The Sales Process: 6 Ideal Steps for Health Clubs

Commercial Fitness

The Sales Process: 6 Ideal Steps for Health Clubs

Sales are a critical part of any health club's success, so it is important to have an effective system in place for managing leads and prospects.

The ideal sales process can be broken down into six steps. Here's how you can apply those steps in your facility to improve your sales outcomes and increase your business' revenue.

The following is a summarization of an education session from the 2015 IHRSA Convention, produced with full permission from IHRSA. The full-length video is available for purchase at

About the Speaker

Jason Reinhardt is the Owner and Founder of Go M.A.D. Fitness. He is the Ambassador of the Chamber of Commerce in Southeast Michigan. He is a recognized keynote speaker and author, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business and Marketing Management.

 Steps for Effective Sales

An Ideal Sales Process

A sale begins as soon as someone walks into your facility. For the ideal process, you want to formulate a standard meet-and-greet script for new clients, which can be adjusted to the individual while delivering the key message.

Either a profile card or needs analysis is vital to the sales process. Near the beginning of the process, ask the right questions about a visitor’s fitness past, present, and future goals. Demonstration tours add value to your presentation. Develop a plan to effectively present membership options to new clients and to gather guaranteed referrals. Clearly represent what differentiates your facility from the others in your community. Emotionally engage members and potential members to connect with your facility.

To sell more memberships and incentivize your staff, make sales and lead generation fun and creative. Create a sales architecture with the right people. Implement monthly meetings and goals to create and motivate a self-starting staff.

Once you have leads, you'll want to engage with them and your surrounding community via emails, direct mail, and guerilla marketing.

Six Steps in the Sales Process

The sales process can be broken down into the following six core steps that take you from initial contact to completed sale:

  • Create prospect lists and lead generation databases via social media, email marketing, and flyers.
  • Set appointments with your prospects to discuss services and sell memberships face-to-face.
  • Do appointment confirmation calls as a follow up.
  • Format your presentation to include a meet and greet, needs analysis, and a demonstration tour. Wrap up the presentation with a prepared pre-close to gauge prospects’ interest in your facility; also offer them a membership that’s a good fit for their needs.
  • Complete the required paperwork/referrals.
  • Finalize the sale.

You have one chance to sell to a potential member. Obtain their first name, last name, phone number or email address. Your meet-and-greet script should include a brief welcome and then an inquiry about how you can help them. Ask questions and get to know the prospect and their fitness goals. While touring the facility, present your membership options. Find out as much as you can so you have the information you need to address their individual fitness level and goals.

Empower yourself and engage potential members by asking what their fitness past has been, where they are now, and where they want to be in the future. Train and prepare yourself and your staff to deal with difficult situations that may arise. You can use a structured list of questions that take a sincere interest in the lives and fitness goals of your prospects. Listen to their answers. The answers create the opportunity to prove you have made a one-on-one valuable personal connection. Use the script as a guide but focus on the person, not the script.

Engage with your prospects during the demonstration tour. Remember, the tour is not exclusively for sales: you want to educate the potential member on the quality equipment and your services. Provide information about the little things, like the impact of different machines and what they do.

Your pre-close should help you making ongoing improvements to your sales process, and can include questions like:

  • Do you like what you saw?
  • What do you like about the club?
  • Do we have what you’re looking for?
  • Is this a place that you’d like to start your fitness journey?

Be sure to address your fees, deals, and promotions. Phrase things in a conversational, less business way.

Guaranteed Referrals

Guaranteed referrals can be created by offering promotions that are scarce, urgent, and valuable. For example, following a pre-close, offer your prospect a few guest passes worth a specific amount if they complete their membership within the next week. This is a low-pressure situation that can generate more members for your facility. Your prospect may opt to take advantage of your time-sensitive offer and promote it to their friends or family by using the guest passes.

Closing Tips for Success

Take a sincere interest in your prospects and new members. Get to know them so they feel connected and appreciated. A structured pre-close question list is critical to make sure your prospects are ready and willing to join your facility.

Make an effort to emotionally engage your prospects and do not come off as generic. Demonstrate your equipment and unique offerings on the tour, and let prospects know about any additional steps if they choose not to join immediately. Create a clear course of action and engage with the potential member with enthusiasm. Tours are not about feature dumping, but are a good place to ask open-ended questions. If you hire people who have passion and professionalism, train them in your sales process, and engage leads, you should be able to increase your sales success.