Building a Sales Engine: Who Sells?

A bluish silver gear labeled "sales" meshes with another labeled "marketing."

In the first article in this series, I wrote that you can’t be a successful business owner without selling your service.

The next time you’re in a staff meeting, look at the faces around you and ask, “Which of these people is in charge of sales?”
If you can’t name the person responsible for selling, bad news: It’s you.

Sales: A Critical Role

There are between 12 and 15 roles in every gym. But there are three “meta” roles that really make the business run:

  • Finance
  • Operations
  • Sales

Finance is the territory of your accountant and whoever sets your goals and targets.

Operations is how you coach your clients and clean your bathrooms.
Sales is how you keep your business alive.

Gino Wickman wrote about these “three chairs” (which I call meta roles) in his books “Traction” and “Get a Grip.” Other authors have done the same.
Sales includes offering your services to past clients, current clients and future clients. It means offering your service to your clients’ families, workmates and friends. In other words, sales means helping people with one degree of separation or less.

When you’re selling to strangers, that’s called marketing.

If Selling Is “Everyone’s Job,” It’s No One’s Job

Someone has to be or become good at this.

Now, that doesn’t mean the person has to be dishonest or slimy or greedy. It means the person must do the client the ultimate service: The salesperson must discover how he or she can help the client  first, then help most and then help forever.

I certainly want someone to tell me what to do most of the time. I don’t want to figure out how to change the oil on my new truck. I don’t want to repair the roof on my cottage or change the chain on my chainsaw. I want someone to say, “I’ve got this. What’s your credit card number?”

If you own a gym, your clients don’t want to figure out nutrition on their own (they’ve probably already failed at it). They don’t want to figure out how to avoid an injury. They don’t want to figure out how to do a power clean correctly or how to climb a rope. They want you to solve the problem.

That, my friend, is selling.

And it’s your job.

You need to get comfortable at sales.

But eventually you need to train someone else to be in charge of selling. The move from Farmer Phase to Tinker Phase depends on your ability to pass the Sales hat to someone else on your team.

What stage are you in? Click to take our test.

But most business owners don’t hire salespeople.

Most gym owners hire coaches. Butchers hire assistant butchers. Chefs hire prep cooks. Instead of hiring to fill the holes in their business, they try to duplicate themselves. Then they’re trapped in Farmer Phase forever because no one else can sell clients—so their business can’t grow without their constant presence.

Having a salesperson is a critical step toward wealth. If you’re the only one who can sell your service, you’ll always be tied to your appointment calendar, and your gym will never have a secure foundation.

In the next article in this series, I’ll tell you how to find, train, compensate and manage a salesperson in your gym.

Other Articles in This Series

Building a Sales Engine: Selling Without Selling
Building a Sales Engine: Hiring a Salesperson
Building a Sales Engine: Affinity to Infinity


One more thing!

Did you know gym owners can earn $100,000 a year with no more than 150 clients? We wrote a guide showing you exactly how.