Hiring an Advisor a.k.a Sales Person
Once you’ve implemented the sales process, you’ll need to hire someone with this skill set to manage the client communications, organize process, and be accountable for results. This person is normally hired as the “membership coordinator” or “yoga or barre advisor”. More often than not the word “sales” is not in the title, but rather in the job description!
The skill set you are looking for is at least 1 year of sales experience, strong organizational skills, excellent customer service, detail oriented, and an independent work style. There are other skills you may desire in your salesperson, and you can add them as you see fit. The job entails follow up with all clients on specific offers through the life of their offer, managing email and phone communications, input or design of emails/social posts, organization of the process both in physical and online formats, the ability to close a sale, comfortable interaction with all types of clients and ability to work with minimal supervision. Your advisor or coordinator will work an average of 5 - 20 hours per week on sales, which is dependent on scale of business. If you own a small studio with less than 50 new people a month, then 5 hours per week make sense. If you own a large or multi location studio, then this person could work anywhere from 15-40 hours per week.
Payment is in form of an hourly wage, typically around the minimum, with a healthy commission structure for closed auto pay membership sales and packages. The most common commission is a fixed dollar award for every auto pay sold, which is paid out at the end of each month. Other forms of commission can include the dollar award for auto pay, another amount for packages, and also a tiered bonus where you create levels of larger payouts based on bigger goals. For example, the yoga advisor will earn $20 per every auto pay sold, $10 for every package sold, and a $500 bonus if conversion reaches 30% for 3 months in a row*. This person should work from the studio during slow hours, but also be on hand during busy times to get to know clientele. Be sure to promote them on your website on the pricing page and on a stand up marketing piece near the front desk. This legitimizes them to your clientele when they call and email. The salesperson should have their own private phone number and separate email address for all communication.
A qualified and skilled sales person will be attracted to the commission, and not to the hourly wage. Be sure to interview very well, check references, as at least 10-12 thoughtful questions, record the answers, and train thoroughly. A skilled salesperson can make the difference between a just existing studio and a super successful one! Once pricing and marketing is in place, this is the person that doubles and triples your revenue month after month and year over year. Hire well and reward for performance!
*to compute conversion percentages please see the Brandbot Retention Webinar.
The goal of your website is to sell packages and memberships while also encouraging scheduling classes or booking appointments online. More often than not, the website is disorganized, not visual enough, and is so confusing that most clients give up before buying or scheduling. This is easy enough to remedy with a few steps.
The homepage should have a large scale, clear, high-resolution photograph of people engaged in your services. They should be smiling, facing the camera, and in a posture easily accessible to a beginning student. This photograph should take up the top 1/3 of your screen or more. Right beneath it should be three big, clear, and colorful call to action buttons. The text should be large and in clear font. The call to action buttons are used to incite action to either purchase or schedule. The first one is normally the intro offer call to action, typically with text that says, “Introductory Offer – New Students” with the price and amount of days included. The second call to action button should direct them to book their classes or appointments online. The third call to action button can be directing them towards purchasing another service, the membership page, or new client page. You can use the third call to action button for any other action you’d like them to take.
Your pricing page is another area where you want to incite action. Every package or membership you offer should have a “Buy Now” button next to it that links to the corresponding pricing option in MINDBODY. Your pricing page should begin with the intro offer and membership options on top, and the lower commitment options towards the bottom.
Other pages such as the new client or membership page, should have links to purchase associated packages as well as a “Schedule Now” button.
Your class or appointment page benefits from getting the Healcode widget, which embeds your schedule into the website making the experience seamless for your client. They never leave the website. Be sure all classes and appointments are available for online booking. If you offer appointments and don’t want clients to have free reign on the schedule, you can always offer the appointment request option from MINDBODY which allows you or your staff to approve the request before they are able to book.
If your website is not acting as an online store or booking pathway, your business is losing thousands of dollars in sales every day and potential clients to the competition. People want to be able to book and pay for what they want, when they want it, instantly.
Sales = Education
For some business owners in the wellness industry, “sales” is a dirty word! However, to increase revenue and attendance, which is synonymous with success, growth and expansion - one must view “sales” as necessary. As someone who has spent most of my working life in sales, in one way or another, I can honestly say that to be successful with it is to educate. Reframing the word sales, as education is refreshing and changes the way you speak to clients. Your goal is to give excellent customer service, which includes informing in a motivating, friendly, and consistent way. To be confident of what you offer, your services, the benefits, the results, the business itself is attractive to clients.
99% of your clients will want to understand more about your services and more importantly, how participating will transform their bodies and minds. The more you, your staff, and teachers can explain these areas in depth and with knowledge, the more packages and memberships you will sell. It’s almost as if selling is the bi-product of a well informed client - the goal is not to push anything, but rather to educate, provide answers, discuss in detail, and be very knowledgeable - an expert.
Once you train staff and teachers with this philosophy and the information you desire to put out there, then they can focus on the nuts and bolts of packages and memberships. By that, I mean how much each class costs under each pricing option, the benefits, the expirations, the perks, the frequency you recommend to see change. It’s education first, sales second.
Steps to Selling Auto Pay Memberships
Selling an auto pay membership consists of three steps, which includes pricing, time sensitive discount, and follow up.
Step one: the pricing of an auto pay membership should reflect the best deal for the medium and high user of your services. A medium user is someone who comes the “medium” amount of times per month to your studio. A high user is someone who comes a “high” amount of times per month to your studio. Your goal with the auto pay is to make the price per class the best deal for these groups of people. For example, if your medium user comes 6 times per month on average to your studio and pays an average price of $15 per class, then an auto pay at $90 per month would be a good deal for them if the drop in class is $22-$25. A high user, who comes 8 times a month or more, would pay only $11.25 per class on this membership. You are trying to create a deal that encourages purchase based on price and frequency. Auto pay memberships reward high attendance and commitment.
Step two: a time sensitive discount should be used to encourage decision -making before the intro offer expires on the auto pay membership. Typically this discount is $10 - $20 off the listed online price. The client gets the discount on the auto pay membership every month that they are on contract, if they buy it before the intro offer expires. For example, if your auto-pay membership is priced at $110 online, you could offer $20 off which would make it $90 per month ongoing. Keep in mind, that this only works if you stick to the deadline for getting the deal. Procrastination is a common human trait if there’s no urgency to act! The discount, although nominal, is enough to get new clients to purchase within a 4-week period.
Step 3: the follow up process is critical to auto pay membership sales. I recommend a 5-step process that consists of emails, phone calls, and in person check in’s to increase conversion. The first email goes out automatically after the new client takes their first class with you. This email is welcoming, encouraging, reassuring and motivating. Next, within 2 days, your advisor will call the new client with a welcome phone call or check in with them after class that same day. In the second week, a preview email that describes the benefits of membership with the incentive and deadline goes out to all clients on the intro offer. In the third week, the advisor follows up with all clients who haven’t purchased anything via phone call or in person. In the fourth week, a final descriptive email goes out with urgency to get the deal before it expires. In addition to the follow up process, you must add perks to your membership as well as a low minimum commitment that will continue to auto renew forever until the client submits a 30 day cancellation. Perks can include guest passes, mat rental, discounts on retail, workshops, retreats, events, or partner discounts with other local businesses. Statistics show that offering a 3-month minimum commitment has the best conversion rate over longer commitment options.
When these three steps are implemented and consistent, along with highly visual, brief, and clear emails, conversion rates improve and revenue increases exponentially.