Discover the New Ways People Buy with Bill McBride

Dear Soapbox Readers,

Have you experienced a plateauing of your membership levels, or perhaps a decrease in membership? Have you really given thought of how you need to separate your facility from others that seem to be doing it better, offering more programs or equipment options than your facility?

Why have you not given thought to working with your manufacturer representatives? I can’t speak for others but its not uncommon for me to be in at least half a dozen facilities a week. My knowledge base of club facilities allows me to be able to know within 5 minutes of setting foot on the premises if the club is in growth mode or is struggling to make ends meet.

A simple suggestion for your consideration, develop a relationship with a team of manufacturer sales reps, let them provide you an assessment of what you have and what you could implement for a more user friendly facility.

When visiting a facility and I’m asked about suggestions on improving the membership experience, I always start with a facility walkthrough. If the facility is a customer, I’ll make suggestions on areas that could lower their cost but at the same time provide a membership experience that exceeds their expectations. If the facility is not a current Petra products user, I suggest they Take the “Petra Challenge”, let the members decide what they like best, after all, they pay the dues so let them make the decision on what products they find to their liking. The “Petra Challenge”, we furnish complimentary product to install in both the men’s and women’s shower and vanity areas and we will know within a few days which products the membership prefer. This way your members feel a sense of gratitude that you want to provide the best locker room products available and that you value their opinion. It’s a win-win for everyone.

I would encourage you to implement the same kind of program with other vendors, the cost is typically zero and something so simple can endear your membership in your desire to be a progressive and forward thinking facility.

If you have questions or comments, please contact me. As the Soapbox is a forum for all things that help your facility grow and help change the lives of your membership for the better.

– John Mickelson


Join Bill McBride for an IHRSA Webinar This Thursday
February 11, 2016 from 11am to 12pm PST

Transitioning from primarily sales & marketing to programs and results is a big transition. Specialized studios and focused offerings are selling fitness experiences, energy and results. Group camaraderie with HR technology is also proving to be an amazing motivator. Based on the book Unselling by Scott Stratten & Alison Kramer.

What You Will Learn:

  • Customer Pulse:  Ecstatic, Static, Vulnerable (Not too different from Net Promoter, Neutral, Detractor)
  • The problems with “Scrambling To Save” (Cause:  Over promising & Under Delivering)
  • What Customers Want – They want getting what they pay for
  • Great experiences – not only Great, but HERE at our Club/Site
  • Feedback requires Action – The Customer Rules.  You can’t ask then not respond and address
  • Social Media – “The Customer Strikes Back” – Business Problems or Negative Social Media?  A lot of a Club’s Social Media problems are really business problems
  • Discover how people now buy and learn how to enroll customers
  • Explore adaptation versus re-creation
  • Gain insight on coaching versus selling
  • Learn how to optimize prospect motivation
  • Learn how to find & enroll your best customers
  • Air Canada versus West Jet
    • VP of Operations (all execs should espouse)
    • Everybody matters
    • 2 planes going to the same place – I’m going with the one that has a better experience
    • Carey Smith quote:  “You treat your customers and your employees and your vendors all the same with the utmost respect and the utmost care and that will pay you back in spades”
  • Treat everyone as your customers.  It’s not just about customers
  • If something goes wrong, you can talk to vendors, employees and clients to make things work out – Don’t take anything for granted
  • Permission Marketing – Seth Godin

Bill McBride profile

Bill is a health club industry veteran with over 25 years of experience leading and managing all aspects of commercial health clubs, medical fitness centers, residential, community, multi-tenant and corporate fitness sites.  He co-founded Active Sports Clubs and Active Wellness, LLC and owns a health club consultancy – BMC3. Bill has served as Chairman of the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) Board of Directors, President of the Mid-Atlantic Club Management Association (MACMA) and served on the Industry Advisory Board for the American Council of Exercise (ACE).  He is actively engaged as an author on industry education, serves on several Advisory Boards and speaks regularly on industry topics throughout the world.

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