Sponsored Content – ASF International

Software doesn’t make sales, people do, and when people are supplied with the right information, they make more sales. It is a cycle that flows smoothly if you have the right system in place. Data mining for sales is nothing new, and as technology advances, so do the capabilities of club management products. Most software companies in our industry provide the basic tools you need to transform data into action. The question is, are you using them? Here are a few areas to focus on.

If there is one aspect to your software you should be using constantly, it is the prospect tracking system. Encourage your salespeople to use this tool until it becomes routine for them. The information gathered here not only highlights the prospect profile, but it also gives you marketing, programming, geographic information and more.

After every tour and phone call, make sure your team enters detailed notes about each prospect. Have them create a reminder for their next point of contact, which should usually be a phone call. Too many salespeople rely on emails as the next contact. Keep it real and keep it human. You never get a second chance to make a great first impression.

Every interaction with each prospect should be noted in the system. If you have a picky prospect that seems reluctant to join, check the notes and bring in reinforcements. If you see a note that Tracey O’Brien casually mentioned she is dreaming of a trainer to help shed her post-baby weight, pass her information on to a trainer to call and offer her some free group sessions.

Use your prospect data to find ways to integrate prospects into the club community and, ultimately, turn them into new members.

In addition to prospect management, all club systems also come with report management. This is the epicenter where you can sort data and develop strategies to increase sales and retention and streamline your business. This is where you can run prospect reports, non-attendance lists, expiration reports, cancellations, sales conversions, personal training numbers and more.

Analyze your reports and talk with your staff about your findings. Patterns will occur, and those patterns will help you identify areas for improvement. Are more women not joining or cancelling due to lack of child care? Not enough yoga classes? Are your group training classes attracting the middle-aged crowd? Is that feeding your private training program? Knowing why your members stay, why they leave and what they are spending their money on can help you leverage information to make more informed decisions about your business.

Pass out non-attendance and 30-day expiration lists to your staff and have them connect with those people to improve your retention percentage. Offer incentives to get people back into the club or to renew their membership. Conversely, print out lists of regulars. Reach out to them and let them know how much you appreciate their business. Gratitude goes a long way.

Use your reports to gather data. Use that data to reach out to your membership base at different levels to ensure maximum communication, sales and retention.

If your software platform provides integrated marketing tools, such as member referral programs or marketing analysis tools, use them. Leave no stone unturned when it comes to finding prospects.

Whether you use an automated referral program in the software, send out emails, advertise or promote from within the club, make sure you measure the success of your marketing efforts. Your business is constantly evolving, and your marketing efforts should reflect that.

Use your marketing information to see where your prospects are coming from and reward repeat referral sources, such as members or local businesses. Analyze your data to find out what marketing methods are working and nix those that are not.

Overall, the key to using data is to have a strategy for sales and retention. Sit down and look through your software program. What could you implement today to make a greater impact tomorrow? How can you use information to build the best value in your services? How will that set you apart from your competition? Arm your sales team with the information they need to make more sales and increase retention.

Remember, the software is the tool. Your staff, stellar service, smiles and communication build the membership.

Tamara Valdez is the executive vice president of marketing at ASF International. She was the general manager at Marina Fitness Club in San Francisco for many years and has an extensive background in the fitness industry.