Today's blog post is written by Phil Stern, Director of Sales at Zen Planner, How To Sell Gym Memberships a company which provides client management software for thousands of fitness businesses.
If I had to guess, you own a fitness business because of your passion for fitness and desire to help people – not to sell memberships. If that’s the case, some of the tasks associated with being a business owner might feel like a complete pain. Like sales. But let’s be clear: if you want your business to thrive, you will have to know how to sell gym memberships.
So with that in mind, I want to dispel one very common misconception: you do not need to develop some slick, “close ‘em every time” pitch. In fact, you shouldn’t be pitching at all. You’ll truly become successful not selling, but by listening.
I know this sounds simple, but hear me out. This approach is based on public research on how people like to buy. Pitching puts people on the defensive – they don’t want to be sold. However, asking questions draws people in – they want to buy. More importantly, by listening to your prospects, you'll quickly understand the personal aspects of their fitness goals. In the process, you'll build trust and demonstrate that you're invested in their success.
An example of how it usually goes:
The prospect: “I want to get into shape.”
You: “That’s great! We can get you into a class right away, and you’ll want these other products and services to get you there faster!”
Whoa! Slow. Down.
Consider asking these questions instead:
- Why do you want to change your body composition?
- How do you want to make the change?
- If you changed you body, how would it change your life?
- Are you limited in some way right now?
- What is your experience with weight training and exercise?
- What is your experience as an athlete?
- What do you feel will be the biggest challenge you'll face?
- Why is changing your body composition even a goal?
Do you see why listening is so important? Most people hear a familiar problem and start pitching before learning anything about the person they’re speaking with. They go into sell mode far too soon, and that's a major turnoff for potential customers.
Instead, spend time learning how to have great conversations and train your staff on how to interact with your prospects. Share examples of questions your staff members should be asking. Most importantly, role-play these conversations with your staff members so you can hone your skills together.
Now You Know How To Sell Gym Memberships!
The bottom line for sales success? Ask great questions and listen to the responses! Another great way to get more members is through referrals. Learn how other gym owners are using Facebook check-ins to reach more people.