Posted by: Sales Makers | October 8, 2013

X-Selling at Membership Sales, BasiX, page 10

Enrolment Certificate

Why do you charge an enrolment fee (joining fee) to your club?

I didn’t think you’d have an answer.

Many clubs in the EU charge an enrolment fee without having gone through the cultural dilemma we faced in the US in 1980.

Basically, in the US – April 15 is the day we (supposedly) pay our income taxes.

We used to call it the wall.

Sales would slump from April 15 until after Labor Day (no, not a celebration of Tony Blair – it’s the first Monday in September.)

That’s approximately five months.

Two of the founders of IHRSA (Curt Beussman & Warren Wertheimer) came up with the idea of turning their clubs into country club – health clubs by charging an enrolment fee and then monthly dues.

We, in the US were the yuppies – we couldn’t afford the new BMW’s but we could lease them.

By converting our sales approaches in this fashion we were able to overcome the objection ‘I can’t afford it’, by conveniently spreading the payments over a period of months.

The formula was to take the annual payment – divide it by ten and then have an enrolment fee that equalled 5 time the monthly dues (the logic being that if they had to pay this amount the wouldn’t quit.)

We didn’t have a twelve-month agreement.

It didn’t work!

The customers forgot what they had paid and quit anyway.

So, with the object to increase our annual income – it remained the same.

We then changed to a minimum of twelve months commitment and then month-to-month.

The Enrolment Certificate was born then (by Curt Beusman) – this served as a Transfer Certificate.

If at any time the member wanted out – they used the Enrolment Certificate to relieve themselves of their obligation and transferred the commitment to a new member.

Also, should the club get sold-out, then the departing member could sell the certificate to another person and recover their Enrolment Fee – possibly with a profit.

This simple tool should increase your bottom line by 10% -that’s the number of members who will actually use the Certificate – but more importantly – it explains the objection

‘Your enrolment fee purchases your Enrolment Certificate, which is your transfer vehicle – it’s like the deed to your house or your title to your car – you are joining a private club.

Should you find it necessary to leave the club – say in two years due to a job transfer, whatever – you can sell your certificate to another person and they only have to pay a nominal transfer fee and you can recover a portion of your initial investment in the Club.

You should send an exit survey to all departing members and enclose another Enrolment Certificate to them (I’m sure they lost it.)



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