September of 2005 is the month I will never forget. My business partners and I had opened two clubs and were working on our third. I was selling personal training in two clubs while managing a crew of six trainers. Working 12 hours a day, six days a week and most Sundays, all while preparing for a bodybuilding show. To say that I was overwhelmed would be an understatement and my performance showed it. I sold zero in personal training that month and learned the most valuable lessons that will help you with sales whether you are the primary salesperson in your business or if you have others selling for you.
If you believe your sales team isn’t performing to expectations, consider:
- Are they motivated?
- Are they skilled in the process of selling?
- Are they seeing enough prospects to sell to?
- Are they doing enough prospecting to get people in front of them?
- Are they actually asking prospects to buy on a daily basis?
Factor #1: Are they motivated?
Does your staff actually want to be at work? How can you tell? The best way to determine whether or not any team member is or is not motivated is based on the language they use at work to describe their day-to day-activities. In order to have motivated individuals, a great company culture is necessary, and that starts from the leadership.
Factor #2: Are they skilled in the process of selling?
The reason why it’s called a sales process is because there are steps just like an assembly line. On an assembly line, everything is done in a specific order. When talking about sales skills, there is a process in which a salesperson can become skilled. It’s also important that you as a leader, provide resources as part of training. Here are helpful resources for training a great sales staff:
- Selling Personal Training by Casey Conrad (for personal training staff)
- Selling Fitness by Casey Conrad (for membership staff)
- Creating Lasting Change by Tony Robbins
- Mastering Influence by Tony Robbins
Factor #3: Are they seeing enough prospects to sell to?
Plain and simple, how many prospects actually come in to see your trainers? What is your on-boarding percentage at point-of-sale of memberships? If you’re managing a small club or studio (4500-6000 square feet), here are some helpful goals for personal training sales:
- Set-up 15 non-client appointments per week to sell training to
- 90% on-boarding to personal training at point-of-sale of memberships
It’s very obvious that if your trainers aren’t seeing people, no one will have an opportunity to buy personal training.
Factor #4: Are they doing enough prospecting to get people in front of them?
In his book, “Great by Choice,” Jim Collins talks about a SMaC (specific, methodical, and consistent) recipe. In times of distress, in times of turmoil, there needs to be a set of disciplines that salespeople follow to hit their goals on a monthly basis. The distress and the turmoil is the whirlwind of daily activities or competition, or in many cases, both. The most common excuse for lack of prospecting is that they are too busy, which really means they are not organized. Here is a sample daily SMaC recipe:
- Set-up 3 appointments and confirm appointments for the day
- 20 minutes of sales training
- Make 5 contacts from the following reports for your business:
- o Non-usage report for members
- o Members getting ready to expire in the next four months
- o New members that joined the club in the last four months
- Make one (1) four-week follow-up contact (email, text, or call)
- External marketing (there is a list of activities they could do)
- Update whiteboard (this is a scoreboard that shows a quick glance of the progress toward monthly goals)
With this process in place, it increases the likelihood that salespeople will hit their sales goals. While there are several strategies in generating appointments, the best strategy to generate leads is the one that actually gets executed.
Factor #5: Are they actually asking prospects to buy on a daily basis?
The most obvious of all factors likely is whether your sales staff is actually asking prospects to buy personal training. It’s so obvious and so basic and yet most managers/owners tend to overlook it.
If it wasn’t for my painful lesson in September of 2005, I too would have never thought that failing to ask for the sale would be the primary reason for my lack of performance that entire month. I would take prospects through workouts, put them on a solid plan, and schedule a time to see them again in four weeks. I simply wasn’t asking people to buy. I was tired. My challenge in that moment in time was I needed a couple of days off. I was averaging about $20,000 a month in personal training sales, but in the month of that September, I sold nothing. However, the wisdom gained and the ability to properly coach future sales people was invaluable.
“Occam's razor” is the problem-solving principle that states that the simplest solution tends to be the right one. The primary reason most sales people don’t sell and therefore why most sales are lost is because salespeople simply aren’t asking prospects to buy either because they are afraid of rejection or they are losing their edge because they are overworked or unorganized. Identifying which of these may be impacting your sales and then properly training and building your culture will certainly lead to better outcomes for your staff, your clients, and your bottom line.