How to Conduct a Proper Tour
Selling a gym membership is more than presenting a monthly fee and hoping it fits the customer’s budget. As we discussed in Part I Introduction & Goal Assessment, employees need to make the customer feel comfortable by using their name and asking questions to determine their fitness goals before revealing prices or touring the gym.
In Part II, we go over the essential steps to successfully introducing your gym to a prospect. In terms of the value sales process, this is where you sell both the tangible and intangible benefits of joining your gym, such as – lose weight and feel better!
Three key steps to a great gym tour
- Start in the section of the health club which reflects their fitness interests. If your client is interested in bulking up for a competition, don’t spend the first 10 minutes at cardio. A move like that will cause them to tune out and think less of you as a salesperson. After all, your actions show you weren’t listening, right?
- Put them on the equipment wherever possible. “The feel of the steel, seals the deal,” say experts in the fitness industry. This builds product value, as now you can offer tips and advice, illustrating a high level of knowledge and establishing a teacher-student style relationship that generates trust and engagement.
- Introduce your gym prospect to a happy (and talkative!) member. This instant comradery overcomes the sense of dread many people feel when first joining a gym: As if exercising in front of people wasn’t bad enough, now we have to face a roomful of strangers as well! Let your long-term member’s cheery disposition create a near-instant sense of belonging.
Two powerful sales techniques that build value
Assumptive Questions. These questions are framed as if the customer has already decided to become a member. Here is where the knowledge you gained during the introduction comes into play. For assumptive questions to work, you must have confidence in both your budding relationship with this client and in your own sales ability. These questions are frequently used to close sales, but in this case, we are just trying to make the customer think about their choices and options as a member, rather than whether or not they want to join your health club.
This is what an assumptive question sounds like:
- What time are you more likely to use the club, in the morning or evening?
- How many days a week will you visit the gym?
- Will you take Spin or Body Flow Tuesday mornings?
Porcupine Questions. This technique “bounces” a negative statement or question back at the client. For example, if the prospect says, “Is it always dead in here?” rephrase the question to ask, “Is a quiet gym what you’re looking for?” Then lead into the appropriate answer by explaining how your gym offers the right vibe he or she prefers.
The objective of both assumptive and porcupine questions is to increase your client’s comfort level with you and the health club. In their mind, your club becomes where they would like to be, through generating a series of little “yesses.”
What about the membership price question?
Don’t be afraid to sidestep this question for now. The average prospect thinks about joining a gym for six months before stepping into a facility. Something told them today’s the day, so your job is to build value and confidence as to why your membership is worth the price.
If (or when!) they ask, simply answer that you offer several membership levels, but first you need to make sure this gym is a good fit. Assure them the membership includes showing them how to use the equipment and (perhaps) provides a complimentary personal training session to help customize their fitness routine.
It’s important to practice this particular part of the presentation beforehand. Figure out a good answer and make it sound natural. Remember, you’re not trying to take advantage of this customer. You’re giving yourself enough time and space to reinforce value and justify membership costs. If you’re not a low-budget gym, then price is going to be an issue. Establishing a strong case during the tour minimizes price objections later.
Next week, watch your inbox for Part III “Price Presentation,” where we’ll cover membership sales.
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