Owning a fitness center or gym can be a great investment and career choice as they can be very profitable in all economies. While a fitness center can be successful and profitable, it does count on sales and other efforts to drive enrollment and overall revenue. I continue to work with many gyms that continually say, “I thought it would be easier than this.” When evaluating their business, it will many times come down to simply a failure to properly understand and implement sales and marketing strategies. When you are looking to improve your sales efforts at your gym, there are a few tips that can be followed that will provide an immediate return.

1. Regardless of circumstance, be sure that everyone gets a presentation. So many gyms owners work so hard and spend so much money to get someone walk in the front door and then many prospects never get a presentation. Prospects will come in wanting to work out with a friend, they just want to take a class, and they have ice cream melting in the car…you name it. If you can master this tip, it will have an immediate impact.

2. Treat everyone like a buyer. This is easy to say but very difficult for many people to follow. Don’t prejudge your prospect. Treat them like they are there to buy, you’ll be amazed at the difference. Us this tip with everything, telephone inquiries, gym prospects, follow up, corporate accounts, marketing efforts, etc.

3. Sit down with every prospect. Many personal trainers will make this mistake, but I see it across the board. Solving problems for customers is what you want to do and the customer does not know what the desired outcome is. Guide them through the process.

4. Use a pre-printed price sheet. Now, it’s my suggestion that you decide on two programs you would like to sell and that’s what you show your prospect. You want to keep this simple for your prospect AND your salesperson. Don’t show your customer a menu of options, you’ll just create objections.

5. Be agreeable. This is another tip that will take some practice for many folks. I hear and see too many salespeople trying to sell from a standpoint of disagreement. Be agreeable, it will draw people to you. Now, this doesn’t mean we lay down or anything. “Mr. Customer, I understand, it seems like everything cost more these days, what do you say, can we get you started.”

6. Ask for the sale. Of course, this is the biggie. If you do nothing else, be sure you do this one. Of everything I teach, this is consistently the most difficult one for everyone — new and even experienced. It will take practice and regular training. The big mistake everyone seems to make when they are covering price…is when the customers offers and “objection” we have a tendency to go back to selling when in reality we need to be asking for sale.

7. Follow up. This is another one that offers a significant opportunity if it’s done properly. I won’t bore you with the statistics, but most leads don’t get properly followed up on. Learn how to do this properly and you’ll always have a full pipeline. The key here is to nurture your prospects and members — in other words, work to help maintain interest and desire.

One of the big problems I continually see is how we choose to view membership and personal training sales. In the end, you’re really not selling a membership or training, but rather, you’re solving problems for people and providing solutions. You gym will need a process that allows you to do this and you’ll have be sure and snag that first sale. Where do you find that first sale? We’ll it’s you. That’s the first sale you’ll need to make before to start talking to customers. YOU must be sold. Can you solve your customer’s problem? Do you have the best gym to sole their problem? Is now the best time to solve their problem? It’s easy to say “yes” on all of this, but it will take work, regular training and accountability.

Now, go improve your sales!

An Outsourced CEO, Jim Thomas is the founder and president of Fitness Management USA Inc., a management consulting, turnaround and brokerage firm specializing in the gym and sports industry. With more than 25 years of experience owning, operating and managing clubs of all sizes, Thomas lectures and delivers seminars, webinars and workshops across the globe on the practical skills required to successfully to overcome obscurity, improve sales, build teamwork and market fitness programs and products. In addition, his company will buy gym equipment from gyms liquidating or closing. Visit his Web site at:www.fmconsulting.net orwww.jimthomasondemand.com.

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