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11 Qualities of a Successful Gym Sales Manager


A gym sales manager is the driving force behind the sales team. They bring out excellence in the people around them. You can have a brilliant sales team, but an average sales manager will bring down results over time. On the other hand, a great gym manager will bring out the best in their team and inspire excellence.

Gym membership sales is an energetic and challenging profession. An individual needs to be driven and motivated yet show empathy and understanding. At the same time, they need a deep understanding of the sales process. An incredible sales manager finds the right people to build a great sales team, defines objectives, and hits targets. Here, we outline 11 qualities of a successful gym sales manager. Skip ahead to:

What is the Role of a Gym Sales Manager? 

A successful gym sales manager job includes several tasks to perform in a fitness club business. They manage the sales team, set objectives, and hit goals. The manager has the ability to train, motivate, manage, and inspire your staff. With a great selling ability and fantastic communication skills, your sales manager is responsible for creating a great sales team, and ultimately, selling more gym memberships. 

Selling gym memberships requires a lot of patience, understanding, and empathy. Potential customers don’t like to deal with someone who is pushing a service or product. They want to speak to someone who understands their current position and where they want to be. Your service is the solution to their problem and adds value to their life.

According to, the average fitness sales manager salary is $46,500 per year based on 73 salaries. In a business such as Gold’s Gym, the top end of the salary goes upwards of $65,000. The salary depends on the brand and region. 

In gym membership sales, you will hear so many reasons as to why a deal fell through. Maybe there aren’t enough leads, your marketing isn’t working, or the competition is just cheaper and more relevant. There are countless excuses for a failed sale, but most businesses have a similar problem. There is no sales system in place, and the ones who do have a system, don’t manage it properly. 

A sales structure with proven methods and techniques is key to running your sales team. A major part of that team and structure is your gym sales manager. They implement and manage a sales process that works for your business. You need a clear sales and follow-up process in place to convert prospects into paying customers. 

Why Do You Need an Incredible Sales Manager? 

An incredible sales manager aligns with your business in terms of expertise and values. Theyknowf the industry and how to sell to new members in a confident yet genuine way. You are looking for someone who can form true connections, both with prospects and their sales team. A sales manager is the guiding light for your sales team. Here are three reasons why you need a fantastic sales manager. 

1. Motivate and Train Sales Team 

Your sales manager will motivate and train your sales team. They understand the inner workings of your brand’s sales structure and can teach every aspect of training. While some people are excellent at selling, they lack the ability to teach others. Your sales team will only get better if you give them the tools to succeed. That means offering regular training and motivation for your salespeople to hit targets. It’s easy to hire someone based solely on their ability to sell, but do they understand management and how your business operates? 

2. Recruit and Hire Quality Staff 

The sales manager will be recruiting and expanding your sales team. It’s their role to find and hire quality staff that will help your business grow. They have the ability to create a clear job alert with an attractive job title. They know the kind of qualities that will benefit the team and business. A bad hire will quickly affect the team as a whole. A good sales manager has excellent communication and people skills. They understand the different cogs involved with running the business. This gives them the ability to hire great sales representatives and increase employee retention by hiring the right person for the role the first time around.  

3. Set Goals and Manage Objectives 

Another reason you need a sales manager is to not only set goals but manage objectives so that your sales team achieves them. Creating a great team culture, celebrating success, and keeping employees motivated and engaged are all key to hitting targets. The sales leader manages the sales structure and actively tracks objectives. This level of attention to detail and the ability to analyze data is what makes a gym sales manager so effective at their job. 

The Fitness Founders Podcast has an interesting episode on selling memberships with industry experts on how to get leads in the door and how to convert them. The episode talks about how you can kickstart your sales and marketing efforts

11 Qualities of a Successful Gym Sales Manager in the Fitness Industry 

A gym sales manager needs to teach, motivate, inspire, sell, and empathize. These types of skills take years of experience, which is why you need to know what qualities to look out for during your sales manager recruitment process. That way, you can get the best hire to grow your business, manage your sales structure, and increase membership sales. 

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1. Experts of the Fitness Sales Process 

Your sales manager should be an expert on the sales process. From lead creation and sales management to prospecting and goal setting, sales knowledge is an essential quality. When someone has vast experience in sales, they can identify opportunities within your business to expand and sell more efficiently. By streamlining the sales process and implementing a solid sales structure, you can convert complete strangers into paying customers. Your sales and marketing strategy should align to meet the overall goals of the business. 

2. Ability to Motivate and Inspire 

You can have an expert in sales and marketing, but they don’t inspire or motivate. Maybe they consistently hit their targets or even go beyond their goals. They are a great salesperson with an uncanny ability to sell solutions. But they don’t bring out the best in other people and are unable to motivate their team members to do the best. This is a problem. Having the ability to motivate and inspire the people around you is a non-negotiable part of sales. It’s simple; motivated salespeople enjoy their work, get better results, and deliver a healthier bottom line. Keeping morale high is a task in itself. Celebrating your team, being transparent and honest, and creating genuine connections all help to motivate people. 

3. Positive Attitude and Mindset 

As a leader, the manager has the power to influence the culture within your sales team. A positive attitude and mindset solves problems effectively, deals with difficult situations calmly, and works better. Your manager’s positive attitude exudes into your team. It’s common to hear the word no when you’re selling. By remaining positive and seeing the benefits in sales, you can stay on top of your game. It’s no secret that sales can be a very challenging profession. A positive attitude is an essential quality to look out for when hiring a sales manager.  

4. Great Selling Skills 

As a sales manager, you often speak to prospects and potential customers. You need great sales skills to excel in this space. The best sellers are confident with a positive attitude, can build rapport, understand the customer’s needs, and remain resilient. They are self-motivators that can get going without being monitored. Every salesperson needs fantastic communication skills and the ability to actively listen to prospects. A manager with great selling skills will not only sell memberships but be able to identify top talent as the sales team grows. 

5. Good Communication Skills and Confidence 

Effective communication is key in both management and sales. Good managers use communication to increase morale and productivity as well as set sales goals and encourage employees to take action. If you want people to take action and follow a sales structure effectively, you need to have fantastic communication skills and confidence. Whether it’s written or verbal communication, a simple conversation can have a huge impact. Leaders need to know when to listen and when to take action. 

6. Leadership Qualities 

Sales managers should possess leadership qualities. The best sales leaders have great sales intuition and lead by example. They know how to manage conflict and deliver constructive feedback in a way that brings about positive change. Being a great leader is key to building a positive team culture and energy. From setting goals and dealing with problems to active listening and having the ability to motivate, a good sales leader needs to embody leadership.  

7. Problem-Solving Skills 

Good problem-solving skills are a strong indicator of success in sales. They have the ability to look at the bigger picture, understand the problem, empathize, and come back with a solution that drives value. A sales manager has an analytical mind, they can look at the numbers and find solutions to a problem. Great problem-solving skills not only help with selling but managing a team and general business operations. If they spot performance issues within the sales team, they have the ability to make a realistic and actionable plan that will bring about change. 

8. Empathy and Understanding 

A great leader can show empathy and understanding in all areas of life and business. But, in a sales environment, this gives them a competitive edge. When you can fully picture what you’re prospect is going through, it makes you seem more genuine and relatable. It helps you to build rapport more quickly and offer the best solution. 

9. Ability to Coach, Manage, and Train Staff 

It’s no surprise that a sales manager needs to manage and coach their employees. But not every sales account manager you will interview will possess the right combination of qualities to succeed in a health club sales environment. Qualities like conflict management, team building, resourcefulness, and communication skills all influence how well an individual can manage people. The best sales teams have strong leaders with a solid strategic direction. Individual members are coached individually and feel appreciated. 

10. Emotional Intelligence 

Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize, understand, and manage emotions. It has a big role to play in closing sales as well as creating and maintaining genuine relationships. A sales rep with high emotional intelligence puts themselves in the customer’s shoes, they listen to their needs, acknowledge their worries, and create a solution accordingly. Ultimately, good emotional intelligence helps you solve problems more effectively. The idea is that instead of pushing a prospect into a sale, they feel like you are actively listening to their concerns. Emotional intelligence is important in sales, management, and everyday interactions within the business. 

11. Fitness Industry Knowledge 

As a wellness and fitness business, industry knowledge is essential in generating and managing leads as well as closing sales. Selling gym memberships requires inside knowledge of fitness, common pain points, and the ability to overcome obstacles. Good industry knowledge puts an employee in a stronger position to understand the ins and outs of your brand and offering. A good track record of sales experience combined with fitness industry knowledge is a fantastic starting place to find the perfect general manager to lead your sales department. 

Gym sales expert, Erik Charles Russel, has an interesting conversation on our podcast about his top selling strategies for online memberships. Erik shares his expert insights and sheds light on where he thinks the industry will be in the future. 

In Summary 

There is no one quality that creates a great gym sales manager. Instead, it’s a mixture of skills, qualities, and experience that combine together and result in a great hire. As much as you need someone with excellent selling and problem-solving abilities, an individual needs to possess excellent personal and communication skills as well to be an incredible sales leader. Your sales manager is the driving force behind your sales team. Ultimately, you need a fantastic sales team to sell gym memberships and boost your bottom line. Memberships are at the core of any gym and if you want to continue to grow and innovate, you need to nail your sales structure and inspire excellence.  

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