How NOT to Conduct a Sales Meeting

May 28, 2013

By: Jim Thomas
Jim Thomas’ Fitness Management & Consulting

As I travel the country and have the opportunity to sit in on numerous sales meetings, I have noticed an all too common occurrence in health clubs… the majority of the club sales staff have a genuine dislike for the meetings.

Most health club salespeople don’t know why they are being asked to sit through weekly or monthly meetings. From their viewpoint, these sales meetings consisted of nothing but boring discussions without meaningful decisions, bull sessions about the local sports team or unresolved debate.

After giving this some thought, here is what I observed about how NOT to conduct a health club sales meeting:

  1. No advanced agenda for the sales meeting.
    This is very common as many health club managers will simply try and “wing it.” Your health club sales staff will be unable to contribute effectively to a particular discussion because they won’t know the subject matter in advance. The idea is to put your salespeople in a position to be successful. Lack of preparation from management will result in frustration and poor decision-making.
  2. Failure to adhere to the established agenda.
    The morning of each sales meeting we were presented with the meeting’s agenda. We rarely stuck to those topics, and often got behind. The majority of the time was wasted.
  3. Lack of a marketing and sales plan for your health club.
    I do not remember any cohesive marketing programs or plan of action, which would increase our club market share or prospect/member awareness. It was difficult to generate excitement in the club.
  4. No business fun in your sales meeting.
    We had four talented, capable managers, who wanted to succeed and make money. There was no “motivational speaker” or trainer or consultant brought in to help us grow personally, to get outside our habits and look for innovative ways to grow our business.
  5. No follow up from the top.
    The Owner and the VP of Sales were great people. We became friends. But they had no action plan to work with us outside the club to identify markets, increase networking or improve corporate sales. We may or may not see them in the club between meetings.

From these experiences with health clubs across the country, I have three recommendations for effective sales meetings in your club:

  1. Identify and promote a specific and definite objective for each meeting.
  2. Keep it short and stick to the business of your health club. Generate excitement to make the meeting personally rewarding and health club profitable.
  3. Follow up with a management presence in your health club to reinforce the initiatives or the plans decided in the sales meetings.

Salespeople in your health club need to be accountable and feel supported. Now, go have a great sales meeting!

Jim Thomas’ Fitness Management & Consulting