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JULY 10 LETTERS write to reply

we must change our focus from sales to retention

I read with interest Liz Terry’s comments in her ‘remember the fun’ letter (HCM May 10, p3). See also p28, this issue. While I agree with the observations, I

think that as an industry we can hardly be surprised at the way we currently deliver our product. Quite rightly, Liz points out that classes with well established, extrovert instructors who develop a team spirit are likely to be the main areas of liveliness in a club. However, the reason for this is because we allow them to get on with their job. Customers will visit a class and may return should they enjoy it – but the instructor has only to focus on delivering a great session. A GM, meanwhile, is responsible for

creating an engaged and motivated team that will deliver engaged and motivated members. However, before a GM gets to that part of their role, they have to deliver ‘x’ sales, ensuring their sales team is doing its job, that the marketing is in place and that attrition is not increasing. No matter how focused a GM is on delivering delight to his or her members, the company focus will always be on sales. This is what we

have created: GMs who are no longer generalists but sales managers. Junior staff need to watch senior

managers walk the floor, engaging with staff and members and delivering customer delight, so they can learn to do the same. Unfortunately that’s not happening because the GM is in the office telling his manager that the ‘target will come in’. Creating customer delight is not about answering the call in four rings or calling everybody by their first name: it’s about creating relationships that are individual to those involved. This industry, and much of the service sector, insists on treating people ‘as you would expect to be treated’. However, we should be treating people ‘as they would like to be treated’ – something we’ll never find out unless we’re better at interacting with them. In the meantime, our focus remains on

sales, with retention covered by little more than a contract. The irony is that, if we flipped this on its head to put the focus on retention, surely sales would follow. mark beamson ceo, fostering excellence

You need to be fi t to excel at golf – but golf can also be a way to get fi t

golf fi tness is not just for the professionals In your feature about sports conditioning for golf professionals (HCM June 10, p44) Shay Brennan’s comment about people traditionally perceiving golf as a slow sport is absolutely true. However, not only do you need to be fit to play golf in the modern era, but golf can also be a way of getting fit. At Sheffield International Venues

(SIV), we’re keen to actively promote golf as a means of exercise in itself and are encouraging people to take to the courses this summer to stay fit and healthy. Playing 36 holes a week burns around 2,900 calories; a round of golf can have the same health benefits as a full 45-minute workout. One of the primary benefits of the

sport is the fact that you actually walk several miles around the course. Playing 18 holes of golf can involve traversing three to five miles and most courses can have you climbing uphill and downhill, working several muscles in the process. Golf also requires co-ordination,

Group exercise: The instructor’s only responsibility is to deliver a great class 8 Read Health Club Management online at

concentration and physical effort to play successfully so, as the feature explained, fitness is important for those who want to improve their game, addressing issues of strength, flexibility and balance and paying attention to detail. andy carnall golf gm, siv, and class aa pga professional

july 2010 © cybertrek 2010


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