Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Gym Tips - Part 1

A post on Jason's blog has inspired me to write a little about my experience working in sales and management at a gym.

First a little background on how I came to work at said gym. I had just gotten laid off from what I thought was going to be my dream job, working as a community organizer for a local non-profit. My position was grant funded and basically the money ran out. At that point, I decided I was going to go a different route in life but I needed a job quickly so I could pay the bills. There was a fitness sales job at a regional gym chain listed in the local paper. I thought some sales experience might be good for the resume and a free gym membership would be a nice perk. I called. After a quick phone interview I had an appointment to meet with the district manager that week. Things were looking up. The interview was at one of their older gyms and the facilities were, how do I put this, scary. The place was tiny, all the equipment was at least ten years old and many of the machines had "out-of-order" signs on them. I wondered how anyone could sell memberships to this place, much less a person without any solid sales experience.

After waiting a little bit in a dingy front desk area, I was escorted into one of the sales offices where I sat down with the DM, who was nice, but an obvious fitness fanatic. In addition to overseeing four or five gyms, she taught multiple aerobics classes, took other aerobics classes, and competed in fitness competitions. She was pretty lively during the interview and I was intimidated. Apparently though, I impressed her enough that she called the one of the owners of the company and asked if she could add me on at one of their other locations, which wasn't actively hiring at the time. The owner gave the ok and I was told that I'd be starting the following week at their brand new location which was inside a popular shopping mall. I was stoked.

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