By Stephen Cuccio, Special AFS Contributor

The word “sales” can often be carried with a negative connotation and a mental image nothing short of an untrustworthy looking used car salesman. The reason - most people have had a negative sales experience.

Whether it’s being stuck on a never-ending demo or pressured into buying something unneeded, the experience often leaves people feeling weary of their next purchasing experience.

So when a new lead comes through your website and is expressing interest in your new fitness bootcamp program, how do you ensure that your follow-up doesn’t come off as just another pushy sales call? The secret is consultative selling.

You have a great service that can really make a difference in someone’s life, and taking a value-heavy, consultative approach to explaining the benefits of your services will do wonders for your fitness business.

With consultative selling that dreaded “sales call” transforms from a daunting pitch and into a true, valuable consultation. The value of a consultation with an expert over a pitch with a salesman rings even more true during tough times. Your potential clients are looking for an easy process and guidance to help solve the current problem they are facing, and there are 3 key actions you can take to help them see the value of your services without feeling overwhelmed:

Here are 3 tips you can use to turn selling into a consultation

Get a true understanding of your client

Too many times I see people start a conversation by rolling right into talking about their service/solution. This tends to happen because you are so passionate about what you do (which isn’t a bad thing!). It takes some time to learn exactly what your potential client needs/wants. You’ll find that spending 5-10 minutes listening and asking questions will guide you right to the answer your client is looking for.


Set expectations

In the sales process, don’t be afraid to explain to your prospective member what your goal of the meeting is. It could be as simple as “after today’s call we will have an understanding of what we offer as a service and what your business does” This will help us realize if we are a good mutual fit. You’ll find that clients respect your time when setting expectations from the beginning.

Ask the tough questions

Never leave the door open at the end of your conversation. - instead, ask what they would like to do next. This can be uncomfortable, but the only way you will be able to help is by allowing your lead to explain what they would like their next steps to be.

By the end of your consulting call, your client should feel as though you’ve provided a ton of value (even if they don’t decide to do business with you right now.) When they are ready to make a purchasing decision, they will think of you right away based on the amazing consultative approach you took!

Looking for more tips on how to convert your website traffic into paying members? Visit

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Stephen Cuccio is the Sales Director for 97 Display, a lead generating website solution designed to help local Fitness businesses grow their businesses and impact their communities.  Above and beyond lead generation, Stephen also guides schools personally in their day-to-day sales and marketing process through coaching them on best practices and processes.

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