Making the First Impression Count

Most prospects that walk into a gym have a certain level of intimidation. As a front desk person or a membership salesperson, it is always a good idea to assume that your prospect feels intimidated.

The best way for you to start the process of helping the prospect feel comfortable is to smile.

Smile big, wide and for a long time.

I travel all over the country. I am in and out of gyms, hotels, coffee shops, bars, restaurants and airports constantly.

Very few employees smile. But the ones that do always set me at ease. They make me feel comfortable.

I highly recommend reading Ron Gutmans’s book, “Smile, the astonishing powers of a simple act.” You can get it as an eBook for $2.99. It is about 65 pages long. Make it required reading for all of your staff.

Okay, you got the smiling down, now what? Follow these three simple steps every time for every tour and you will make more sales.

1. This one is obvious, but make sure you do it correctly. With a firm handshake, look the prospect in the eye and say, “Hi, my name is Jason, what is your name?”

Simple as that. Now, you need to remember their name and say it at least five times during your tour. If you aren’t great at remembering names, write it down. I recommend using a needs analysis sheet to start the whole process. This sheet would include a spot at the top for a name. You can take this sheet on a tour and refer to it if you forget their name. Email with “needs analysis” in the subject line and I will shoot you back the one I recommend.

2. Explain what you are going to do. You’ve demonstrated that you are warm, friendly and professional with your smile, handshake and introduction. Now, you can further mitigate intimidation by letting the prospect know how your tour process works.

“Hi Rachel, it is nice to meet you. How can I help you today?”

“Um, I am here to look around.”

“Great. Have you been to Awesome Blossom Fitness before?”

“No, first time.”

“Awesome, well what I would like to do first is sit down and have you fill out a quick form. Then we can talk about you and what you are looking for in a gym. That will take just a couple of minutes. Then we will take a tour and I can show you everything we offer here, focusing on your interests. After the tour, if you are still interested, we will go over membership options.”

Make this your own words, but don’t tweak it that much. Keep it simple. Let them know what you are going to be doing with them, in the order you are going to do it. Some folks come into a gym expecting a pitch or a hard sell. Notice that last line, “after the tour, if you are still interested, we will go over membership options.” This line must be said, verbatim as I wrote it. This lets the prospect know that there will be no pressure to join.

3. Get permission. Explain what will happen and after letting them know price presentation is only for people who like what they see, say this: “Does that work for you?” This is a direct yes or no question. Ninety nine percent of prospects will respond with a “yes.” This is a trial close question, and you just got a yes. You got permission to do all of things you said you were going to do.

This is a very brief encounter, less than 90 seconds, but can make or break the whole tour. Practice it often, get it down tight and make more sales.

Keep changing lives.

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