Buying a membership to a health club is very personal and can be a very emotional experience. Industry statistics prove that less than 15 percent of Americans exercise on a regular basis. It’s then fair to assume, because of the large number of clubs that already exist, the majority of people who exercise regularly have already joined a club. This means that the majority of prospective members are de-conditioned. Generally speaking, most of the people you’re touring are out of shape and have not exercised regularly in a long time.
If you are selling to the de-conditioned the same way that you sell to the conditioned market, you are undoubtedly losing sales. IHRSA did a study back in 1999 that revealed why the majority of non-exercisers were reluctant to join a health club. The five most common reasons were:
1. They were concerned that the equipment they would be using would be too challenging for them.
2. They became anxious when they considered exercising in a group atmosphere.
3. They were concerned that the exercise and group classes would be too challenging for them.
4. They believed that members of health clubs were already in good shape and they would not fit in.
5. They believed that if they inquired about membership prices, they would be exposed to high-pressure sales tactics.
Since you know what their concerns are before you go on tour, you can better prepare yourself. Here are 10 reasons why people will buy a membership from you:
1. You Listened: Do a complete Needs Analysis and really listen: Asking the right questions and really listening goes a long way in letting your guest know that you really care.
2. You and Your Club Are Friendly: Introduce your guest to as many employees and guests as possible. People want to join a club with a proactive, friendly environment. Try to introduce them to members with similar interests and backgrounds.
3. You Motivated Them: Prospective members want to know they can operate all of that scary exercise equipment. Put them on at least two pieces of equipment and convince them they can do it! I love to tell my prospective members, “With the right support, you can accomplish anything!” Just make sure that you have the right support system in place.
4. You Gave Them A Plan: One of the main reasons people don’t get started on an exercise program is because they don’t know how to get started or what to do once they start. You need a crystal clear plan that they believe will allow them to achieve their goals.
5. You Talked About Their Interests: If you did a complete Needs Analysis, you know exactly what their interests and goals are. This is what you spend the majority of your time talking about.
6. You Convinced Them You’d Be There For Them: Prospective members want to be assured that the relationship is just beginning even though the sale is over. Following up is crucial to your overall success.
7. You Walk The Walk: You should be a walking testimonial of what you sell. If exercise is an important part of your life, you’ll convey that to your prospects both consciously and subconsciously.
8. You Conveyed The Benefits of Regular Exercise and The Dangers of a Sedentary Lifestyle: There is both pain and pleasure for individuals who choose not to exercise. There is pleasure in going home after work and relaxing with the family as opposed to going to your club. There is pain involved in the prolonged health problems that are a direct result of a sedentary lifestyle. It is your duty to point this out on tour. Educate yourself on the many benefits of regular exercise and the risks of not exercising. The Surgeon General’s Report has stated that leading a sedentary lifestyle is as dangerous to your health as smoking one pack of cigarettes a day.
9. You Asked For The Sale: If you firmly believe in what you’re selling and you’ve done your best to convince your guest that fitness is the right choice for them to make, you’re entitled to ask for the sale. Besides, who really loses if the sale is not made?
10. You Did Not Pressure Your Guest: There are so many positive aspects of what we are selling that you should never have to resort to this unprofessional tactic. The benefits that a membership will provide your prospective member will far outweigh the special that is being offered at that moment.
I have said to many potential members who are on the fence, “Specials come and go, and yes, you can save some money by getting started today. However, I truly hope the benefits you’ll be receiving from exercising regularly that we discussed, will dominate your decision to get started today.”
Jim Martin is the President of Powerful Promotions. He can be contacted at 877.822.5577, or visit www.powerfulpromotions.com.