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Marketing & Sales

Sales: The Why Behind the Sale


Over the years, we have learned many interesting facts regarding prospects and the many obstacles they feel stop them from getting fit. It has almost become common knowledge through social media, news and entertainment that eating better, exercising more and getting plenty of sleep will help us to live a longer, stronger and healthier life.

However, we have to understand that although this information may seem like common sense, many people still have trouble truly understanding this, and really don’t know how far they are willing to go to achieve their goals.

Of course, one of the most important aspects of sales (or any profession really) is the understanding of “why” we do what we do. Simon Sinek, who wrote, Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, says it best: “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe”

Our job is to help prospects determine that their need is as important as their want (which ultimately is the “what” they want to achieve). Salespeople sometimes get confused on the “what” a prospect wants or needs; however, once we take the “what they want” down to the raw pain, it comes down to the “why.”

If they tell you they want to lose 10 pounds or they want to reduce their blood pressure, that does not go down to the “pain,” or what happens if they don’t reach their goal, lose the 10 pounds, etc. This may take several other questions as to “why” they want to lose weight or lower their blood pressure, and then perhaps a few more questions to continue to determine “why” the want is important to them — hearing themselves tell you their “why” is very powerful for the prospect.

In order to discover their pain, we must build a relationship with our prospects. How do we do this? We ask questions and when in doubt, ask more questions. The next step, which is just as important as the questions, is learning to listen. Our prospects will tell us every time what their pain is if we ask enough questions and listen. Using their own words to continue to ask questions becomes a very powerful tool as well, since it comes from within and not from a “salesperson.”

At GHF, we are able to then take the information we have gathered and start building value by showing the prospect how our programs and systems can help them attain their goals — thus assuring their pain becomes pleasure.

While everyone else is trying to sell on price — we are we are working together to develop a plan to help inspire them to succeed. In other words, they came in wanting a specific goal and we expand the value by asking questions and uncovering other areas of need that can add value to their daily living or lifestyle.

Here’s an example: A prospect comes in and says they have knee pain and only wants to swim or water walk. We uncover some balance issues when we dig deeper and ask more questions. Now we can assist their balance concerns thru a Tai Chi class or a strength and balance class, along with the pool exercise, thus increasing the value of a membership.

So at the end of the day, when a prospect visits your club, what will they say when they walk away? Will they say, “Wow that was too expensive” or will they say, “Wow, look at everything I can get to help me with what I need and want, I can’t afford not to get started.” And at the end of the day, we can be proud of selling through the pain and inspiring someone for the potential of changing their lives.


Karen Coley-Cannon has been a fitness professional with GHF for over 30 years. 


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