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Free Gym Memberships: How to Get an Unbelievable Deal on Your Gym Membership Paperback – October 1, 2014
About the Author
Jesse Stoddard, CPT, started in sales for a small family-owned gym, soon became a personal trainer and manager, working both for large chains, small clubs, and eventually on his own, building a very successful training business. He worked the front desk of several clubs, worked as an administrator, an assistant manager, an outside marketer, a Corporate Sales Manager for a multi-state chain, and did all the nitty-gritty in-between, swabbing toilets and repairing equipment along the way. He has been an employee, an independent contractor, an owner, an investor, a customer, and has seen just about every angle of the fitness world possible, making him the ideal whistle-blower for this industry.
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(Full disclosure: I received an advance copy of the book to read, and Jesse is a personal friend. This actually made me more likely to apply the tips he gives in the book, because I've seen first hand his decade and a half of experience in the fitness industry ... all the way from personal training to owning and running a gym. So when he tells me something about this biz, I listen.)
Stoddard has a lot of insight into this industry. In Part One, he provides a history of the fitness industry to help explain why it functions the way it does. This "industry analysis" is interesting in itself, but it also provides the background for the negotiation tips provided in the second part of the book.
For example, he reveals the "inside script" of how they gym negotiates with you: for example, the simple questions by the gym rep that can subtly break down your objections and encourage you to pay a higher price. Once you are aware of the purpose of these seemingly innocuous questions, you'll be prepared how to answer them for your benefit, not the gym's.
However, if you want to start saving money right away, you can jump ahead to Lesson 4 in Book II, "101 Ways to Get a Gym Membership Deal." A quick glance through these pages should load you up with more than a few ways to shave dollars off your monthly dues.
Personally, I was able to go from paying $29.99 a month ... to $19.99 ... to $14.99 a month ... for a total savings of 50%. (And I didn't really even work that hard to get a better deal. I'm sure I would have saved some more if I had applied a few more of the tricks that Stoddard teaches.)
But the surprising benefits I got from reading Stoddard's book go beyond saving money off my gym membership. The principles in the book are effective for negotiating anything, from a home to a new car. For example, consider this piece of advice:
"He who asks the questions controls the conversation."
This is a good strategy to employ, no matter if you're asking for $100 off a carpet cleaning or a $10,000 annual raise from your boss. There are many other negotiating tactics explained and demonstrated that you can start using today.