The Staged Sales Process

The staged sales process allows you to lower the barrier to entry for a premium pricing structure: here’s how to design and execute it in your business.


The Modern Training Gym model works.

As gym owners who understand what it takes for people to reach their health and fitness goals, we know that.

But our potential clients probably don’t.

If they’re looking to lose some weight, get strong, get fit – whatever – they’ll shop around for a way to get this done.

They’ll see the online programme for a £10 one-off fee; the big box down the road for £40 a month. Because we’re providing a premium service, we’re not trying to compete with offerings like this, because we know that our approach is far more effective for the majority of people.

The problem is, the person shopping around for a solution to their problem doesn’t know this.

In order to help people overcome their anxieties about committing to a higher price point, we need to lower the barrier to entry. We need to help them see that our approach is the more effective, and good value for money. We need to let them test drive what they’ll be getting, and earn the right to charge them the prices we’re asking.

This is where the staged sales process comes in.

“Knock it out of the park in every element of the client experience”

The 30-day trial

The 30-day trial allows clients to test drive the product before committing to membership. It lowers the barrier to entry and offers a low-risk way to “try before you buy”.

The nature of the trial we offer will depend on our target audience. We’ve found that the most effective length is 30 days, and that the price for the trial and what it includes can differ to meet your client group.

The staged sales process is a key element of our marketing strategy, because our primary aim isn’t to get people to sign up for a membership straight away. Our sales numbers will suffer if we try to do this.

Our primary aim is to get people to sign up for the 30-day trial. Once we’ve got them on-site, we give them a sample of the consistently outstanding service that characterises everything we do. They come to trust us; they see results starting to materialise.

Membership Sign-Up

It’s at this point, once we’ve convinced them that our approach works, that they’ll sign up for a membership contract. The onboarding phase isn’t over yet, however: we are still focused on knocking it out of the park in every aspect of their experience, continuing the sales process for the duration of their time with us.

If your facility isn’t yet established in the area (or if the SGPT model isn’t widely understood)  may need to lower the barrier to entry even further. This is where taster sessions, tours, and open days come in. 

“No ramming your packages down people’s throats”

Taster sessions

Taster sessions do what they say on the tin: they give the client the opportunity to try before they buy. We open the gym to non-members a few times a year, giving them the chance to take part in a training session. Dedicate a coach to this for a day or half-day: a Saturday often works well.

Ideally, we wouldn’t need this step – the thirty-day trial gives us a better chance of converting people to loyal brand followers, and a better ROI overall. But if we find that people are reluctant to commit, we can run taster sessions as part of a joined-up campaign to funnel people to our trial.

Again, we’re not driving a hard sale here. We’re letting the experience speak for itself, then creating the opportunity and conditions for a sale. Remember, the goal of the taster session is to sell a trial.

As always, make sure that the campaign fits into the bigger picture and can be measured up against your KPIs. 

Tours and open days

Tours and open days are often the first step for in-person contact with prospects on the more cautious end of the scale.

Our objective here is to give people a real sense of the gym atmosphere, a taste of the customer service, and a sample of what it feels like to be a member of the gym community.

Put on some nibbles, have some coaches available to ask questions, and someone manning the body composition machine so people can try it out.

The idea here isn’t to drive a hard sale. No ramming your packages down people’s throats or hounding them with salesy talk. Be relaxed and positive: listen more than you talk. Your objective is to introduce people to your approach and let them know that the 30-day trial is available.

Want to learn more about the staged sales process and how to get clients to engage with a higher price point?

Read our free ebook, “Systemising Sales in the Modern Training Gym.”

Ready to get stuck in and transform your sales from top to bottom?

Find out more about our Assessor course to create a master of sales and retention for your gym (or book a chat with our friendly Relationship Manager Amy).

Create a secret weapon for sales.

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