Watch The Damn Game! Reality-Based Management Practices For Wellness Businesses

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It’s not enough to love your wellness business. Not enough to be a fan.

Have you ever heard a sports radio host say to fans, “Watch the damn game!”?

It means your emotions have trampled right over your objectivity.

To succeed as a wellness leader, you need to be an objective observer:

1. Are you watching the score?

Forget the action on the field. What’s the score?

Yep, your wellness center has a lot of field action: appointments with potential clients, free seminars scheduled, running your annual spring promotions, sending out postcards, etc., etc.

But how’s that working for you, really? Are the potential clients becoming paying customers? Are sales up? Is repeat business up?

Lesson: Don’t confuse “busyness” with results. It’s entirely possible to have lots of activities underway that achieve nothing meaningful.

2. Are your star players still producing?

If you’re like most, you’ve got a few people in your business that you turn to first.

Are they really your stars? Are these folks the very best your health club can get?

Sometimes their primary qualification is longevity. You know them, you know their strengths and weaknesses. Other times, they’ve been promoted out of their area of expertise. They’re not nearly as effective (or happy) as they used to be.

Maybe a couple of years ago you promoted your best personal trainer to Director, Personal Training. Just one problem — he doesn’t enjoy hiring and developing staff. He likes working with individual clients. So your trainer turnover rate is high and clients aren’t too happy either.

Most of our clients really know where their “people problems” are. They’re just avoiding the issue until it boils over because they’re not sure how to solve it.

We’ve brainstormed and role played zillions of these situations. It’s always amazing to see the good solutions that emerge when you throw an objective perspective into the conversation.

Lesson: Recognize that emotions often turn us into problem-avoiders — even when it jeopardizes the health of our business.

3. Is the playbook stale?

Red flag: your integrative medicine clinic’s sales and marketing activities look the same every year. Same postcards, same brochures, same sell sheets, same ads, etc., etc.

No, you don’t need to get rid of everything and start fresh every January. But every piece you use does need to justify its existence all over again.

Have your marketing team spread everything out on the table, literally. Do all the pieces still connect? Is everything intentionally designed to lead prospects to the next step of the buying cycle? And for Pete’s sake, update the images every year.

We worked with a corporate wellness provider this month and overhauled a chunk of their marketing — dropped a brochure and some handouts, overhauled another brochure, added a new sell sheet. The number of follow-on inquiries has already doubled.

Lesson: “That’s what we always do” is no reason to do anything in a wellness business.

4. Are your “other team activities (OTAs)” still effective?

OK, your yoga studio’s participated for three years in the AHA’s “Go Red For Women” initiative.

Is it paying off? Are you capitalizing on the publicity opportunity, the chance to introduce lots of women to your business for the first time? Are you getting lots of new business or excellent networking connections from this initiative?

Or is this really just a pet project for a few employees and customers — with no visibility, little interest or involvement from anyone else, and no significant benefit to your business?

Lesson: Um, don’t commit business resources to things that don’t actually benefit the business?

5. Do you know your numbers?

I said a minute ago you need to know the score. You also need to watch key stats.

Numbers let you diagnose your wellness business. They allow you to figure out what really happened (vs what you hoped for) and provide clues about why it turned out that way. Makes you smarter next time.

When you give a free seminar, how many newsletter signups do you get? How does that compare to last time? What’s your goal for next time?

What’s your new customer trend? What’s your “lost account” trend?

Which products and services sold best during your holiday marketing this year? How did that compare to the last two years?

What are your worst performing services? Is it a pricing or a cost problem? Or a demand problem?

What’s your most successful marketing event? How do you know?

For your customer-facing staff – who has the best client satisfaction ratings? Who has the worst?

Lesson: You’ll make better decisions when you balance emotions and opinions with objective information.