It’s where I call local businesses and ask them why I should give them my money versus their competitors. (I did this last with pizzerias and the results were equally appalling.)
As someone who has spent years studying the art of persuasion, I’m shocked by the lackluster responses I received when calling fitness clubs and asking about their benefits compared to their competitors.
Here’s what happened: I called ten different fitness clubs and asked to speak with a salesperson. I asked a simple question: “Why should my friend and I join your club versus your competitors’ clubs?” And you know what? They all gave me generic, weak responses.
One club told me they had “lots of equipment.” Wow, what a game-changer.
Another club said they were “helpful.” Well, I certainly hope so! And my personal favorite: “Come in and see for yourself.” Sorry, but I’m not going to waste my time and money just to “see for myself” what your club has to offer until you’ve whet my appetite and given me some preliminary information.
What’s most concerning is that these were their salespeople–the ones who should be the experts on their club’s advantages and benefits. If they can’t articulate why their club is superior to the competition, then how can they expect to convince potential customers to sign up?
So, what should they have said? Well, let me give you an example. Imagine if a salesperson had said something like this:
“Thanks for considering Bicep Factory Fitness. Let me tell you, we’re not just another gym. We offer a personalized experience for every member, starting with a one-on-one consultation with a trainer to assess your fitness goals and develop a customized plan to achieve them.
“Our trainers are on the floor 24/7 to help members–by request–with their exercise form… to lend a hand with spotting… and to help motivate you to get those last couple of reps. We have state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, including a sauna and swimming pool.
“And we’re not just about physical fitness–we also offer classes in yoga, meditation, and nutrition to help you achieve total wellness.
“Plus, as a member, you’ll have access to exclusive discounts at local health food stores and wellness centers. We truly believe that our club is the best choice for anyone looking to improve their overall health and well being.”
Now, doesn’t that sound much more compelling than “lots of equipment”? This salesperson is emphasizing the unique features and benefits of their club, and making a strong case for why it’s worth the investment. They’re not just selling a gym membership–they’re selling a lifestyle.
Could it have been even better? Yes, if he did more comparing to the competition. “We have 85% more equipment than the next biggest gym… we have 50% more trainers who are ready to help you… we clean hourly… with special emphasis on high-touch areas, while most other gyms clean only once or twice a day… including the bathrooms!” (See the power of direct comparisons?!)
“But, Drew! Isn’t it bad to mention your competition? Shouldn’t it be enough to just say why WE are better?”
HOGWASH! Do both. This is SALES. Your goal isn’t to get away with doing the least and hoping for the best results. If you’re better than the other guys… say it… and make the sale!
Your salespeople should be your biggest advocates, and they should be able to express the advantages and benefits of your club in a clear, concise, and compelling way. If you can’t convince potential customers to sign up, then you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to grow your business.
Fitness clubs need to take a page from the book of successful salesmanship. Focus on the unique features and benefits of your club, and train your salespeople to articulate them with confidence and enthusiasm. Don’t settle for generic responses–aim for persuasive, powerful sales pitches that will convince potential customers to invest in their health and wellness with your club.
Read “Cashvertising ( if you haven’t yet, and learn how use language that encourages people to buy.
If you sell online, pre-order “Cashvertising Online” ( and learn what massive studies have revealed about what things are most persuasive to online buyers. Thanks for reading!

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