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7 Sales Strategies to Grow Your Fitness Studio in 2017

Mike Arce

Mike Arce

Having a super effective sales process is one of the most important things you can have when it comes to growing your fitness studio or gym. However, I found that most people are not doing this very well at all … although they think they are.

I’ve been a student of sales for years. It’s one of my favorite topics, and I’m constantly learning, investing in coaching, and reading more about how to be an effective salesperson. So here are some of the best strategies I’ve learned through my personal education as well as speaking with and interviewing hundreds of fitness studio owners in the last year. Take a look:

1. Embrace Selling

One of the biggest roadblocks I see between fitness studio owners and great sales numbers is the idea that they’re not a sales person. Sales people have gotten a bad rap thanks to others selling for the wrong reasons, and so we distance ourselves by saying, “Oh, I’m not a salesperson.” But sales play a huge role in the success of your business, and if you avoid selling effectively because you don’t want to seem salesy, then you actually avoid running a successful business.

Think of it this way: Your gym’s prospects have come to you with a problem, and you have the solution in the form of a great program your studio offers. Your job isn’t to convince them why they need it, it’s to have an honest conversation with them about how it can help them. I talk about this more in Episode 034 of The GSD Show:

2. Mindset is Everything

Mindset is something we talk about a lot on this blog and on The GSD Show, and that’s because it’s SO important to how you run your fitness business. And a lot of the business owners I work with don’t have the right mindset when it comes to selling. Here’s what I mean:

Think of how you train your clients. You’re probably a little bit tough on them because you know that’s how they’re going to see results from their workout. You don’t let them off the hook for their last 10 reps just because they seem reluctant to do it, because that’s not what a good trainer does. So why approach sales any differently?

The main reason most people feel uncomfortable selling is because they believe it’s inauthentic. But it’s only inauthentic when you push yourself to be someone you’re not. Let your own personality shine through when you sell, because that’s what draws people in to buy.

Another thing to keep in mind is to not be too humble when you’re selling. If you know your product or program is great and it gets results, tell them. Own it. That confidence breeds trust in your prospects, which makes them more likely to buy. Here’s an example from that same episode of The GSD Show:

3. Ask Great Questions

Too often, business owners approach selling as something they need to convince someone of. But if you go in talking about how great your service is, you may be selling the wrong program for that person. Instead, ask them questions and listen to the answers. Here are some examples of questions to ask:

  • What are your fitness goals?
  • How do you want to look?
  • What body fat percentage do you want to have?

Asking these questions does 2 things — it shows people that you know your stuff, and it shows you what kind of person they are. Someone who wants to become a physique competitor will have different goals than someone who just wants to lose the baby weight, and this helps you know how to proceed with the sales conversation.

4. Make them Laugh

Now that you know what they’re looking for, your goal is to get them to laugh. Here’s why …

Think of someone who you don’t trust … and I mean REALLY don’t trust. Can that person get you to laugh a good, deep, genuine laugh? No. That’s because only people we trust can get us to let down our guard and really laugh.

When you get your prospects to laugh, their brains are tricked into thinking they trust you. And that makes the entire sales process much easier. We talked about this in Episode 003 of The GSD Show with Kelly Schmidt. Check out his thoughts here:


Now, if you’re reading this and thinking, “But I’m not a comedian. How will I get them to laugh?” then I’ve got a couple tips for you.

Poke a little fun at yourself. I’ve joked about my big nose, my heavy eyebrows, or how short I am. It usually gets a couple laughs. And when they laugh, call them out on it! When you point out to people that they’re laughing, they laugh more.

5. Never Talk About Yourself

Here’s a major area where a lot of business owners go wrong — NEVER talk about yourself while selling.

Let’s say you ask someone how many kids they have as a way to find out what might come between them and their fitness goals. They tell you they have 3 kids … and you respond, “Oh, me too!”

You probably think that’s a great way to connect with them and that you can bond over both having 3 kids, but that’s almost never what happens. When was the last time you were thrilled to hear about someone else’s kids? This is just going to bore your potential customer, who is there to learn about your program, not your kids.

Instead, keep the conversation focused on them. Say, “Wow, then you’ve definitely got your hands full! Does it feel like that takes away some of your personal time to focus on your fitness goals?” You’ll learn more about them, you’ll get to the point more quickly, and you’ll build better rapport, because everyone’s favorite subject is themselves.

6. Beat Them to the Objections

So it’s coming to the end of the sales conversation and you ask, “So do you think you want to come on board with us?” But instead of an excited yes, your prospect responds that they’re not sure, or they have to talk it over with their spouse before purchasing. That’s because, whether they realize it or not, there are always 3 things that go through someone’s mind when deciding to buy:

  1. Do I really need this?
  2. Do I really need this from this person?
  3. Do I really need this right now?

If you really want to make the sale, beat them to the objections. I explain how here:

7. Learn from Rejections

Through my experience marketing for the fitness industry, I’ve learned it’s important to know that a lead’s journey is determined by their communication with your team. So if you go through the entire sales process and your prospect still says no, it’s time to ask one last question … “Where did I go wrong?”

Most of the time, they’ll rush to reassure you that you didn’t do anything wrong, or that you didn’t mess up, or that you were good. With that reassurance under your belt, ask them, “Well if I was good, why wasn’t it good enough to sign you up today?” Usually, you can get them to buy from there.

In those instances where the person doesn’t tell you that you did nothing wrong, you have an awesome learning opportunity handed to you. Take their feedback and act on it, and use it to become a better salesperson.

These are the strategies that have worked for me, as well as my mentors and the business owners who I coach. Go ahead and test them out in your own fitness business, and let us know how they work for you! And if you want even more strategies for closing sales, you can download our free checklist here: