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Sales: The Magic Hour

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In a mainstream gym, every new member is offered a “consultation,” a “fitness score,” or maybe you call it an “assessment.” This is typically recommended as the first step to onboarding a member after they signed a membership agreement.

The purpose of this appointment with a coach is to introduce the new member to what the professional staff does, and to show them a basic workout.

It is also an opportunity to sell them personal training.

A lot of gyms do very well with the system, but many struggle to either get new members in front of a coach, or the coach struggles to convert many members to training clients.

Your goal: 70 percent or more of new members need to meet with a coach for a “free session.”

“The first step, after joining, is to meet with our director of training, experience a free session, and learn some exercises that are perfect for general conditioning and weight loss. How does that sound?”

Get a yes during a tour and membership sales process and you are golden.

Your goal: Have your best personal training salesperson spend an hour with them, which includes a 20-minute workout, and sell 50 percent or more of them some sort of coaching membership.

The magic hour: The first 15 to minutes are spent sitting down, not across a desk, but in chairs close together. This is a critical time to find out the following:

  • What are their goals? Weight loss? How much? To get in shape? “What does get in shape mean to you?”
  • Why are those goals important to you? “I want to be the size I was before I had kids.” “Why?” “I want to fit into my old clothes.” “Why is that important to you?”

Karen Coley-Cannon recently wrote a great piece on getting to the why. You want to make more sales? Get to the why. This means that you can’t have millennials selling fitness. In order to sell, you need to have credibility and relatability. And you need to get to the “why.” A 23-year-old rarely comes across as credible, almost never is relatable, and lacks the courage to ask a 45-year-old mother, “why do you want to lose 25 pounds?”

“How are you going to accomplish those goals?” This question is asked to see if the member has a plan of attack or not. It will help to know what their thoughts are on how to get to their goal.

After that question is answered, you can start the intro workout. Email jason@jasonlinse.com with “20 minute workout” in the subject line and I will get you back the exercises I recommend for new members.

The key is to get them sweaty. They need to be challenged and the endorphins should be flowing.

After a big burner finish, sit down again and ask them how they feel.

Then, recap their fitness goals and ask a very important question: “Okay, Amy, you have told me about your desire to lose 25 pounds so you can look and feel the way you did a few years ago. I love that you are committed to reach your goals and that you plan to devote four to five days per week at the gym. We would love to be a part of helping you change your life. Amy, would you like to work one-on-one with a coach or share the cost with other people?”

Keep changing lives.

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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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