Dealing with the Hostile Tour

caseyconradBy Casey Conrad
GGFA Think Tank Member

Although it doesn’t happen that often, occasionally you get a prospect who gives you attitude.  You know what I’m talking about; you greet them at the front desk, begin to go through your qualification process and they shut you down.  “Look, I don’t need your sales pitch, I just want to know the prices.”

Although there is one part of you that wants to say, “Sod off buddy,” you know that you have to smile and simply deal with it.  So the question I often get is, “How do you deal with it and not feel like someone just put you through 3 rounds with no boxing gloves on?”

First, know that this person’s attitude is NOT about you.  Maybe they had a really bad sales experience before and they are simply being guarded?  (Okay, and maybe they are a jerk, but let’s at least entertain the possibility.)  Whatever the reason for their defensiveness the WORST thing you can do is feed into their expectation!  Every situation will be different but I find this two-step process works every time:

1. Nicely acknowledge their low threshold for the sales process.  “Okay, Bob, I’m not sure if you’ve had a bad experience with sales before but I can appreciate your only wanting the prices so let’s get right to it.”

2. Turn the control back over to them by asking, “Which membership were you interested in?”  (This assumes you at least have a few options.)

What this does is forces the prospect to say, “I don’t know, what types of memberships do you have?”

At this point it gets really fun if you have lots of membership options because you can rattle off a bunch different membership types.  Keep in mind that you are doing this with the right tonality– NOT attitude yourself.

And this brings you to the final step–or “bridge”– where you can turn to the prospect and say, I know you didn’t want to go on a tour but this is why we at least walk people through so they can see the club and then make a decision about the membership type.”

Of course, some customers might say to you, “I just want a single, fitness only membership–how much is it!”  In those instances you are better off simply sitting down with them and giving them the price and then immediately asking, “Does that price range put our club in the running for what you were looking to invest in yourself?”  Maybe then you will be able to engage in a conversation.

The bottom line is this.  Hostile prospects are just waiting for you to try and play a sales game with them.  I find that these more direct approaches gains more rapport than you trying to force them into a qualifying process that enrages them.  At the end of the day they will either buy or not.

Want the most comprehensive club sales training program available? Visit to learn about my on-line program.

PrintVision The GGFA is heard and respected as the unified voice of all franchisees. We are involved in all decisions that affect our brand and the franchisees. It is our goal to secure Gold’s Gym as the most profitable franchising opportunity in the fitness industry and the number one fitness brand in the world.

Mission We serve as advocates for all franchisees to help them maximize the profitability and stability of their businesses.


About GGFA

The Gold's Gym Franchisee Association is the independent voice of the Gold's Gym franchisees.
This entry was posted in Best Practices, Innovations & Opportunities, Management & Operations, Membership Sales & Retention, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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