I see this frequently: Club operators only sign up the interested hot prospects that don’t always require them to be disciplined. (And because of this, club owners think they are doing a good job.) It’s a matter of “don’t talk them out of it,” but that philosophy won’t grow their gym. It’s not good enough to just simply know the sales process.

Jim Thomas

Jim Thomas, Fitness Management USA Inc.

You as a club operator must have the discipline to follow the process. Here are some areas we see that get ignored too quickly:

  • 1. Closing. As the saying goes, if you don’t ask, the answer is always no. This can be uncomfortable for many salespeople, but if you want the membership sale, you will have to ask. All too often, we lose our discipline and start to say things like, “What do you think?” “How does this sound?” or “Do you have any questions?” That won’t work.
  • 2. Prospecting. The key to this is taking massive action and having many avenues for generating new prospects. When we lose our discipline, we end up doing only one to two things to generate traffic. No sales will ever be closed unless you have people to speak to.
  • 3. Nurturing. This one is frequently ignored. You must have a member-nurturing program in place. The idea is to help maintain interest and desire. This is particularly important for new members. You must create value over a long period of time.
  • 4. Planning. Without proper planning, you will end up becoming a victim of circumstances. Proper planning will allow you to use your time and your prospects’ time most effectively.
  • 5. Value. You must show value when you are making the outbound call and when you are giving the tour. Every prospect interaction should include value and be a resource center.
  • 6. Follow-up. This is usually the first to go. Salespeople on average will only follow up on leads one to three times, and it will take eight to 12 follow-ups to have success. Persistence is one of the ways that trust is established.

Now, go show your sales discipline!


Jim Thomas is the founder and president of Fitness Management USA Inc., a management consulting and turnaround firm specializing in the fitness and health club industry. With more than 25 years of experience owning, operating and managing clubs of all sizes, Thomas lectures and delivers seminars and workshops across the country on the practical skills required to successfully build teamwork and market fitness programs and products. Visit his website at www.fmconsulting.net or www.jimthomasondemand.com.