Are you looking for gym sales tips to boost your conversions and sign up more members? If you’re a gym sales consultant, then you already know the importance of building rapport quickly. You may only get a few minutes with a potential client or member, so you need to build the relationship FAST.
Yet rapport building is often overlooked by personal trainers and gym membership consultants. They skip this step and dive straight into selling before they’ve established any kind of connection. But this makes it SO much harder to sell successfully.
In this article – we share 5 simple gym sales techniques that’ll help you convert more prospects into paying members.
We’re more likely to do business with people we know, like, and trust. So, without building this foundation it’s much harder to sell. People aren’t going to open up about their health problems or fitness challenges unless they feel comfortable with us. And we can’t do a good job of tailoring memberships or training solutions unless they do.
“People do business with, and refer business to people they know, like, and trust.”
But many people just ask outright if the person is interested in purchasing. There’s none of this ‘getting to know each other’ business – they just go straight for the close. And that almost always end up with a flat ‘no’.
We’re not saying that the direct sales approach is all bad – it’s better than being too scared to ask at all! But there are more effective ways to go about selling gym memberships. Rapport building may take a few minutes longer but your success rate will be much better.
Building some rapport also demonstrates that you’re genuinely interested in them as a person, and not just after their cash. By finding areas that you have in common, you establish a relationship instead of a business transaction.
So, how do you build rapport quickly? Well during the initial stages of the gym sales process, there are a few proven techniques that you can use. Here are our favourites…
#1 – Find Something In Common
Try to find something in common by using open-ended questions to learn more about them. These are questions that start with ‘how’, ‘what’, ‘why’, and so on. Asking closed questions that elicit a ‘yes/no’ response can shut down the flow of the conversation, so it’s best to avoid those.
You might find that you went to the same school, follow the same sports team, or share similar interests. Focus on broad topics like fitness and hobbies, rather than personal questions. If they mention something that you have in common, then talk about yourself a little and let them get to know you as a person. Then move the conversation back to them so that they remain the focus.
#2 – Empathise
Empathising shows that you’re human and understand their point of view. You don’t want to come across as some super-human trainer or gym sales consultant that they can’t relate to. Seeing things from their perspective helps them to recognise you as someone on their wavelength.
So if they’re having a tough time achieving their goals then commiserate, and maybe offer a story about someone who went through something similar and how they turned it around.
⇒ Want more gym sales tips? Check out How To Sell Personal Training – our online course that teaches you the exact steps to finding profitable, long-term clients (minus the old-school, sleazy sales tactics).
#3 – Show Your Sense Of Humour
Using humour can be a great way to build rapport during the early stages. Injecting an element of fun instantly helps people relax and connect with us. But whilst it’s fine to make a joke at your own expense, don’t laugh at others. You might see it as harmless fun, but they might interpret it differently or take offense.
#4 – Repeat
Repeat or rephrase things that they’ve said back to them, as this demonstrates that you’re really listening. It also shows that you understand what they’re going through, or what they’re looking for in a trainer. After they speak, repeat a brief summary to show that you’re listening carefully. This simple but effective technique will help you build rapport much faster.
#5 – Show Approval
If someone doesn’t know you very well, then they may find it tricky to read your reactions. It might be hard to interpret your facial expressions or judge what you’re thinking. This tends to make people nervous and can be a barrier to building rapport.
So actively show your approval. Nod your head in agreement with what they’re talking about. Validate their opinions by saying things like “excellent”, or “great”, “that’s exciting”. We all like to think that we don’t need other people’s approval… but it still gives us a nice fuzzy feeling when someone agrees with us, or shares our excitement for something.
Gym Sales Tips – Rapport Building
We hope you take away a useful tip or two from this article. However you approach gym sales, it’s important to be sincere and authentic. If people suspect that you’re not being genuine, you’ll lose any trust you’ve built up (and it’ll be really hard to repair the damage). So don’t make something up or exaggerate just to create a bond – always be honest.
With some people, it’s easy to build rapport quickly, but with others, it’ll take longer. But don’t give up on the latter type just because they feel like harder work. We’ve all got friends who take a while to warm up to new people but are loyal and fun once they do. We don’t want to miss out on clients like that, so keep making an effort with them.
Whatever type of person they are, it’s important that we continue to use these rapport building strategies throughout the relationship. Even after they become paying clients, it’s crucial to maintain common ground, empathise, inject humour, repeat, and show your approval.
These things help maintain the client bond and develop the relationship further. This not only has social benefits but helps keep them loyal which ensures repeat business.
⇒ Want to learn more gym sales techniques? Check out How To Sell Personal Training – our online course that teaches you the exact steps to finding profitable, long-term clients (minus the old-school, sleazy sales tactics).