How to Sell Gym Memberships: An Easy 5-Step Sales Process(Last Updated On: September 27, 2021)
So, you’re doing great in every aspect of your business but when it comes to sales, you and your team are struggling. It’s not because you’re bad at sales, because you might be closing a good percentage of your new prospects. But maybe the conversation feels uncomfortable and you’ve tried tons of scripts and now you are just confused as to what to say. I get it, selling can be hard but if you’re looking to increase sales and learn how to sell gym memberships, this article is going to help.
I am going to teach you the 5-Step Sales Process that will make you and your team comfortable with sales and help you close more offers and memberships. (If you need help building a front end offer, read this.) But what really makes this an incredible process is that there is no forcing, no convincing, and your prospect will feel free to choose. Wherever the conversation ends, both you and the prospect get to leave the room feeling good about the conversation.
Now, if you’re struggling with generating leads and you’re just not having enough conversations every week you can check out this video:
If you need a deeper overview of all the tools you need from lead generation to customer care (retention) then this article will help. If you’re confident with your lead generation strategy then continue on to learn about our 5-Steps Sales Process.
You are Going to Learn how to Sell Gym Memberships Through these Steps:
- Build Rapport with your Prospect
- Explore their Aspirations
- Uncover their Afflictions
- Make a Collaborative Evaluation
- Offer a Recommendation and Commitment
But first we need to talk about the most common reason why your current sales method is not working.
The Problem with Sales:
The biggest problem with sales conversations is actually pretty simple. People don’t know how to have them. It’s no one’s fault, especially in the fitness industry! You started your gym not to become a sales person but to change lives through fitness. So don’t beat yourself up if you feel like you’re not doing too great in your sales conversations. It would be like attempting to do a backflip without prior training and expecting to be able to do it on the first try. You may say: “Well, I’ve been trying this for a few years now.” I get that, it makes sense, you should be able to get pretty decent at it just by doing it over and over. But, you are dealing with human beings, we have a very complex psychology, so don’t try to navigate that alone. If you’re interested in that, here is a good place to start.
This is the reason that many fitness business owners resort to a sales script. A sales script offers you a way NOT to deal with the human being in front of you. It leaves it up to a script to navigate the prospect to a sale. This hinders you from actually connecting to the prospect and is often stressful and robotic as you attempt to converse with the person in front of you. Plus, when you try to train your staff using a sales script it is bound to be a train wreck!
Our 5-Step Sales Process is a framework that you work within. It allows you to actually be with the person in front of you and create a connection with them. Once you get used to it, it becomes really simple and flexible to use. Once you’ve trained your staff, you will feel confident in their ability to have great sales conversations. Our process is based in behavior change science and designed around the same principles that are used in coaching fitness clients:
- Understanding the client and their situation
- Understanding where the client is trying to go
- Helping them discover their motivations and options
- Empowering them to change the situation
Okay, let’s jump into it!
Step 1: Welcome and Building Rapport
When you meet with your prospect you can drop all the nervousness, you have a method now. Focus on having a normal human interaction. Focus on these two things:
- Set the tone by building a genuine connection.
- Set expectations about the meeting and your relationship.
In that moment, remember why you got into fitness. It was probably your passion for fitness itself but then it was most likely because you wanted to change people’s lives. So get out of business owner mode and back into that passion for helping people. Get to know your prospect. Listen. And share about yourself and your journey without shifting the focus off of them. Then be upfront about what is going to happen in the conversation.
All too often people try to dress a sales conversation as something else. That inauthenticity is what makes it feel uncomfortable and makes it end in some type of failure. So let them know that you are going to be asking them a few questions and that at the end of the conversation you are going to make a recommendation. This orients the entire conversation, there isn’t any surprise for the prospect. They will be more relaxed when they know where the conversation is leading. It also makes the whole experience feel like you are there to help them solve their problem… and you are!
Step 2: Explore Aspirations
This second step is so important because it becomes an anchor for the whole conversation. You want to encourage your prospect to dream about their ideal future. Let them talk about where they want to be in 3 months. Prod them. Push them. People need a little push in this stage because they are often thinking that things are going to stay the same. They may also have a judgement about their dream, or think that their fitness goal is outrageous. It is a vulnerable space. But once they get going, you are going to get everything you need to know to frame your recommendation. You can also share about similar goals, or clients that have conquered that same challenge. Just make sure you keep the focus on them. This should be a stage of excitement.
Step 3: Uncover Afflictions
As you dive into their dreams you will start to uncover what is stopping them from reaching their dream. Right? Because if there wasn’t an obstacle in their way then they wouldn’t be sitting with you. This step, goes into the dark spaces, the even more vulnerable space that people definitely don’t want to talk about. But all you need to do is ask. Over and over. You find every obstacle that is stopping them from reaching their fitness goals. This process is super valuable to the prospect. I’m sure they don’t often think about what is stopping them from reaching their goals. If they left the conversation after this step, you will have already helped them tremendously.
In this conversation, you may notice that a lot of their affiliations are limiting beliefs they have about themselves or fitness in general. As you hear what they have to say, you may notice yourself in what they are saying. We all have limiting beliefs that stop us from reaching our goals. If you want to start to transform your own limiting beliefs, start here.
Step 4: Collaborative Evaluation
During this stage the two of you will evaluate the pros and cons of the prospect taking action – and of not taking action. Go in depth and take this stage seriously. Lead the conversation and keep it connected to pros and cons specifically for them. It is easy to evaluate general things like “Working out is hard.” But you need to use what you learned about the prospect in the “Explore Aspirations” and “Uncover Afflictions” stages. Maybe they had discussed that they have trouble getting to sleep, and they work 9am-5pm. So maybe the con in that case would be: “Waking up early to go to the gym.” but the pro would be “After some time, you will be sleeping better.”
Then go even deeper. “What does the future look like if you don’t make a change?” Let them answer this for themselves. Let them discover the impact of their choices. You are guiding the conversation so that they can sell themselves on your packages. This is much better than trying to convince them that they need to change, let them prove to themselves that they need to change. This leads to the final stage in the process.
Step 5: Recommendations and Commitment
This is the most important stage because this is where the sale occurs. If you have done the prior four stages then this is going to be really easy. Be confident in your ability to help this person make the changes they need in their life. Make your offers with confidence and clarity. Bring back the last three stages. Remind them about the aspirations that they shared with you, then remind them of the afflictions stopping them from reaching their aspirations, then make your offer. Talk about your offer as a solution to their specific problem. You can strengthen the offer with social proof. Tell a story about a client that had a similar problem and how your offer helped them reach their goal.
At this point, the prospect should be pretty excited because they are living in their new future.
Now, you can offer the commitment question. “Based on what we’ve talked about, what do you see as the next step?” Framing the question like this gives them the freedom to choose and puts their fate in their hands. All the work you have done in this process has helped them see that what you have to offer is the solution to their problem. This reinforces the themes we’ve followed all along:
- You’re genuinely helping them.
- They truly can make the necessary changes.
- It’s their decision to make – no pressure.
Let them choose and be supportive in any choice that they make. Whether “Yes.” or “No.” everyone gets to leave the conversation feeling good. If they choose to work with you, then you have started the relationship off in a place of service rather than them feeling like they were forced into something. If they do not choose to work with you, they get to walk away with all the value you provided during the conversation and you get a good reputation. Either way, it is a win-win. Sometimes it will not be that clear and the prospect will bring up objections to your offer. Learn more about what they are actually saying in this article.
Once you have learned the method yourself and feel confident in having those sales conversations then you can start to train your staff on how to do it. Here is a short video with one of our clients discussing his process on teaching his staff.
This article provides a solid foundation to our 5-Step Sales Process but it is certainly not a full training on how to produce the best results from every sales conversation.
If that is what you are looking for then I highly recommend The Academy. You will receive a full education on our Fitness Business Alignment System which has helped tens of thousands of fitness professionals grow their business with confidence. Click here to learn how The Academy can help you.
Success Coach, Fitness Revolution