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Sales: Creating a Sales First Mindset


Thomas Plummer has written several books about the fitness business. I have read all of them. In one of these books, he writes about a simple concept that I have never forgotten about and use (with his permission) when I coach and train gym owners.

  1. Sell a membership (or something)
  2. Service a member
  3. Follow up with leads
  4. Prepare the gym (get it ready for the next tour, class, session, etc.
  5. Clean

That top 5 list represents the most important things you should be doing in your gym throughout the day.

When I am presenting to a group of gym owners and employees, I begin with this list. But I first ask them to write the numbers one through five down the left side of the page. I give them these five things in a wrong and random order. Then, I ask them to put the list in the correct order.

In the more than five years since I have been doing this, only one person has got it right. Many people put cleaning as first. And when I give folks the proper order, inevitably, at least one person argues with me about cleanliness.

“I wouldn’t join a gym that wasn’t clean.”

My response: “I never said to have dirty gym. I simply asked you to put those five things in order from most importance to least importance.”

Is it a trick exercise? Maybe. But the point I am trying to make is that selling will always be the most important, and you should only worry about cleaning when there is nothing else to do in the name of production.

I am also making the assumption that your gym is clean, needs to be cleaner and will never be as clean as some members would like it. But that cleaning the gym doesn’t get in the way of the most important thing: Driving revenue through selling.

I teach the seven steps to gigantic gym profits. The first step is to create a sales first culture. Email jason@Jasonlinse.com with “7 steps” in the subject line and I will sent you back my ebook on the seven steps.

In order to have a sales first mindset in your fitness business, you need to have these six things:

  1. At least one person dedicated to new member acquisition. Whether you are a mainstream gym, or a training gym (in the near future, the training gym will be the new mainstream gym) you need at least one person who comes in everyday and focuses on scheduling tours, assessments, etc. You can have more than one, of course, and many of you bigger gyms will likely need two or three. But you can’t have only one person whose priority is coaching/training but who also, sells when necessary.
  2. Only one person dedicated to coaching/training sales. In a mainstream gym, you typically first sell a membership. The next sales presentation should be your coaching options, and preferably not packages, but annual training memberships. Only one coach, a veteran trainer with sales skills, best does this.
  3. A leader. This is the person who is setting the plans; training staff on the plans, and inspecting everything to ensure the plan is properly working. This person needs to provide leadership on a daily basis.
  4. Accurate price presentation sheets. They should be clear and simple to read. Your sales staff should know these price sheets so well that they could close their eyes and still present.
  5. A sales table. This is ideal in an open area of your gym that still allows for a bit of privacy. An office can work, but you want to leave the door open and sit at a 90 degree angle from the prospect rather than across from them.
  6. A cleaning crew. All staff should pitch in, as long as you follow this mantra: If it gets in the way of production, hire it out.

Keep changing lives.

Jason Linse

Jason Linse is president and founder of The Business of Fitness, a consulting company. He also owns a personality assessment company called People Plus+ Fitness. Contact him at jason@jasonlinse.com or 612-310-1319 for resources on scheduling more tours and personality assessments, or visit www.jasonlinse.com.

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