on history and trend. Trend is the past three months, and history is the same month last year. You may have sold 82 memberships during this month last year, but the past three months you have sold a total of 284. Using the trend and history will get you to set your goal at 90, rather than 80 or 85.
A goal of 90 will break down to three memberships per day and 21 per week. Keep a running total of memberships sold, so all the salespeople and you know how you are tracking.
2. Closing rates. Track the closing rate for the club and for each individual salesperson. Most clubs in most markets get enough traffic through their door to allow them to make the money they need if they have a close rate of 65 percent. Set your goal to close 65 percent of prospects who tour your club within 30 days of their first visit.
Knowing each salesperson’s closing percentage allows you to determine how often to train with them, on what specific areas they need additional training, and whether or not they are cut out for the position.
Unlike membership sales, which you need to inspect daily, you can calculate closing rates twice. To ensure accuracy, follow a strict system of tracking. Every tour counts, except for out-of-town guests who pay the daily fee. If you use a paid trial membership, you should set the following closing percentage goals:
First visit sales: 30 percent
Sales from the other 70 percent within 30 days: 50 percent (35 percent of the 70 percent)
Total: 65 percent
If your salespeople are well above 30 percent on first visits, you may be happy, but it may be a sign that they are putting too much pressure on prospects. They may be at 50 percent of first visit sales but not get any of the other 50 percent to join within 30 days because they turned them off with high-pressure tactics.
3. Assessor appointments: If you have not moved towards a trainer assessment sale, you need to right away. New members should meet with an assessor, the trainer/coach who upsells after doing an assessment and a functional training session. You may need two assessors in a really big club in a big market, but most clubs can get by with just one.
Your assessor needs to have a 50 percent minimum close rate, but the goal is 60 percent or higher. To get there, the assessor needs to meet with as many people as possible. The goal is to have him or her meet with at least 60 percent of all new members.
It breaks down like this:
- Twenty percent of new members come for group fitness classes. They are often hard to convince that they need an assessment.
- Twenty percent are set in their ways. They have their program that they do, regardless of results.
- That leaves 60 percent, but I recommend that you set your goal at 70 percent, as many of my clients have reached that goal or higher.
The keys to maximizing your potential on getting 70 percent of new members to the assessor are:
- All membership salespeople have gone through the assessment sale and functional workout, and all of them buy into the value of coaching/training.
- All membership salespeople have access to the assessor schedule and book at point of sale. No exceptions.
- This appointment is scheduled within 48 hours of the new member joining/opting for the trial membership.
Tracking numbers is imperative to running a successful gym. Just to repeat, you must make sure that at a minimum, you track the three most important numbers related to production: membership sales, closing rates and assessor appointments.
Keep changing lives.
Jason Linse is president and founder of The Business of Fitness, a consulting company. He graduated from Minnesota State University with a degree in public health and corporate wellness. He started working in the fitness industry in 1995. In 2005, Linse started with Snap Fitness at its headquarters in Chanhassen, MN, helping the company grow from 14 locations to 1,100 locations by October 2010, when he left to start the Business of Fitness. Linse also owned a gym for two-and-a half years before becoming a consultant. He owns a personality assessment company called People Plus+ Fitness. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or through his website at www.jasonlinse.com. All new clients get 30 minutes on the phone free.