How to Increase Your Gross Sales Now

Membership management software sales dashboard

The 27th of March was a good news day for me. One of my General Managers called to inform me that my two Krav Maga schools were ranked #1 and #2 in the Member Solutions President’s Club based on total monthly gross billing totals. While I charge all of my enrollment fees, first month’s dues, and retail through a POS system, my two Krav Maga schools had still managed to climb the Member Solutions President’s Club rankings.

The Entrepreneur’s Club

I respect every instructor, owner, and manager on this list. The moxie it takes to believe you can make a healthy living teaching martial arts is substantial to put it mildly. Everyone on the list has undoubtedly faced obstacles and taken risks, and each of these people has overcome. That’s special.

I still remember the day I decided to sign what seemed to me to be (at the time) an expensive lease in the heart of Houston. I had somehow talked my way through two interviews with the property manager and minority investor of a newly-developed retail property. Terms were agreed upon. I was elated.

The first student I told was a private training client—a family member of a very wealthy and well-to-do Houston dynasty of sorts. I recall vividly what he said. “Don’t do it. You’ll never make it work.”

Thank God I didn’t buckle. In fact, the lease was signed the day the Dow dropped 777+ points. My commercial broker was sitting across from me on a family room chair. The lease lay still on my coffee table. He looked at the television, tuned to CNBC with the Dow in a free-fall. He looked at me and drew a long breath. “You don’t have to do this.”

“Yes, I do.” I replied. I suppose the rest is history. But it’s a history full of my share of close calls and decision points that have obviously propelled my businesses forward. Interestingly, my two schools are vastly different. The first school I opened with my life savings is a mere 2,900 square feet. It’s ranked #2 on the Member Solutions list and grossed more than $100,000 last month. My other school is the largest and largest contiguous Krav Maga school on the planet—boasting over 36,000 square feet of mats, heavy bags, CrossFit equipment, Hammer Strength equipment, and staff offices. This school had considerably more gross revenue than my smaller school, but as you might guess, the cost footprint is higher.

I’m sharing these things for a singular purpose—to reinforce the notion that any school of any size can be a huge success. You can be a huge success.

Optimizing Existing Sales Assets

A friend in the martial arts business called me a few weeks ago. His school was in a slump. The numbers were down across the board. He started by telling me what his new branding and marketing concepts were. I listened.

As I’m familiar with the school, I could speak with some level of understanding. In the end, he asked me for advice. I simply told him that I knew he had a quality program with top-shelf instructors, but I wondered if his sales staff were as accomplished (they are not).

In an ideal world, he’d convert every appointment. To that end, if he increased his closing ratio to 100 percent (for example and to make a point), he’d have to generate one-half the traffic to generate the same amount of monthly revenue—assuming he is converting 50 percent of his leads today. At the very least, he could dramatically increase enrollments and gross cash flow by simply closing at a higher, better rate. That’s job number one.

Job number two is to better work with existing members and new members (during “post close”) to generate more “warm” referral leads.

In summary, if my friend upgraded his sales training and process, he’d likely increase his closing rates by 30 percent while simultaneously increasing his lead stream by 50 percent or more (without ever spending an additional dime on marketing schemes), nearly doubling his revenue.

Prioritize and Preach Your Value Proposition

I earned my MBA in 1997 while working full time. I do have some background that makes the decision process a bit more structured for me. But, the one thing I know more than any other is this: everyone needs a world-class sales presentation and closing process. This is partly a sales training issue and partly a buy-in issue.

Put simply: If you don’t believe what you’re selling is valuable and life changing, no one else will. They certainly won’t pay for it.

The bottom line is your sales staff (this may mean you) must clearly understand the benefits of your martial arts programming and project a level of certainty and excitement about what your program can do for people (vision). This is a value proposition. Do you know yours?

The benefits of a martial arts program vary widely—from traditional martial arts to MMA and fighting, to self-defense programs like Krav Maga. Clearly identify the benefits you offer, and provide a wealth of evidence to back-up your claim.

Far too often, sales people present the view (what you see in the school on tour), not the vision (the short- and long-term benefits of martial arts training). It’s the vision that creates the value for your students. Only after clearly providing a superior value proposition can anyone really ask for the sale with confidence.

Using our sales program, we close just over 80 percent of all in-person leads at my small school with monthly fees ranging from $169–$219 and over 85 percent at my big school with monthly fees ranging from $99–$159. Every agreement has duration of 6–24 months. Absolutely no month-to-month contracts.

Do you want more sales? Implement a solid, well-conceived closing and post-closing sales process that clearly articulates your value proposition today.

Krav Maga Houston’s Chief Instructor, C.J. Kirk, is certified and licensed through the Krav Maga Association of America/Krav Maga Worldwide as a 3rd Dan Black Belt instructor. His two schools, Krav Maga Houston and Krav Maga Houston North, are the only certified and licensed schools in the Houston, TX area. Most recently, C.J. launched Kravology, an online resource for self-defense instructors and enthusiasts. For more Martial Arts and business information, register for the free Kravology weekly newsletter at kravology.com.

Drills to Overcome Objections

“I would love to do this but I have to first clear it with my wife,” or “I can’t really commit to this right now,” or “My son has never really stuck to anything for any period of time and I don’t want to waste my money,” or “I just don’t have any time right now.” No matter what the situation, the list of objections goes on and on. I am sure you have heard many objections, and I’m here to tell you there is a way to get past them.

Objections are a form of client communication. When prospects don’t commit to a particular item, sale or program, they are telling you that you have not sold them yet: that you have not communicated the benefits and touched the reason why they came to you in the first place. If they walked through your door (after all this is the hardest part), then they are interested in joining your Martial Arts school or buying your product. So if they walk out with out signing up, then for some reason you have not connected with them.

An objection is a way for prospects to say “I am not quite sold yet.” If you have answered all their questions, there is still a chance that they may not want to join your school or buy your product. Many times when this occurs, you have said something that doesn’t appeal to them. Or maybe you have not listened hard enough to what the client is looking for. Diagnostic selling is basically the method of listening to the prospective clients and then presenting them with solutions to the objectives that they want to accomplish. No matter whether the objective is to lose weight or gain self-confidence, you need to appeal to their desires. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you do and how cool you are, if the prospects don’t see the benefits to themselves then it is a lost cause.

Here are some staff training and mental sales training exercises to help you overcome objections and close the sale:

Drill One: The Benefit Game

This exercise is effective in preparing you for any objections. Write down all the objections that you have heard in the past and then write an appropriate response to each one. After you have done this, practice the responses. Get used to speaking to clients about their objections, using the responses you have developed. For example: a mom tells you that she wants to help her child develop patience. She asks what you can do to help her child. Tell her specifically what components of your program help this situation.

After you have answers for all of the objections you’ve documented, you and the staff can drill this on a consistent basis and become masters at conveying the information that prospective clients really need to know. Most importantly, don’t do it simply for the sake of a having an answer: make sure that you believe in the answer you are giving and practice responding from the heart. Don’t be a salesman, be a solution provider.

Drill Two: Become a Better Listener

Learn to listen when someone is objecting, and then restate the objection so that you can be sure you understand the person correctly. I have been in the situation where I restated an objection back to a client and the client said “Well that’s not really what I meant,” and so the client then explained the objection differently. It is so important to listen to what the client wants. Always give clients your undivided attention so that you can be a specialist and a problem solver for the sake of the clients.

One of my favorite responses to a client who is not sold is “In a perfect world what could I do right now to convince you to sign up? If there was one thing that was holding you back, what would it be and how could I eliminate that obstacle for your benefit? After all, our goal is to help our students.” This usually gets the client to think about his or her objections and open up a bit. A sale is always possible as long as we continue the conversation.

Once a potential client walks out the door, the chance of a sign-up is drastically reduced. Take the time to listen to the objections of prospective clients and then explain to them wholeheartedly that participation in your school is something that can help them achieve the things they want. To ensure a sale, the decision must not be about you or your school; it must always be about the client.

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1 Easy Trick to Increase Your Gym Membership Sales

Man uses membership software reporting and metrics for sales insights

How well do you know your sales team? How well does it handle telephone inquiries? How is it doing with their tours? Are trials converting to new members? If you answered any of these questions without referencing a number or percentage, you’re missing out on one of the easiest ways to increase gym membership sales.

Tracking Sales Performance

Using a few simple sales metrics will help you increase your revenue by determining where your business is strong and where you need to improve. Knowing the numbers will help you:

  • Set goals that motivate team members to reach their potential
  • Use your strengths to drive sales
  • Identify and fix problems in your sales process

Getting Started

The goal is to measure key numbers throughout the sales process. Specifically, you want to track new prospects, tours, trials, and membership sales. Record the data in your fitness club software (or a spreadsheet), where you and your staff can easily review the numbers on a regular basis.

What to Measure
1) Leads

What to Do: Each week, track the number of people who express an interest in your gym. Remember to record the source of the inquiry – your website, email, phone call, Facebook, etc.

Why It’s Important: How many leads you get tells you how well your marketing is working and determines how many opportunities your sales team has to sell memberships.

Tools to Help: Use the Member Manager Lead Activity report to review the new leads you have in a certain period.

2) Lead Follow Up

What to Do: As a group, review the phone calls, emails and other follow-up activities your team does. Try to identify the activities that help drive trials and sales.

Why It’s Important: Inspecting the follow-up process can reveal which activities—or a combination of activities—give you the best results. You may discover that you should adjust your sales process or that your staff needs extra training.

Tools to Help: Optimize your sales process with Member Manager Lead Flows – series of tasks, such as phone calls or automated emails and text messages, which detail your lead follow-up process. Use the Member Manager Follow Ups report to review every time a sales team member has contacted a lead.

3) Tours & Trials

What to Do: Tally the number of tours you give of your facility. If you offer trials, carefully track how many leads take trials.

Why It’s Important: Tours and trials are crucial parts of the decision-making process. If your leads aren’t coming in for visits, there may be a problem with your follow-up process.

Tools to Help: Review the Member Manager Prospect Activity chart to quickly check how many appointments have been set and introductory tours have been completed by your team.

4) New Members

What to Do: Based on your financial goals, set a target for the number of new members you want to have each month and make sure it is well communicated to your team. Compare sales to the number of leads, the amount of follow-up and the number of tours/trials given to get an idea of your overall success.

Why It’s Important: Good sales can be an indicator of the health of your business. On the other hand, if you’re consistently missing your goal, there may be a problem with your strategy. Comparing sales to other metrics can reveal opportunities to improve your marketing, communication, tours, trial offers or membership options.

Tools to Help: Check the Member Manager New Members report to see how many memberships you’ve sold in a period of time. View the Sales And Value chart to quickly find out your revenue by category.

These easy-to-use metrics can help make your sales team more effective and significantly increase your gym membership sales. These numbers will teach you how to maximize your strengths, fine-tune your sales process and motivate your team to go above and beyond expectations.

For more information on Member Manager software, contact the Training and Support team at 877.600.3811 or support@membersolutions.com.

About the author: Justin Bodamer is the Manager of Implementation & Support for Member Solutions. The Implementation and Support team is dedicated to helping you and your team make the most of your relationship with Member Solutions. You can contact Justin at membersolutions@membersolutions.com.

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