Quantiving Sales Opportunity. Part 1

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A quantifiable system of tracking sales leads puts dollar signs on the opportunities handled by your staff, from the first call to the final close.

Sales and marketing are high priorities for today’s service-driven clubs. Professional competition has increased dramatically, and consumer awareness about the benefits of exercise is at an all time high. New membership sales are no longer made with high-pressure sales techniques, thanks to consumer education and industry professionalism. This professional shift is a win-win situation for the service-driven club and the prospective member.

The club marketing program is no longer based on misleading or bait-and-switch advertising techniques that were the trademark of attrition-driven clubs. As a result, the leads being generated are more meaningful.

The “attrition-driven” club’s central goal is to sell memberships only to obtain the member’s initial binding financial commitment. High-pressure sales techniques and deceptive advertising and promotion with minimal ongoing services are identifying characteristics of attrition-driven clubs.

The “service-driven” club is an ethical business of providing ongoing value commensurate with the member’s ongoing investment. Consultative selling with results-oriented programming are common characteristics of service-driven clubs.

However, many service-driven clubs unwittingly lose income through systems that are too lax. Furthermore, inadequate understanding of lost revenues causes many clubs to think that their system is pro-consumer.

In today’s competitive marketplace, every service-driven club that wants to gain or maintain strong market share must initiate an effective, 100-percent quantifiable sales and marketing system. Each dollar spent for advertising and promotion must be accounted for in terms of total traffic generated. Each prospect response to the dollars spent (membership telephone inquiries or walk-in prospects) must also be tracked individually at 100-percent efficiency to maximize revenue potential.

Additionally, retention-based point-of-sale programs must be fully tracked to maximize club revenues. These point-of-sale programs are designed to effectively integrate the new club member into a regular exercise regimen, and motivate that member enough to renew the membership and stay with the club.

Following are seven critical areas that can help clubs avoid losing revenue:

The lost call

The lost call refers to membership telephone inquiries that are lost as a result of a lapse in communication between the front desk staff and the membership sales staff.

There are many ways in which a telephone inquiry can become a lost call. For example: 1) The caller is on hold too long, hangs up and calls the next club on their list. 2) There is no membership staff person available and the front desk staff person simply tells the caller to try again later. 3) There is no membership staff person available and the front desk person takes a name and phone number. This information gets passed along to the next available membership staff person who does not return the call immediately, and the information gets lost. For most clubs, it is safe to say that, on average, one membership telephone inquiry gets lost each day. (See Figure 1).

The average month is 30 days. If the club averages one lost call per day, then 30 calls a month are lost. Using an 80 percent phone call-to-appointment ratio shows that the club is losing 24 appointment opportunities per month.

Using a 70 percent appointment-to-show ratio means that the club is losing 17 appointment tours per month. Using a 70 percent first-time closing presentation ratio for appointment shows means that the club is losing 12 new membership sales per month.

Based on an average annual membership cost of $500, a club is losing $6,000 in new membership sales per month. Multiply this times 12 months, and you can see that the club is losing $72,000 per year in potential new membership sales.

Without a 100-percent quantifiable system, and a good initial and ongoing training program for the front desk staff and the membership sales staff, this income will continue to be lost.

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