A SNEWS® Training Center article written by the editors of SNEWS®:
Home gyms have come a long way since the original multi-station setups of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. When customers come into your store, many may not even realize the possibilities in styles, configurations and options. You’ll need to devote time and attention to learning your customers’ needs and space requirements, while also educating them about what’s available.
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Simply put, home gyms allow people to add a well-balanced strength-training component to an exercise regimen that can be done conveniently in the home. Many home gyms will enable users to do most, if not practically all, of the exercises they would do on selectorized single stations at a gym but in one small footprint. In fact, you can explain the name, “home gym,” as stemming from the fact that it’s like your local health club or neighborhood gym all rolled up into one set-up in your home – your home gym.
Key selling points
The benefits are broad. Users can:
- Get a balanced, full-body workout in their home.
- Achieve the level of workout they need, from super advanced to super beginner.
- Place today’s gyms in very small spaces – no special rooms needed.
- Choose a variety of configurations.
- Have the ability to choose their selected range of options and add-ons.
- “Grow” the home gym and its options as their needs change.
These days, too, home gyms are not ugly, black or steel monsters to be covered up or stuck in a basement. They have benefited from aesthetic upgrades with colors, power-coated steel, round tubing, lower profiles, colored upholstery and panels, and other options. These sorts of design elements attract female customers and help convince them a home gym will work in their home.
Features to point out
Don’t forget to take a few minutes to show top features and their benefits:
Easy adjustments: Point out knobs and levers that are intuitively placed as well as how easily seats, seat backs and other parts adjust to suit different size users, their varying demands and different exercises.
Quality construction: Most users won’t know the difference in variations in steel gauge so don’t worry about explaining that unless someone asks. For that purpose, know that 12-gauge steel is usually the minimum. Some gyms may use 11-gauge, which is even thicker, and some these days resort to 14-gauge, particularly in areas that aren’t prone to stress or aren’t weight-bearing. A gym is built to be stabile while being used so don’t let a customer shake it to test that quality. They must sit-down and use it to feel its smoothness, responsiveness and stability. If it feels “spongy” with too much sloppy give, that alone may indicate sub-standard steel.
Bolts vs. welds: Most gyms these days will be bolted together since that allows manufacturers to ship more in containers and keep down costs. That means more assembly for you (and the customer) but shouldn’t compromise strength and stability.
Kid-safety: If children are in the home, point out panels and shrouds to protect kids (or pets) from the weights, as well as any ability to lock-down certain components, as appropriate.
Weight stacks: When steel and iron were less expensive, most gyms came with a standard stack of 200 pounds. Today, you’ll usually find 150 pounds. If someone is really serious, is a body-builder, really strong – or expects to become any of the above – it’ll be important to point that out and make sure the person chooses a gym that can be upgraded with additional weight or has the built-in ability to increase the ratio of weight resistance from the stack. Granted, most people you deal with will never need more than 150 pounds, but some customers will want a machine that can upgraded because it meets their aspirations to be significantly stronger.
Cables vs. fixed arms: “Functional” gyms that use only cables (see a SNEWS® How to sell on functional gyms by clicking here) may be difficult for many traditional users to understand. Some gyms now have only fixed path arms, which some people consider more traditional, user friendly and similar to what they find in clubs. Some have a combination of fixed-path arms and cables, allowing a variety of workout options. Note that some cable stations will be adjustable, while some may lack that feature. Size up your customers and ask the right questions to determine what level they can master and use comfortably.
Selling a gym
After you have talked in-depth with the customer about his or her reasons for considering a home gym, and discussed the fitness goals of other household members, you can move on to the equipment itself.
Demonstration is king: Get on the seat and show how the arms and cables work, how the seats adjust, how the pins move, and anything else to help a customer understand and feel comfortable. Show transitions between exercises and demonstrate how to exchange attachments. This means you, as a member of the sales staff, will need to move through each piece yourself, not only in manufacturer training sessions but also on your own. If you aren’t comfortable with a piece, the customer won’t feel confident about using the machine.
Personal try-out is queen: Once you have shown a customer the piece, invite the person to try it themselves. Only by feeling how something moves or adjusts will the person fully understand it. Ask the customer to move through a few typical exercise motions and adjust the seat or weights. This will give the customer a clearer understanding of how the piece will help them achieve their goals. Some may balk at sitting down to push or pull the bars and arms, but encourage the person to try it.
Once you’ve narrowed down the customer’s choices, explained the purpose of a home gym, shown how it can fit into a person’s life and home, demonstrated the equipment, and invited the customer try it out, it’s time to ask when they’d like delivery!