Mark Neville (DOS): Explaining Vs Promoting Retail
For approximately the last two years I have traveled around the country for Fuel For Fire, visiting hundreds of boxes and working out in many of them. Additionally, I have spoken with hundreds more affiliate owners via phone calls and emails about not only our product but retail in general. Since nutrition is such an important part of what most of us do on a daily basis, many gyms are starting to offer some products so that their members have options easily accessible to them when it comes to performance and recovery. Having been a member in multiple boxes now where I had neither the time nor resources available nearby to consistently fuel properly, I have been very appreciative of my gyms providing some nutrition options.
The question often becomes what to carry and how to make your members aware it is available without feeling like you are promoting or pushing product on them. Understandably profit margin is a consideration, there is time and effort that go into managing inventory and transactions and it has to make sense financially. This, however, should not be the main consideration. Provided there is a profit margin, the primary motivating factor should be whether or not it is a good product for your members. If what is in there, and just as importantly not in there, is going to help them perform, recover, and be overall healthier, then it is easy to explain.
Ultimately that is all you should have to do, explain to your members why you carry the products that you offer. Let them know what is available and why. Many people are not sure what to eat before or after working out, even if they do it is not always convenient to get. So if you are expanding your offering to include quality nutritional products that you know will benefit your members at least let them know about it. Even if it is through a periodic Facebook post.
Just about every owner I talk to is still extremely selective about what they carry, they carefully choose products and generally it is for the right reasons. If the motivation is sincere then the explanation should be easy. If it is difficult to convey why a particular product is there, other than popularity or larger profit margin, then perhaps it is not truly benefiting the membership.
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