If you’ve ever been in a sales role, you know that learning how to handle objections is par for the course—for boutique fitness studio owners, it can make or break the growth of your studio, especially if you are just starting out.
Over the years we’ve spoken to thousands of potential members, here are the three most common objections that we’ve heard and actionable tips and scripts to help you and your team better handle trialer objections.
Most Common Objections
This is a classic objection that we hear all the time. We are confronting the trialer and asking them to make a decision. In most cases, it’s a lack of confidence in decision-making and discomfort with confrontation that is stopping them. They have actually already made the decision to get fit or lose weight, that’s what they want, or else they wouldn’t be standing in your studio. Now, we just want to help get them to where they’ve already decided they want to be.
What we want to do here is give them more confidence. Knowledge is power. They don’t need more time, they need more information, and you are the best person to give them that information—right then and there. To help navigate why they feel like they need more time, ask “What are your main concerns?” and then you can walk through them together.
People will always find resources, whether that be money or time, for their priorities. Reframing this objection as a lack of prioritizing health and fitness over eating out, shopping, or other expenses is one way to work through this objection.
Another way to address this objection is to reframe their membership as an investment and not an expense. Everyone wants the money to retire, but what use will it be if your health is at its worst. “Investing in your health and well-being is the single biggest lever that you can pull to have the most impact on your entire life, now and in the future. The best time to start investing in your health was probably 10 years ago, but the next best time is today. Do not keep putting this off. ”
We call this the “Analysis Paralysis Objection”—with an abundance of options, potential clients are “trial hopping” or “testing out” different studios and activities to find the “perfect fit”. The problem is that they aren’t giving anything a real chance at succeeding, probably because they are afraid to fail. When addressing this objection, it is your job to be the ambassador of your brand and studio, you know that it’s the best solution, you know it at your core, if it weren’t then you wouldn’t be there.
First, ask them “What if this program were perfect, would you do it then?” They will probably say “Yes.” Then you can follow-up with, “Awesome, so what’s missing? What’s the difference between what we do here and what you’re looking for?” They will likely not really have a response, or will say “Nothing really.” This is now your opportunity, “Look, I totally understand, it sounds like you might just be afraid to make a mistake. So why don’t we talk about what we do here so you don’t feel that way, and we’ll go over some of the things that we do to make sure you get what you want, does that sound reasonable?”
Now that we’ve addressed the most common objections that you will run into, let’s look at a few things to always keep in mind during these conversations.
Tips for Handling Objections
Given the nature of these conversations, you may find yourself becoming argumentative while advocating for your point of view. Do not create unnecessary conflict when positioning your studio as the best solution for your trialer.
Given the numerous options available in the fitness industry, your offering will likely always be evaluated against other competitors in the space, but the key here is to avoid going down this road completely. Instead, focus on what you know best, the strengths of your programming, member experience, and community. And, most importantly, emphasize how those strengths are going to help your potential client achieve their goals.
Sometimes it can be hard to remember what it’s like to start something new, to be the new kid on the block, to be a beginner again. Always remember that your trialers are people—be compassionate. Sometimes their objections are deeply rooted and there may not be anything that you can do in the immediate moment to alleviate their concerns. But, sometimes talking through their objections with them and understanding where they are coming from will be enough for them to begin quelling their concerns on their own
They showed up to your studio. Again, they have already made the decision that they want to make a change, now it’s your turn to show them the path and make a commitment. Just because they have friends or family members that might go to a different studio or do different activities doesn’t mean that those options are best for them—if they were, then the trialer wouldn’t be in your studio. Don’t be afraid to point out that the status quo clearly isn’t working for them, just be friendly about it.
For a lot of people, change is scary. Commitment is scary. Becoming a different person who actually might like going to workout is scary. For those reasons, not every trialer is going to convert into a member, and that’s ok. For those that aren’t quite ready to take that next step, make sure that they know that you aren’t going anywhere and that the door will always be open for them. You’d be surprised how often people come back around at a later date.
You will always have to overcome objections, for those rare times when a prospective client jumps right in with both feet, make sure you treat them like gold—check out the Churn Prevention Playbook to learn how.