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Selling Solutions or Providing Solutions?


Sales. It’s not something that comes naturally to most, and for the few who are good at it, what’s the “it factor” they have? Considering in the fitness industry, the North American market generated estimated revenues of more than $32 billion last year, clearly, the sales game is somehow strong.

With such a crowded market space and each club fighting for the same customer base, what defines a successful club compared to one struggling with retention? Could it be as simple as excellent amenities or fitness protocol? More likely it is what each club is providing and how they go about offering it.

What makes a good salesperson?

To begin with, they have some form of an organized sales system, which ideally could be duplicated and taught to others. Sales systems should support a strong mindset and allow for growth and consistency. These are some highlights of what describes someone strong in the sales game for you to consider:

  • Great salespeople don’t sell solutions, they provide solutions. They have a keen ability to listen to what the customer needs and dial in to their pain points. A good salesperson wants to satisfy a potential or current member’s needs by providing a solution to their problem.
  • Great salespeople have immense empathy and know how to feel what their customers feel. They say things like, “I’ve been in your shoes. I too struggled with my weight. I know how you’re feeling and what you need. We have exactly what you need.”
  • How great would this sound coming from your sales team? “Hello potential member, what solution can we provide you today? How can we transform and improve your life?” Fortunately, these sales-minded people believe what they are providing will be the solution, which extends well beyond making a sale.

In today’s market, 90% of people joining a fitness club have a weight loss goal. It’s imperative salespeople have all the systems and tools necessary to provide what the customer is seeking. Selling fitness services alone isn’t enough to guarantee results. Having systems of fitness and nutrition is exactly what a successful salesperson requires to get the job done.

Let’s face it, employees within a fitness club don’t tend to be very sales savvy, as no one takes the time to work with them on this delicate balance of providing solutions instead of selling packages or services. Get this right and everything would change.

To make a difference in your club setting, to improve your club’s retention and develop a rock solid sales system, it’s time to ensure you have everything in place for your salespeople to provide all the solutions your current or prospective members could ever want. Then the “sales” part of selling is simply a non-issue.

Be in the business of providing solutions, not selling memberships or services. This could be a distinct game-changer for your company and how you grow your business in 2020.

Carolyn Fetters is the CEO and founder of Balanced Habits™, who has partnered with 175 fitness businesses all across the U.S. and Canada. Reach her at carolyn@balancedhabits.com or learn more about Balanced Habits’ innovative nutrition programming at meetbh.com.


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