I Have a Question for You: Who’s driving the sales process – you, or the health club guest?

Selling a health club membership is like driving a car down the highway: the person who asks the questions gets to sit in the driver’s seat and control the direction of the sale, while the passenger—the person who answers the questions—goes along for the ride. Unfortunately, many health club sales people feel that they are selling when they respond to their prospect’s questions.

With the belief that “telling is selling,” many health club salespeople have been trained to spend the majority of their time talking about their clubs features and programs. It is an ineffective approach, though, and will only invite comparison to other clubs. The most effective way to control the sale with a guest in your health club is to ask more questions. It’s that simple.

We want to be careful to not mistakenly believe that demonstrating how smart or knowledgeable we are about the club and will help our prospect make a buying decision. In reality, the prospective new member takes control of the sale whenever he moves into the driver’s seat by asking questions.

You can also lose control of the sale if you aren’t asking the right kinds of questions. Many health club sales people who have learned to ask questions all too often sound like this:

“If I could lower that joining fee and save you money, would you be interested?” “What will it take to earn your business?”

The problem with questions like these is that they do not help you gain the knowledge and information you need to effectively present a solution to your prospects problem— and these questions only demonstrate a lack of sales ability that will quickly cause the prospect to lose interest in the phone call, the tour or the membership price presentation – or stop driving and get out of the car.

Instead, let’s ask high-quality questions that will not only make your prospect think but will also demonstrate your health club’s product knowledge and expertise. For example, focus on these:

  • the prospect’s goals,
  • his super objective (hot button)
  • his fitness challenges

This approach helps you gain more insight to your prospect’s situation, which means you will be able to present an attractive solution while selling on benefits and results, not features and price… and get him to join your club today.

Here are some proven tips to help you develop good sales questions when touring your health club with your prospect::

  1. Consider the person who is touring the club. Probe. Probe. Probe. Questions about the prospect’s goals, super objective and the challenges and barriers that are preventing her from reaching those target goals will give you valuable insight. Remember, professional health club salesmanship is more about gathering information than giving information.
  1. As a professional health club salesperson, determine your key objective with your guest. What information do you require in order to move the sales process forward or determine the best solution for your prospect or guest? Your questions will vary depending on the prospect. I remember first starting in sales, and if I could find out the first thing they were going to do when they lost the weight, I knew I could close them today.
  1. Use “what” questions. What caused the weight gain? What were you doing when you were in your best shape? What action are you taking right now to achieve your goals? What specific challenges or obstacles are preventing you from reaching your goal? What kind of results are you expecting? By determining the cause of your prospects problems, you will be able to better adjust your tour and presentation…and then show your prospects how the program at your health club is a solution.

In today’s ultra-competitive health club world it is actually easy to stand out from the competition. Most health club sales people are so focused on trying to get the sale that they don’t learn anything about their prospect’s situation. If you truly want to control the sales process in your club and positively influence the outcome, you must teach yourself to ask questions instead of talking. Contrary to popular belief, telling is NOT selling.

Now, put yourself in the driver’s seat go ask the right questions!

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