The Nuts and Bolts of Overcoming Objections

Objection Handling For Sales people

The most successful membership sales people use a strict well rehearsed system for dealing with objections.

Like many things we discuss in high performance sales work chance is taken out utilising well crafted scripts and a choreographed process.

Here’s how it rolls .

Consider the acronym: P.R.E.K.C.

P stands for Pause.

The first thing that you do if a customer comes up with an objection is to do nothing, is to just pause for a few seconds. Take your time in responding.

Remember what they said they don’t mean. It is not true, they are not telling you the truth. This is because they are just having a little last-minute panic.

What you do next is to repeat back to them what they said to you.

The R is “repeat”

‘You don’t think you’ve got the time?

You’re worried about the money?’

And you leave the words hanging so the prospect can hear what they said again. You both know it’s not true and they need to know you know it’s not true. So, you leave it hanging.

Now because you just put a little bit of pressure on this relationship you must do then a process called “empathise”. To show “empathy “with the client inability to decide.

The E in P.R.E.K.C stands for “Empathise”

We use a technique called “Feel, Felt, Found.” To overcome it.

Here’s how we build a sentence with these three words in it.

#1 Money or the price.

It’s more expensive than I thought it was going to be, it’s more money than I was hoping to pay. The second one is the time. ‘I’m not sure I’ve got the time to use the club to get the value out of it.’

The third is the competition. ‘I’d like to look around the other clubs in the town before I make a decision.’

The fourth one, is what we call the spouse or the partner objection. ‘I’d like to go home and discuss it with my partner before I decide about joining.’

And the fifth one, ‘I will think about it.’ Also known as the procrastination objection. Now when you look at the needs analysis interview that we’ve done, every single one of these five has been asked about in that interview. So, all this is a complete shock to you if you’ve done the system right. That doesn’t mean it isn’t going to happen because people are saying these things even when they don’t really mean them.

So it goes something like this,

‘It’s more money than I thought it was going to be.’

Look them in the eye and pause for a few seconds.

Then you say; ‘It’s more money than you thought it was going to be?

I know exactly how you feel .

Lots of my customers at this point felt it was a huge amount of money to invest but once they got started and they started to feel the benefits and see results within the first four to six weeks they realise it’s the best money they spent.’

K is the key Question

I’m then going to move on and ask the key question. ‘Is it the only thing stopping you from joining today Kelly? Is it the only thing stopping you from joining today? I just need to make sure that it is.’

Then I’m going to close. The final piece of the jigsaw is the closing question.

Now if you are working with a club of any quality at all you will be using some sort of money back guarantee. Money Back Guarantees can be anything from 7, 14 to 21 days long but any club of any value should be using that. Here’s how we use it in the close.

‘Kelly, will you know within the next 14 days whether you’ve joined a club where you are going to get value for money?

Would you know in the first two weeks whether you’ve made a good decision?


Great, here’s what we’re going to do then. We’re going to sign you up today, I’m going to get you started because I know that you’re keen to achieve that result that we’ve talked about. And if at any time in the next 14 days you’re not happy or you’re not feeling as though you’re getting the value you want from the club, we will give you all your money back.

And here’s the certificate that you can carry to prove that. Let’s get you started.’

And that is the way you use the money back guarantee.

It really is a badge of honour.

You see right now in our industry we’ve got people joining clubs without money back guarantees who then fall out of love and they get hit for the whole membership and they tell everybody they know about what a terrible club it is.

What you want to be doing is for the 5% of people, the five people in 100 who bring this back is they all go and say, ‘I went and used that club and they were really nice and really friendly, but it wasn’t for me and they gave me all my money back.’ How about that PR compared to, ‘I’m not going to join Club X because they’re awful and it cost me £450.00?’

You can’t lose with this, you really cannot.

So, what we’ve got to do is we need to just work that process with each of these five different objections.

‘On the money one is it the joining fee or the monthly dues that’s causing you the problem?

Bearing in mind all the things you get when you join the club, how much were you expecting to pay as a joining fee? “

Or if the objection is the monthly dues amount:

“Bearing in mind the facilities we’ve got and the services we’ve talked about how much were you expecting to pay for the monthly due?’

So you are thinking about £24.00 ? Our membership costs £36 per month and the prospect was thought that £24 per month was their budget. You were happy to pay £24 so the difference of £12.00 per month is what’s stopping you from joining today right ? That’s about £3.00 a week?

(Empathise) I know how you feel, lots of people felt it, then found that we are better by far than any other club iin this area.

Can I ask , is it the only thing stopping you from joining?

Will you know in the next 14 days whether you’ve made the right decision or not?


Great, then here’s what we’ll do, let’s get the paperwork out.’

The competition objection– this  is my favourite one.

‘I’d like to look round at other competitors.’

‘Well I can help you with that because every club in this town we’ve got members from them so I know all about the good and the bad of those clubs, what do you want to know?

I’d like you to join this club, I think is right for you,

Let me ask you, do you think you will know in the next 14 days whether you’ve made the right decision or not?


Great, here’s what we will do, let’s get the paperwork out, get you set-up and I’ll give you the Money back certificate to take away today.’

So that’s the competition one. The partner one. ‘If you went home and you said to your partner I’ve joined the gym what do you think they’d say?

Is it the only thing from stopping you from joining today?

Here’s what we’ll do. I want you to join up today, I want to get you started but if for any reason your partner is not happy about the decision I will give you a full money back guarantee in the next 14 days.

What I’d also like to do is to give you a guest pass for your partner to come down and train with you. Does that sound fair?

Great, let’s get you signed up.’

Finally, the think about it – and this is where as a sales person you really do earn your corn because these people are the worst buyers and they need to be helped. ‘I know how you feel, lots of people have felt this concern that they were making this step into the unknown and not sure if they’re going to get value but found it was the best money they’d spent. Would you know in the next 14 days whether you’ve made a good decision or not? Here’s what we do, join you up, give you the certificate, take it away.’

So, it’s about your confidence and it’s about using the tools that you’ve got and it’s about really having this attitude of mind that what is the worst thing that can happen from somebody joining your fitness club?

They get slimmer, they feel great, they have less chance of dying a premature death, they are going to meet people, they’re going to feel more energised, they’re going to feel a sense of control, emotionally they’re going to feel better.

You owe it to them to really, I think, let’s not call it hard sell but let’s just not take no for an answer. Let’s make them say no, not I want to think about it. Customer indecision is a sales “crime”

Yes or no; your job is to help them decide.

Why all clubs should have a Doctor

Imagine How Many More People Would Join Your Club if you had your own Qualified Doctor to help them…

People are 40 times more likely to ask a Doctor for advice on exercise than a Personal Trainer


Everyone knows that when they have reached a level of ill health they would benefit greatly from following an exercise programme. They just don’t know where to go to get the right advice because of their health issues.

A recent research paper proved that people are 40 times more likely to ask a Doctor for advice on exercise than a Personal Trainer.

So that’s straight forward then…send them to their GP and they will recommend a programme. But you know how increasingly difficult and drawn out the process is to get an appointment to see your GP.

And if you are lucky enough to see your GP… will you get the right advice you were hoping for?

In a recent Scottish study of GP practices, it was found that ONLY 5% of GPs ASK about their patient’s exercise history during a consultation

WHY do you think the statistics are so LOW? Aren’t they trained at Medical school about the benefits of exercise. Aren’t Doctors advocates of the “Exercise is medicine” school of thought????

Err ….NO ! Not at all. In fact it’s a shocking and little known fact that Sports & Exercise Medicine is NOT EVEN ON the curriculum for NEW Doctor training in the UK or even the USA !!!

Imagine the community benefits and yes , the commercial advantage of your club having its own Medical DIRECTOR – a qualified Sports and Exercise Medicine trained Doctor who screens your members and DEALS DIRECTLY with the ones who have a positive risk factor.

NO MORE referring potential customers away to their GP for a letter of authorisation never to be seen again.

Customers hunt your club down BECAUSE you are the only Club in their area where they will get medically supervised exercise prescription! Within the cost of membership! It’s got to make sense on any level you care to think about:


  • Community Engagement
  • Social responsibility
  • Practical Heath initiative
  • Gives your Club a USP in a crowded market
  • Makes you money through increased sales
  • Establishes you as an “Authority “ and “ Enhances “your reputation as a Professional Club

The Power of Online Surveys

The Power of Online Surveys

  • Real time results
  • Customisation ability in the survey
  • Easy to manage manipulation information
  • Survey wrapped inside digital marketing assets


6 key uses…


  • Prospecting

One of the key jobs in membership sales is QUALIFYING your prospects. In the pre-internet days our membership team asked each prospect critical questions to see if our club could provide a suitable solution to the Prospects issue. We’ve developed an online fitness survey that does the very same thing and costs a fraction of the cost of employing good salespeople.  Imagine knowing which of your internet leads are ready to join now, what they want for your club and you have all the details easily available to communicate with them immediately.


  • Medical Activity Readiness Questionnaires

Only 14 % of the population are members of fitness clubs One of the issues for main more is that they are not sure that exercise will help them due to prior medical condition. By using a medical survey online it’s amazingly easy to utilise a local friendly GP to link up to your prospects to assess with them the benefits from joining you. Medical support sets you apart in a crowded market and is an absolute “no brainer” if you want to attract the deconditioned market.

We have a turnkey ready to roll solution “Medifit” with a team of on call specialist Doctors if you don’t want to suffer the pain of starting your own scheme.


  • New members Fitness Requirements

Bottom line, if you’ve been a prior member of a gym, then your new Clubs induction session is a complete turnoff. Members see it as a complete waste of there time and for many they would like to give it a wide berth if only they could. Anything that damages the relationship between Club and new member has got to be a dangerous thing so early in the membership life.

That’s why a pre-Induction survey uncovering what the new member wants to get out of your integration system, their exercise history, and favoured equipment will pay huge benefits for you. It will save hours of staff time, allowing you to focus on the members who need help and stop you wasting the time of uninterested new users.


  • Existing members Fitness Services Survey

Imagine if you could find out what your new members would like to take advantage of before you organised it. Imagine the time saving of only putting together what your customers asked for and being able forensically identify the people who asked for it and give it to them. Who wants Personal Training? Who would like to train as a small group in regular class format? Who wants to take part in a 6-week transformation programme? Who would like to go on a ski holiday with the club? Imagine how much more money that you could make for your club with that sort of up to the minute intel!


  • Members Quarterly satisfaction surveys

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a well-used validator of customer satisfaction. Cutting edge survey software allows operators to combine numerical feedback with more informative open-ended member feedback that will lift the lid on a simple feedback criterion. It will probably alert you to high risk of dropout customers and permit you to provide personalised solutions to their issues. That must help retention in the longer term. Don’t guess; survey: regularly!



  • Ex Member Feedback Surveys

Where did it all go wrong? If only you knew would it help to create a better more relevant Club? The ability to recover lost members id a vital part of successful club marketing and having some insight into why your customer left you is a very useful starting point.

The Essential Guide to Planning an Effective Club Marketing Campaign

The Essential Guide to  Planning an Effective Club Marketing Campaign

This month I would like you to talk to you about planning your lead generation and membership marketing activities. If you are starting with a blank sheet of paper then here are my top tips for achieving a successful marketing outcome and keeping your owners happy.

  1. Don’t lose sight of your objectives!

A well thought out Club marketing plan will include a range of objectives, all of which should be about achieving profit for your business.


  1. Advanced Planning is Vital!

Plan your activity in 12 week (3 month) cycles. January- March, April – June, July – Sept, October – December.

Start the planning process for each quarter 3 months ahead.

So, in October you should be thinking about the January to March period.

In Phase one (Month 1) of each cycle, you should be creating an outline programme of your initial thoughts and ideas for the promotional period. Month 2 is the final decision time of what, when and how. Month 3 is the vital briefing and production phase when the aim is to let everyone know inside your team, about what’s happening, when, and what you expect from them.


  1. Always remember the “4 M” marketing cornerstones when planning your promotional activity.

The first “M” stands for “Market”.

This is your target Audience.

In the world of fitness marketing the main “tribes” you will be targeting will be Prospects (the people you would like to join your club), New members (those within the first 6 weeks of subscription),existing members, your “Best Spending “members (an often neglected but hugely important tribe) , your “Sleeping Membership” ( For goodness sake wake them and nurture them!),customers in a renewal of membership phase and your ex-members database.

The challenge is to run a sophisticated plan that realizes the potential of all of these audiences. Because you are probably going to be running a bigger plan than ever before so you will realize the need to plan further in advance and to take the trouble to brief your colleagues comprehensively so they know what’s happening and are confident in dealing with it.

The 2nd M is “the message”. Your plan will include predominantly include activities to attract new members but will additionally, include ideas and campaigns to upsell existing members to higher ticket versions (ascension), retail more secondary products, increase the lifetime of your members, and facilitate greater member referrals.

How we deliver these “messages” to our identified market is the product of the 3rd M – “Media”.

What techniques, both offline or online are going to be most effective in getting the message home to the market?

When you consider the different tactics and outcomes that you are looking for it is vital that you choose the right media for the right message and ensure that it is the most effective method for the market you are aiming it at.

For example, if you are aiming to recruit senior exercisers to join your club then a Facebook post or ad campaign may not necessarily be the most effective media for you to reach the target. Equally, if you are wanting to deliver a sophisticated sales message to local mums then a video embedded facebook ad campaign may be the most suitable and impacting method. Its horses for courses and its very much a combination of both offline and online. For example, direct mail is back again as one of the most powerful media forms for fitness clubs.

What’s key is that you measure the results of what you do to find the most profitable uses of your marketing dollar!




  1. Never forget that although fitness is a people business it is essentially a numbers game!

You must track accurately the “metrics” (the 4th M) of all your campaigns.  We mean recording the costs of each campaign against the response rates and most importantly the value generated from each customer. Too many successful campaigns are cut off too early because we didn’t realize how well they were working!

Equally, for those that don’t appear to work so well straight away, ensure that you chart the various performance stages to see if with a few minor tweaks, additional staff training, and some process systemization you can’t turn an average campaign into a huge profit generator.


  1. The Theory in Action


Here’s a great example of that point in question.


One of our client clubs recently introduced a £ 49 fitness voucher card promotion to attract customers to their club. The conversion rate was 10% to membership and the average lifetime spend of a Club member is approximately £350. (The average length of stay x average monthly yield)

The club spent £500 on marketing the cards and sold 30 cards recovering £1500 and converting 3 to become members 3 x £350 = £1050)

So a £ 500 outlay generated £2500 and a profit of £2000.

Mindful of all of the numbers, the Club manager decided to invest in a more intense direct sales promotion to boost voucher sales.

A wise decision?

Here’s what happened next…

Instead of a press ad campaign, he hired a sales team to sell the voucher cards to companies and shops and locals door to door.

The new spend per month went up to £3500 as a result (due to the staff wages)-an increase of £3000 on the former tactic!

However, voucher sales went up 400% to 120 and with a change in the membership offer the conversion % went up to 15%.


The new “Metrix” show the following financial performance;

a total spend of £3500.

Revenues from card sales of £5000 and membership take-up of 120 x 15% = 30 x £350 lifetime value.

The promotion generated £15500 for an investment of £3500.

A profit of £12000 compared to the £2000 profit achieved in the ad-driven campaign.

Imagine the additional profit generated if you could sell more cards, further improve the conversion, and add an extra month to the lifetime value. Exponential increases are possible.

So here’s our parting thought this month:

Amazing things happen to your club marketing performance when you understand how to analyze your campaigns and take the trouble to measure accurately the effectiveness of your strategies!

Good luck out there!


Duncan Green is Managing Director of Momentum Business Development.

He is a trusted adviser to fitness clubs globally, and his company provides advanced online sales and marketing services to UK Fitness Club operators.

Unlock The Secrets of World Class Customer Service. Make your Fitness Club “remarkable”!

On the pages of the new monthly online newsletter “Fitness Club Gold” we will be studying Club member journeys and analysing what’s holding operators back from delivering true business class service.

Early research shows two key things stand out.

Google Analytics Research showed that most members will NEVER return to a club’s website once they’ve joined up.

As a result, members are none the wiser about most of the great things you offer that they can take advantage of.

And that obviously effects their spending potential.

But there’s more.

Communicating effectively with your members, and hammering home your promotional messages, can take up to 10 virtual touches, via a range of media.

Everyone knows now that maximising your member spend is going to be crucial to the success of any fitness club in the future.

Lead volumes are dropping and costing more to get.

Conversions are harder to come by.

The first task is to really communicate with your customers better and more often.

Secondly, you just simply must develop ENOUGH services to sell to your members.

For many operator who haven’t, it’s like having a shop where 50 % of your shelves are lying empty!

You can see that this dramatically affects the secondary revenue in your fitness club.

The solution is to do 2 things better and we will be giving you comprehensive insights into

  1. Inventing more things to offer your members to buy
  2. Making your members more aware and Improving the frequency with which you sell to them

Your monthly copy of Fitness club Gold will help you meet the challenge

We will be giving you the “truth” on what, when, how, and why.

Fitness Club Gold carries no advertising and costs you ZIP ! Nothing, Nada!

Its dedicated to helping you make a better club for your members and more profit for you

Register to get your copy delivered to your inbox every month starting August 2018



Why Facebook is a MUST for Fitness Club Operators?

3 Reasons That Facebook Advertising is the No 1 marketing activity for fitness clubs

In 2018 you better get your head around Facebook advertising or you will get left behind by your competition

Here’s why….

1) It’s a platform with a readership of 1.8 billion (and growing)

2) You can target with laser like accuracy the people who are most likely to join your club and advertise directly to them. No other platform gives you this opportunity

3) Its cheap!!! Cheaper than almost any other medium we know except doing nothing!

If you didn’t make sales targets this summer, then our Facebook for Fitness webinar could help!

We have been mastering the use of Facebook Advertising as an effective way of promoting fitness club membership for the last 3 years

What we have learned as we have been doing it for fitness clubs is that it’s certainly not straightforward, although it’s not complex.

You Must Have:

  • A very clear idea of “who” your customer is
  • A visually attractive advert to get attention
  • A landing page that explains why prospects should give up their details
  • A data capture system to nurture interest and make it easy to communicate with.
  • A Compelling reason why your targets should join you and most importantly to do it NOW!
  • A clear Call to action
  • Multi-level opening offers
  • Multiple response mechanisms
  • An ongoing follow up programme for slow converters
  • An ongoing series of offers to move your prospect up your” Value ladder

If any of these terms is a tad confusing or you think that we could probably show you something valuable in our webinar then, get on the call.


It’s on next Wednesday 25th July at 15.00 hours and its around 60 minutes in duration.

You can reserve a space by clicking here

It could well be a game changer for you and your club.



how to generate significantly MORE members WITHOUT discounting your vital Joining Fees!!

No Joining Fee!

No Joining Fee and your first month Free!

Do these Sound like familiar offers that you run?

In the new monthly online newsletter “Fitness Club Gold” we will be sharing some SECRETS about how to generate significantly MORE members WITHOUT discounting your vital Joining Fees!!  In fact, we are even going to show you how, in some cases, you can charge TWICE as much as you have before with little impact on your sales volumes.

We will be sharing with you lessons on pricing and lead generation improvement and we’ll also be covering some simple to use sales strategies to help you close more business.

We would even go as far as to say that RIGHT NOW, you are probably missing some huge untapped potential in your business .With just a few carefully orchestrated tweaks to your business processes Fitness Club Gold will show you how to add  £1000s in additional revenue with very little effort from you to grasp it!

Get your Complimentary copy of Fitness Club Gold HERE.

Facebook for Fitness – A marketing revolution is underway

Are you suffering a tough summer for membership sales?

Did “everyone” in your area go away on holiday this year?

Was “everyone” just too busy watching the World Cup on the TV to join up?

Did you tell your team that “no-one joins up when it is too hot/too wet/too windy?” (Delete as appropriate.)

Did your competition offer a crazy joining offer you just couldn’t match?

The fact is, that very soon, you are going to have to stop looking for excuses.

Soon you are going to have to look for a better solution than just plain price discounting.

You will need to come up with a new plan before your Club marketing hits the buffers.

Very soon you are going to have to face some cold, hard facts when it comes to modern fitness marketing.

The Big One, is a realisation that if you’re not the cheapest fitness club in town, it’s no good marketing as if you are.

If you’re not the lowest priced club in town, you better understand completely the compelling reasons, why should people join you

You need to do something very different,

You need to adopt a new approach to your club marketing. You need to do it very soon.

It means having a new mindset to your sales approach,

It means a serious rethink and analysis of what your potential customers are REALLY looking for

It means taking a focussed view about how you look after your members when they join

It means some soul searching on your part on your price offers and how you present them.

Fundamentally it’s going to be about the introduction of some essential cutting-edge sales and marketing tactics.

In a nutshell, it’s as much to do with service as it is with presenting your lowest price membership option.

If your diary seems so busy now, to carry out this sort of a review, then we can help.

If you feel so overwhelmed now with the day to day issues of running your club then we have the answer…

If you’re not an expert in this stuff and you’d be a whole lot happier if someone gave you the turn key solution to your problems, then…. clear your diary for an hour next week.

We will be revealing the solution then!

In just 60 MINUTES next Wednesday at 3pm GMT we will be lifting the lid for you on what you should be doing to dominate in your crowded market using Facebook.

We will be revealing, in easy to follow steps, the key changes you MUST make to competing with your lower cost competition.

What we can tell you right now is that the digital marketing world is undergoing significant change.

We all need to be doing different stuff now than we were 12 months ago to succeed.

The goalposts have moved.

Be there next week and we will show you our latest findings and how you can keep up.



Getting Loads of leads but they don’t seem to want to join up?

We in August have the solution for you in our early editions of Fitness Club Gold!

A brand new Monthly Online Newsletter for Fitness Club operators…

Introducing “Fitness Club Gold” 

Just 100% tips, techniques, scripts, concepts and best practice for the industry by industry experienced writers

No advertising!

No puff pieces from equipment companies!

Launching August 1st and available on FREE SUBSCRIPTION for LAUNCH sign ups!

To Reserve your copy of the Launch Issue and to give your career a boost over the other guys …


Looking for a new job in Fitness? Have you signed up for Fitness Club Gold?

Don’t turn up to a job interview alongside an avid “Fitness Club Gold reader” if you’re not a subscriber – You’ll never get the job!

Welcome to A brand new Monthly Online Newsletter for Fitness Club operators

Introducing “Fitness Club Gold” 

Just 100% tips, techniques, scripts, concepts and best practice for the industry by industry experienced writers

No advertising!

No puff pieces from equipment companies!

Launching August 1st and available on FREE SUBSCRIPTION for LAUNCH sign ups!

To Reserve your copy of the Launch Issue and to give your career a boost over the other guys…