Fitness sales techniques can be hit and miss. Many health club chains teach an old-school approach that focuses on closing sales and hitting targets. It’s part of the reason that our industry has a bad reputation for high-pressure sales tactics, along with complex membership contracts.
But the truth is that ‘sales’ doesn’t have to be a dirty word. There are lots of ways to sell your products and services, that won’t make you feel like you need a shower afterward! But perhaps more importantly, they won’t make your clients and customers feel awkward or pressured.
In this article we dissect the stereotypes about fitness sales, and offer up a more modern approach that you can use to sell with integrity…
Fitness Sales Stereotypes
Let’s start by addressing the stereotypes. There’s a perception that fitness sales people have certain traits…
– Extroverts – outgoing, talkative, and confident
– Pushy – sell things that people don’t want or need just to earn their commission
– Unprincipled – they’re all about the sale, rather than what’s good for the client
– Dishonest – will lie or bend the truth in order to convince buyers to purchase
These stereotypes may have been true of how fitness sales was done in the past, but that era of high pressure sales is finished. People have got wise to this old-school approach and they just don’t want to buy from people like this. If you think about your own experiences of being ‘sold to’, people like this probably haven’t made you feel excited about purchasing. So why is there still a perception that it’s these types of people who succeed in sales?
The good news is that the world of sales in general has moved on. Professional sales people now recognise that this old-school approach of ‘always be closing’ no longer works. People want to buy things that improve their life in some way. And they want to buy from people who have their needs in mind.
The most successful sales people now take a consultative approach instead of going for the hard sell. They listen to the needs of the client, and then advise them on what will best meet these needs.
People will happily hand over their hard-earned cash in return for something that’s truly valuable. So if you can offer people a product or service that solves their problems, then it takes a lot less effort to sell it. Developing the right product for your audience will get you 80% (and sometimes even 100%!) of the way to a sale. Then taking the right sales approach is what’ll help you with the final part.
While the traditional stereotypes may have been true once, these days a successful sales person has very different character traits. So whether you’re invovled in selling your own fitness services, or hiring membership consultants to do it for you, here are the qualities that are needed nowadays. In the modern fitness industry, successful sales people tend to be…
This type of person sits in the middle of the spectrum between extrovert and introvert. They’re often the most successful people at selling, mainly because they have a balanced approach to communication. They have enough confidence to talk to people and are fairly outgoing, but not so outgoing that they dominate the conversation. They’re also good at listening which is a really important skill when selling, as they hear and understand what a client’s needs really are.
Successful fitness sales people aren’t pushy. They’ll quite happily let a potential client have time to think about whether personal training is right for them, or recommend alternatives, instead of trying to force them to buy immediately. By removing that pressure, you instantly put people at ease, which makes them feel more comfortable with you, and actually helps you sell more.
They do the right thing rather than being unprincipled. The fitness industry has a pretty bad reputation for being pushy and maybe a bit dishonest… Especially when it comes to membership sales, or charging fees that weren’t clearly explained up front. We don’t want be like that – we’re all about selling with integrity. Plus people hate being duped, and they don’t want to buy from anyone they feel might be unethical.
They’re genuine, transparent, and up front about costs that are involved and exactly what people will get for their money. All of us want to deal with honest people. We don’t want to think we’re being taken for a ride or feel like we’re not being told the whole truth.
‘Honesty, directness, and transparency, have become the better, more pragmatic long term route.’
These are the traits that successful fitness sales people tend to have these days. So bear them in mind when you’re thinking about how you want to approach selling fitness.
Like Our Integrity-Based Approach To Fitness Sales?
If you’re unsure how to sell fitness but like our modern approach, then check out our online course. How To Sell Personal Training will teach you the systems and skills you need to sell fitness with integrity. It covers everything you need to know, from profitable pricing strategies to addressing objections. Plus it includes lots of practical activities to help you implement what you learn into your own business. Learn more about the course curriculum here.