Selling in the New Economy

David McGarry earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida in exercise science and an MBA from the University of Texas at Dallas. Along with his degrees, McGarry is certified through the NSCA as a certified strength and conditioning specialist and is the owner of, a fitness consulting company. Previously, he served as the assistant general manager for the Cooper Fitness Center at Craig Ranch. His experience consists of more than 13 years as a personal trainer and fitness manager. McGarry is actively involved with the community as a public speaker and presenter to corporations for health and wellness. His most recent accomplishment is a self-published book for fitness professionals and personal trainers called “Anatomy of Sales.” Check it out at

I know I do not need to tell you, but in case you have been under a rock for the last year and a half, the good times are gone. Statements like, “This is the worst recession since the Great Depression” or, “Consumers are no longer buying” are blasted all over the place by news networks and other forms of media every day. It is no wonder people are finding it difficult to sell their services.

People are still looking to buy products and services, but the game of selling has changed. Here are three things you need to know in order to succeed in selling in the new economy:

1. We are in a new economic cycle. Throughout history, we have had many economic cycles. We forget that periods of prosperity and growth are typically followed by crashes or long periods of slow growth. So, the question is, “When we go through an economic slowdown, do people stop buying?” No, consumers still buy, but the rules of the game change, and if you do not have sound fundamental sales skills, you will fail. Here is a simple fact: When a slowdown occurs, you need to decide whether you are going to flee or fight. If you want to sell in this economy, you need to use that animal instinct that is in all of us and decide if you are going to run or fight. Once you have made that decision, you need to gain the skills you lack to become better. I have heard this statement before, and I believe it is true: You are only one skill away from doubling your income. Find that one skill and master it.

2. You must change your attitude. The news networks, Internet and other media outlets are constantly talking about how bad things are, which can lead you into a funk. If you are in a funk, then the first thing you need to do is admit that you are in a funk. Listen, we all go through periods of low points in our careers and personal lives, but once you admit to yourself that you are in a funk, then you can address it. Once you’ve admitted it, the next thing you need to do is psyche yourself up. For me, I always recite a quote from motivational speaker Zig Ziglar, who says, “Motivation is like bathing; you need to do it daily.” This reminds me to read positive stories or read motivational quotes to start my day. Feeding your mind with positive thoughts and ideas will help you have a better attitude, which will lead to higher productivity and more sales. Once you begin to feel better about yourself, you will start to display the confidence you need to sell your product or service. Attitude and confidence are a big part of success. However, in today’s economy, if you think that by doing what you have always done is going to get the different results, you are in for a rude awakening. People who are successful at sales in today’s economy will tell you that they are working harder now than before, and they are getting the results from two years ago. So, the lesson here is that you must work harder and longer to reach the same level you did a few years ago.

3. The consumer has changed. Today’s consumer has more fear, more anxiety, more hesitation to buy and less trust. To quote Ziglar again, “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough people get what they want.” This quote applies to everyone, but for salespeople in the fitness industry, it should be the golden rule. You are here to make a difference. Instead of just focusing on getting the membership sale, focus on how your club or service can help the potential client get what they want. Consumers have been burned too many times, and if they feel that you are not looking out for their best interest, they are not going to buy from you. So, the simple step here is to get your potential member or client to like and trust you, and they will buy.

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