Your sales team is a critical part of your fitness business’s success. But having an amazing sales team requires one overarching imperative: hiring and training the right people. Putting best practices in place for this process can help support best outcomes — both in terms of finding the right people, attracting them to your organization, and retaining them.

The Right People Are Out There

Newtown Athletic Club’s membership director Denise Watkins says she prioritizes three things when hiring potential salespeople: a background in sales, self-motivation, and passion for the industry. “Those things are the top three characteristics I believe we really need to make sure are in place before we hire them. Next, I would say they have to be relationship-driven. Our club is selling a lifestyle here; it’s not just a fitness center. So, they really have to dig deep into the ‘whys’ of why people are walking in the door,” told she told Club Solutions magazine

Another essential characteristic is teamwork. If even the most skilled salesperson can’t play well with others, it can detract from the overall effectiveness of the group while also creating a negative work environment. 

While looking for the right people is one approach, making your fitness business easy for the right people to find is another. This is exactly what Grant Pass, Oregon’s Club Northwest does by creating a culture that attracts the kind of team members it wants. 

“We do this by owning our community and by introducing an all-for-one-and-one-for-all wellness experience in their own backyard. We maintain a world-class facility and we treat each and every member as the greatest member in the world, and we witness, respect and celebrate our team,” said Club Northwest founder and owner Scott Draper.

The Engagement-Retention Relationship

Once you’ve found the right people — or they’ve found you, as the case may be — your job is far from over. Next up is implementing a retention plan. Onboarding new sales hires can help ensure that your sales team understands your operation and expectations. 

But it doesn’t end there, either. Continuous training and education are also invaluable. “When trained with integrity and knowledge of a like-minded goal, everyone can work in harmony and celebrate community wellness together,” proposes Draper. 

Computer keyboard with enter key labeled staff training.

In addition to giving your sales team the knowledge and skills they need to succeed, an actual tool can further support their efforts: Customer relationship management (CRM) software. This not only helps individual sales team members track their own progress, but also lets managers track the progress of their sales teams, as well. Doing so can be tied in with another retention-boosting tactic: incentives. 

For example, Watkins implements new incentives monthly. One of the most successful? Bonuses for salespeople who sold a membership to a prospective member just in off the street. According to Watkins, this capitalized on the club’s knowledge that the first time someone walks into the club is often the best opportunity to sell a membership. 

Lastly, giving your sales team new and exciting things to sell is also a smart strategy. For example, introducing a new program or piece of equipment gives your sales team something new to sell thereby boosting sales momentum.

Today’s fitness businesses face significant challenges. However, they also have significant opportunities. Having the right sales team in place is one of the best ways to leverage those opportunities into outcomes. Speaking of opportunities, if your fitness business hasn’t yet embraced the red-hot wearables trend, you’re likely falling short of your potential. Request a demo today to learn what the AccuroFit System can do for you.