How to Make Successful Sales to Today's, Not Yesterday's, Fitness Consumers

Sales tips
(Photo by Extreme Media / Getty Images.) Club Industry’s latest free webinar, "Next Generation Sales Process," is now available for on-demand viewing.

Are your facility members primarily visitors or loyalists?

One of the most important dynamics any club operator needs to understand in sales is the present-day consumer shift from ownership mindsets to access mindsets, according to Scott Gillespie, owner of Saco Sport & Fitness, who presented Club Industry’s latest free Master Class webinar, now available for on-demand viewing.

"People are more and more comfortable, young folks in particular, being visitors of an establishment or experience versus loyalists,” Gillepsie said in his hour-long presentation, "Next Generation Sales Process.” “Companies like [Airbnb and ClassPass] have absolutely changed the way we believe we can and have the right to consume products."

In the webinar, Gillespie drew contrasts between his first-ever experience with a club salesman at age 17—one that played out interrogation-style in a small, uncomfortable room—and which tactics work best with today's consumers.

To employ successful sales strategies, fitness professionals need to first understand the variables at play in any sales equation. For example, not only do many consumers prefer access models (subscriptions) over ownership models (memberships), but they may also prioritize access to on-demand content and services.

Consumers now have the power to buy on their terms, not a business’s, Gillespie said.

“Most of the assumptions that we created in our industry about how to join a health club were created before the on-demand mentality happened,” he said. “I really believe we are closing the door to so many more people we could be opening our doors to because our systems aren't progressive enough.”

Gillespie also discussed the importance of Net Promoter Scores, James O. Prochaska's transtheoretical model of behavior change and the nuances behind any club’s rates and conditional terms. (Do annual agreements help retention or hurt sales? Do enrollment and enhancement fees add real value to a member’s experience?)

Click here to view this free webinar, and don’t miss Club Industry’s next webinar, "At Your Service: Why You Need to Invest in a Maintenance or Repair Plan,” sponsored by Precor (2 p.m. Eastern on Oct 24, 2019).

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