The internet and the myriad new ways it allows people to connect has forever changed the personal and professional communication landscape. Text messages, emails, digital direct mail and online forms make it possible for people to digest and respond to messages on their own time and keep a sense of privacy – which is great for rudimentary transactions and appointments. But when it comes to private club memberships or other high-value propositions, there is simply no substitute for the old-fashioned phone call.
According to 59club data, on average, only 31% of polled private club prospective members said they received a follow-up phone call from the club. When compared to the leaders in the industry, however, the number jumps up to 100%, meaning the best of the best in the country recognize the importance and power of the phone call.
“Following up with prospects after they have expressed interest in joining the club is a major issue,” said Mike Kelly, managing partner of 59club USA. “These prospects have taken time out of their day to call and tour the club and they simply aren’t getting a call back. Some clubs say they either send emails or text messages, but that is frankly not good enough. In order to continue to build rapport, nurture the relationship and be an effective sales staff, you have to pick up the phone. Period.”
According to 59club, while making the effort to speak with prospective members on the phone is the bare minimum, there are five key components of a truly successful follow-up phone call.
Timeliness of the follow-up call
Prospective members tend to lose interest the longer they have to wait for the next communication. Prompt replies after an initial site visit ensures the emotional connection to the club is still fresh in the prospect’s mind.
Gate keepers like assistants and voicemail messages make it easy to leave a message and move on, but successful sales calls are almost wholly reliant on direct communication so nothing gets lost in the shuffle.
As a sales professional, your goal should be to sell the membership, not have a nice chat on the phone. Forgetting to engage in a trial close is the quickest way to lose out on new memberships.
A personal call specific to the prospect
Sales scripts are a great way to make sure nothing is left out of each individual call, but blanket statements with no regard for the other person on the line – their likes, dislikes, pain points, first and last name, etc. – have the feel of a text message or a disengaged staff member. Make the call personal and specific to each person you contact.
Above all, membership sales calls should be friendly and personable. After all, no one wants to be a part of a group of curmudgeons. Your sales staff represents the club at its base level and should reflect the positive aspects of your club.