Batting a Thousand in the Sales Office: Gym Owner Shares Secrets

Joanne Cogle and title text

Mike (00:02):

You work hard to get your leads to come to your gym for free consultations, but people just don’t buy. Today, we talked to Joanne Cogle, who knows how to close the deal. She shares her secrets after this.

Chris (00:14):

Back to the show in just a minute. When it comes to owning a gym, it can be really tough to show your members their progress and keep them engaged long term. Level Method provides experienced gym owners with a visual step-by-step fitness progression system that’s fun, engaging and easy to use. With Level Method, your clients can reach their fitness goals faster and safer than ever before and become raving fans of your gym. Go to levelmethod.com to find out more. I use this product at my gym, it helped with my conversion from my on-ramp program into ongoing group coaching, and it’s also boosted my retention over time.

Mike (00:50):

Every month, Two-Brain tracks metrics from hundreds of gyms around the world. Then we find out how the owners produce the incredible numbers. This month, we’re looking at set show and close rates. If you’re new to marketing, set rate is the percentage of leads who book an appointment with you, show rate is the percentage of people who actually come to those appointments and close rate is the percentage of attendees who actually buy something. Joanne Cogle of CrossFit CSG in Georgia was one of our close leaders and she’s here today. All right, Joanne. Welcome to Two-Brain Radio. And thank you so much for being here. Congratulations on being one of our leaders for February.

Joanne (01:24):

Oh, thank you. I’m happy to be here.

Mike (01:27):

I can’t wait to ask you some of these questions because a lot of people, you know, it’s not like it was 10 years ago where every lead who shows up to your gym just buys. And that’s what it was like 10 years ago when you were the only CrossFit gym in town or whatever it was, it’s much harder to sell now. But your close rate was outstanding. You sold to everyone in February. How has your rate changed over time and what got it to this amazing 100% number?

Joanne (01:50):

I mean, I can assure you, it has not always been a hundred percent. Don’t think I’m a super person, we’re watching super girl, my daughter and I, I’m not Super Girl. But we’ve done a lot of hard work and I have finally listened to my mentor and follow the instructions and jumped when she said jump. And it’s working. And so we, statistically speaking February is actually one of our bigger months anyway. It’s kind of the month when everyone figures out that their globo gym January didn’t really work and their new year’s resolution goals are terrible.

Joanne (02:39):

Everything’s kind of falling apart and they’ve paid all their bills. Now they kind of moved on. We’re in actually a big army town here in Columbus. We have Fort Benning right outside of our door, almost quite literally right outside of our door. We’re one of the closest gyms to the base over here. So in February is also what we call PCS or permanent change of station season, and it happens twice a year, once in February. And usually once in July and August, where we have a bunch of people move. And, we actually probably have about two thirds of our gym move and then two thirds of our gym reappear. So yeah, it’s really a strange, and if you’re not used to it, it’s very stressful as a gym owner. So a couple of years ago it was very stressful in my life now just throw it out to the universe and they all reappear. So, but with COVID, it’s been a little bit strange. So, February it’s been not as big of a influx as normal. So we have had some of those people that come in are not associated with Fort Benning, so they do come in looking for a gym and we’re able to close them.

Mike (04:01):

You said back in the day, you weren’t as good at closing as you are now?

Joanne (04:05):

No. I don’t think so. I think, I mean, personally as a business owner myself, I’ve grown and my confidence in believing in the product that I have has grown. And so I think if you believe in what you’re selling, I can talk people into doing a lot of things a lot of the time. So, because I do believe in my product and I do believe that we’re the best. And there’s no comparison to us whatsoever.

Mike (04:42):

I talked to a different gym owner about this. And confidence is such a huge thing, right? Where, and it was actually Jeff Burlingame, our sales expert. Pardon me, confidence in selling is everything right? Because if you don’t believe in the product and you feel kind of wishy-washy, you’re not sure if you can deliver, that shows through. So your confidence, I would guarantee is a big part of your close percentage.

Joanne (05:03):

Oh yeah. And I think, you know, it’s kind of, I was actually just reading a statistic about how many pounds people gain over quarantine and, you know, and I think all of our coaches walk the walk. And so we’re able to, what’s the phrase, you know, you talk the talk, you gotta walk the walk. So I mean, you know, they all follow the programming. They all believe in our product. And I mean, I’m not the only one that’s selling, by far because I’m doing other gym owner things, like all other things. So, but so like our coaches and the people who are setting the no sweat intros, I mean they heavily, heavily believe in our product then. And some of them have coached at other gyms around the area. And some of them have not. But I mean, we’re by far the best gym in the area, I can say that with a hundred percent unbiased opinion.

Mike (06:07):

And you make me want to think so, too. So I love, I love that confidence. You hit on something really interesting and you had a great close rate and yet you don’t do all the sales, which is really cool because, when you start at a gym, you are going to be the sales person by default. There is no avoiding that, but eventually you’re going to want to replace yourself in that role. And the standard that Two-Brain talks about is if the owner replaces himself or herself in that role, the replacement has to at least equal the closing percentage or do better. So you hit a hundred percent with some staff members, I want to talk about that a little bit, because it’s very important for people who are looking to change things up in their gym, maybe not do it all themselves. Well, let’s walk through your process. So first, can you tell me how you get the right leads to show up for appointments? Because I understand you have a bit of a pre-screening process.

Joanne (06:55):

Yeah. So, I heavily drink the Chris Cooper Kool-Aid.

Mike (06:59):

it’s a sweet beverage.

Joanne (07:02):

It’s a sweet beverage. And, so I am probably Gym Lead Machine’s number one ambassador as well. Yeah. So we switched to Gym Lead Machine in August of this year. I by former trade am a web designer. So it was a little bit hard to give up. But it has been the best thing in the world that has ever happened to me. And so we do use Gym Lead Machine kind of as a pre-screen process where we, you know, all of our social media drives people towards our website. And a lot of our no-sweat intros book off of Gym Lead Machine, or if they click the link that’s in our link tree, on our social media, it dumps them into Gym Lead Machine, which has that nurture process as well.

Joanne (08:03):

And so we massage that nurture process quite a bit. I actually, again, back to Mr. Cooper, Kool-Aid, I actually use his lead nurture that, I don’t know if it’s free and it’s been a while now, I don’t know if it’s pre-installed or if I re-installed it. But I think that he wrote all of the things in there. So, I mean, I’ve edited a few of them to make them sound less Chris Cooper and more Joanne Cogle, but, you know, and so it drops them into those pipelines and it starts the conversation. And then my CSM massages the conversation a little bit, and we’ve edited a little bit of the Gym Lead Machine where, you know, it won’t automatically send them certain things after we start talking to them. Just because then it becomes a little bit more scripted, but communication is probably our number one selling point or reason that we’re able to set those no sweat intros is that it doesn’t matter. I mean, isometimes it’s a little annoying. It goes to my phone and in the morning, like, I mean, I wake up pretty early and if I see somebody sent me a no sweat intro at like 2:00 AM, you know, I’m going to respond to them probably by eight or somebody is going to respond to them. So communication is super, super important to us and starting that conversation. And that usually, in February it created some no sweat intros. So that’s generally our thought process.

Mike (09:39):

  1. Mateo Lopez, of Gym Lead Machine and also Two-Brain Business has talked about lead nurturing is just such an important part of it. And he said, that is just the secret is anybody can get a lead, but not everyone can get that lead to show up. And it’s that nurturing. It’s the time to response, the nurturing, the emails, the texts, the video messages, all that stuff that actually does a ton of work getting people in the door. And I think you just hit on it exactly what he said. If you really want leads to show up, you need to pick up the phone.

Joanne (10:08):

Yeah. We do a lot through, we don’t do a ton through phone. We do a lot through text and I just find that my, and I used to do it through my personal phone, which is like a Hawaii area code, which I got zero responses because everybody thought I was like, you know, a spam call. So I mean, and Gym Lead Machine provides you with a local number. So, but we just find that a lot of people respond to text messages over phone calls. Nobody really, and we’ll call occasionally if we don’t get a response from text messages, but we get more responses from text messages than we do from phone calls.

Mike (11:04):

It’s great that you know that, so the idea pick up not, maybe not for you pick up the phone, pick up a mobile phone. And that works just fine. The best part though, is that because if you don’t know that you don’t even know what your clients prefer, you want to use the client’s preferred means of communication. For me, I’m the same way I hate answering the phone. I like text. I would love to see a text from your response to my entry onto your website, as opposed to a phone call, which I just don’t want to talk to you right away. I’d like to see a text.

Joanne (11:30):

Right. Right. And I think being upfront like, I know Brian Strump, I think he touched on it. In the growth group in one of forums, somebody had asked, you know, do you put your pricing on your website? And I mean, our price, our beginning pricing is on our website, but just being upfront about it. And, so people know what you’re getting into. And then, just being honest about it, like people will ask what our pricing is, and this is what our pricing is. And if we’re kind of at, I told Eden this last week, we are at a point in our gym growth that we don’t have to chase after every single person. And so if you want to be there, this is our pricing and this is what it is. And that’s it.

Mike (12:30):

That’s great. That’s the confidence showing through. And again, Chris Cooper has written a blog on when you should put prices on your website, because the answer is not the same for everyone at every stage. Right? So we’re going to put that link in the show notes for you to take a look at, I’d encourage you to take a look because some people will succeed and some people will succeed with a different strategy. And Chris will tell you exactly which one to use. And when I want to ask you this question.

Joanne (12:53):

We haven’t always been like that. Yeah, we’ve evolved.

Mike (12:58):

So here’s a question for you. You said that you’re at a point where you can kind of pick and choose who you want, who do you not want at your gym and why?

Joanne (13:06):

I think it’s in some of our notes that we talked about before, our gym thrives on beginners and people who are not YouTube CrossFitters. We are not the scary CrossFit gym we are. If I could have affiliated with the gym named average joes, which was already taken, I would have. We are a normal people CrossFit. And that’s a lot of time when I’m talking to somebody in no sweat intro, that’s almost a direct quote what I’ll tell them, I’ll ask them, what do you know about CrossFit? And they say, I’ve Googled it. And I say, Oh dear. Oh, no, we are not that. So, and then that is almost an immediate icebreaker and it is, we are normal CrossFit. We are for everybody.

Joanne (14:04):

And the more beginner you are the better. So, we thrive on the people who are new to the sport, who just want to be better. And, I really love our guys who are coming in from Fort Benning, you know, who are going to ranger school and who are, you know, training for their next, I don’t know, best ranger competition. I mean, I really love having those guys around, because I do think that it provides a rounded gym atmosphere. But I do really think that being able to watch people’s successes is rewarding for the coaches. It’s rewarding for me. And it’s rewarding for everybody else, for our community.

Mike (14:56):

You know, I’m glad you mentioned the military. Cause I was going to ask you that when you said you catered to beginners, but I, you know, the military generally has this, you wouldn’t expect, I mean, there is a fitness component to the military and you’ve got ranger school there and special forces the whole deal. So I was curious to see how that beginner mindset would apply when you’re, like you said, literally right out the front door of Fort Benning. That’s really interesting,

Joanne (15:19):

Right? Yeah. Well, it is really interesting because we have, the Army has the new ACFT test, which is the new Army PT test, which is very CrossFitty, and so we have, rather than just the standard push-ups, sit-ups and two mile run and other like Rangers have different tests, but the new PT test is very, you know, there’s a ball throwsled drag there’s arm pulls, there’s a deadlift, shuttle run. Yeah. So there’s all different components. And we have seen an influx of Army people or military people come in and want to hone their skills for the new PT test, because they’re doing it incorrectly from untrained people in the Army.

Mike (16:12):

Sorry to interrupt you. This is fascinating. Is that PT test standard across the military now?

Joanne (16:18):

It kind of changes every day. I think, my husband’s active duty, so I should probably know more. I’m not a very good army wife.

Mike (16:31):

Yeah. But the point that I want to get at is that if gyms are near army bases and this new test is happening, that’s someplace where they might want to look at, you know, marketing. That’s interesting.

Joanne (16:42):

Yeah. Yeah. We actually did pre COVID. We, the ACFT test was, it was kind of, they were doing some prelim stuff and then it was supposed to take into effect October 2020, I think. And then obviously COVID happened and they shut down the gyms and, you know, no one can have those expectations of passing that with no gyms. So they’ve kind of pushed it back a little bit, but pre COVID, we ran up a bunch of train up clinics that we opened up and they’re pretty popular, especially because it was just skill-based. So we just took the six movements, divided them into two weekends and then had a pre-test and post-test, and basically ran it as a practice for them. So if you are with a military base, it is for the Army anyway, that’s the new PT test that is pending.

Mike (17:38):

That means when we get a great idea on Two-Brain Radio, we bring in the revenue riff. Here it is. That is a very cool idea. And that might not relate exactly to close rate, but again, it might, if you are near a military base, you can get these people to come and talk to you and you can solve their problems with your program.

Chris (18:02):

We know that getting clients results isn’t enough to make a great business or a great career, but it is the foundation. If you’re not getting your clients results, none of the other stuff matters. Your marketing plan, your operations plan, your retention plan, your systems, how much you care about the clients. You need to get them results. What does it take to get a client results? Long-term behavior change, short-term habit change. It means learning skills like motivational interviewing, peer-to-peer programming. It means focusing on things like adherence and retention instead of novelty. And I built twobraincoaching.com with my partner, Josh Martin, to teach coaches how to do this. More than ever before it is critical to get results for your clients. You need to charge a premium fee. You need to provide high value to warrant that fee. And what is most valuable to the client? What do they care about the most? The results on the goal that they choose. Twobraincoaching.com has programs set up to help your clients achieve those goals. We will train you and your coaches to deliver personal training, group training, online training, nutrition coaching, and coming soon, mindset coaching, in a way that’s simple for you to adopt, it’s legal everywhere. And it’s super effective. These courses were built by experts with years of experience getting clients results. Twobraincoaching.com is a labor of love for me, and I know you’re going to love it too.

Mike (19:29):

So let’s talk about your consultation process. Walk me through this thing, starting from the time the client arrives, like, how does this, how does this work? Because I know it starts right from the second they, you know, get into your parking lot.

Joanne (19:40):

And again, it comes back to communication where our signage is kind of funky and the sign is actually on the wrong side, away from our parking lot. So it starts from Gym Lead Machine, letting them know that they have an appointment tomorrow and then that they have an appointment in an hour, and most often people will confirm that, which is great, we know that they’re coming. And then, and then we communicate, Hey, look, you know, you can park in this great parking lot. Just ignore the signs that say don’t park there.

Joanne (20:23):

And that’s super, super helpful for them because then they know what they’re looking for. And they do feel a little bit more comfortable. We meet them at the door.

New Speaker (20:30):

Oh, I got to stop you there. And I’m sorry to interrupt, but I’ve heard this now from so many people meeting clients at the door for sales meetings. And again, this isn’t an official Two-Brain policy, but I’ve heard enough people talk about it that if I, as a gym owner was going to have a sales meeting, I would be standing at the door waiting because I’ve heard this from a number. I think you’re the third one that’s told me about this. Who’s had great numbers. Tell me more about that.

Joanne (20:55):

We are the Walmart greeters of, I mean, if you just follow the people who are doing it right. Walmart does it right. So follow the people who are making the most money in the world. So Walmart has a greeter. So why shouldn’t I have a greeter? Yeah. I mean, and sometimes if I know that they’re coming, they’ll say they’re on their way. I’ll actually walk out to the parking lot. Because our signage is a little weird. So, and then I’ll walk them into, I’ll physically walk them into the gyms because we have a big space. And I think even if you don’t have a big space, we’ve gone from 1500 square feet to 8,900 square feet over the last couple of years. And even when you went from, even when you came in to 1500 square feet, it looks like a torture chamber.

Joanne (21:52):

If you’ve never been to a CrossFit, it looks like there’s like, yeah, there’s like metal tires, you know, ropes hanging from the ceiling, you know, people lying on the floor, you know, it’s like, it looks terrible. I mean, I’ve been there. Super intimidating to some people. So especially if they’re new and they’ve never been in a gym before. And so, meeting them at the door and even saying look, I know this is kind of an intimidating situation, but it’s going to be great. I use that a lot. It’s gonna be great. It’s all going to be fine. It’s going to be great. And, you know, we walk in and we kind of talk, depending on the time of day, talk about what’s going on, ask them if they’ve, you know, if they’ve gone to CrossFit before, usually I know a little bit of background, cause I’ve chatted with them on Gym Lead Machine text a little bit back and forth.

Joanne (22:51):

And then I actually, we have two spots in our gym. We have my office, which serves as like the intro area as well. And then we have a member lounge, which has a giant fish tank in it. But it is on the main floor. And so a lot of the times it’s too noisy to sit there. And so, if it’s between classes, we’ll hang out on the couches. But a lot of the times we’ll just say, Hey, look, it’s going to get kind of loud out here. Let’s just go into the office. It’s a little weird with COVID, but most people are fine with it. So we head into the office and then chat about what their goals are and where they want to be and what their background is. You know, there’s always the be personable and happy and nice.

Mike (23:37):

So what you’re doing here is you’re controlling this person’s perceptions and providing context right from the get-go and think, you know, I think back back when we ran a gym, we don’t have a physical space anymore, but when we had people arrive, I couldn’t stand it when I was supposed to meet someone. And I was occupied in the gym when that person was arriving and that person would come in and get to look around before I got to talk to him or her, because it was exactly like you said, they look around, and there’s someone like lying on the floor. There’s, you know, it’s a horrible thing for a brand new person to see, despite the fact that it’s actually magical in application. Right. And so I did not like that. And eventually when we had people, like dedicated salespeople doing this, it was, we didn’t have as good a system as you do, but wow. Did it ever help just to have someone who is able to explain like, OK, this is normal, you’ll understand shortly, let’s talk first. Right. And that was so important. So you’ve done an amazing job of that. Talk to me about your prescriptive process. You said you ask questions, you’re obviously finding about goals and things like that. How do you present stuff? Like when it’s time, when you hear about their goals, you find about their motivations, why they want what they want, what’s the conversation look like? How do you present the price? How do you close these things?

Joanne (24:49):

I think it really depends on, and maybe this kind of goes against some of the conversations, but it works for us. We’re not a huge hybrid selling gym in membership wise. So we don’t do a lot of hybrid sales of, I mean, I do so that I can get past the little thing on the roadmap, because I need to be goal-driven and I need to get to the end. But we don’t do a whole lot of hybrid sales. And so we usually present it as, you know, you, we have these two membership options, and we usually start them with the membership and not with the nutrition. And the reason that we do that and we’ve had a lot more personal training people coming in.

Joanne (25:44):

And I think that’s just kind of the CEO thing that somebody put in the growth group the other day about flipping your SEO to personal training. So we’ve had a lot more personal training people coming in and we’ll start them with, you know, a couple 30 minute personal trainings and then flip them over and do a class. So we usually just give them the two class options and the foundation, because we’re so close to Fort Benning, our on ramp, we don’t require it because we would be doing on-ramps all day long every day forever. Because we have so many people with CrossFit backgrounds that are coming in and out all the time, but it is the easiest sell that for a new person in the history of selling to do an on-ramp, if they’re brand new.

Joanne (26:35):

And, so we just say, look, we, I think that you should do these two on-ramps, it’s not required, but it’s going to make you feel much more comfortable. It’s going to keep our classes safer. It’s going to help our classes run better. And you’re not going to feel like the person in the back of the aerobics class, who’s doing three moves behind and everyone relates to that. So they all relate to being the person in the back of the class, not knowing what’s going on and knowing that we’re able to take care of them and make them feel the most comfortable possible that on-ramp is the easiest thing ever. And then we put them into either our punch card option, which everyone has their opinions on that or our unlimited membership, which we only have one it’s just it’s either this or that. So, yeah, I think it’s stripping out those choices makes it a little bit easier for people to make that decision and just go for it. And I mean, and obviously in February, everyone, I mean, that’s just those are your choices and it’s worked very well for us.

Mike (27:40):

So just to give listeners a little bit of perspective, you referred to hybrid memberships, which we talk about, those are generally like personal training and nutrition group classes and personal training it’s combination stuff. And when you refer to the Two-Brain roadmap, you know, these hybrid memberships can really be tied to high average revenue per member because you’ve got a group class plus nutrition. It often equals in the range of 250, $300. So one of the things that we have on our roadmap is using that to drive up average revenue per member. You’ve chosen a different strategy based on your exact market and a real understanding of who you’re working with. So let me ask you this question. You don’t have to answer that exact number, but I’m curious about your average revenue per member with this strategy that you have. Are you looking to drive it up or how do you look at that?

Joanne (28:23):

Yeah, so like our ARM rate is, it’s gone up an, because we know that our client is our main person who we’re going after is going to be the beginner, or it’s going to be the person who’s never done CrossFit before, for us to offer them CrossFit, nutrition, and personal training all at one time is going to blow their mind. And they’re not especially adding the nutrition in there with the CrossFit. Most of the time they will flip over, they will add nutrition in three or four months. Yeah. And we know, I mean, we’ve got some, you know, we run a couple of kickstart, we used to call them nutrition challenges, but we call them kickstarts now. We’ll say challenges a couple of times a year, just to kind of move people in that direction.

Joanne (29:21):

And we talk about nutrition and we put our nutrition on our, I send out a blog post or a love letter every Sunday. And it alternates between gym driven and nutrition driven. So it’s four a month, and so that they know about nutrition and nutrition is in their faces. And so they’re gonna likely flip over to a new, like a hybrid membership. We just don’t sell it right off the bat, just because it’s overwhelming, because they’re already trying to learn what, you know, OHS means on the board. Already trying to figure out all of the acronyms, which, you know, it’s frustrating to the new person.

Mike (30:12):

So that’s cool. Like, I’m really glad I asked that question, because what it shows is that you have a real understanding of your client journey. And that’s something that Chris has been talking about so regularly is understanding who your clients are and what their process is going to be through your gym. And for some gyms, and I’ve talked to some owners, some like they’re attracting members, and they only want to sell these hybrid packages and they are doing that, and they’re having great success. And that works for their client journey. For your client journey, which you’ve clearly taken a look at, you’re finding that if you start them with something smaller and more focused, eventually in that client journey, they’re probably going to add something on when they’re ready. And I’m going to guess, correct me if I’m wrong here, that you probably have, you know, you’ve got this process of marketing and, you know, alerting people to the different things that you have. Do you do 90 day goal reviews?

Joanne (31:00):

Oh yeah, we do now. So it’s actually, you know, we’re going to talk about nutrition in our goal-setting sessions. Also, because this is again, my Gym Lead Machine plug, you know, once we move our athletes, our members, over to a different pipeline in Gym Lead Machine, then they now get a different lead nurture, which I guess they’re not lead nurture, I guess it’s client nurture. But it’s also going to talk about nutrition. So it’s going to send them emails about nutrition and we’re going to bring it back up. And it sends them about personal training too. So, and about all of our, all of our different programs that we have. And so, I mean, it’s in their face quite a bit. I mean, that’s when you’re doing their goal, your goal setting sessions, you know, we’re gonna be talking about personal training and we’re going to be talking about nutrition and sometimes they’re good and sometimes they’re not.

Mike (32:07):

Let be clear that that 90 day goal review session, that’s a sales meeting, right? It’s either a sales meeting in terms of retention where you have to sell this, like resell this current client on your service. And there’s a whole script in Two-Brain with how to do that. It’s, you know, alerting them to the bright spots that they’ve had, asking them about their new goals, setting out new prescriptions. And that’s where the upselling comes in in terms of, OK, you want to make faster progress on weight loss. I’m going to recommend that you keep training at the rate that you are, maybe add one personal training session, but really you need our nutrition program in addition. And then you’re obviously supplying them with a solution to their problem. So the whole thing is fascinating. And I love that, you know, I’m going to guess that in those 90 day goal review sessions, you probably have a pretty good number of upgrades. Is that right?

Joanne (32:52):

I mean, we have a fair amount. I think it’s kind of important to know that like, even if they don’t choose your, and this is just client retention, kind of 101, I think it’s, even if they don’t choose your nutrition and they want to go do keto, or they want to go do, I don’t know, Bulletproof coffee or something like that. You know, I think it’s super important to support their choice. So regardless of whether they choose you, they’re likely always going to come back to you. But, I have a couple of people who have had really great success in weight loss who are doing their own program, but I mean, it happens to be keto. So, but I know in probably 90 days, they’re probably gonna come back to me, but they’re going to come back to me because I’ve already supported them through their current choice. So even if they shut you down and don’t want to follow that, as long as you do support them, they’re going to stick around.

Mike (33:58):

Chris talked about that, you know, back in the day, he said he used to slam like insanity and at-home fitness stuff people were doing, and he’d say why his program was so much better. He said that he stopped doing that because he realized that these people were, it was like the gateway drug, they were starting intense fitness. They’re your on-ramp, essentially.

Joanne (34:18):

I am Orangetheory’s number one fan. I mean, it’s a direct feeder for me. So I mean, they get bored over there and then they come to our constantly very functional fitness.

Mike (34:44):

I love that. And that’s that abundance mindset. And that’s knowing, you know, where you fit in a client’s life. So I, you know, you have more than most of the gym owners that I’ve spoken to on the podcast, you have a really good idea of like what your business is, who you serve and how you serve them. And I think that’s, if you know, again, going back to that confidence thing that you were talking about just from talking to you here, I can feel that confidence and I guarantee that your clients can. I’m going to ask you one specific question here about staffing. How do you make your staff close as well as you do? Is there anything specific in terms of training that you’ve done to make that happen?

Joanne (35:17):

My staff is better than I am. So, I was standing on the floor yesterday and I had somebody, I had a coach who was a little bit late for traffic reasons. And I had stepped in to warm up the class and I thought to myself, I am a terrible coach and these people are so much better than I am. And I sat back and watched some more classes warm up yesterday. And I was like, man, I am the weak link in my staff. My staff is awesome. If they ever listen to this, they are what makes the gym go round. Without them, there would be no gym, and members obviously.

Joanne (36:16):

They’ve all been with me probably for at least four or five, six years, before I was even with Two-Brain, before we even affiliated, I’ve had a couple that have moved away and come back. I probably learned more from them than they learned from me at this point. So, they just believe in our products so much and believe in health and fitness being like a necessity for life that they are better closers than I am.

Mike (36:58):

  1. That’s awesome. Do you have, like, do you have an SOP, like a set of standard operating procedures or a sales training binder or something like that?

Joanne (37:05):

Of course we do, Mike.

Mike (37:07):

  1. So there it is.

Joanne (37:10):

We went through the incubator. Of course we do. We do have an SOP. And I’ve got actually, we’re onboarding a new coach and so to go back and go through that and teach her how to onboard and sell a new client, it’s good practice for us. And so, I mean, I know that she’s going to be just fine, just following the instructions. And, I mean, it just comes down to confidence in your product and knowing that you’re the best. And cause I mean, Two-Brain Businesses are among the best in the world. So, and you’re doing, you’re learning from the best. So knowing that your product is better than average joe down the street because you have the policies and you have the procedures. You’re always going to be on top.

Mike (38:12):

So I’m going to ask you for a final piece of advice, but I’m going to steal your two best things right off the bat. The first one is confidence. Like I’ve said this a number of times throughout the show and you reiterated it with your staff, confidence in your product is huge. So that means you need to show value to your clients, justify your prices. You need to show value to your staff, help them understand that they are valuable. The service is valuable. You are the best in town. You are doing the best thing ever for your clients. Confidence is number one. Number two is having that book and binder of standard operating procedures so that when you bring a new coach in, that coach can eventually become as good as the current employees, or if you’re the only person selling a gym, you can then offload that role to someone else who will either meet your standards or surpass them, which you’ve done, which is a really, really cool thing. Because as an entrepreneur, you don’t want to be the best in everything you want to hire the best people for everything. So do you have any other tips if you were going to give a gym owner, just one other tip on closing, what would it be now that I’ve stolen your two best ones?

Joanne (39:12):

Be nice. Just be nice and I mean a fun fact, I actually also grew up in Canada, in Ontario. I can say as a Canadian, I feel like being nice is very important. And be empathetic to people’s situations, not sympathetic, just be empathetic to their situation and listen. I guess that’s two in one be kind and be empathetic and listen. So I guess that’s three. And let them do the talking, they’re there for a reason and they just need some help, so help them. You have you have the tools to help them. So, I mean, and that’s what Two-Brain’s all about, you know, help first. So we’re there for you. We just need to give them the tools to help.

Mike (40:17):

We’re just two Canadians being nice to each other on Two-Brain Radio. Joanne, thanks so much for being here. That was Joanne Cogle from Georgia. And I’m Mike Warkentin. This is Two-Brain Radio. If you have not done so, you need to join the Gym Owners United group on Facebook. Chris regularly post articles, instructional videos, and advice in there. It’s the only public group he’s in. That’s Gym Owners United on Facebook. Join today and be sure to tune into Two-Brain Radio for all the great episodes coming up.

 

Thanks for listening!

On Monday, Two-Brain Radio presents marketing tips and success stories. Chris Cooper delivers the best of the business world on Two-Brain Radio every Thursday. 

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