Two-Brain Radio: Jeff Burlingame

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Mateo: 00:01 – Hey, it’s Mateo of Two-Brain Marketing. On this edition of the Two-Brain Marketing podcast, I’m talking with senior Two-Brain mentor Jeff Burlingame, owner of Friction CrossFit in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This episode is all about sales, the final piece in your marketing funnel. Jeff has been selling personal training and fitness since he was 18 years old and is now the sales guru at Two-Brain Business. So you don’t want to miss this. Make sure to subscribe to Two-Brain Radio for more marketing tips and secrets each week.

Greg: 00:34 – Two-Brain Radio is brought to you by Two-Brain Business. We make gyms profitable. We’re going to bring you the very best tips, tactics, interviews in the business world each week. To find out how we can help you create your Perfect Day, book a free call with a mentor at twobrainbusiness.com. We’d like to thank one of our amazing partners, Driven Nutrition. Have you ever been asked by your members or your staff what supplements to take, when to take them and where you should get them? How about the time it takes to put in the orders and making sure you have the right amount of supplements on hand? What about your profit margins on your supplements? Do you know what they are? Are they good, even? Your time is worth something, and ordering supplements isn’t worth your time. Driven Nutrition has solved this for you. They allow you to step aside and use preorders to send to your members for all supplement orders. That way you don’t have to have extra inventory on hand and it allows your members to order the supplements when needed. They’ve created an amazing on-boarding process for new businesses to allow for quick and easy understanding of what they have to offer and true profit margins that most other supplement companies promise but never deliver. This is why I personally use Driven Nutrition within my gym. Go to drivennutrition.net to become a Driven affiliate today.

Mateo: 01:50 – Welcome to the Two-Brain Marketing podcast. I’m your host, Mateo Lopez, I’m one of the digital marketing mentors at Two-Brain Business. Thank you for joining us. This is your weekly dose of digital marketing magic. In today’s episode, we have a really, really, really, really special guest. We’ve got Jeff Burlingame. In my phone, he is labeled as Jeff B Game and he is one of the senior mentors at Two-Brain Business. He’s been around the block and he’s probably talked to more gym owners and I have, and we’re going to learn a little bit about him, his experience and specifically we’re gonna talk about sales. Sales is a really key component to your marketing funnel. You can have really cheap leads and have a lot of people inquiring about your service, but if you can’t close them, it’s all for naught, isn’t that right Jeff?

Jeff: 02:51 – Yeah, absolutely.

Mateo: 02:52 – It’s all for naught. So what’s the point of giving Mark Zuckerberg all your doll hairs if they’re just going to go nowhere? So that’s why I wanted to bring on Jeff today and he cleared some time out of his very busy schedule to talk to me, so I’m very grateful. Jeff, how’s it going?

Jeff: 03:14 – It’s going great, bud. I’m excited to be here. Excited to play along.

Mateo: 03:19 – For those of you who you don’t know, Jeff is a father of two. He lives in Michigan and he enjoys fishing. So Jeff, tell us a little bit about yourself, where you’re from and what’s your business?

Jeff: 03:36 – I mean, you said it all, man, you said it all. Yes. So like you said, I’m from Michigan, Grand Rapids specifically. I own Friction CrossFit, that gym has been open for a little over five years now. We just passed the five-year mark in June.

Mateo: 03:50 – Where’d the name Friction CrossFit come from?

Jeff: 03:52 – I literally flipped pages in an encyclopedia and just found that. I don’t know, like I feel like that was the experience of a lot of people at the time that I set up my gym because CrossFit had started denying the area codes and the city names. So there was already like a CrossFit Grand Rapids and there was a 616 in my area and then like I couldn’t do anything else anyways. So me and couple of guys that were starting out as coaches for me, we just like started throwing names on the board and I submitted, I’m pretty sure 50 names before I got that one approved. There’s a lot of back and forth. There was a lot of really weird names that could have been, but I’m pretty happy with it. I’m happy with what—

Mateo: 04:38 – No, it’s a really cool name. That’s why I was asking. I liked the name. Friction, you know, creates energy, but also you’ll run up against friction in your life and if you can overcome it through strength, speed and power, agility, accuracy, you’ll win.

Jeff: 04:58 – Deep of a meaning. I wish that much thought process went into it. I was literally like, oh, this looks like a good word. Let’s throw that at ’em. I was so done with the process at that point too. I was like, look, pick one of these 10 words for us and we’re in. But it could mean a lot.

Mateo: 05:17 – How did you get into CrossFit? Well first tell me a little bit about your experience with fitness. How did it start and then how did you find CrossFit? Tell me about that.

Jeff: 05:26 – Yeah, so, I’ve been big into fitness since the seventh grade and that was about the time that I was sick of being a chubby kid cause I was a chubby kid, like late elementary school to sixth grade. I was like, what do I do? And I talked to like some football coaches and they’re like, dude, just work out. So I worked out in this like the original high school gym we had at our high school. I went from my middle school, had my mom dropped me off to go work out at high school and it was just this like dingy little like—there was like a heater just like out in the open for the entire school. It was like this really hot room behind our auxiliary gym and just like try to work out with you know, freshmen through seniors in high school and I’m a seventh grader, so it was really a nerve-wracking situation. But, I grew to love just lifting weights and I’ve been doing that obviously ever since.

Mateo: 06:21 – Dude just worked out. That was the answer. Dude, just work out.

Jeff: 06:25 – Just work out. That was literally the answer from my middle-school football coach. So thanks to, props to him. Yeah, so like that was the beginning of it. I took classes in high school and then there were some local gyms I joined after high school and got like really big into it. So like around the time I was 18, I got my first certification to be a personal trainer. Started doing training. From there I trained through college and I went to Michigan State University and trained on campus. And then I got a job off campus and that was my first sales job. I had two sales jobs at the same time. I was working at Dick’s Sporting Goods as well. In the fitness department. I was a bike tech and I also worked in the fitness department, but I sold extended warranties on treadmills that were guaranteed to break in a year. So Chris Cooper and I have that in common, if you read his books. It was a pretty awful sales gig, but I got really good at it. I sold a lot of those things. And my other sales job was selling personal training, which was brand new to me, getting into the service industry, totally different from selling product warranties. And that took a minute to get used to. I started reading a lot of books on sales and just sort of like implementing the things that I was reading right away and seeing a lot of growth as far as my sales ability from that, started setting like company records. That was a sub-contracting personal training company I worked with. So we basically supplied the PT and gave a cut to globo gyms. But you know, we were not like hired by them. We had to manage ourselves completely separately. So it was a very interesting situation selling thousands of dollars worth of PT to people that are spending $20 a month on a membership. So it was a really good experience for me in terms of like growing in sales.

Mateo: 08:14 – Wow. That
is insane. So you were like a personal—it was a personal-training company but it didn’t have anything to do with the gym really. And they subcontracted all that work out to you guys. You gave a cut to them for I guess just supplying the bodies. That’s wild.

Jeff: 08:38 – Huge for a little while. Like we were nationwide, there’s like 48 gyms that we were in at the time and you know, none of my bosses lived anywhere near me. We just would hop on conference calls with like 40 other sales managers and just like role play and do like that. It’s a pretty crazy experience.

Mateo: 08:57 – What were some of the books you were reading? What’s the recommended reading list? I know some of them cause I had heard it in the Incubator and I was like, oh Brian Tracy, oh “Eat That Frog.” What are the go-to books for those listening who want to up their sales game?

Jeff: 09:11 – So I mean you’ll always hear like “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” that was the first book. So the company I worked for was big on a book of the month, so I read a lot of books through them. “How to Win Friends and Influence People” is a great start. If you want to specifically get really good at sales, I went off and did my own reading beyond what they were recommending. You mentioned, you know, “Eat That Frog,” Brian Tracy is huge because we did a lot of cold calling and I had to like approach people who are on a treadmill in the middle of workout, headphones in, you know, in a different land at that moment. And I had to like say, hey, excuse me. And like I would mimic taking my headphone out so they would take their headphone out and they always did. It was amazing. And I’d have to ask them to book a, what we at Two-Brain call a No-Sweat Intro, what we called it at that time a personal training experience or a PTX. So I’d have to book this PTX with them and they had no idea this was coming and they’re spending 20 bucks a month. They’re like, I’m in the gym. Like I did the thing, I already signed up. So it was really nerve-wracking and tough for me to do that. As well as like pick up the phone and just dial numbers. So “Eat That Frog” helped me like organize my day and keep in mind like, you know, just pick up the phone and start pressing numbers and like this will happen. It’s like just get it done. So I think that was one of my—probably the one that led me to the most productive moments, but as far as like sales systems and improving our sales system, Jeffrey Gitomer’s “The Sales Bible” was like a very good starting point as well as “The Little Red Book of Selling,” which he also wrote. And then the other one that’s probably one of my favorite books was “The Psychology of Selling” by Brian Tracy. Getting more into understanding buying signals, body language, you know, the buyer’s mentality and psychology as well as like starting to get into empathy and understanding and interpreting emotions, but currently—those are older books, more of a modern approach to it that I really like is what I started reading recently, which is “Sales EQ” by Jeff Blount. But that really is 100% focused on empathy, understanding and interpreting those emotions, like how to respond to it and how to without, you know, like, tricking somebody into the sale, how to lead a buyer to the buying decision. So lots of good books out there. Those are my favorites.

Mateo: 11:34 – Yeah, I did “The Psychology of Selling” after you recommended it. It’s awesome. I did “Eat That Frog,” which is good too. And yeah, it’s interesting you’re saying this, cause it’s like, wow, it must’ve been refreshing when you finally got to your gym and Like people were like walking in interested in your service. You know, it must’ve been a different dynamic. Like, oh wow, they’re actually at least open to the idea of talking to me. I don’t have to like interrupt their workout to beg them to like sit down and talk to me.

Jeff: 12:07 – It’s quite a bit different. And that’s the funny thing is like, that was 10 years of my fitness experience, was just selling training to people like on campus, like students that obviously can’t afford it, that were getting a free membership to go and sell them, I mean, we were pretty cheap, it was like 20 bucks a session, more of almost a slightly paid internship at the time, but still tough, to you know, they pay 20 bucks a month at these locally owned globo gyms, not even like franchises and you know, we’re selling, like a twice-a-week training package was like $3,300. And you know, selling that as a huge upsell, to I moved to Virginia with my wife in 2010 shortly after graduating at MSU and we were working on like multimillion dollar gyms. There’s this huge franchise. They always had really big gyms. Probably, you know, 15-18,000 members, all of which were paying like closer to like 40, 50 bucks. Which is appropriate for that area. Like the DMV area is where we were living, near DC. So it’s really expensive. But yeah, like 50 bucks a month and we were selling, you know, packages of sessions at that point, I don’t like selling that way anymore, but like, you know, our common package was like 48 sessions or 80 sessions paid in full, so we’re selling like these big cash deals to those people. So yeah, that was like most of my sales experience was in those types of situations, to go to, you know, opening a CrossFit gym and yeah, people are like ready to spend 150 bucks a month easy. And then selling PT is a lot easier than it was in the past, for sure.

Mateo: 13:52 – So how did you get into CrossFit then?

Jeff: 13:54 – I got into CrossFit when I was in Virginia. The funny thing about it that I always told my coaches when we got started in the gym was I used to make fun of CrossFit. So I was like one of those trainers that—there was a period of time where trainers, and I wasn’t the only one, but trainers would use CrossFit to sell personal training in that they would say like, look, you know, you can go out and you can do these group training things, like Les Mills was getting big at the time too, you could go do that, you could go do CrossFit, like you’re guaranteed to get hurt. Like it’s going to happen. If you do personal training with us you’re not going to get hurt. And it was actually a selling point for me for like years. And then finally there was just a bunch of trainers—I oversaw seven gyms on the east coast when I was over there. And I used to like fly back and forth to New York as well. But between Virginia and New York, we had seven gyms. Every gym I was at, we had upwards of 40 trainers. And being around that many people in the fitness industry and like, you know, you get bodybuilders, like juice heads basically a lot of those in Virginia. And then we had CrossFitters, we had long-distance runners, we had triathletes, like there’s just all sorts of diverse backgrounds in fitness, which was really cool to be around and experience what they were doing for their training. Because you know, you work in a CrossFit gym, it’s lunch time, everybody goes and does CrossFit or they jumped into a class. But when you’re at like a globo gym like that, I would see, you know, this kid doing some sort of a triathlete workout, this kid doing you know, we had crazy equipment at the time. One of them was called like a power plate and we would train, we had like some celebrities that would come in in Virginia, David Bautista used to go to one of my gyms in Fairfax, Virginia, and train with one of my trainers, so I would see him coming in and he and his manager would come in and train on the power plate, for example. So it’s just this big fat platform that vibrates at a high frequency. And there’s theoretical things going on, but I don’t know.

Jeff: 15:55 – So that was happening. But you’d see people do that and it would have like big cages, pull-up cages, the multi-use ones where like on this corner there’s a rope that you could climb. On this corner there is a medicine ball toss, right. Closer to like a wall ball, but it had like a trampoline, right? So it bounces back at you. But you started getting into things that are getting closer to wha
t CrossFit is. And then some of the trainers I was around, they would talk about CrossFit and then they’d go and they’d start doing CrossFit workouts. And I was like, what the heck is that? And I was like, oh yeah, it’s this thing I’ve been making fun of this whole time. And I was like, you know what, like I’ll do a workout with them. So I would like jump in and do workouts of different types with these guys. And I jumped in and did a CrossFit workout. That was the worst thing that I’ve ever had to do compared to like no comparison to anything else I’ve had to do. So I liked it, naturally, and I was like, let’s do more of this. I used to wrestle in high school, so for me, a workout that just absolutely destroys you is like what I look for. I was really sick of bodybuilding type stuff. I was like, I’m done with this. It’s too boring. Let’s do something else. So I started doing that. I think my first workout was Fran and it took me 10 minutes, it took me forever. I use the, like the flat-edge plates, like the octagonal plates that you see at gyms. I had those and the 25s on the bar, so it was like lower than your normal height. And I had to do my pull-ups strict on those like multi-grip pull-up cages. So it was like the weird angles and stuff trying to do my pull-ups. It was a mess. I was flopping around like fish, took me 10 minutes and I almost passed out. So yeah, I’ve come a decent distance since then with my fitness level.

Mateo: 17:41 – So then you are hooked and then I guess you then open your own gym. What was life? What was life like back in the early days? Pre-Two-Brain?

Jeff: 17:51 – From there, you know, I was in Virginia for almost 40 years. I came back to Michigan, which is where I’m from and where I grew up, in late 2013, early 2014, I think it was, might’ve been like December, 2013, but basically what I decided was I was sick of this corporate world running seven gyms, hundreds of trainers under me. It was just exhausting. I was pulling 14-hour days, five days a week. And like every month was like hitting the reset button. My bosses didn’t care what happened the month before. There is no appreciation. I was just done with it. So I talked to a buddy of mine in Michigan and I started looking into CrossFit. I was like, dude, I can open a CrossFit gym. I have no money, and apparently you can do that. You can open a CrossFit gym with no money. So I was like, I think I can do this. I think I’d be good at it. So I decided to move back to Michigan and do that. I ended up having to work for another company full time while trying to get this thing up and running. Cause I mean, I’m sure I’m not the only one that’s dealt with that financially. So that was kind of floating things for me for a little while. I even like lived with my in-laws for six months. So that was fun. So I had support. But pre-Two-Brain, like I didn’t know what I was doing and I was trying to follow the lead of others in the industry that I thought were doing the right thing and weren’t. And that kinda led me astray. So what happened was about six months in to finally opening this thing is, we were homeless. We got booted from our first space by my partner who then broke our partnership. And he later on was a part of like getting me fired. Within the next six month I got fired from the full-time job, the gyms I was working at. He was a part of that as well as another guy that I had partnered up with to open a second gym when I absolutely should not have, I was nowhere near ready for this.

Jeff: 19:40 – So all of this like happened pre-Two-Brain. Like it’s basically like I did all this stuff and was just failing really hard, essentially borderline bankrupt. I can’t even pay my coaches and then I decided something had to change. So I just hopped on the affiliate owners forums, tried to find out like what the heck do you do when you don’t know what you’re doing, and came across people talking real good about Chris’s book, got Chris’ book and I saw within the first couple of pages that he was mentoring. So I was like, I don’t like reading books anyways, so I just put it down and I just called him up and I was like, hey man, take me on. Let’s do this. Then from there, that was 2016, at that point, it was January, 2016 that I started with Two-Brain, and like that full year was just a year of like revelations, just everything started coming together. Following year after it had been like kind of, we set things up in the right way, we built a good strong foundation, the following year, 2017, we did 250% of our revenue versus 2016 and then the following year after that I essentially fired myself from the business and I haven’t been back. 16 months now. I think I spent 16 or 17 months.

Chris: 20:52 – Hello my friends. It is Chris Cooper here. Since 2009 I have been writing daily blog posts, producing podcasts, videos, all kinds of stuff on social media with one mission in mind: to make gyms profitable. I came to that mission because I was an unprofitable gym owner. It almost ruined my finances and almost ruined my career, my marriage, everything. And since that day, since I made my recovery, I have wanted to help other gym owners become profitable, too. It’s part of my mission to the world because if you’re profitable, you’ll be here changing lives of thousands of your clients for the next 30 years. I think together we can have a tremendous impact. When we started mentorship, I did every single call myself. I was doing up to a thousand free calls a year and I was doing 10 calls with people who signed up for our early mentorship program, but the Incubator has been updated and improved a dozen times since then. Now the Incubator is really the sum of all of our experiences with over 800 gyms worldwide. In the Two-Brain mentorship program, we can now learn from everybody. We can collate data, we can see what’s working where and when and what the new gold standards are as they emerge. When somebody has a great idea, we can test it objectively and say, “Will this work for everyone or will it work for people on the West Coast or on the East Coast?” We can do that with little things like Facebook ads. We can also do that with operations and opening times and playbooks. All the questions that you have about the gym, we can answer them with data and with proof now. That’s the Incubator. It’s more than what I wrote about. It’s more than my experience. It is the best standard in the fitness industry, period. And I hope to see you in there.

Mateo: 22:35 – Well, I have a lot of questions about that, but my first one is though, what advice do you have for people who are thinking about opening a gym? Maybe don’t have as much of the financial means, similar to your situation, and are thinking about taking on a partner, what’s your advice there for choosing the right one? Or is your advice wait and just don’t ever choose one?

Jeff: 23:01 – Yeah. Due personal experience, I’m a no-partner kind of person. I don’t know specifically if it’s just me, like I don’t do well with partners. But yeah, I would say typically what you’re going to run into, and gosh, I know this comes up in books, I know Chris has talked about this too, is like if you’re going to have a partner, they have to be the opposite of you. Like the people I was getting partnered up with either didn’t care at all or were basically the same as me, and you know, when they were purely abdicators and didn’t care, like they were setting everything up for failure and I had to get out of there before they like brought me down with them. That was the second location that we opened. It started quickly going downhill. Luckily he eventually sold back out of the situation, you know, happy for him, but we just were not good partners. And then the other one was he got in it for all the wrong reasons and then realized like his reasons were wrong. Then wanted to just bail out as quick as possible. And that’s where he tried to basically burn me to get out of that one. So that sucked. But I would say if they’re the absolute opposite of you in that, you know, let’s say you love coaching, they can’t also love coachin
g. You’re going to be terrible partners because you’re both going to want to coach. If they love doing like the backend stuff, that’s kind of me, cause I liked the systems and developing that and putting things together and you know, dealing with communications and sales and you know, getting people in the gym. I didn’t like coaching as much. So I needed a partner that was closer to that. But I never had that. Everybody I was partnered with wanting to be on the back end, like either be invisible or just like make everybody else around them do all the other things. So it’s just never a good fit that way. So if you’re going to have one, if they’re the absolute opposite of you, awesome. If not, do not partner up just for money. There’s other ways. There’s so many ways to get money. You can find another way. I’ve gotten SBA loans, I’ve used car loans to get money for the gym, bank loans are tougher but not impossible for gyms. And then there’s all this like third party resources or you can even have somebody just invest in you but stay like silent or you know, take very low equity if they have to take something, there’s opportunities there, too.

Mateo: 25:21 – Awesome. So for people who are curious and are hoping to one day fire themselves from their gym, and when we say fire yourself, we just mean remove yourself from the day-to-day operations or maybe just be in the CEO role more where you’re not doing all the hats. What’s the first step to getting to that point where you’re like yourself and you’re sitting in the office, in your house all day and playing with your daughters and fishing? What’s the first step?

Jeff: 25:54 – Yeah, I mean, the first step is, and I’ve been working with some other clients at Two-Brain on this, too, over the years. But you know, the first step is identifying basically all the things that you do or should do and then trying to figure out which of those things that only you can do, which of those things can be automated, right? In other words, nobody needs to do, and then which of those things remaining are like necessary or unnecessary. So like it all starts with a list. And the first thing I had to do is just come up with that list because even if you have the right people that you feel a little the right people, you don’t know what you need them to do. So you could say like, you’re going to take over from me. I don’t know what you’re going to, but you’re going to basically be me. And that’s confusing for them. And that’s not very motivational. So I did that my first time. So actually I tried to pull out of my gym in 2017 and got completely burned. You know, I just did it all the wrong way. I didn’t go about it the way I should have. And I put the wrong person in charge. And then after that blew up, he and another coach like tried to bring us down. We basically—and I had a member try to bring us down too, so we lost 40 members over the course of two months and almost just completely buried the gym. But we were able to pull out of that, give me another six months after that. And that’s when I went about it the right way, had the right people in place, knew what they had to do and we were able to do it the right way. Obviously I’m not there still. So yeah, if you started that list, if you know what needs to be done, you know, you cut off the unnecessary, you automate what can be automated. You know the things that only you can do, you’re going to have to hold those till the end. But whatever’s left that’s necessary, it’s like, OK, this is my list of things and you can create roles out of this.

Jeff: 27:48 – And then you just like go to your hierarchy for the business. So this is your org chart. What are the roles, what do each of those roles need to be doing? And then let’s start the people hunt. So who do I need to fulfill these roles? What type of characteristics am I looking for? And then we can move to people. I didn’t talk on this at the summit. So once we have who we think are the right people, it’s all about just building them really slowly. So I took, I mean, honestly I took like four years to develop my CEO, but you know, once we actually committed to the thing, it was about six months, but it’s just like, all right, you know, sort of applying tasks to him, let’s see how you do. And then we would objectively evaluate him at the end of the month. We would also subjectively evaluate him. So it’s like, how did you perform? And then how do you feel? And once I got a feel for like, OK, he likes doing these things, he’s good at these things. This is his role. He’s bad at these things or he doesn’t like doing these things, that’ not going to be his role. So we move that to somebody else. So there’s a lot of like testing, retesting and shuffling pieces until we figured out like, OK, you’re this role, you’re this role and now everything that I had on my plate was covered. So then I knew I could step away. And at that point I took 30 days off, no communication, and that was like the initial test. So it was like, all right guys, I’m out. As of today, you have the entire month on your own. If you need anything, you know, it should be in our systems and only in emergency do you reach out to me. So did the 30 days, came back, do you guys need me? They said no. And I was like, cool. And then I just didn’t come back after that.

Mateo: 29:28 – That’s awesome. I want to move on now. If anyone wants to learn more about that process with Jeff, you can book a Free Help, contact him about that. He’ll give you more details on that. That’s just a sneak peek on how to level up out of your gym and fire yourself. But I want to circle back now. We started this conversation with sales. I want to end it there. Last five, 10 minutes here. So what is your approach to sales at Friction CrossFit? So a lead comes in, their appointment’s booked, they walk up to your front door. What happens?

Jeff: 30:07 – Yeah, so, you know, we follow essentially a process that we lay out in Two-Brain Marketing to get them in the door first and foremost, but once they’re in the door, then that’s the actual No-Sweat Intro process that we go through, that’s all laid out in the books and the materials that we’ve shared in the past. Obviously anybody in Two-Brain is going to get that too. But really what it boils down to is problem-solving, right? That’s all sales is problem solving. There is no scenario where sales have to be like trickery. We don’t use any special closes or anything like that. Essentially, if there is a problem and your business provides the solution, then you can make this sale. That’s as simple as it gets. Do they need to like you, do you need to build rapport and a relationship along the way? Of course. But that’s not really the end goal, right? It just helps the flow of the conversation go more easily if you guys can appreciate each other, if you can make them laugh, if you can enjoy the time there. Obviously that’s good. But the underlying process is all about problem solving.

Jeff: 31:12 – So what the No-Sweat Intro does and what we focus on when they come in those doors is not a gym tour. It’s not test out this workout. It’s not a free week trial. It’s not—they don’t need any of that. Because that doesn’t identify a problem or show that you provide the true solution, because there’s not enough time for them to see like, oh, CrossFit works, awesome. Like I lost five pounds in this one workout. Like that’s not gonna happen. You know, if they enjoy it, cool. But there are so many other workouts that are honestly more fun, that don’t provide the same, you know, results that we can, but you can’t leave it on that one experience, right? So we avoid the workout, first and foremost. And we definitely don’t do the tours, like you’re at a CrossFit gym. We could just turn around and be like, there’s the gym. Cool, you saw it. Let’s move on. You don’t have to do a tour. Don’t waste your time. Don’t show them how your membership software works and that your workout tracking’s super cool. They don’t care at all. What they care about is if you can solve their problems. So first and foremost, what we’re tryin
g to do is identify that problem. So we’ll sit down, we’ll start by building a little bit of rapport, just like simple conversation back and forth. Introduce yourself and ask them a little bit about what led them here in the first place. What were they hoping that we could do for them? What are some of their goals? Right? And ultimately the problem comes down to what is holding them back from achieving those goals. That’s where we come in with our solution. So we know that their goal is lose 20 pounds. OK, awesome. We’re going to start asking follow-up questions to try and get to the meat and potatoes of the conversation.

Jeff: 32:50 – But I might follow up to saying like, OK, awesome. That’s a great goal to start out with. Why did you pick 20 pounds? Why specifically that number? You know, and then whatever they come back with, maybe they just say like, I don’t know, it sounded like a good number. I hear that a lot. OK, cool. Is the number the thing that’s important to you or is it something else that you’re looking for out of this? So you can keep following up, we’re trying to peel back the layers essentially and get to the real issue for them. Their why or their hot button, we might call it in sales, but we’ll dig a little deeper and eventually we might get to with this person like, oh no, it’s just about how I feel. It has to do with my confidence. I want to fit into these jeans I’ve had since high school, right? Gym owners everywhere have heard this plenty of times. So that’s what we’re looking for. We’re not going to settle with ‘You want to lose 20 pounds? We can help you lose 20 pounds. Let’s do it.” Cause like Beach Body can do that. Like they can do videos at home, they can follow YouTubers. Like they don’t have to come to your gym and spend the amount of money they’re going to spend in order to lose 20 pounds. They go to your gym and work with you specifically because you can increase their confidence level, that you can make them feel better in their own skin. That’s our goal. So if you are not trying to do that right now with your intro process, you need to change it. It’s what is the true problem that this person is experiencing? And then we can connect the dots, hey, this is how we’re going to help you solve this problem. Maybe even pair that up with some client stories and show them how you’ve solved this problem in the past for people that they could relate to. So that’s really all it is. It’s so much more simple than people make it out to be. Like, there’s no tricks of the trade, really, with sales. It’s just like find the problem, solve the problem. You’ve sold them. That’s it. So if you’re doing that, great. If you’re not, change it.

Mateo: 34:42 – Last question for you here cause that was amazing and I think you’re right. It’s as simple as that. You’re solving a problem. If you can identify the problem, great. If you can’t, keep asking why until you can and then offer up a solution if you’ve got the right match, right. If you don’t like, it’s not going to work in the long run. So just like, all right. Yeah. It sounds like you need the gym down the street then or whatever it is. But yeah, it’s identifying the problem and offering a solution, smile, and you’re pretty much there. But my follow-up question to that is, since you are removed, how do you identify–how do you find talent? How do you identify who would be good as a sales rep for your gym? Or you know, maybe you combine the roles where they do CSM stuff and they do sales or they coach and they do sales. So how do you hire, how do you find the talent, how do you hire people, how do you onboard them and how do you get them trained up? Or is it that you just search for a good personality and then you can train them on sales? How does it work for you when you’re trying to identify who’s going to take this role.

Jeff: 35:49 – For this role, it definitely starts with a personality and it starts with empathy. So some people are more empathetic than others. And it’s funny like if you read that book “Sales EQ” that I recommended at the beginning, you will find you can be too empathetic and you can lack empathy. So like, on a scale of too empathetic to not empathetic, like the not empathetic end is like psychopaths, that share no empathy. So if you watch any crime documentaries, you’ll hear that a lot with like serial killers and stuff. They have no empathy. So you do want to have some of it, but salespeople that do really well are somewhere in the middle. If you’re too empathetic, you’re just going to be like, oh, I get it. You don’t have any money. I totally understand. That’s fine. You know, come back when you’re ready. Right. And somebody who’s maybe more in the middle is going to try and like help solve that problem. Like, what if we did this right? They’ll come back and they’ll handle the objection that this person has presented to them and they might try to find a different solution. If you have different offerings at your gym, you might drop down to a lower price offering. You might revert back to, hey, remember this is why we’re here today to rebuild the value in solving that problem for them and then try to reclose it again. So, you know, empathy is important. So I look for somebody who’s not like overly empathetic and super sensitive, like they’re not going to do well. They’re going to get eaten alive. Somebody who’s in the middle, awesome. And then obviously personality. Do they have good interpersonal skills? Are they well-spoken? Do they have good body language. You know, are they confident? Confidence is huge in sales.

Jeff: 37:29 – So I’m looking for those sort of traits and characteristics and if I see that, the rest can be done, cause I mean, there is no crazy script to memorize. It’s really just like, here are some good conversations, starting questions, and then you have to get better at keeping that flow of the conversation by asking good or intelligent follow-up questions and be able to understand and interpret this person’s emotions to keep moving or progressing that sale forward by responding to those in the right way. So it’s really that that I’m looking for. And then what helps a lot with that that we do at our gym is role play. So my guys even with me not there anymore, they continue this for me. Every Monday they do a kickoff for the week, kind of what’s going on, what our goals are, and then they do a sales meeting. So within an hour they’ve addressed like, here’s where we are for the month, performance-wise, here’s what our goal is for this week, by the end of the week, and then here’s what we need to work on. Right? And we’ll go around the circle. There’s like five or six staff members that are there every week and we’ll talk about experiences that they’ve had, sales opportunities that they’ve had, missed or made, and then we’ll break those down and maybe role play. So like, Hey, I missed this sale. Seemed like it was going really well, but we got to the end and the guy just said, I don’t have any money and I couldn’t go anywhere from there. What would you guys do? And that’s where we’ll go around and we’ll role play that scenario. So that has helped a lot because you get a lot of different ideas from different people and you say like, oh, I like that. I’ll try that next time this happens. I mean, price objection happens all the time. So you pretty quickly get a chance to implement it. So we’ll do that. And then we also do book club where as I mentioned with previous jobs I’ve had, it’s always been the case is we read a book and then we discuss that together so that, you know, we’re just breaking all that down within that hour. So I found like find the right people as far as like personality traits and characteristics. Look for that empathy scale. They need to be somewhere in the middle. Not too empathetic, not lacking of empathy. And then, you know, doing the continued training on a weekly basis as well as roleplaying goes a long way to building high performers.

Mateo: 39:46 – Wow. That’s amazing. That’s a really good point. I never thought about—I never knew you could be too empathetic, but I can defini
tely see how that could hurt you in terms of the sales. So I’m probably on the other end of the spectrum and that’s why I was like always just OK at sales, but that’s awesome. Yeah. I’m the too high, it’s like, oh, you can’t afford it. I’ll pay for it then, you know, I’ll pay for it. If you can’t, it’s fine.

Jeff: 40:18 – I can see it.

Mateo: 40:18 – That’s definitely what happened. Wow. OK. Awesome. Well, Jeff, this has been so much fun. If people want to learn more about sales, if people want to talk to you, if they want to fire themselves, if they want to learn about how to fish, where can they find you?

Jeff: 40:42 – They can hit me up at my DMs. They can email me, jeff@twobrainbusiness.com. They can also book a Free Help call. I am one of the team for Two-Brain that would take that. So there’s a chance to get me and if you want me specifically, shoot me an email. Definitely. So again, jeff@twobrainbusiness.com or the original Jeff, as I like to think of myself, there are four on staff, I believe at this point. So yeah, that’s right. I just locked down that tag.

Mateo: 41:19 – Yeah, you don’t have the last name on there. That means you were the first.

Jeff: 41:23 – That’s how you know.

Mateo: 41:26 – OK. Thanks, Jeff. Byee!

Jeff: 41:27 – Byee!

Greg: 41:28 – Thank you for listening to Two-Brain Radio. Make sure to subscribe to receive the most up-to-date episodes wherever you get your podcasts from. To find out how we can help create your Perfect Day, book a free call with a mentor at twobrainbusiness.com.

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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