Sealing the Deal: Gym Membership Marketing as a Team Sport

By Aaron Eisberg

Here's today's reality check.

When people walk into your gym for the first time, they do not want to be sold something. They want to buy something. If those statements sound contradictory, look at them again. It's all about perspective.

Want more gym members? Listen up!

It is a given that you want to sell gym memberships. You know that gym members are your bread and butter. It is also a given that your entire staff needs to be involved in marketing for your gym. In fact, selling gym memberships should be considered a team sport. You need your staff to be your all-star team.

You have to find a way to bridge the gap between your need to sell gym memberships and your potential gym members' reluctance to be sold on the idea. How?

Less Pitching, More Listening

ZenPlanner makes this good point:
"In listening to and asking questions of your prospects, you get to the personal aspects of their fitness goals. You much more quickly gain a greater level of comfort with each prospect and show that you will partner with them and invest in their success however they define it. And you have to get personal to get new members who will stick."
Remember that prospective gym members do want to buy. That is evident by the fact that they have walked into your gym or called on the phone. But what is it they are after? You will never know unless you listen to what they say. Rather than assuming you know what their fitness goals are, take the time to ask and wait for a response.

Typically, the response might be just one or two phrases like "I want to lose weight" or "I want to get healthier." Do not accept these statements at mere face value. Politely ask additional questions to discern your prospect's motivations more clearly. Only when you can frame what you can offer within the context of what they need can you offer something they will value.

Teach Your Team to Sell by Listening notes:
"The selling of gym memberships always has been and always will be about capturing attention, building desire, closing on a decision, and enabling action. Overcoming objections and closing a sale is something that works best if you have a team that you have trained and working together to a plan. If you can get your athletically inclined employees to work as a team, you are probably half way to a successful gym business."

How do you get all your staff on board with selling by listening? Have regular sales training sessions with your entire staff about the importance of listening. Helping your staff understand that gym memberships are what keeps your gym running is essential to motivate them to sell.

As part of your training sessions, you may find it helpful to have realistic practice sessions, with one staff member posing as a prospect and another trying to seal the deal. Role-playing helps your staff see where and how to improve in their approach to excellent customer service for prospective and existing members.

It is important to train your staff to highlight benefits specific to your gym for prospective members. For instance, if your gym is using an AccuroFit club solution, encourage your staff to point out potential gym members will benefit from features like the AccuroFit mobile app.

Involve your entire staff in selling by listening.

Anything that distinguishes your gym and elevates it above your competition should be highlighted by your staff in the course of a conversation with potential members. Remind your staff that every interaction with potential members should include more listening than talking. Every member should feel valued at every interaction. Building an environment of team selling. Demonstrate listening skill by listening to your staff. That will help to enable your team to attract new gym members and retain them for the long-term.

When you are ready to leverage the advantages of the AccuroFit system for your gym, simply request a demo at your convenience.

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