Membership sales may be somewhat of an art form—selling something relatively intangible is never an easy job. However, developing a clear understanding around goals and the value of what’s being sold, notes Nick Thornton, vice president of sales at Club Automation, can be the foundation for building a successful team.
“It starts with context,” he says. “Does your comp plan achieve both the goals of the salesperson and the goals of the organization? You really need to do both. Second, your people need to have a good grasp on the total lifetime value of a member.
“Sometimes, we get distracted by it being a $30 membership, an $80 membership, or wherever you fall into that spectrum. The reality is, over the member’s lifetime you must ask: what is the real value?”
Nick continues, “It can be easy to under- or overvalue what you’re selling. Here’s the math: If, within your compensation model, you sell a $300 membership, that’s $30 a month over 10 months, but if you end up spending $250 in commission to get it, it’s not a good economic situation.
“You need to know what those long-term values are before you decide how much you’ll spend to get those memberships and how quickly they’ll need to be sold. It’s really backing into the numbers and building a plan specifically for that. In developing that plan, you also need to build in the ability to adjust on the fly.”
Once you have a plan in place, share the economics and your goals with your sales team to let them know what success looks like.