By Ryan Ketchum, Special AFS Contributor

What if selling your training and getting new clients to become members of your studio wasn’t complicated and it didn’t require you to have sales “talent”?  Your opinion of sales would drastically change and so would the revenues in your business.  Suddenly, you’d be able to focus on helping the client in front of you instead of being nervous or unsettled asking for money. 

The level of service you would be able to provide would go up.  Your confidence would increase.  Honestly, the impact would be amazing.  Today you’re going to discover the 4-step sales process that makes selling simple.

Money vs Value Exchange

A lot of studio owners look at selling as a monetary exchange.  If you view your sales as someone giving you money then you’ve got it all wrong. Sales is a value exchange.  Your client has seen enough value in what you provide and the results you are promising to exchange money for that result and experience.  This is often the first obstacle you must overcome, even before you learn the 4-step sales process that makes selling easy.  

You need to truly believe that you’re not getting paid for your time or by the session, but to deliver a result.  This will make selling easier for you and a lot less nerve racking.

Qualify Before The Sale

You’re busy.  Making time to sell is important, but you want to maximize your time by selling to the right people.  To do this it’s best to qualify your prospects over the phone before scheduling your first meeting.

A quick 10-15 minute phone call with your prospect prior to scheduling their Success Session (more on why I don’t use the term consultation in a bit) is a simple way to gather a bit of information that will help you point your prospect in the right direction.

This qualifier call isn’t an aggressive sales trick.  You’re trying to discover if the client is a good fit for you based on the following:

  • Time they are willing to commit
  • Results that are hoping to accomplish
  • Budget
  • Commitment level

Over at you can find a list of 20 qualifier questions that won’t make you look like a sleazy sales person.

The Simple 4 Step Sales Process

I’m not a fan of calling your sales appointments consultations.  It’s a word that tends to turn people off and forces them to put their guard up. A few years back I coined the term Success Session.  It allows you to frame the appointment as a benefit to the prospect.  Your goal during a Success Session is to help the client figure out the best plan of action to reach their goals.  

During the Success Session, there is a 4-step process that you follow:

  • Engagement
  • Discovery
  • Value Building
  • The Surefire Closing System

Each of these steps allows you to collect information, build trust, establish your expertise and set you and the client up to make the best possible choice at the end of the Success Session. Let’s take a deeper look at each of the steps.

Engaging Your Prospect

If you’re qualifying prospects with a Discovery Call this step is a lot easier.  You’ve already collected some information and began building a relationship with the prospect. This step in the sales process shouldn’t take more than 3-5 minutes.  The goal is to find common ground with the prospect and connect with them before diving into more intense questioning.

Your prospect is likely a little nervous about the appointment and is likely dealing with some confidence issues.  If you go right to the tough questions they will be guarded, making it a challenge to get the answers you need. Make small talk first.  Talk about their day, family, job or hobbies.  Consider this the ice breaker portion of the sales process.  

Once you feel that you’ve connected with the prospect and they are getting comfortable with you it’s time to move on to the next step.

Discovering The Before & After

The Discovery step of the Success Session is where you should be spending most of your time.  You need to uncover the challenges, obstacles and issues that the prospect is facing.  This will help you formulate a clear plan to help them get what they want.

You’re going to have to get comfortable asking the same question a few different ways and not settling for the surface level answers you get at first from your prospect. 

Ask questions that help you understand how the prospect sees themselves and how they feel now in their current state.  Once you have a clear picture in your head and the prospect has described themselves in detail you can move on to a more positive approach of asking them how they want to look, feel, live, etc. 

You can use some of the questions in the image below to get the answers you need.

Here are 13 questions you should be asking in every Success Session.

If you are asking the right questions there’s a good chance your prospect will get a little emotional or frustrated.  That’s okay, be supportive and keep prodding so you can smoke out the real issues they are experiencing and provide them a great solution.

Build Value, Be The Expert

Now that you know where the client is and where they want to go it’s time to show them how you’re going to help them get there.

If you spend enough time discovering the prospect’s obstacles, objections, challenges and desires in the previous step you will have everything you need to show them you are the best solution for them in this step.

It’s time to map out exactly how you are going to help the client reach their goals, all while overcoming the objections and challenges that they told you about before. Show them how you can help them get to their goals faster, easier and with less setbacks than they have ever experienced.

By laying out this plan you will build up your credibility with them and they will see you as an expert.  When you do this right the close comes easy.

The Surefire Closing System

There are 6 parts to the Surefire Closing System:

  • Transition
  • Core Offer
  • Bonuses
  • Urgency
  • Risk Reversal 
  • Close

I’ve used this system to make asking for the close easy and eliminate the need to discount your services just to close a deal.

The first part of the Surefire Closing System sets everything else up.  The transition is 1-2 sentences that you use every time you move to this step and with every prospect.  The purpose is to prepare you and the prospect. 

As you make your transition it’s important to get affirmation from the prospect that they see value in your services.

Once you’ve successfully transitioned to the close you present your Core Offer. Ideally presenting two options for them.  The ideal option is presented first followed by a secondary option. The two offers are dependent on the information you collect during your Discovery step.

Once the two programs have been presented you want to stack on some value.  This is where a lot of studio owners will offer a fast action discount.  Using the Surefire Closing System, you will be able to eliminate discounts and offer more value. Create a nice bonus package to add onto your Core Offer that helps the prospect get results faster or easier. 


For example, I used to offer this:

  • Jump Start Kit (branded bag, nutrition book, at home workouts)
  • 12” Foam Roller
  • Exercise Band
  • 6 Week Online Nutrition Coaching Program

Each of these items was assigned a value and that was communicated to the prospect. After you’ve built up the value you need to create some urgency.  This forces the prospect to decide right now.  They are as excited and motivated to start as they will ever be after meeting with you and you need to take advantage of that opportunity.

The best way to create urgency is to let them know you’ll only be able to offer the bonuses for free if they sign up today. Even after all this there are still some prospects who are on the fence, so it’s time to use the deal sealer…

Taking away the risk of buying is critical.  At this point you should tell the prospect about your guarantee.  I recommend that you offer up a 30 day, no questions asked money back guarantee. Sounds crazy, right?  

It’s only crazy if you don’t do it!  If you’re confident you can get the client results there really is no risk to you.  Don’t worry about the few people who may try to take advantage of you.  In my experience only 2-3% of people will ever ask for their money back.  

The risk reversal guarantee removes any objection that the prospect could present to you. Finally, you need to ask for the sale.  Be assumptive and ask an opened ended question like “Which of the two programs would you like to get started with today?”

Click here to get your complete sales script

Shifting your perception of the sales process will not only lead to more sales but happier clients.  Clients will now see exactly how you can help them and understand your process for delivering results.  Making a few small adjustments will help you turn more prospects into clients, which means a bigger impact on the people you want to help.

Ryan Ketchum is a fitness business and marketing expert.  He and the team at Fitness Revolution help studio owners increase sales, maximize profits and create systems to free up time.   They use a framework, the Fitness Business Alignment System™, to guarantee results with their clients.  

Fitness Revolution focuses on helping aspiring high performers build the fitness business they’ve always wanted, but struggled to build.  They are the only complete business coaching system for fitness studios. 

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