Selling gym memberships is the lifeblood of any fitness center. Yet most gym owners don’t think in terms of the sales process, instead leaving the most critical component of their business unscripted and unmanaged.
To help club owners better understand how to train their employees so they can guide clients skillfully, we are running a five-part series that breaks the gym sales process into discrete, manageable training points:
- Introduction and goal assessment
- How to conduct a proper tour
- Price presentation
- Closing the sale
- Asking for (additional) business
Part 1. Introduction and Goal Assessment
Introduction: Say My Name
It seems elementary, but the first step to selling a customer is knowing their name. When a new person walks through the front door — or calls on the phone — your employees should introduce themselves and then ask the prospect’s name.
With this new power in hand — the name of a prospect — employees can build rapport easily and adeptly without coming across as pushy or intimidating.
Employees should simply refer to the prospect by name upon meeting. Then regularly, but not excessively, use it throughout the conversation, tour, presentation, and closing.
Why is this humble action so important?
Because although you may run an excellent gym and hire only fitness experts, at this point in the sales process the employee is selling himself, not the gym. We buy from people we like. Customer relations is as simple as that.
Calling a visitor by name acknowledges their identity, shows respect and grabs attention – allowing the conversation to stay on track and move forward.
A warning, though: Make sure the pronunciation is correct and employees use the guest’s preferred form – Mike, not Michael, Cassandra, not Cass. Slipping into an abbreviated version is the same as using a nickname – which is a no-no. The client has not given you permission to be that informal yet. Use your prospect’s name, but say it correctly.
Goal Assessment: Why are you here, Ms. Customer?
Discussing clients’ goals before the gym tour is a critical first step to gaining trust and selling the right services.
Once the employee has met and begun speaking with a prospect, it’s paramount to understand their goals. Slow the process down. As we wrote in Five Secrets to a Great Gym Tour, the initial discussion sets the stage for overcoming later objections and builds value in the eyes of the customer. It also saves an employee from accidentally emphasizing a less desirable part of the gym while missing an opportunity to sell a positive feature. Find a quiet spot. Sit down. Have a conversation.
Ask fitness clients:
- What do you hope to achieve by joining the gym?
- What are your goals?
- What is your motivation for joining the studio now?
By truly understanding why this individual walked into your business today, you establish a strong platform from which to sell memberships, as well as other services, such as personal training, massage therapy, or any other profit-point within your gym business. But first, you must know their name and their goals.
Watch next week for Part II, “How to Conduct a Proper Tour.”
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