Sensible Sales and Service. Part 1

People come to fitness facilities searching for solutions to challenges, now and for the future. They want to improve their strength and health, test their physical skills, augment their competitive advantage and have fun. They want to do things they excel at and, at the same time, change unwanted aspects of themselves. But each prospective member will want and need something different. So facility managers will need to take the time to get to know their prospective and current members’ beliefs, interests and needs. Then, by coupling their interests and wants with what the facility offers, the objectives for programs and services can be identified. This is how to distinguish yourself from the competition and build long-term relationships with prospective members.

Determining needs and wants

In his book, The Titan Principle: The Number One Principle to Sales Success, Ron Karr says, “At the end of the day, the business will go to the individuals or organizations that provide their customers with what they need in the way they want it — by identifying exactly where the customer or prospect is going, and by aligning their appeals with an existing, powerful purpose.”

Karr points out that the sale doesn’t always go to the facility with the lowest price. He suggests that you find out what your prospects need and perhaps, more importantly, how they want it.

Consider a female prospect who visits a club and inquires about the weight-training facilities. The salesperson spends the majority of the time talking about the line of strength-training machines available and the qualified trainers on staff. During a follow-up call, the salesperson learns that the woman has joined another, more expensive, health club. A few months later, the salesperson sees the woman competing in a body-building competition. The woman tells the salesperson that she wasn’t interested in weight machines or personal training, because she prefers free weights and is already working with a body-building coach. The clincher is that the facility has state-of-the-art free weights in a separate room. But the salesperson, thinking that it would not fill her need, didn’t show it to her.

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