When I first started my consulting company I was under the impression that consulting was all about creating a system, selling that system to a company for a one time fee, and then letting them run with the program and make it work for themselves. I guess it's similar to Trainers who believe that personal training is all about educating a client and letting them go out on their own. Anyone who knows what I stand for, and what I've been teaching and promoting in the industry since the early 90's, knows that I'm a proponent of personal training for life. I just wasn't doing it in my own business until only about 3 years ago.
We totally changed our price structure and billing method and the entire way we do consulting. I have to thank Joe Asch for pointing me in the right direction and sharing his experiences with the way Bain Consulting ran their organization. Just like an initial consultation without another one to compare and follow up with, business consulting is no different. It's all about long term relationships, retraining and making adjustments and finding ways to be creative and to grow the program over the long haul.
Well Joe practices what he preaches and has insisted that I visit his club 4 times per year for at least 2-3 days per visit for the last 11 years. Last week was no different, and I spent 3 full days working with the various departments to find solutions and ways to improve performance. Many would be happy with the results that the River Valley Club has achieved with 2000 members and personal training sales averaging 1.6 million per year. Why on earth would a club owner continue to invest in more training and consulting, when on the surface it would appear that the club has mastered the system?
Maybe this will clearly answer that question. On my previous consulting trip we hired a new Fitness Consultant, Jason Shaffer pictured below. After some initial training Jason was successful in selling a good percentage of his clients personal training but was unable to generate more than 12 session packages. On this trip, I spent a few hours over two days observing his consultation and then getting out on the floor and making some suggestions both in terms of the gym floor training demonstration and the prescription sales process at the back of the consultation journal. On Wednesday night, just as I was about to leave the club and head back to Toronto, Jason came running out of the PT department with some papers in his hand and a smile from ear to ear. He just sold his first 144 session package using the tools I had provided him with. He was elated, and I could tell for the first time that he believed he could do it and that this was going to be more of a regular occurrence from here on out. I have worked with so many FCs over the years and it's always amazing to see when everything comes together and there is a breakthrough in terms of competence, commitment and belief.
The next evening, after my 9 hour drive back home, I opened my email and low and behold there was a message from Jason indicating that that morning he sold another 72 pack followed by another 144 sale in the evening!! This is one of the many reasons that I love what I do and realize how important our system and ongoing training are for so many people. Not only do we have the opportunity to impact so many lives in terms of health and well being, by selling something that actually works for people, but we also get a chance to build fitness careers and allow someone like Jason to realize his potential and to be able to provide a solid income for his family doing something he loves to do. The why is always so much more important than what we sell, and I can honestly say that I've been truly blessed to have such a driving and clear why. In my 25th year in the industry I have once again found a renewed passion for making a difference in this amazing industry.
Jason and Jeff at RVC