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Great sales techniques are about influencing… not pushing

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As any good health and fitness club, gym, or leisure centre will know, the competition to secure those all-important new members is fierce.  However, amongst some operations there’s a tendency to err on the side of pushiness – rather than the side of influence.

This month, I’ve decided to explore the very best sales techniques for your health and fitness club, gym, or leisure centre.  With the summer here to stay for a few more weeks, many people are now thinking about joining a gym to quickly get fit and tone up ready for their summer holiday.  Or they might even be returning from a week or two in sunny climes and now in search of the ideal way to undo the damage caused by a margarita too many!

So it’s a prime time of year to capture potential members’ attention.  However, that’s the key… Capturing their attention, getting and keeping them interested in the benefits and reasons as to why joining your health and fitness club, gym, or leisure centre is a great idea, and influencing them with convincing cases, interesting facts, and helpful information so that they sign on the dotted line.

Can you influence people to buy?  Yes you can…

To be a good and influential sales person, it’s important that you create a feeling of demand, desire, and need by using cleverly chosen words and building a crucial rapport.  For a potential new member to make an enquiry into joining your health and fitness club, gym, or leisure centre, they must already have done some research and will no doubt be aware of the countless benefits of enjoying a regular exercise schedule.  So you have a delicate task on your hands in persuading and influencing them to commit.

However, rather than pushing your potential new members into signing up, why not empower them with interesting facts and information – and ask them smart, intelligent questions to find out the true reasons behind their need and desire to exercise at your health and fitness club, gym, or leisure centre.

Potential new members look into joining health and fitness clubs, gyms, or leisure centres for a whole multitude of reasons.  It could be a desire to lose weight, perhaps they want to take control of their lives, health and wellbeing, maybe they’re in training for an event, or possibly it’s a social or status factor and they want to make new friends – or be seen to be doing the ‘right’ thing.

So what’s the difference between influencing and pushing?

There’s a very distinct difference between influential selling techniques and pushing.  Pushy salespeople are universally detested!  So whereas influential selling informs, empowers, engages and advises, pushy sales techniques quite literally push customers away from you.

Influential selling = asking questions, focusing on what your potential new member needs, making your solution realistic and providing the necessary support to ensure your potential new member makes the right decision for them.  Whereas pushy selling = telling your potential new member what to do, focusing on what you want, and applying pressure and not accepting ‘no.’

Whether you know it or not – and whether you like it or not – you are influenced into making numerous decisions on a daily basis.  From how you shop in a supermarket, to the work you carry out in the office, influential people and factors are all around you.  Furthermore, no doubt you are responsible for influencing people and decisions too – although perhaps you may not know it!  Maybe you used your influential skills this morning to get your partner to make you a cup of tea, or perhaps you delegated work to a colleague and used your influential skills to ensure it is bumped up their ‘to do’ list…?

To influence potential new members into making the decision to join your health and fitness club, gym, or leisure centre, you need to use persuasive language and provide them with empowering detail in order that they feel they are making the right decision themselves.  A good analogy is to put it all on a plate, but let them eat it!

By communicating at a deeper level, the potential new member feels you actually care about their personal reasons for wanting to join your health and fitness club, gym, or leisure centre.  People buy from people, so it’s crucial you keep this mantra at the forefront of your mind, and approach every potential new sale from a very human aspect with long-term customer relationships as your top priority.

And the conclusion as to why influencing is better than pushing…

Well, for a start there’s nothing worse than a pushy salesperson.  Countless businesses have finally learned the hard way that pushy sales people push potential customers away as it screams of desperation.  Too much pressure can have the opposite effect on closing a sale – and it can also force potential members into agreeing to commit, only to cancel as soon as they’re home.

It’s human nature that we all want to feel as though we’re being taken seriously.  As consumers we are pretty savvy nowadays when it comes to searching around for good deals.  So sales techniques that worked 10-years ago will definitely no longer cut the mustard today.  And that’s why influence wins hands down over pushiness.  OK, it might take more hard work and effort to build those all-important rapports, but it’ll be worth it in the long run.

To find out more about how your health and fitness club, gym or leisure centre can benefit from using influential sales techniques, or for further information on the importance of successful and influential sales, please call +44 (0) 7815 800 939 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. today.



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Guest Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Your knowledge, passion and expertise in helping us to find the right front of house staff has been invaluable. You have trained, inspired and developed our front of house staff to deliver exceptional service. How do we know this? Feedback about customer service from our tenants have improved and we will continue to work with you in the future. Thank you Nurturing Skills.

Rob Court, Training development for Guardian News and Media

Since the training has been delivered by Nurturing Skills we are monitoring sales and the process more closely. For example sales targets, enquiries to appointments, appointments to sales, and sales to referral are all monitored daily and as a result of the process we have increased.

  • Sales by 30%
  • Enquires to appointment by 70%
  • Appointment to sale by 55%
  • Point of sale referral by 45%

Barnsley Premier Leisure

For anyone looking to improve the sales performance, customer retention or customer service within their organisation, then there is no place better than to start with Lesley Aitken. Not only is she a charismatic trainer who is commercially astute but she quickly understands the needs of your business and puts them first before considering any monetary gain for her own organisation.

Trafford Community Leisure

Lesley Aitken is a very professional influential and highly passionate speaker. Highly interesting and motivational group coaching skills. Lesley has the ability to improve all major aspects of selling and the latest techniques to dramatically improve your business in just one day. An expert in her field and will get you and your colleagues the vital KPI's to improve your business.

General Manager at The Gym Group