Want a real career, avoid the fitness industry especially the chains. Especially S&H I opine and endeavor to make the case, It's a racket at all levels. Those in the trenches, get the shortest shift of all. I will make the case, from the day they hire you, they are already plotting to fire you. It's their business model. They stand to gain from your successes and your failures. A Win win for them, An ethical loser for all.
I admit up front, I have an ax to grind. That I believe I was treated as unfairly and illegally as an employee could be treated doing the job (and more) I was hired to do. Especially my last few months, out of over 5 years.
And so follows. Please don't wast your time with this company, this industry: You can do better.! Read on get some insight! Unless your desperate, than it will do for awhile, but you will, more than likely, become desperate soon again! And don't want the month or two of "experience" ruining your resume.
Any job or industry, with close to 100 percent a year turn over, due to , awful club managers, corp policy, and commission ripoffs is to be avoided. Such as Sales goal increasing charge backs, suddenly appearing at close out. Ridicules sales goals. That can keep one just short of max commissions or any commissions at all.
Difficulty in building a referral business, the base of a successful sales career. I opine your referrals are mostly unprotected. Due to a haphazard policy, Most of my GM's and Sales managers could not grasp the concept of building a successful referral network. Many consider it lazy, unfair to write a deal for another sales person. Most sales professionals consider it the base of successful sales career. I constantly had to fight to collect on my referrals. After years on the job, I earned em. Not the ones S&H make you annoyingly beg for as a daily quota. and are mostly useless. But the ones you earned taking care of members and coworkers and friends and putting a lot of time into the job. It's a sort of job security, an increase in wages you earn. Yet my referrals were chronically stolen. My reasoning dismissed. I certainly wrote my share of referral sales for others.
When I first started there you got paid on all cash collected from all sales plus salary. Than it changed so you had to hit 50% of goal. You still had to work and sell you just didn't get above salary for it. And would eventually be fired or quit. Hitting goal was/is huge, Than they boiler plated a processing fee, not considered collected cash. You collected, but you didn't get paid on it. Hit Goal and that is a couple hundred dollars or more out of your pocket. Two Changes right there that reduce commissions. I will say that they did raise the salary quite a bit. But I opine they did so only because recruiting to replace you, was getting tough on the measly salary they were offering. Not because they wanted happy sales people. I am sure the new commission plan more than helped balance the books.
S&H would most likely disagree, but I and most other sales people, opine, the system was rigged for failure, intentionally or by lack of insight . Turn over incredible. Near 100% a year. 200 to 300% at my club. Some were sharp people, with good potential. But once they saw the nonsense, the lack of professionalism, the missing commissions they were expecting! By by! Somehow S&H would rather spend money, recruiting and training your replacement than paying you decently and fairly, to be a happy selling camper. I scratch my head? My lack of insight perhaps? Maybe the stubborn culture of the industry? One thing they don't get. And I was a member, so I know. The Constant staff turnover. It is disconcerting to observe as a member. The lack of consistency. causes it's own member turn over. It was my main concern when I was hired out of membership.
They do little to draw prospects. Can't remember when I last saw a tv ad for S&H. I am retired now I watch a lot of tv. Sales people must generate lots of leads. Nothing really wrong with that, But When I left, they were implementing, industry wide, lead generating tracking system. Basically spying on sales people. Meeting their Lead quota, helped me not a bit. I opine it hurt. As meeting a quota and the data entry of mostly useless leads took time away from from tasks that worked better for me.
CEO made some smart changes. But, I opine, he really screwed the sales people, with his carrot on a stick commission plan. I have 40 years experience in assorted businesses and and contract sales, Including being a Real Estate Broker, who manage a brokerage and a college business education. I know a BS commission plan when I see one, Especially if I was being paid fairly decently on the old one. And mostly screwed on the new one. Working 50/60 hours weeks on a 40 hour salary plus commission.
If you are a fair person and like to be fair to others, you don't want this job. Members will get different and even better deals, depending when they sign up. You want to keep your job, you do what you have to do. A real Example: Mrs Jones comes in on the 3rd,desperate to lose baby weight. This early in the month there mostly is no joining specials. Mrs Jones, pays enrollment, processing, and dues to join. Maybe a couple hundred dollars, maybe not to much to Mrs Jones. Until she finds out her friend Sally who joined during closeout got in for processing and a months dues. 4 x less. And a free sweet gym bag to boot. Believe me it happened all the time. And no, S&H it isn't fair! it's a rip off. Certainly it meant more commission to the sales person. And Certainly it was a lot more cash to S&H, if the sales person didn't hit 50% of goal. I say a real win win for S&H. But an ethical loser for all. I feel bad for my involvement, but I needed my job. I add, it ain't fun, when Mrs Jones, reams you for taking advantage of her.
I ended up in fitness, because my own family health background was dead at too young. I was hired out of a five year membership between jobs. A total 10 year affiliation with S&H. With my background and my desire for fitness, it was a fit. Honestly an easy sale. I lived and believed in the product . My first full year. I was club employee of the year, and awarded a company wide top producer award. I regularly made the Presidents Club. I received many sales prizes including a hazy 3 days in Cancun. I also took on extra unpaid admin work for the GM's who wanted to use my admin skills.(grammar and punctuation, obviously, not my skill) Between me and the GM, that eliminated the cost of a hired admin person from the budget, I am sure that helped me keep my job for five years. I received many referrals from clearing membership complaints from my admin and spending a lot of time with members on the floor. It's called customer service. Being an over 50 work out junkie and competitive athlete I had credibility in selling my product. I tried to be a reliable employee. Even recovering from a crippling heart attack. (I opine resulting from a club manager's misconduct, investigated by the Red Cross!) showed up for work every day. Yet I was railroaded out of my job, with no recourse, by a barely competent prissy, moody GM who hated this club and his job, was gone not long after my termination. Such a pro he was. I had to deal with daily EOE and ADA violations from him and another GM, a dangerous bully boss. that involved a Red Cross investigation. ( a long story) Your job will most likely depend on Your GM. Good or Bad they rule the roost. Lucky me, 2 out 6 GM's. Were competent and decent managers. I can't imagine it being worse, but from reviews posted here, It seems it may be.
As a sales person, I expect people leading me and supporting me to be versed in the product and the processes I deal in. Hopefully more expert than myself. Such as the membership department. Described as "Manage the daily and monthly billing for 23 club locations. Responsible for auditing new sales contracts." I opine, I spent half my day fixing the problems created in that department. Number one member complaint every day in and out. Billing! Number two# more billing problems. The department describes it's job "manage the daily and monthly billing" And I say "i often spent half my day writing paperwork to send to corp to fix billing problems" Ridiculous paperwork, that I learned as well as anybody, after spending Months, when I was first hired, helping the assistant manager clean up a mess. A huge mess of paperwork created by the previous management after a transfer of club ownership, to S&H After that I handled most of the membership admin for one of My GM's and trained new staff on the paperwork. Thankfully that was being fixed by centralizing membership support in one department. Taking it out of the club level. One of the smartest things S&H did. But I knew my knowledge of the inane corporate paperwork, wasn't an asset anymore. My referrals from having that knowledge gone. Just a fact, not a complaint. But I digress.
This same department, Membership accounting, has a lot to do with your income, your job, I opine no one in it ever sold a single membership in my five years, and I opine, probably never sold a single one, with S&H. I opine, Most likely no one in it it ever worked in the field. I opine, I could do that job and still sell my quota of memberships. Cause I did it at the club level. During a period, when my club had no GM, the sales manager was mostly awol and I the "senior" sales consultant, was the only person who knew what was going on with a whole new sales crew. None of this was my fault, it just got dumped on me. And it kept me very busy. I missed training on a new membership computer system, It came on line before I had a chance to get trained and I screwed up imputing some new memberships. All that department could see was their end of things. I barely got credit for the problems at the club, I just described.
I suggest, putting all of upper (UPs)management back in the field. generating leads, selling memberships, I opine most wouldn't last a month. I opine S&H your business will boom. I opine Most have been out of the trenches way to long. I opine, they are out of touch and I opine that out of touchness is incompetence. So, put them in the field selling for a few months, make their jobs contingent on meeting lead generating goals and on successfully hitting club sales goals. Just like any sales person. They do that, they keep their corp job. Business will be a booming, from the influx of understanding, a refresher in the field will bring. Not to mention the humility, and the deep respect that will develop between UPs and trenchers. That will separate the chafe from the wheat. LIke that would happen! Who wants a chance to prove their incompetence!
I am sure most of the higher UPs are awesome at paper pushing. But I never saw any sell a membership, although I heard some had. I opine, I hit my personal goal more often than Corporate and the UPs hit it's Goal. Goals being the measure of performance here, right! Yet sales person after sales person was fired or quit for not hitting goal regularly. But many of those UPs who didn't hit their goals, but infrequently, are still on the job. It's disingenuous at least. A self serving different standard for the UPs
When I got fired. I at least was able to engage a representative of the UPs and HR in a conference call. I opine, The UPs were just so out of touch. . Surely the UPs were up to speed as to why a 5 year employee was being fired. A man's job, his "career", his health insurance all out the window and these "Professionals" didn't have a clue what was going on. It sounded like this to me. Bla bla paperwork, bla bla problems this, bla bla bla, Not a single specific and none of it on my termination paperwork. Ups are ok folks I suppose, but none ever impressed me as a sales leader, more like, safely locked in to their jobs. And I opine they were inadequate as a "professional" in regards to my firing and meeting their own sales goals.
As to the "Professionalism" of the HR department, I was blackmailed into dropping My EOE claim in exchange for not contesting my unemployment. Even though I got on employment, I could have continued my EOE claim, I took the high road. I honored my agreement. After the railroading, the finger pointing, the lies. I just wanted to keep some of my dignity in tact. Someone in the know advised me I had a real case for EOE violations. Especially since the the US government found me legally an over 50 disabled person dated a week before my firing. I say this company and some of it's "professional" staff violated EOE and ADA law. It has been documented in a Red Cross investigation involving one of those staff members. In his own words of defense of the indefensible.
I got hired quickly out of membership. But note the interview process was lengthy for such a bad job and high turnover. I saw sharp people coming to interview, yet often ended up working with dull, thieving, incompetents for the most part. If they didn't get fired, Even folks with good potential, quit once they realized what a screw job they were getting. No big deal, the replacements were already in training, the wheel was going around.
GM's (essentially each a club CEO and the face representing the company in each Club) and sales manager's often were the worse manager's I ever met. In five years I went though 6 GM's. and 5 Sales managers. Desperate Sales people (including me) and Sales managers doing desperate things to hit goal and keep their job. The higher corporate UPs kept their jobs, even though they rarely hit their over all company goals.
Being an over 50 fitness buff, you would not believe the ignorant, illegal crap, I put up with from a several of my GM's, Including a dangerous bully boss. I don't blame S&H for hiring him, I blame them for keeping him! It is all documented in a Red Cross investigation! Again I emphasize your career will depend on the temperament of your GM. The pressure on them from corporate, will have many acting like self centered 6 years olds. Ever try to reason or deal with a stressed 6 year old.
The CEO, was a good guy when we both started around the same time as a GM. I knew him fairly well. He did me a few solids. But as time went by, I opine, he sold out to a suit. Such a big deal he was, one day he demanded I take off a nice embroidered company issued sweat shirt, more of a sweater, I was wearing over the the required stupid shirt and tie required at the time. This on a cold day, when I wasn't feeling well. Honestly dude, didn't you have anything better to do that day. Besides bust my sick chops. Strip my cloths off, my dignity. U pompous UP. I put it back on after you left. Go sell a membership or something. And when I needed a solid most, when I was being abused and bullied, lied about and railroaded out of my job. Mark wouldn't even return my call. Hear my side out. After I was fired, I informed Mark by email, diplomatically as I could. of the nature of one of My GM's, bullying nastiness, his probable EOE and ADA, violations, how he left me in an awkward, and unsafe situation every night, sick as I was from a heart attack that almost killed me. How this GM lied on a retaliatory write up. All unprofessional misconduct he should have been fired over. The man got 5 more years on the job as A GM. So as to Carry on his nastiness,. Most likely abusing subordinates, particularly woman. He admitted his misbehavior to the Red Cross.and he barely kept is Red Cross "water safety" credentials. As the investigator recommend revocation. How could you Mark, Keep this miscreant on the Job. I believe there is something wrong with you too dude. I opine it was incompetence on your part, Mark, the man could have got me killed or injured. In fact I say he did almost get me killed. When he tossed my medicine before it could be shipped to me and I almost died in the back of an ambulance from a clogged stent in my heart. I don't blame you for that. Anyway It's all detailed in the Red Cross investigation. Mark, Google my name, you know who I am. You'll find it. If it didn't happen to me, I could never believe, "professionals" could be so incompetent in the matter. GM's, UPs, HR, even the CEO. it was like a bazaar o world. More reason, decent folks should avoid working for S&H. I will say I had one great boss, a good man, an eagle scout, at S&H, he is the standared I hold the rest of S&H to, None of you you come. even close.
There was a time Mark sat with me in the hospital, where I was well taking care of and it was a nice visit. I was grateful And he made some arrangements, about pay and time off to recuperate. I was very grateful for that. . But when I really needed him. He ignored the situation. Ignored me. He just let it happen. And I am sure he lets it happen day after day, year after year to others, He made it to the top, why bother to help a coworker for old times sake. Or protect staff from a bully boss. I used to defend Mark to others who didn't like him. But I changed teams. Blew off a chance to talk to him on the phone, a couple years after I got fired. I wasn't up for a pleasant conversation. Nothing he could say would mean a thing after what I got put though, the lies, the illegal crap, the crippling of my body. The toleration of a Dangerous Bully Boss. G Stay away from this company, this industry this CEO. Because your are helpless in the trenches. I opine it is always, your fault, never "theirs"
Honestly I put 10 years in with the company, 5 as a member, 5 as an employee. I showed up for my shift and job regularly. I sold a lot of memberships this company collected lots of dues from. Yet I put up with the most unprofessional nonsense from some of the most unprofessional people I have ever had the displeasure to work for. Including a dangerous bully boss. Self serving GMs and Corp UPs. I came out of the experience a physical cripple.(long story) If ethics be an issue. I was a least as ethical and probably more so than the people I worked under. That Includes corporate. In my opinion, the whole industry is unethical, a scam, to most of it's customers and it's front line employees. Built on a Ponzi scheme of member dues. If all the members showed up one day, the business would collapse from the cancellations. But, I make light! or maybe shed some.