Is your club terrible at selling gym memberships?
It’s ok – you’re not alone. Despite your big heart and your passion for helping the community address their fitness and health, selling gym memberships is not about pitching your facilities and pricing alone, there is a lot more to it than that.
Chances are, prospects approach telling you their goals like losing weight and then you immediately start pitching your membership without even listening to – let alone addressing, their story.
People dislke being advertised to, and even worse they hate being pitched to. If this is your approach, you will be putting them into a defensive position – resisting your pitch because they do not want to be sold. Instead you should ask questions and discuss their needs.
So by asking questions and listening to prospects – actually listening, you can get into the personal aspect of their goals to, say, losing weight or building muscle. In the process, they’ll feel more comfortable and will see that you’re a good partner that can help them succeed. It goes without saying that you can get new members that will stick to your health club if you listen, establish rapport and get personal with your prospects.
So if a potential member approaches and tells you that he or she wants to lose weight, you don’t just pitch them and talk about your trainers, services and classes and so on.
Instead of that approach, perhaps it’s better to get to know the reasons behind a particular goal, which in this case is to lose weight. Do they struggle with diet? Perhaps an injury has kept them from exercising.
Ask why your potential client wants to lose the weight, and how much they want to lose. As the conversation goes on and you develop a rapport with the client, you can also ask what they would like to be able to do that they currently cannot do, and ask what they can do, and show them how this will help them attain their goals. In the process, you will get to know the story behind a goal, and in doing so you will connect, in their mind at least, the chances of success at their goal with what you and your facility offer!
Perhaps, this person wants to shed pounds because he needs to improve his physique – to ‘look good naked,’ or he wants to lower his risk to overweight-related diseases, including heart attack or diabetes. The customer is vulnerable while describing their problems to you – the worst thing you can do is to not engage them based on their responses. You can also ask what limitations the customer is experiencing right now, and perhaps what the biggest challenges they are.
By listening to the story behind their goal of losing weight, you will be able to get a personal relationship with a prospect, allowing them to feel comfortable and see you as a good partner in helping him through his journey. They will feel supported, instead of feeling alone, and that’s 80% of the battle!
Stop doing the same thing that most people do. They hear a problem and then start pitching the solution right away instead of getting to know and interacting with prospects on their terms. To avoid this mistake, you have two things:
- Ask questions.
Really – it’s that simple.
Do these when a prospect approaches, when you tour him around your facility. Importantly, you should also brief your staff about this aspect to selling a gym membership. “Ask questions and listen” should be the mantra your sales staff repeat daily.
It is not enough that they memorize a sales pitch and then narrate it when talking with prospects over the phone or in person.
The point of a script is to free up the thinking of your staff so that they can really listen to what the potential member is saying, and then the conversation will go off-script—where they will actually be communicating NATURALLY.
What you really want your staff to do is to listen – not talk, so that he or she can take the next step, and that is much easier if they know is driving the potential customer’s weight loss goals.
During the conversation you will be able to translate goals into the services you are offering. By tailoring the pitch to the customer’s needs, you know that this person will be happy to train in your facility, which, because you were listening, offers the exact services the customer needs to lose weight.
You know what you do well and you are proud to discuss it with the prospect. By learning what can be best for a customer and discovering how your gym is the right fit, you will be a natural at selling memberships.
By getting more personal with a gym prospect, the prospect will see you as a partner, not a salesperson pitching his product.
As you’ve seen, selling gym memberships isn’t always easy or straightforward. But if you’ll learn how to ask GREAT QUESTIONS AND LISTEN WITH FULL ATTENTION, you’ll preform much better. Not only can straight pitching alienate your customer, tailoring your pitch will build a partnership and sky-rocket your closing rates.
For the best results, you should also train your people on how to do the selling correctly, from the time the client walks into and tours your facility, discussing his fitness needs up to the time he is ready to sign up for your services.
By learning how to sell correctly, you will see things improve. You can role play with your staff and repeat until they perfect the routine. Most importantly, teach them the best ways to ask, listen and establish rapport with a prospect so that they can penetrate into the client’s thoughts and learn of his requirements. By knowing his needs, the conversation up to the point of selling your services will become more natural and will not sound like a script.
So the bottom line is to establish a rapport, genuinely listen to your client’s needs, and don’t pitch on price or service. Instead pitch based on what the client’s goals are and how your facility can help him or her meet their goals easily and effectively!
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