Posted by: Sales Makers | October 2, 2013

X-Selling at Membership Sales, page 4 (continued)

Yet another story – Ray was dumb like a fox.  His pay package was also based on commission.  Remember that the Club had never beaten $33,000 in one month – so Ray got an override of 1% at $40,000, 2% at $60,000, 3% at $80,000 and 4% for anything over $100,000.  Like I said earlier, in six months we cracked $100,000 and continued to do so – pretty much until we left.  Now Fred Blaess, the GM from the Club from the beginning was on a salary of $35,000 (pretty good in 1980) and one day went to the owner Dick First and complained that Ray Gordon was making more money than him and he didn’t think it was fair.  Dick asked: “Fred, how long have you been working here? “ Eight years” was his reply.  “And in that time what is the most money you have been able to generate in one month?” – Dick asked.  “Well, there was the one month when we did $33,000.  “And what did we do the last three months with Ray Gordon and his sales team?” Dick continued.  “Over $100,000 each month and Ray has been getting over $4,000 a month.” Fred answered.  Dick thought for minute and said:  “Fred, do you realize how much money you’ve cost me over the years – you’re fired.  I want you out of the club by 3 o clock.”

The moral of the story – never question a good sales persons earnings when they work on commission.

Would you rather have 100% of $33,000 or 86% of $100,000?

I thought you’d say that!

About fifteen months after I started – a magazine called Racquetball Today (The Editor was Mort Leve – Chuck Leve’s (IHRSA Business Development Manager) father) wrote an article titled ‘Membership Sales Come Out of the Dark.’  About two weeks after that we got about 120 calls from cubs around the US and Canada asking if we could do the same for them.  This coincided with the purchase of the Courtrooms by Health and Tennis Corporation – with their hard-pressure sales tactics, which we hated.  Our style was what we called Aggressive Hospitality – kill the customer with kindness.  So we accepted the challenge.

First, we didn’t know what we had done, we didn’t know if we could do it again and most importantly we didn’t know what to charge.  There were no other consultants at the time (Actually Mike Chaet was out there, but we didn’t know of him.)  Our first project was the Court South Club in Knoxville, Tennessee – we improved their sales by 450% in six weeks and made a fortune.  We were on our way.

Now, there were two different Associations representing the different types of Clubs the NCCA (National Court Club Association – racquetball) and the NTA (National Tennis Association – tennis.)  They had a common meeting in 1981 to discuss what they shared and a new Association was borne – IRSA (International Racquet Sports Association) whose director is John McCarthy – who was previously the Director of NERSA (New England Racquet Sports Association.)  The first president was Norm Cates the then President of the NCCA.  The formation of this Association really started to bring the Industry together.


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