Everyone has their opinion on gym membership sales. Industry pros usually have very clear ideas about what ‘effective selling’ looks like, and how best to approach it. But we don’t think there’s just ONE correct way to sell memberships…
Some gym chains have comprehensive membership sales processes and in-depth training, with no tolerance for straying from their system. Others rely solely on the skill and personality of their team members, which allows for an individual approach.
If there was a single best way to sell gym memberships, then everyone would be doing it. But the fact is, what works for us might not work for you, and what appeals to one member, might put another off. So there’ll always be a need for some flexibility to adapt and tailor how you sell. That said, there are some fundamentals to selling that always hold true. Building rapport, listening to client needs, and developing trust are all essential. But there’s one sales question we get asked a lot – should I go straight for the close?
Back in the day, the answer would have been a firm yes. Old-school sales techniques tended to preach the ‘always be closing’ mindset.
Many of the older fitness chains still train their staff in this way, and encourage them to push for a sale at every opportunity.
But just because it’s always been done one way, doesn’t make it right…
It can be tempting to skip straight to the close, especially if the idea of selling makes you nervous. It might seem easier to fast-forward to the end, so you can get it out of the way. After all, most fitness professionals are passionate about making people healthier, but don’t particularly enjoy the sales and marketing part.
The short answer in NO
The longer answer is that you need to use your judgement. In some cases a person will already have made up their mind to join, and just need you to go through the formalities. In this case it’s absolutely ok to skip straight to the close! But most of the time selling isn’t this simple…
In reality, you need to do a little groundwork before trying to close a sale. There are a few fundamental aspects of selling that you need to get right first. These are things like developing the right mind-set and presenting your pricing in a persuasive manner. If you’re responsible for marketing, then being strategic about who you target, and getting your first few members (and their fitness testimonials) are also key pieces of the process.
There are also practical skills to learn in terms of face-to-face selling, closing a sale, and addressing objections. But these are likely to be tough if you haven’t developed the right mind-set. And unless you’ve specifically targeted your ideal client, and presented your pricing in the right way, then closing that sale is going to be 10x harder.
And this is why we don’t recommend going straight for the close. Once you’ve mastered a few of these techniques, you’ll be able to work through the entire membership sales process much faster. But you’ll almost always need to spend time building a relationship and establishing rapport, so don’t try to fast-forward through these elements.
If you’d like to learn more about selling gym memberships or personal training, then check out our online course.
It’ll walk you through the entire process of developing the right sales mindset, presenting pricing persuasively, and addressing objections along the way. View the course details here.