With the holidays fast approaching, it’s impossible not to see discounts and sales everywhere you look.
This deluge serves as a reminder that a sales strategy is key to running any kind of business, especially a service-oriented one such as a fitness club or studio.
While larger chains and clubs often have strategic sales plans in place with employees hired specifically to create and manage them, smaller, boutique studios are often run by owners wearing most hats of the business with very little time to spare for setting up a sales system that is any larger than selling classes and a small range of related products. But creating a sales system with a high conversion rate can help dramatically increase the bottom line for many businesses.
We sat down with Josh Leve, Founder and CEO of the Association of Fitness Studios to talk about what to consider when streamlining your sales process.
Merrithew: In your experience, what are the biggest obstacles to overcome for studio and club owners when it comes to streamlining sales processes?
J. Leve: Often one of the biggest obstacles to overcome in implementing a new sales system is the voice in your head that tells you that you don’t have enough time to do it, that things are fine the way they are, or that it’s too expensive. Figuring out a way to expand sales does not have to be time-consuming, expensive or difficult. There are myriad ways to boost sales that don’t require a huge time or money commitment. Dedicate an amount of time you can afford each week to search for ways to streamline and grow your sales process. Start with just half an hour, and see what results you can come up with.
Merrithew: How can a fitness studio or club owner identify what compels clients to purchase products or services?
J. Leve: In today’s fitness industry, sales aren’t just about the exchange of money for goods. Effectively selling products and services also has much to do with identifying the emotional wants and needs of clients, the real reasons why they are in your studio. Someone may say they want to gain strength and have better posture—but the reason they want those things is to look their best for their daughter’s wedding at the end of the summer. Perhaps someone wants to rehabilitate a knee injury—in order to check running a marathon off of their bucket list next year. The possibilities are endless, as are the opportunities to cater to your offerings to what really matters to your clients. Identify why your clients come to particular classes, what draws them to specific methods of exercise, what makes them feel proud about what they accomplish, and find ways to increase those feelings during their experience with you.
Merrithew: How can businesses tweak and expand sales processes?
J. Leve: Take a look at how your sales are currently run, and identify room for improvement. Have a look online for any apps or programs (there are many) that make purchases easier for clients, and for you. Consider your sources of revenue—are there ways to expand on these? Aside from class fees, are there sources of ancillary revenue that could be integrated into your current sales program? For example, renting mats and towels to those who don’t have their own, offering locker space for a certain amount each month, or incentives for clients to introduce friends to your studio are all excellent ways of expanding your income.
Josh Leve is the Founder & CEO of the Association of Fitness Studios. AFS provides studio and gym owners running facilities of up to 10,000 sq. feet and entrepreneurial fitness professionals with the platform to effectively start, manage and grow their businesses. For more information, see afsfitness.com.