Managing the Membership Sales Cycle
Almost all Senior and club managers within leisure will have seen and often received training on the membership sales cycle. It clearly outlines the key focus points of selling a membership from the initial inquiry to closing the sales and beginning to find new prospects again through such things as referrals.
The questions you have to ask are:
1) How often do you review this process within your business?
2) How do you review the process and ensure it is alive within your sales teams?
3) Do you manage this process through statistics and detail or through anecdotal evidence?
4) Do you focus on one area more than another?
5) How do you train this within your team?
6) Do you put emphasis on one area more than the other?
It's important to train the process out first and ensure your team understand each of the 8 steps. All of the 8 steps are important and work together to ensure each and every inquiry into your business has the best chance of success.
Whilst on the outset you may think the tour and the closing the sale are the most important. to put into context though remember these points. People buy from people, someone will make a first impression within 10-15 secs of meeting your team. A poor first impression can stop the sale in its tracks.
The needs analysis, if done effectively will provide the information for a tailored tour but also overcome many objections even before they are raised and so be making closing the sale so much more effective.
Overcoming objections is a key skill to master as most people will have queries and barriers to signing up straight away. This is not a reason to not ask for the sale but an opportunity to confirm some additional details for the client.
The sales does not end with the paperwork, with referrals at point of sale being one of the most cost effective and highest conversion type, the sales process ends with prospecting.
So as you can see the cycle makes sense, it fits together and all parts are equally important. How you manage this cycle though and how you keep it alive will determine how successful your membership team will
So How do you keep it alive?
In order to manage this process you need to do exactly that, manage it!
1) Train it and retrain it. Practice it in its part and in its whole with your sales team. Either during sales meetings or 1-1's. I was always taught that repetition is the mother of all learning. By repeating the process and the techniques the skills become and instinctive behaviour. Some may even have heard that the process becomes "unconcious competence", like driving the skill just hapens.
2) Get your teams to practice with each other. They will learn from their colleagues and add more skills to the armoury
3) Have your team provide the needs analysis sheets to you after each tour, for those who did not join they need to provide a genuine reason for not joining. " Want to think about it" is not a reason.
4) Instill KPI's into the process. Important once to consider are:
- Inquiry to Appointment conversion
- Tour to Sale Conversion
- Sale to Referral
- Total sales to target
With sales being a numbers game, those with better stats will more than likely have a better grasp on the process, will be generating more of their own inquiries through word of mouth and referrals and this will show. Those with weak sales performances will need a greater focus on the process.
However, by managing and focusing on the sales cycle you can identify where the training is needed and provide the guidance for improvement.
Too many managers these days focus on the end product which is the sales number on board. Go back a few steps and put the focus on the process and the skills and the numbers will look after themselves