Monday, November 29, 2010

Is a Corporate Sales Position a Legitimate Fitness Job?


The answer to this question depends on the health club/company behind the position. Many, if not most clubs have aspirations of tapping into the corporate market or “group sales”. Very few clubs/companies do a great job of it.


The dilemma lies in the approach, resources and STRATEGY companies put behind their corporate sales effort. Most companies subscribe to the theory that group sales = 5+ more members joining at the same time. Most companies waive most of the enrollment fees and begin a discount dues program at this point. This corporate sales program is outdated and probably has limited success.


Also, most companies do not hire sales staff exclusively for b2b sales to do their corporate outreach. They tell their existing membership sales staff to “Go out there and get some group business” armed with no more than a business card, guest passes and club brochure if they are lucky. Many if not most, have no b2b sales experience. Corporate sales are much different than touring walk-ins at the local gym.


Most club sales staff are not armed with the abundance of information available on the benefits of exercise and how it improves employee productivity and reduces companies health insurance costs. (A tremendous benefit for small companies).


If you are seeking a membership sales position in a health club and corporate sales is a requirement, here are a few questions to ask:


1. Explain how your corporate sales program works.


2. Is there a training program for corporate sales?


3. What type of collateral materials do you have to support your corporate sales efforts?


4. What percent of your time is required for corporate sales?


5. How is the sales process and commissions handled with corporate/group sales? Are your company leads split between other staff who may tour your company leads?

A successful company may take this approach to a corporate sales program:


1. They hire experienced b2b staff or train their staff extensively on how to develop corporate sales business.


2. They provide collateral materials and also have other presentation materials such as Power Point presentations explaining the benefits of exercise and how a health club membership for employees can benefit a company’s bottom line.


3. Their corporate program requires participating companies to provide a pre-determined amount of access to their employees: Payroll stuffers, posters in break rooms/employee lounges, trial memberships for new hires, on-site promotions, health fairs and more!


If you are thinking of entering the health club industry and corporate sales is part of the job, you will gain valuable b2b experience and have a very pleasant, diverse work day. Just make sure the company provides you with the tools to succeed!

Alan Cohen is the Founder and President of FitnessJobs.com and The Career Collection. Alan has spent over 35 years in the fitness industry and founded FitnessJobs.com 11+ years ago. Alan is passionate about the fitness and recreation industry and loves helping employers and employees connect for fruitful relationships. Check out Trade Talk on FitnessJobs.com for more fitness indsutry tips and information. For more information about recruiting on FitnessJobs.com call 800-259-4397.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Fitness Jobs or Club Ownership

Recently I received an email from an industry veteran I have known for over 10 years through FitnessJobs.com. He asked if I knew of any really good jobs out there for a man of his experience. He said he was willing to relocate.


My pat answer is there are lots of great opportunities on FitnessJobs.com. It is up to you, the savvy club veteran to decipher who are good employers and who are not. I also suggested he look around for any clubs for sale, particularly a Snap Fitness or Anytime Fitness franchise.


Why them? I happen to think they have a great concept. Low labor costs, small operation that won’t stress you out or your financial resources. (Compared to large, older clubs that are maintenance and staff intensive).


Plus I believe because they have been such a hot franchise over the years, there will be lots of people wanting out - due to your typical life situations: divorce/death/too much work/etc. I also know a young couple (under 30 years old) who have opened 3 Snap Fitness clubs in the past three years and are doing very well. They bought directly from the Snap fitness corporate office and had the luxury of family financing.


What I suggested to my friend was the following:


1. Approach franchisees where you live and see if they are in the mode to sell. Worst case scenario if they are doing well, you may find yourself a good job. You may become a consultant for them or you may become a regional manager, etc.


2. Explore areas you’d love to move to. Take a vacation/work trip and investigate step #1. You may just find your dream job and move to your dream city at the same time.

3. Contact Snap Fitness or Anytime Fitness corporate office. They may have a resale department.


Several years ago I placed ads in several trade magazines looking for an ownership/equity stake in a club and had numerous really interesting offers. I mad a bad decision, because my judgment was clouded by the city that the opportunity was located in. Fell in love with the area, but didn’t do my due diligence on the ownership group. Just another valuable life lesson I learned the hard way!


Moral of the story is if you have a job and you are not satisfied with the opportunity, than while you are employed; check around for ownership/equity opportunities. Also, continue to search new fitness career opportunities on FitnessJobs.com.


If you don’t have a job, look for your ideal career opportunity on FitnessJobs.com, but don’t discount ownership as an option.

Alan Cohen is the Founder and President of FitnessJobs.com and The Career Collection. Alan has spent over 35 years in the fitness industry and founded FitnessJobs.com 11+ years ago. Alan is passionate about the fitness and recreation industry and loves helping employers and employees connect for fruitful relationships. Check out Trade Talk on FitnessJobs.com for more fitness indsutry tips and information. For more information about recruiting on FitnessJobs.com call 800-259-4397

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Top 5 Qualities of the Superstar Sales Rep

Introducing Guest Blogger Brenda Abdilla


Brenda Abdilla is the President of Management Momentum. After a 15-year career of professional speaking and consulting, Brenda founded Management Momentum to allow her to focus on fewer companies and focus on her intense passion for improving sales and management performance. Brenda has authored two books, Selling for Results and Marketing for Results (1996 Cardinal Business Media), and her articles have appeared in over 50 publications.


The Top 5 Qualities of the Superstar Sales Rep


The one who can sell “ice to Eskimos” or “hot tea in hell.” We are all looking for that hit-the-ground-running, low-maintenance, high-production sales superstar to add to our team. To assist us in our quest, the Gallup Organization, with authors Smith & Rutigliano, published the groundbreaking book Discover Your Sales Strengths (Warner Books, 2003), which is based on the data from 250,000 sales calls and over 80,000 sales manager interviews. Based on 40 years of data, this book crushes the popular belief of what makes a top producer and outlines the real elements employers should be looking for in salespeople. They call these ideal qualities The Five Dimensions of Fit.


The Five Dimensions of Fit:


Gallup research shows that sales success stems from patterns of thought, feeling and behavior that explain the following:


1. Motivation (drive)– Statistics show that reps who get their motivational needs met in their current role account for 40% of what makes that rep successful—roughly twice as much as any other factor. Motivated salespeople sell more across the board. Note: being motivated by MONEY is not necessarily a factor. Motivated is motivated! Think about achievement, praise, connection, control…. what are the dominant themes of the people on your team? Think of your top producers—what truly motivates them?


2. The way they build relationships– A rep’s approach to building relationships and how this fits with your company, product and brand are critical to success.


3. The way they gain commitments– Relationships alone are meaningless unless the rep has a natural ability to wrap things up, to ask for the sale, to close.


4. The structure they need to get their work done– Does the rep require complete silence? A frenzied environment? Total independence? A team? How does this fit with the atmosphere/realities at your company?


5. Their ability to understand and solve customer needs– While top reps each have their own way of approaching and meeting customer needs, the existence of this element is critical to sales success.


The bottom line: Gallup research reveals that a full 35% of all reps, across industries, simply do not have the talent to be in sales. How does your team measure up?


Brenda regularly posts jobs and recruits on FitnessJobs.com for some of the top brands in the fitness industry. You can purchase Brenda’s eBooks at http://www.brendaabdilla.com/.

Alan Cohen is the Founder and President of FitnessJobs.com and The Career Collection. Alan has spent over 35 years in the fitness industry and founded FitnessJobs.com 11+ years ago. Alan is passionate about the fitness and recreation industry and loves helping employers and employees connect for fruitful relationships. For more information about recruiting on FitnessJobs.com call 800-259-4397

Friday, November 5, 2010

How to Negotiate Compensation in the Fitness Industry

How can I earn more money from my fitness job? Easy. It all starts with a well thought out strategy. Below you will find important elements for your strategy.

First, you need to know how much you need to earn to pay your bills and to provide you/your family the lifestyle you want. (Realistically).

Second, you need to know what the industry is paying for people with your experience, education and certifications. Check out the ACE 2010 salary survey results.

Third, you need to determine which companies in the industry offer top compensation packages: Salary/hourly, commissions, bonus, benefits, paid time off, continuing education reimbursement, etc. Network and ask fellow associates and friends.

Fourth, determine if you are a candidate to relocate. Immediate opportunities, necessity, cost of living requirements and your level of experience are all things to be taken into consideration here.

Fifth, Once you interview and are offered a job, there will never be a better opportunity to ask for more money than at this time. You need to know everything stated above. Here’s how to negotiate for a better compensation plan:

1. Thank the hiring manager for the opportunity. Let them know how excited you are about joining the organization.

2. Hopefully they will walk you through a written offer outlining the compensation package.

3. Make sure you completely understand this. Clarify anything that is unclear.

4. If you have a family involved, let them know you’d like to review their offer with your family and would it be ok to get back with them tomorrow or the next day.

5. Review the offer with family/friends.

6. If the offer is exactly what you want and you do not have any issues, accept.

7. If you want to ask for more hourly, salary, commissions, bonus, paid time off, etc. now is the time. Repeat: There will never be a better time to negotiate than now!

8. Negotiate. Remind the hiring manager how interested you are in the opportunity with the company. Let them know based on a well thought out evaluation what your issues are: Salary isn’t going to cover cost of living changes, transportation/parking charges, insurance contributions etc. Ask them if there is anything they can do to bridge the gap with a higher salary/package, etc? Sometimes they have offered you the max, and you need to be able to accept the offer (if it works for you) with a well thought out presentaion.

9. The best time to land a better job is while you are still employed! Your negotiation power is at the peak!

As an example, I was offered a position in Chicago. I was living in Wisconsin. After doing the math, I determined the move was not going to be financially sound and explained why. (I researched rents, food, auto insurance, parking, etc.) The company came back to me with a $20,000 increase from their initial offer!

Do your homework; study the art of negotiation and you will position yourself at the top of the pay scale in the fitness industry.


Alan Cohen is the Founder and President of FitnessJobs.com and The Career Collection. Alan has spent over 35 years in the fitness industry and founded FitnessJobs.com 11+ years ago. Alan is passionate about the fitness and recreation industry and loves helping employers and employees connect for fruitful relationships. Check out Trade Talk on FitnessJobs.com for more fitness indsutry tips and information. For more information about recruiting on FitnessJobs.com call 800-259-4397

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fitness Jobs, Tattoos and Body Piercings

What's your company policy on tattoos and body piercings? If it's not in writing, it doesn't exist and you will probably get sued sooner rather than later.

In this day and age with a significant percent of the health and fitness work force in their 20's, your company needs to take a stand on tattoos and piercings. Be liberal, be conservative; that's your choice. But put it in writing so your hiring managers know what the policy is and to protect yourself from legal actions.

 
If you want a "no visible" tattoo and piercing policy than you need to have a written policy in your company manual.  Once you provide employees with a well versed company policy, it can aid in avoiding legal issues in all aspects of the work environment. Once written into the policy, it can stand as legal ground, and if violated the company can take whatever action that they need to remedy the problem. Many fitness industry companies feel that they need these policies in place in order to protect the public image of their business.

Some companies allow employees to cover up tattoos and ask employees to remove piercings before they come to work. Some companies allow opaque makeup. Some companies make decisions on a case by case basis. Whatever your policy is put it in your company manual.

Also, once your policy is in writing you must be CONSISTENT enforcing it. Make sure your new employees sign that they have read and understand your dress code and related policies. Employers are allowed to impose dress codes and appearance policies as long as they do not discriminate on race, color, religion, age, national origin or gender.


If you don't have a company manual, take a look at our previous blog and get it going. It's not that difficult to do, particularly if you buy a template online.

Alan Cohen is the Founder and President of FitnessJobs.com and The Career Collection. Alan has spent over 35 years in the fitness industry and founded FitnessJobs.com 11+ years ago. Alan is passionate about the fitness and recreation industry and loves helping employers and employees connect for fruitful relationships. Check out Trade Talk on FitnessJobs.com for more fitness indsutry tips and information. For more information about recruiting on FitnessJobs.com call 800-259-4397.