As a fitness business owner, you have probably put a lot of thought, time, and energy into planning for Quarter 1 — closing out details from year-end, strategizing marketing, ordering inventory, and hiring staff. Here’s a quick checklist to make sure you can go into the new year confident in your sales team’s abilities.
Have an expeditious and detailed training program for any new hires.
We can all agree that good salespeople can be hard to find and harder to keep. According to Hubspot, the average ramp-up time for new salespeople is between six and nine months. The average tenure of a salesperson is 1.5 years. That leaves you as a business owner with a short window to maximize time and get both you and the employee the best results. It’s also safe to say that if a new team member is getting fatter commission checks sooner and is content in the job, there’s a much better chance you can count on them for the long-term. While every gym, studio or box is different, and every employee is unique, here’s a general checklist of items to include in any new hire sales onboarding program:
- Pre-week training
- Email and administrative preparation
- Product and service knowledge training
- How to use CRM
- Review calls from top reps
- Sales process overview
- How prospecting should be done
- Overview of buyer personas
- Analysis of competition
- Role-play training
- Technical training
- Top objections and overcoming them
- Clear expectations set
Provide remedial sales training.
Every salesperson can benefit from a review of the basics, especially going into a season that is typically busier than the rest of the year. Have each of your team members take you through a mock tour and presentation to see for yourself exactly what is being done and said. You can even create a checklist of key points and give them a grade on how they did. Then follow up with whatever training it takes to get them to 100%. Practice makes perfect. If they get busy or are having a bad day, some of the things they learned are going to drop off anyway. Might as well make their starting point as close to perfect as possible given that consideration.
Review top objections and how to overcome them.
Overcoming sales objections is one of the biggest challenges in a salesperson’s job. The top 5 objections in the fitness industry are typically: Time, Money, Spouse, Competition, or Think About It. Practice exactly how to overcome each one of these scenarios with each team member.
Emphasize the importance of authenticity.
Consumers have a lot of power in the world today. Reviews can make or break a business. People want instant gratification and satisfying answers to any and all questions. The only way to truly connect with people and build rapport is through genuine care that is visible to customers. Remind your team of this importance to be authentic. Avoid gimmicky sounding pitches or sales pressure.
Use creative tools to get your team focused on what matters — the people you are striving to help. Host sales trainings, team meetings and ask people to share their own journeys with fitness. Help them focus on why they are in this business, and what it means to them to help people change their lives through fitness. You can show data of the American obesity crisis, and how they are directly helping to improve the country. If these topics are the mental focus of your team, the authenticity will show up to customers.
Use data for ongoing training.
Track your team’s success and access any and all data that can improve. Your fitness software should have numerous options available that can be useful tools. Provide this feedback to your team on a regular basis. Seeing tangible data can help people identify areas of improvement themselves.
Keep your team well informed of marketing content output.
Your sales team should be an in-person representation of the content and branding you are representing online. For example, if you have a landing page that lands emails in a drip campaign, you should have your team receive a copy of all content being sent out at least once. If this prospect calls in based on one of the emails, the person answering the phone should have an idea of what was said to get them to call. This will give them insight into what the motivating factor was that got them to pick up the phone. If a link is available to text in from an email, this may go right to your sales team too. They should be knowledgeable of what the conversation is before jumping in and taking over.
The same thing should apply to any type of interaction with leads: any conversation between chatbots and prospects, Facebook and Instagram ads, and any other type of company-driven outreach. Keeping your team in the loop will give them an advantage and help them to represent your business correctly.
Properly preparing your salespeople is no easy venture, but if you make it a top priority, you will see the returns on your investments of both time and money. You will have talent retention, high morale, and the best shot at exceeding your revenue goals in 2020.