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11 Ways to Overcome Sales Objections and Master Selling Over the Phone


Closing a deal when selling health and gym memberships is tough. More and more fitness businesses are offering highly attractive memberships and discounts. The fitness industry is a competitive sector; therefore, you need to perfect your sales process. This means that your staff need to have the knowledge and skills to handle any objections potential customers may throw their way. 

Although you can provide the right resources like sales scripts and training days, there’s nothing quite like picking up the phone to hone your sales skills. As more sales conversations take place on the phone, it’s essential that your team learn how to overcome obstacles. This is especially true with selling over the phone. 

Why Selling Over the Phone is Key to Driving Revenue 

Selling can take place in various places from in-person to over the phone, on email, or text. So it’s important that your sales team can effectively communicate to potential customers enthusiastically using various methods. 

One of the main reasons selling over the phone is key for selling gym memberships is that it’s a more efficient way to sell. Generally, when you sell over the phone, it tends to be less tiring than in-person. This means you can carry out a higher volume of sales per day without getting exhausted. You have the opportunity to build trust and speak to multiple people per day. There’s no need for face to face conversation to progress the sales journey. Considering today’s climate with social distancing and potential lockdowns, it’s important to find a way to continue to sell and interact with potential customers. 

When we spoke about driving revenue online with Alex Hormozi, the first crucial takeaway from his advice on selling over the phone is that you need to dive in and do it. You might make mistakes initially, but you’ll learn and develop your approach as you go. From his experience, Alex notes that it takes 25 attempts to get the same number of closed deals compared to in-person selling; “it just basically takes 25 attempts of sucking to kind of figure out the flow of how the script works.”

4 Most Common Sales Objections 

When selling gym memberships, it’s essential that you have a sales process in place. Although you may not be selling face-to-face, it’s a good idea to approach the conversation in a similar way that you would in-person. A major part of the sales process is being ready to overcome your prospect’s concerns. It’s highly unlikely that the first time you speak to a potential member that they have no objections and are immediately ready to sign the dotted line. It takes time to nurture relationships, build trust, and overcome sales objections in the right way. Here are four of the most common types of objections when selling fitness services. 

1. It’s Too Expensive! 

Any salesperson in most industries will be familiar with the price objection. The positive of this reaction is that it indicates that your prospect is considering buying. After all, you wouldn’t ask for the price if you’re not interested. In this case, you don’t want to try to justify the price because it’s the selling price. You want to show the value of the solution you are offering. If you’re running a hybrid fitness business, you may have the option to offer a lower price depending on the type of membership your prospect is looking for. 

2. I Don’t Have Enough Time 

Time is another big obstacle to overcome. This is especially relevant if your selling sessions, such as personal training or class packages. Time is a common issue for just about everyone, but you can find a way around it. By asking a ton of questions and really finding out the time your prospect has available each week, you can sell a completely relevant package. Determine what time they have available, show them what you can offer, and see if it’s a deal-breaker. 

3. I Need to Speak to Someone Else First 

Many people may need to speak to a husband, wife, or partner before making a financial and time commitment. This objection is super common. At this point, there is only so much you do to progress the sale. But you can utilize the time and take the opportunity to ask a few probing questions while being respectful. Ask follow-up questions like what do you think they will think, or does your partner have fitness goals as well? This helps to give you a better idea of their current situation and potentially bring the other person in on the sales process. It’s useful to involve any decision-makers from the beginning. 

4. It’s Just Not The Right Time For Me 

Here’s another time-related objection. But this one is more of a brush-off. In a sales situation, not the right time may mean tomorrow or even next month. This type of brush-off may be down to a lack of urgency, need, or trust. It’s important to handle this type of rejection with a calm voice and manner. You can ask open-ended questions to find out when a good time would be to speak to them again. Think about what you can do to build that level of trust and urgency needed to boost gym sales

The bottom line is that no one wants to feel pushy and sleazy when selling. Whether you’re an online coach, personal trainer, or gym owner, it’s a part of the sales process that’s off-putting. But there’s no need to be pushy when speaking to prospects. In this episode of The Fitness Founders Podcast, previous guest and gym sales expert Erik Charles Russell gives us some insights into selling memberships online, as well top tips for putting on online classes and his thoughts on where the industry will be in the future:

11 Ways to Overcome Gym Sales Objections 

“Words are 20% of it. 80% of it is how you say the words.” – Alex Hormozi, Founder and Owner of Gym Launch. 

A significant part of success in the fitness industry is the ability to sell. Although your fitness expertise and programs attract prospects, the truth is selling is a part of the business. By identifying objections, you hear the most and creating a sales plan; you can ensure your sales reps have everything they need to succeed. Here are 11 ways to overcome gym sales objections and drive revenue. 

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1. Practice, Practice, Practice! 

Selling is all about practice. As much as you can follow a script and know what you should say, it’s not until you jump on the phone that you’re really selling. Like most things, you will probably make a ton of mistakes to begin with. As we know from Alex Hormozi, you need at least 25 attempts of failing to start to get your flow. 

2. Sell Your Services on Value, Not Price 

When selling and facing obstacles, it’s important to focus on the value of your product or services, not the price. The cost will always be a pain point for some potential clients. Everyone has different financial situations, and the coronavirus pandemic has ramped up future economic uncertainty. But your services are valuablev. Highlight the benefits of your offering and how regular exercise strengthens the immune system and helps to reduce stress and anxiety. If you’re selling your digital fitness membership, focus on the point that exercise can be done anywhere at any time. In a recent episode of The Fitness Founders Podcast, we spoke with Jack Thomas, owner of BASE and host of the Fitness Business Asia Podcast. ⁠Jack transformed his business to run entirely online during COVID-19. In this episode, he shares some great advice on delivering more value as your business goes remote and how to price and package your online offering. 

3. Create a Sense of Urgency 

When a prospect is showing no signs of moving quickly, it can be helpful to create a sense of urgency. If now isn’t the right time for them or they need to go away and have a think about it, put a timeline on it. Make the offer time-sensitive with a close deadline. You can get creative with this. For example, you can offer a more flexible pricing structure for early sign-ups or access to your premium digital content for six months with a gym membership. 

4. Ask Open-Ended Questions

The best salesperson asks open-ended questions and listens to the answers. In order to provide the best solution to your potential member, you need to know a lot about them. By packaging a solution in a way that’s personalized and supports their goals, you’re more likely to close the sale. Use data to your advantage and find out as much information as possible. Avoid a one-size-fits-all approach to sales and craft the conversation around the responses you hear. 

5. Show Empathy and Understanding 

It’s important to remember that selling is emotional. So, tap into your prospects’ emotions. Ask questions like how would you feel to be healthier? You can’t put a price on living a happy and healthy life. Show a clear level of empathy and understanding during sales conversations; it helps to build trust. You no longer have to push the sale; you’re just listening, empathizing, and providing a package that shows your understanding of their problems. 

6. Anticipate Sales Objections 

If you run a business that sells a product/service, sales objections are just part of the process. Accept and anticipate that you will receive objections. The more you practice, the more you get used to rejection. While some objections will be valid, you need to have a plan in place to overcome the most common issues you hear. The sales script and plan will help prepare your sales team for rejection. But it’s not just the words you use but how you say it. Always remain calm and keep the conversation going in a friendly manner. 

7. Leverage Social Proof and Success Stories 

Social proof, success stories, and testimonials are a great way to show prospects that someone just like them has achieved what they want. When you use case studies of normal and relatable people, it makes it easier for a prospect to think that they can do it with your help.  

8. Remove Objections Step-by-Step Calmly 

As a salesperson, one of your jobs is to remove objections in a clear and concise way. Try not to get flustered or emotional during this process, as it can become more difficult to say what you need. Counteract objections with clear solutions in a calm manner. As you overcome objections, it should be done in a way that shows you have been listening and fully understand the needs of your prospect. 

9. Listen and Understand 

It’s easy to talk a lot during a sales conversation. You want to show all the benefits of your offerings and emphasize why someone should sign up for your digital and in-person membership. But, in general, you need to listen more than you need to speak. Listen and validate objections before overcoming issues. A potential customer doesn’t want to speak to a robot following a script. Try to show a sense of understanding and relatability throughout the whole sales cycle.

10. Be Confident and Honest 

Although confidence and honesty are good qualities of a salesperson, they can also help overcome objections. The reason for this is because sometimes a prospect doesn’t want to move forward because there isn’t enough trust or expertise. Why should they trust that you can offer the solution they need? When you’re transparent and honest, it helps to build trust with each conversation. This makes it easier to overcome obstacles as there is already a foundation of trust. 

11. Ask for the Relevant Close

The end game of the sales process is to close the sale. But that’s not always relevant in every conversation. The best outcome is the one that moves the process forward and gives you the opportunity to follow-up. When it’s not the right time to sell your membership, ask for the relevant close. The next step could to book an online personal training class or set up a socially distanced facility tour. Satisfy your prospects’ objections and then move forward. 

In Summary 

The more practice you get and the time you take honing your sales skills, the better you will be. Nothing quite beats practice when selling, either in-person or on the phone. By selling over the phone, you can speak to more people in a day and boost sales efficiently. When you overcome objections calmy in a way that shows understanding and empathy, you can move the sales journey forward and ask for the relevant close. 

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