I enjoy your magazine very much and feel I get something from most of the articles. I especially enjoy Casey Conrad's Marketing Matters (see page 48, June 2002 “Child's Play”). I feel that this is one of the areas that my staff can learn and improve to help our business. In Casey's June column I felt there was some great information, however, the majority of clubs are not capable of executing most of the concepts, especially as they grow. I believe that with one club you can make magic, as you grow you need to narrow the focus and be good at fewer things. I would love to see more examples of clubs actually having success with Casey's concepts in her columns.
Lynn Sigler via Internet
The Editor Responds
Thanks for the input. I will pass along your comments to Casey and see if she can bring more real-world examples to you and the other readers if that will help you to do your business a little better.
I couldn't agree more with David Crowley in his column “A Promise Is A Promise” (see Focus On Sales/Marketing on page 12, July 2002). I can't tell you how often I am met with empty promises by vendors and just how difficult it makes it for me to do business with them, especially because it can keep me from delivering on promises to my customers. If I say a piece of equipment will be repaired by Monday because my service or sales rep said they would have the part to me, then can't deliver because they don't have it, who does my client think broke that promise? It has gotten to the point now that if the end result of a promise is out of my hands, I'd rather say that I can't do it or, at least, can't guarantee it…my word means that much to me and to my business.
Daniel Panariello, Austin, TX
(club name not given)
In your June letter (First Word, page 4, “Looks Can be Deceiving”) you recounted a story about a past manager suggesting you change your appearance to help boost income. While that person may have taken it too far by telling you to change your glasses and hairstyle, I don't think it is too much to ask our fitness professionals to “look the part.” Right or wrong, we are participants in an image-based profession and if a trainer or instructor looking out of shape hurts my bottom line, then perhaps it is time for them to try a new career.
I couldn't agree with your feelings more about the value of a person being more than skin-index deep. Sure, it may be a little harder to get people to accept a trainer or aerobics teacher that doesn't fit the Hollywood look for the part, but if they are qualified to do the job then that is all that should matter. What is next, not hiring brunettes because as we all know, blondes have more fun.
Independent personal trainer,
New York City
The Editor Responds
I'm glad to see that my letter and personal history has sparked some debate. While I believe that an unfit instructor or trainer is a detriment, I stand by my reasoning that a qualified person should be allowed to do the job regardless of outward appearances.
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