How to Sell More Fitness Memberships without Focusing on Sales
Written by Ryan Moore on Jan. 8th 2019
Want more members in your gym or studio? Want to enjoy the journey while increasing profit and reducing your effort? Read on...

Let’s imagine a team member who we've all seen before. One that seems like they should be able to be a "natural" at selling memberships without you but still struggles to reliably close the deal...

What I'm about to give you is two practical tools you aren't using that will fix this, increase membership growth and naturally develop elite membership salespeople.

For those of us who have trained salespeople for any amount of time, we've also seen the other side of the coin. People who, at first glance, seem like they should not be great at sales but are somehow crushing it...

How does that happen? Well, let's talk about car wrecks because what's going on underneath the surface for both types of sales reps is significantly more powerful than any sales tactic I could share.

Humans are not born with it, but over time, they become patterned by what I call the "car-wreck effect." Meaning, bad news, negativity and unfortunate circumstances have become more significant in our brains than the other side of things. The car-wreck effect exists out of our natural drive to avoid the trauma we’ve dealt with or have seen others deal with. In order to avoid the future bumps and bruises, our brains subtly become conditioned to avoid re-experiencing pain that has occurred in our lives and to also avoid pain others experience that might occur in our own lives.

Car-wreck mentality is the hidden fear of the future due to subtle faith in bad things happening.

To avoid pain the pain of others, you have to notice it and remember it but our brains can only absorb and retain a certain amount of what's going on around us. That's why the sight of a mangled car wreck on the shoulder of the opposite side of the road triggers thousands of drivers to slow down. The image of the wreck haunts our thoughts so much that we can reiterate what we noticed to others. Seeing something bad happen then validates the thought that bad things might happen and fuels the drive to seek out the potential bad things that might happen to us.

In this way, paying attention to negativity becomes habitual. That's why the news media outlets are able to compete by sharing loads of tragedies that go with the flow of what the unintentionally conditioned human brain is already seeking.

In every moment of every day, our minds are incessantly being conditioned either intentionally or unintentionally. Unintentional conditioning will pull towards paying attention to negativity.

What's interesting is that no one talks about or even notices all the other drivers making it to their destination safely. No one slows down to look at the grocery store parking lot across the street to celebrate the 250 successful drivers who have all arrived. Each day on our commutes, we observe thousands and thousands of people arriving safely and it doesn't phase anyone...

So how can we use this information to lead our teams to make more sales this year?

Most salespeople will hear the word "no" more often than they will hear "yes" and, unless the mind is intentionally conditioned, those losses stick and can carry more weight than uplifting moments. The impact of this process is largely going on unconsciously in the background of a salesperson’s mind. This buildup of negative impressions won't cause a well-trained rep to fall off the path and start sounding like an idiot. No, they will still know what to say, however -

Here's where the problem comes in...

Elite salespeople are able to intentionally tune in to what someone isn’t saying and elite sales trainers help their teams hone the ability to intentionally tune in and use that information. 

However, ALL people do this to one degree or another. That's also largely going on unconsciously in the background of a prospect's mind. The interesting thing is that isn't being said has as much or more impact on a prospect's buying decisions than what is being said.

What this means for us is that everything our team isn’t saying is being heard too...

Sales is a transfer of the belief that what you're providing is the vehicle to move a prospect from where they are to where they'd like to be. In the transfer of belief, all feelings get transferred.

So, doubts about the future move along unconsciously to the prospect as well. Alternatively, so do other feelings like confidence of success. Transference of belief is happening all the time both intentionally and like an unseen virus. So, conditioning the atmosphere in our businesses by training our team's base-line mentality standard is crucial. Notice, the terminology... this is a standard to set not a goal to achieve.

The the two tools I'll be sharing with you now will help you establish an environmental standard that naturally produces sales and elite salespeople.

Frequenting the “winner’s mentality” headspace must be habitually conditioned in by the leaders because the world around us is fighting in the opposite direction. When salespeople feel like winners and learn to invest in that state, they transfer that feeling to the prospects they are speaking with. When the prospects operate from a winner's mentality, they are much more likely to move forward into a new decision producing new results in their lives. But if the salesperson is weighed down by losses and transfers that state to a prospect, the prospect is not going to be likely to want to charge into a new arena from the posture of a loser.

One thing you can do in order to condition the state of winner's mentality into your teams and prospects is to pay particular attention to the segment of most good sales scripts where the salesperson asks what goals the prospect has in mind. Followed up with questions like, "what will your life look like when you achieve ___, ___ and ___?"

By asking questions around the greater lifestyle impacts the achievement of the goals will have in the fitness industry, what gets drawn out will sound something like:
Rep: "So, what would you like to get out of ____ [practicing yoga/working out/becoming more active/etc]?"

Prospect: “well, I want to ‘tone up...’

Rep: "Ok, how much weight would you like to lose?"/"tell me more about that"/"you want to tone up? [silence]"

Prospect: "Yeah, I guess I would like to lose 30 lbs or so..."

Rep: "Ok, and how long do you think that might take?"

Prospect: "Oh, I guess about four or five months"

Rep: "Ok, and if you were to train somewhere regularly for four or five months, tone up and lose 30 lbs, what would that do for you?"/"how would toning up benefit your life outside of losing 30 lbs?"

Prospect: "When I do that, I'll look great in the dress I used to be able to wear, I’ll feel better, have more energy and have more confidence," etc.

Often, with speaking out the intent of achieving a specific goal you’ll see no visible reaction or maybe even hesitancy and fear. However, when you ask about what achieving the goal will do for someone, they visualize their future self and a smile come across a prospect's face as they imagine the future state they’d like to progress towards and the feelings associated with it rush in.

This is powerful, not just for making the sale, but for doing the deeper work of changing a life and conditioning winner’s mentality into your team. This way, the sale happens because the prospect is being, acting and choosing from a new state. The first step on the journey towards that future state, investing in a fitness membership, in this case, is just a natural byproduct of operating from that future winning state.

Without the new psychological state, the failures of the past or the fears of the future often cause a prospect to shrink back just before the point of sale and, "need to think about it." But when we listen deeply and lead a prospect into this state of being, it is powerful. It's not just powerful for the prospect, but for the salesperson as well. That’s because, when the salesperson remains open and listens deeply, they enter into that winning state as well.

When the salesperson enters a winning state of being with the prospect, everything the salesperson isn't saying aligns with the enthusiastic support of the prospect as the salesperson becomes happy for the success of the prospect rather than hungry for commission.

Will clients still fall off the path? Yes, they will. Will salespeople miss sales they should have closed? Yes, they will. That's why finding a brief moment of a winning state of being in a sales conversation will not fix everything.

It’s our calling to lead the culture of our businesses in focusing on the prospects we do help and actively cultivate winners mentality by sharing, championing and celebrating wins of our lives, businesses, salespeople and members together as often as we can. When our team’s state of being focuses on the people we can and do help, we will change more lives than we will if we focus on the ones no one can help.

That's a big part of why I intentionally collect and share the membership growth that I help gym and studio owners experience.

Celebrating the wins in the lives of our clients reinforces and conditions in our focus on the successes and not the failures so that what our teams are not saying is always communicating success. Success breeds success for us and those in our sphere of influence. That double-edged sword that comes from the transference of success to others is why salespeople hit "hot streaks."

Our teams and members are being bombarded with car-wreck mentality from all over making it crucial for us to intentionally, doggedly stand against the tide by relentlessly conditioning the practice of celebrating client wins.

Celebrating wins is done in various practical ways through the methodical collection and internal distribution of success stories in our businesses. It may not seem incredibly urgent, but the problems will always scream for attention. That makes it our job to shift the focus to the successes. Conditioning in winner’s mentality takes intentional, long-term investment in a "non-urgent" area.

However, there will be two results:

1. We and those around us will enjoy the journey more

2. We will see more lives changed.

Isn't that why we're in this business to begin with?

So in closing...

Sales are the fruits of what we're after, not the goal. Chasing the fruit without the roots is not going to produce the results anyone is looking for in fitness or in business.

It's our responsibility as thought leaders in our sphere of influence to intentionally condition in focus on the wins and invite others into a winning state of being to go against the tide of negativity in the world around us.

It's part of why I refuse to allow anything into my eyes, ears, thoughts, sales training methods and speech that isn't uplifting... Yes, that means I haven't watched the news in over 10 years and I unfollow anyone who complains or argues habitually and I don't spend time in the comparison game of social media.

What practical steps can you take to filter negative noise out of your life? How can you transfer these practices to your team? What ways are you going to fill the void left by the removal of negativity with a winner's mentality?

I'd love to hear from you and I hope these thoughts empower your future!

See you on the other side,


Ryan Moore

Ryan Moore helps fitness business owners scale their membership growth. He's an expert at helping business owners increase the team's closing ratios and growing membership revenue with less effort. If you're interested in more memberships with less effort then definitely reach out today.
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