The most common objection heard when attempting to enroll new members is, “I want to think about it.” It's important to understand why prospective members give this excuse. First, people have a built-in resistance to making decisions that require spending money. Second, people innately procrastinate and put off regular exercise. Knowing this allows the staff to do two things: first, deal with the objection before hearing it, and secondly, have three or four responses ready when they do hear this objection.

The best way to overcome the “I want to think about it” objection is to address it during the presentation and tour. Whatever prospective members give as fitness objectives, the sales person simply asks them how long they've been thinking about accomplishing those objectives. Most prospective members say they want to lose weight and tone up. A simple question to ask is, “How long have you been thinking about losing weight and toning up?” After they answer, follow up with, “What do you feel will have to change in your life so you'll stop putting off the decision to start exercising?” After developing enough rapport with prospective members, many of them will just admit they've been procrastinating and join right there on the spot.

But to really eliminate hearing this objection later in the presentation, it has to be taken one step further. The sales staff has to make the customer aware that if they don't do something about their physical condition right now, they're only going to get worse. A good question to ask is “What's going to happen if you put it off for another three months?” When the fear of becoming increasingly out of shape and unhealthy is greater than the desire to look better, it creates a sense of urgency.

If the sales person can't enroll the prospect on the first visit, a great way to follow up with them is to set up an appointment for a complimentary personal training session. This gives them the opportunity to go home, think it over and reassure themselves that the club is the one for them, and a good personal trainer will practically close the sale for the sales staff. When the person returns for their training session, they'll be focused on accomplishing their fitness objectives. In fact, statistics show three out of four people will join after their free session.

Jim Collins is the president of Health Club Training, a consulting company that provides proven sales systems for health clubs. He can be reached at www.healthclubtraining.com or at (561) 741-7676.

SALES TALK!

Sample questions to ask

  • How long have you been thinking about losing weight and toning up?
  • What do you feel will have to change in your life so you'll stop putting off the decision to start exercising?
  • What's going to happen if you put if off for another three months?