Many people say, and I must agree, that it’s important to take a few moments every now and then to reflect and that it is good thing to do.
We are all so busy these days where days, weeks, months and years disappear? It feels just like yesterday when I made the decision to begin my journey into virtually non-existing world of health and fitness but it’s over 35 years and lots has changed BUT some things are returning to be the same. Looking back at what the Fitness industry was in the late 70’s and 80’s to what it is now is quite mind-boggling.
There are many good lessons to learn from days gone by:1. Most of the people that were in the early days of the fitness industry were people who trained regularly and were well educated in what a prospect needed to do to achieve their weight loss, building etc.
This was inspiring to prospects and made it easy to make the decision to join. Fitness businesses that are doing this now are finding it is making a massive difference in closing more sales.2. The Gym – Health Club became our 3rd Place – We all have 3 Places – 1st Place Home, 2nd Place Work, 3rd Place, The Place we choose to be because we like being there for the company and to be part of something. The Gym/Club was that place years ago, and I’ve noticed recently that we are coming full circle as it’s becoming the 3rd Place again. 3. Group exercise & Group training (working out, training in groups such as the good old circuit classes and old style ‘hard work classes’) are making a resurgence as we have realised we are all tribal in nature and we like to be part of a group.
Les Mills have been saying this for years and now the fitness industry is taking notice.
Many Studios and Clubs are now returned to this group style of training e.g. The Zone at Fitness First and new companies like Cross Fit, Hot Yoga, F45, Orangetheory Fitness have opened and are attracting large numbers of members who are loving their training again.4. Care factor and Customer Service is returning. Reception teams are now re-engaging with members and there has been a return of the gym floor teams, which is creating value and assisting in retention. 5. Sales and Marketing was not a priority in the early days as sales were easier to come by, but after a short while it became and big focus. This changed the face of our industry and price warring took place, which created challenges for fitness businesses and the industry suffered. Sales and Lead Management became the secret weapon of the successful businesses and it took a while for others to catch on. Once Sale and Lead Generation became understood, it started the resurgence of the industry, as did the arrival of the professional overseas Clubs.
6. Qualifications to work in the fitness industry were non-existent in the 80’s and the introduction of fitness qualifications to increase the knowledge of the fitness professional and the introduction of CEC’s has made our industry so much more professional. This is an ongoing development that will continue and has made the fitness industry a career and not a stepping stone job.
This was scary to start with but was the catalyst of Clubs and Fitness businesses raising the bar in facilities and skills.
One area that is continually a challenge and has been ear marked in fitness industry surveys is learning sales and communication skills and knowing where to source fitness industry experts that can provide quality advice and services to positively effect lead generation and sales conversion. No one can be an expert in everything so outsourcing is the key.
The thing that must be remember is that ongoing development and implementation is essential to make sure the skills and strategies are used as soon as possible to passivity effect the bottom line. Any team member training MUST be ongoing to be successful. I have found that the companies that train and coach their teams regularly have higher team retention and the companies make more sales and everyone feels happy.
I have been so very fortunate to have met some truly amazing people that have taught, mentored and helped me over the years and will always be grateful.
The fitness industry is great shape and the new people that are now involved in our industry and bolstering the ranks of experts will be the ones who will be the new mentors for our industry.
Australia’s fitness industry will grow substantially in the next 5 years with many more specialised services being created and the consumers and the fitness industry professionals will all benefit from it. All is looking positive, let’s make a difference.
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Steve is Managing Director of Impact Training Corporation, a company specialising in sales, sales management and communication. If you would like to speak to Steve, feel free to book a time to chat in his calendar.
Article written by Steve Jensen for the What’s New in Fitness Magazine – Spring 2018 Edition.