Posted by: Sales Makers | October 1, 2013

X-Selling at Membership Sales

It didn’t take long for the owners to see the popularity of the classes and gyms – so they both kicked them out and then bought their own equipment (the colleges were still spitting out graduates for the staff and Jackie was still teaching new teachers who were willing to accept a job and no risk.)  So, the modern Health Clubs were borne.  The types of memberships that they offered is what I call the ‘Chinese menu’ type of memberships – you could buy a racquetball membership, aerobics, gym, racquetball & aerobics, racquetball & gym, racquetball, gym & aerobics – one from column A and one from column B, etc.

Tennis Clubs also have extra space so they followed the trend and started offering classes and gyms – they also obviously had the locker rooms.

Now is when I entered into the picture –

I had a couple of automobile accidents which caused some back problems and I was told that either they could cut my back open or I could swim and exercise – two weeks later MY girlfriend (also my ex-wife) and I moved to Florida where I thought I could swim year round.  My first job in Florida was working on Ted Kennedy’s Presidential campaign (another story altogether.)  When Ted lost the primaries and I was approached by my four hundred volunteers to run for Congress – I decided it was time to get my priorities right and get my back together.   A job was offered in the paper for a sales person – I thought I could swim and exercise for six months and then get back into music (my first love.)  That was in 1979 – 25 years later I’m still in the business.  I found working around half naked people and getting paid for it wasn’t a bad way to make a living.

Another story – I was the second sales person hired and didn’t really know what the job was all about.  The first month I managed to sell about $10,000 in memberships, the second month about $10,000 and the third month about $12,000.  Now this club in 8 years had never sold more than $33,000.  Ray continued to hire more salespeople (We worked on a commission only basis.) and they were friends of his from other Clubs (Janet Lossick was one of them.)  They basically knew what they were doing and outsold me regularly.  In three months we had beaten the record handily and the GM Fred Blaess came to Ray and told him to fire me because I wasn’t producing as much as the new salespeople.  Ray discussed this with Tom Murano (the first sales person) and made a decision.  He told Fred “No, I’m not going to fire him, because he’s consistent.  Give me three more like him and I’ll beat all the records.”  Now I never found out about this until much later.  Sure enough, in six months I figured out what to do and in six months we topped $100,000 in sales.  I was then promoted to Assistant Sales Manager and was given the job of creating events to generate Prospects (more on that in the Promotions Chapter.)  I will forever be indebted to Ray for that decision.

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