Posted by: Sales Makers | October 3, 2013

X-Selling at Membership Sales, page 5

Because of this Ray was asked to speak at this formative meeting.  We had just started our first consulting company (Inner Secret, with the by-line Proven Profit Procedures.)  Basically we knew the Inner Secret to Sales success.

Ray’s girlfriend came up with name – I came up with the by-line.  I was still working at the Courtrooms and managing an entertainer named Michael John – who was working the College circuit.  I got a bit fed up with life on the road and decided to join Ray in the new company.  The last gig we had was in Auburn Georgia and since one of Ray’s first clients was the Courtsouth chain (One of the owners was Norm Cates – the President of IRSA.)  Ray basically hired me to do a market analysis of a new Club – the Downtown Athletic Club in Atlanta, which was going to be developed by the chain.  Ray also assured me that I would get the job as Marketing Director.  Ray was working at the Akers Mill and Silver Springs locations and a mutual friend of ours, who had worked with us at the Courtrooms (Janet Lossick,) was also working at the Akers Mill facility.

Unfortunately, between the job offer and my arrival in Atlanta (base of Court South) the partners split up the company, with Norm Cates getting the Lenox and Downtown location, Rick Boggs and Fred Streck getting the Silver Springs location, Fred keeping the Knoxville and Akers Mill location and Ray Irwin getting the Marietta location.  (A quick aside – Rich and Ray are the developers of The Step.)  Now Ray worked for Fred – so Norm didn’t know me and didn’t have an agreement with Ray – so I found myself in Atlanta with no job.  I called Norm (who didn’t return my calls,) he didn’t know me, but finally I got to talk to him.  I introduced myself as his Marketing Director and told him that I had written a Marketing plan for the Club and did he want to meet.  He tried to put me off for a week and I told him that was no good and that in two days I was on my way back to Florida.  He agreed to meet me and I did get the job.  I worked for Norm for eighteen months and Ray moved to Atlanta, so I continued to help with the Marketing for his other clients.

Inner Secret continued to prosper and when I left Atlanta – I formally joined Ray and his team.  The first project was what was to become the first IHRSA Institute – which was basically an Inner Secret Seminar, held at Cedardale in Haverhill, Mass – near Boston. We pioneered the concept of an Impact Team, which comprised one of our trained Sales Manager’s working at each of our clients clubs.  Ray did the training, Jamie did the supervision and I handled the Marketing.  This got to be a bit too much for me and since I had a new-born son – I left the company, which dissolved shortly thereafter.  Ray continued working with a couple of clients, I went to work with one in Fort Lee, New Jersey and Jamie got out of the Industry.

Ray and I remained friends and he often visited me in NJ.  One morning we had breakfast at a local diner and during breakfast we played the Hewlett Packard what-if game.  You know, what if we had done this, what if we did this.  During breakfast we basically outlined the business plan for Sales Makers.  I don’t remember who said it, but in the parking lot one of us said: ‘I’m game, if you are!’ and the other agreed.  I came up with the name Sales Makers the next day and registered the name with the State.  I resigned from the Club I was working at and Sales Makers began trading as a NJ corporation within months.


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