Gym owners tell us this is one of the most useful article we’ve ever written.  This step-by-step guide is one of the most important articles we’ve ever published on selling and closing membership sales at gyms, health clubs and fitness centers. We reveal how to ask three key questions to overcome objections and seal the deal.

 Forget about high pressure, old school tactics.  Use knowledge, temperment and expertise instead. Here’s how.

It all begins when a prospect walks into your gym. That’s always and exciting event. Club owners and sales personnel know that first impressions are important, but many still blow the sale by trying too hard.

First and foremost, you need to relax.  Take a deep breath. Smile. Have fun. Membership prospects can sense tension. So come across as relaxed and genuinely interested in their story. Pretend you are at a cocktail party or social event.

But make sure you get answers to these three key questions as you show the prospect around your gym. You’ll come back to the questions and their answers later to seal the deal.

1:  How long have you been thinking about getting in shape?

2:  What’s been holding you  back from getting started?

3:  Can you  commit to 30 minutes three times a week?

In fitness sales these are known as tie-down questions. 

Ask these questions tastefully to influence the prospect’s decision.

Avoid old school, high pressure, “make them sweat” tactics in which prospects are made to feel stupid. This is not a used car lot and such tactics no longer work in fitness sales. Increased competition has resulted in savvier consumers wise to the sales game.

These days it comes down to amenities, convenience, friendliness and price. That’s enough to get seven out of ten people to sign up on the first visit. Here’s how the get the other three by probing further on the three key questions to overcome objections.

How long have you been thinking about getting in shape?  If a membership prospect can’t quite bring themselves to sign and needs a little encouragement, you can use their own words to motivate them and close the membership sale.  During the tour you need to ask the prospect this question and lock them down a specific length of time.  Most out of shape prospects will admit to thinking about it for at least a couple months, if not years

What’s been holding you back from getting started?  Ask  this question at the beginning of the tour to determine the prospect’s main objection. Then customize and tailor your tour knowing what you are up against.  If they fear being watched by others, explain that the only people getting watched are those in the most pristine physical condition.  In this case spend more time showing them your circuit training machines and less in the free weight area.  .

Can you commit 30 minutes 3 times a week?  These days the biggest primary objection in fitness sales is time.  It’s also the easiest to overcome.  If a prospect tells you lack of time is the reason they haven’t gotten started, put the brakes on the tour. Stop walking and ask them “Before we go any further can you commit to 30 minutes 3 times a week?”  With this approach the answer will always be yes.  In our 13 years of experience, we can’t recall a single time a prospect said no and left.

Sealing the Deal

So you’ve toured the prospect around, gotten to know them, and gone over the pricing.  You’ve built rapport with them, they love your gym, you offer the amenities they’re looking for, the price looks good, the gym is convenient and you think the fitness sale is a done deal.

And the it happens: they tell you they just need to think about it.  Yikes! But don’t let your distress show. Don’t break eye contact. In a very smooth and relaxed way say: “That’s fine…what’s holding you back (their name) right now?”

If they seem caught off guard and look away that means you’ve done your job.  They like you.  They feel obligated to you.  Good job!  Now let’s go back to those tie down questions.

If their excuse is they don’t have time you are covered.  You’ve already got them to commit to commit to 30 minutes 3 times a week,right?  If they answered yes on the tour this will rarely be the excuse.  If they repeat the ‘I just need to think about it’ excuse, then in a very calm and relaxed way say  “(their name) you told me earlier you’ve been thinking about this for months.  It’s time to take next step. Let’s get you started. When do you want to come in for your training?”

It works, it’s not too pushy and you just sealed the deal.  Book the training appointment before filling out the agreement and you are well on your way to selling more gym memberships.

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