You’ve acquired your gym space and purchased equipment. Your brand is built and you have a team of coaches at the ready. There’s only one thing left to do: Sales. GULP. One of the prerequisites to successful ownership is selling gym memberships. Exchanging money for your time and services means you can make a living and your business can be profitable.
Whether you like it or not, you’re going to be a salesperson.
Before you cringe and start feeling slimy, we’re asking you today to challenge the norm. Okay, so some dude at the mall kiosk convinced you to spend a cool $300 on eye cream that one time. That doesn’t mean all salespeople are icky.
If you follow these six steps, you will learn to reframe your mindset and see the sales process in a wholesome way. Your future members will be healthy and happy, with one bonus side effect for you: Financial success.
1. Admit It: You're A Salesperson.
To help you accept your new role as a salesperson, think about this: Everyone you know is in sales. EVERY ONE. Whether someone is interviewing for a job, self-employed like yourself or going on a first date, they’re all selling themselves. We’re all in sales!
And once you accept this idea, it will be easier to embrace your role selling gym memberships. This also helps to illustrate that we all have different sales personalities. Speaking of dating, we can all (hopefully) spot the slimy one. We digress. But once you’ve accepted your role in sales, you can start to shape the type of salesperson you want to be.
2. Explore The Value In What You’re Selling.
Tricking someone into buying something they don’t need, or convincing them the value of the product or services is greater than it is, is what gives sales a bad rap.
So dig into the actual gym membership value: Health and wellness. And lucky for you, this is a product that every human needs. A person’s health and quality of life is the most valuable thing they can possess, and you get to provide solutions to get them there.
You’re not in the business of selling someone the largest TV possible so they can go home and be sedentary. Nor are you trying to pressure someone into a timeshare. You’re selling gym memberships, a service that lets them enjoy their lives longer. This is something everyone needs, will benefit from, and has value for.
3. Change The Way You Look At Sales.
Say this out loud: “Sales is just helping someone with a problem make a decision in finding a solution.”
Now, say it again and let that statement resonate.
The right kind of sales is simply a conversation between two people: One with a problem and one with a potential solution. In the event you’re not the best solution to your prospect’s problem, be honest. Refer them to a local provider who is a better fit.
You’ll be surprised how thankful people are when they trust that you’re actually trying to help them. This is how you build a powerful brand with members who stick around for years. And even in the event that they don’t sign up, you might even get a referral from earning their trust.
4. Find Their “Why.”
This is the most important step in selling gym memberships. It’s how you’ll find out if you’re a good fit and how you can provide the most value. This conversation might surface some emotional pain or sensitive topics, so it’s best to talk in a private, comfortable space.
Start by asking what brought them in. They’ll probably answer with something simple: “I'd like to get in better shape.” Surface-level answers are okay at first. The key is to get to the real motivation by asking, “Why?”
If someone tells you they want to lose weight, ask why. If they answer that they want to feel better about themselves, ask why. Keep chipping away at the layers until you get the true why.
When they share their true why (pain point), it means they see you as someone who can help them overcome that pain. Once you’ve established trust, present them with your plan to help them. They will see value in your service, and you’ve gone from selling them to helping them.
Here’s a “why” conversation example:
Prospect: I’d like to join the gym. I need to lose some weight.
You: We can help with that. Why do you want to lose weight?
Prospect: I was hoping to get back to the weight I was in my twenties. Ideally in the next three months.
You: I think that’s a reasonable goal and timeframe. May I ask why your goal is that particular weight?
Prospect (tearing up): I was the chubby kid in high school. Our reunion is coming up...
Now you’ve reached the true why. They’ve identified the problem and a need for your services. You can be confident that what you offer is a good fit. And most importantly, you’ve established trust. All of these things have turned the conversation from selling gym memberships to helping someone in need.
5. Get A Clear Yes Or No.
At the end of a sales conversation, there should be only three possible outcomes: Yes, no or definite future.
There’s nothing worse than finishing an intro session with a prospect and having them say, “I’ll think about it.”
Anyone looking for a solution to a clear and immediate problem should be able to make a yes or no decision. Therefore, this should be an early part of your conversation. Don’t be afraid to clarify your intentions from the start: “If I think I can help you, I’m going to present a solution. Is there anything that would prohibit you from starting if I can help you?” This way, you can handle objections upfront, and avoid wasting your time or theirs.
Establish your expectation of receiving a yes or no answer at the start of the conversation. Tell the prospect that your goal is to get to a yes or no answer. If someone else factors into the decision-making process, like a spouse or doctor, suspend the session until that person is available too. This sets the precedent for respecting your time and everyone leaving with a clear decision.
Achieving a “definite future” answer means you’ve both agreed to a specific date and time for your follow-up. The prospect commits to being able to give you a definitive yes or no answer. Anything else puts you in a position to have to chase down the prospect, which isn't productive or enjoyable for either side.
6. Not Everyone Is Your Ideal Client.
Through the process of your sales conversations, you’ll learn that not everyone is the right client for you. Your goal is to help, and if your services don’t fill the prospect’s need, don’t force it.
Remember, not only is the prospect deciding if they want to train with you, the opposite is true. You also get to decide whether or not you want to train the prospect. If you don’t like the way the intro session is going, or they don’t fit your unique selling proposition, you have the right to decline. Selling gym memberships is actually a two-way street to discover whether you’re a good fit for each other.
Follow these six steps to become a trustworthy ally who’s able to truly make a difference in your prospect’s life. As a side effect, you’ll increase revenue and retention in a way that you’ll feel good about.
PRO TIP: Once you’ve learned to love the sales process, take the next step! Set up your gym management system by registering your FREE account here!
PushPress is a gym management software that is here to help you grow your fitness facility. With PushPress, you'll be able to manage classes and appointments, take payments, track attendance, manage leads and create an unforgettable member experience!