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By combining a fresh approach to sales sequencing with smart communication skills you can create an environment in which people want to buy from you rather than be sold to, says Darren Roberts.

Let’s take a look at the fitness landscape in 2014: the rapid advancement of 24-hour clubs; consolidation of large clubs; tribal training such as CrossFit; High Intensity Interval Training; Tough Mudder; virtual group fitness. The industry has changed enormously in recent years, but regardless of the competition and challenges your club or studio faces, I firmly believe that your fitness business has the potential to grow in the next 12 months. How? Through effective use of sales sequencing.

Sales sequencing is, essentially, a step-by-step process for actively progressing the sales journey of every prospective member.

The old ways of selling in our industry are dead. Many clubs and studios, however, persist with doing the ‘hard sell’ of decades ago – which leads to buyer’s remorse, poor word of mouth referrals and low member retention – and then wonder why they are not making progress. It used to be said that ‘if you continue to perform the same actions, you will get the same results.’ Now, with such rapid change in consumer behaviour, if you continue to perform the same actions you will go backwards, fast.

Telephone follow-ups, for example, are increasingly ineffective due to the challenge of actually getting hold of prospects – and the longer it takes to achieve a follow-up, the colder the lead gets. Where good sales sequencing is truly effective is in its ability to increase conversion rates and reduce the need for as much frustrating and fruitless follow-up. In other words, it helps you to strike while the iron’s hot.

In 2014 sales sequencing is about creating an environment in which people want to do business with you. To increase your conversion, membership numbers and income you need to have more people choosing to buy from you and less people being sold to.

This is achieved through a sales sequencing process and the communication skills within it. For instance, you must communicate by teaching the prospect something they do not know and that is relevant to their individual circumstances. You teach to inspire, to create the perception in the eyes of your prospect that you are an expert, and to make your communication memorable.

The objective of your communication is to create an emotional ‘want’ to buy (which is where 100 per cent of decisions are made), by showing the prospect how to avoid pain and how to move towards pleasure.

The objective of the sales sequencing around this communication is to earn the right to lead the conversation, ask the appropriate questions to diagnose the prospect’s compelling reason to buy today, and to show that your club or studio is the solution to this compelling reason.

The sales sequencing cycle for maximising conversions is:

  • Create quality first impressions
  • Build rapport and mutual commonality
  • Diagnose the compelling reason to buy today through written and verbal qualification
  • Prescribe a tailored solution to the individual’s compelling reason
  • Present a range of options for getting started (while replacing sales-killing words)
  • Ask for completion – ask for the money!
  • Give the gift of referrals and qualify tough.

The communication skills within this cycle include:

  • Mirror and match body language and DISC behavioural styles
  • Deliver a memorable introduction
  • Ask, listen and formulate (ALF) to have flow in your conversation
  • Why, how, what statement modelling
  • INK’ING (I Never Knew that…) teaching skills to position you as an expert in the eyes of your prospect
  • 4 W’s + H to create an understanding of the prospect’s compelling reason to buy today – What, Where, Why, When, How (plus a secondary goal and ‘secret how’ to reinforce the Why)
  • Hot spotting on the tour
  • P-FBEA to explain your features and relate them to an emotion to achieve YES momentum
  • Transition questions from the tour to the price presentation
  • Big picture presentation (BPP) to show the ways to get started with an emotional re-cap of the prospect’s compelling reason and an alternate choice, emotional price presentation
  • Ask for a decision and give the gift of referrals, then take care of a little bit of paperwork.

The marriage of this fresh style of sales sequencing with effective communication skills creates an environment in which prospects choose to buy from you quicker, with less time and effort wasted on follow-ups and greater retention once they become members – all of which results in more members, greater income, less stress and more rewards for you and your staff.

Darren Roberts
The Senior Training Consultant with Impact Training Corporation, Darren has 18 years’ experience of success in the fitness industry. He is a certified DISC presenter in behavioural style analysis and helps clubs and individuals maximise income potential through sales, management and communication training. For more, visit


Join Darren for his session at FILEX 2014 and learn how to effectively implement sales sequencing into your fitness business:

For more information on Darren’s session check out where you can also register for the convention or the all-inclusive Gold Pass packages that include access to the essential Business or PT Business summits and breakfast events.


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