The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association is the fitness industry's only global trade association representing over 10,000 for profit health and fitness facilities and over 600 supplier companies in 75 countries.



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Creating and Keeping a Killer Membership Sales Team

New member sales still provide the majority of any fitness facility’s revenue, and any health club operator worth their salt knows that you can’t drive membership without a killer sales team.

But creating and keeping a successful sales team is another story.

(Photo: Healthtrax Fitness & Wellness)

Rethinking the Hiring Process

“The primary reason clubs have issues with hiring is because they don't have a system for hiring,” says Communication Consultants President Casey Conrad, who will present IHRSA’s September 14 webinar, “Creating & Keeping a Power Sales Team.”

When implementing a hiring system, think about the type of person and personality that will be a good for for the role. Personality profiling can help you dig into what you’re looking for, Conrad says. 

Once you know who you’re looking for, it’s time to determine the best ways to find them. Conrad suggests:

  • creating ad copy that attracts the right person;
  • using phone screening questions to weed out unqualified candidates early;
  • coming up with specific interview questions and sequences so that you’re comparing apples to apples with candidates. 

Effective Training and Onboarding

Don’t think you can relax after you’ve found and hired the right salesperson—onboarding and training are critical steps for staff retention. Conrad outlines three components to effective training: 

  1. Launch training
  2. Weekly sales meetings
  3. Ongoing training 

“All are important for retention, but the launch is critical,” she says. “The club should have a very structured two-week process that includes both learning and role playing.”

Keeping Your Sales Team’s Skills Sharp

Casey Conrad, president of Communication ConsultantsHolding ongoing training sessions is one the best ways to keep your sales team’s skills sharp.

One strategy that Conrad suggests is listing out all of the core skills that are necessary to succeed in the sales process. Think about sales call information, meet-and-greet questions, touring, price presentation, objections, and referrals.

“Each of these must have scripts,” she says. “Print out scripts, allow salespeople to memorize them and get good at using them without sounding scripted. Then fire up the video camera and let it roll while people are role playing. Then watch it back and discover where tweaks can be made.”

You can also utilize role playing to help staff learn how to overcome objections.

“Write out the common objections on small sheets of paper and fold them up,” she says. “Place them in the center of the table. Each salesperson takes one and then let the role playing begin. Each person plays the role of the objection to see how the salesperson handles the issue.”   

Sales staff will also benefit from measuring KPIs—calls, appointments, tours, memberships, referrals, etc.—on a forecast sheet. 

Learn more about the "Creating & Keeping a Power Sales Team" webinar.