Membership Sales: Overcoming The Time Objection

Like any objection, the time objection must be eliminated during your sales pre-chat.

The pre-chat is held before the tour of the club and it should constitute 80 to 90 per cent of the sales process.

During the pre-chat document there should be a number of questions including ‘how many times a week can you come to the club?’

The answer the prospect gives to this question must be confirmed during the pre-chat. You should say, ‘I notice that you can come to the club three times a week – are you able to fit this within your schedule easily?’

If they say ‘yes’, then you respond by saying, ‘that’s great, I’m glad you can fit it in’, and then continue with the discussion.

Another question on the pre-chat document should be: ‘what kept you from joining a gym earlier?’

There is an array of different reasons for this, such as work, family commitments, no time, procrastination, no money, apathy and injury.

If someone says they can’t do it because of work or family commitments, or that there’s no time, all three of these objections are really just the same – no time.

If you don’t have a strategy to overcome this objection before your tour, you’re guaranteed to get it again later on. One of the most effective ways to overcome the time objection is to use the feasible/flexible strategy. If your prospect has stated on the pre-chat document that they haven’t joined a gym yet due to work and time constraints, you would state: ‘so I notice here you have ticked work and no time, would it be safe to say that these are related?’

Chances are they will agree. Go on to say, ‘but earlier you suggested that three times a week at the gym was able to be fitted into your schedule; was that correct?’

They will probably agree that it is correct, but then also state that time is still a problem. You then say, ‘I understand that people have busy schedules and it is hard to fit a new activity into the day. Given your time restrictions, are you sure that coming to the club three times a week is feasible?’ If they say ‘no’, answer with, ‘what if we reduce the days to one to two, or two to three days a week? Do you feel with your time restrictions that you’d be able to fit that into your schedule?’

They will more than likely answer ‘yes’, so then ask them which of the ranges suits them better: one to two days, or two to three. Once they make a choice tell them, ‘this is great because it will allow you to get started and then you can fit another day in when it becomes available. How does this sound?’ Conclude by saying, ‘that’s great, that means we can eliminate the time problem now.

If the prospect is concerned that attending the gym only once or twice a week won’t allow them to achieve results, put them at ease by stating how much can be achieved in this time frame.

Agree that they wouldn’t get the results as quickly, but tell them it is 100 per cent better than doing nothing, and the possibility of finding other time later increases substantially. Go on to say that the club has great trainers who can help them achieve the most out of their training and that’s when you can introduce personal training or abbreviated training. Another issue to clarify is how long they need to stay in the club each visit. Many people believe they need to stay two hours to achieve an effective workout, but tell them they can be in and out of the club in 40 minutes. Explain that they can do an abbreviated training program, have a personal trainer for 30 minutes, or take part in a 30 to 45-minute class. One other reason the time objection comes up is that the tour is not tailored to the time frame that the person wants to train in. So it is essential that if there is a time constraint you must use terms like this is quick, this is time effective throughout the tour so the prospect can see that they will be in and out in the time that you have designated.

Some salespeople actually create the time objection by showing the prospect the whole club and telling them that they have to do most things, so people become overwhelmed by what they think they have to achieve and how long they have to workout to achieve it.

You substantially reduce the time objection if you have established in the pre-chat that they can fit the gym into their schedule.

To do this you must have established rapport and created a compelling reason for them to join. It has to be something they really need and want, and if you have a solution to that problem, they will find the time.

Human beings will always find the time to do something that is compelling. If you haven’t presented a compelling argument and they are unsure of spending the money, they will usually throw up the time objection because it is an easy way-out.

Article written exclusively by Steve Jensen for the What’s New in Fitness website and magazine.

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