Call it the story of health club membership sales gone wrong. And I saw it with my own eyes. It’s the story of how a prospect walked out without buying anything. And it was all so needless. The story begins with me relaxing after my workout today.

I was enjoying a shake at the counter of my local gym and watching some football. I noticed a guy and his son in my peripheral vision. They were  talking to the owner about the club. I couldn’t resist doing a little eavesdropping.

The man was explaining they were in town a few weeks for the holidays and his son wanted to continue his weight lifting regimen during that time.  I heard the owner explain the  one month price was $60. The man was asking the owner to work with him on the price as they weren’t going to use it for the full month.

The gym was loud so much of the conversation was garbled. But from what I understood, the gym down the street offered to do it for $30. But the son preferred the hammer strength equipment his club offered.

This negotiation…if that’s what you want to call it…dragged on painfully for nearly a HALF an HOUR until finally the man and his son just left in frustration.  The owner just spent a half an hour of his time (probably more assuming he gave him a tour) and got nothing for it!  That’s ridiculous.

Here’s the larger lesson: these days the health club industry is way too competitive to lose a sale over pride.

Club owners must change their mindsets.  It’s simple: NO ONE WALKS.  Post it in the office, tape it to the drawer on the sales desk, repeat it to your sales staff it every morning, put the words on your screen saver on your check in computer… whatever it takes to get the message across.

Most importantly, if you are an owner, practice this mindset yourself. Messages come down from the top. Why waste your time quibbling over pennies, only to end up with nothing?

Stop making the sign-up process complicated and get the deal closed.  Once a health club membership prospect who was ready to hand you money walks, chances are you will never see them again and if YOU aren’t willing to wheel and deal, the club down the street certainly will be.

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