It all started when I wanted to take a martial arts class (not to be confused with marital arts which is something completely different). I asked around here and there, and I was eventually directed to Gold’s Gym, where it was believed that there were weekly martial arts classes. “Great! That’s near where I work!” I thought. I scheduled a tour of the facilities and promised myself that I would not purchase a gym membership. In fact, I was so serious about this, I had several friends text me throughout the day to affirm that resolution. After all, I didn’t want a gym membership. Treadmills, ellipticals, and spinning classes are fine I guess, but I didn’t want any of that. I want a mat on the floor and Asian writing on the walls.
Was that too much to ask? Yes, it was.
The tour starts off with a sit down discussion about your personal goals, habits, etc. Be careful as you are answering these questions; this information will come back to haunt you. After telling my guide how many Mountain Dews I drink and how often I ate at McDonalds, we started the tour. The first stop was the room where group fitness classes were taught. This stop lasted 12 seconds. After that, I was told everything I never wanted to know about spinning (riding a stationary bicycle). Sounds riveting, doesn’t it? Then my guide wowed me by telling me that a certain piece of equipment cost $75,000. Like I care. Anyway, we ended up where we started and I told him that I would not be interested in purchasing a membership.
“Well what if I take away your processing fee and drop your first month down to $4? How does that sound?”
“Okay, okay. What if I can give you your first month absolutely free??”
“If you cut the number of times you ate out by just three or four times a week, you could easily pay for your membership.”
These were just a few of the lines I heard before I finally escaped. In fact, I was such a resistant prospect, that he actually had to retrieve his boss to come and try to pry my wallet open. If this guy put up a fight, his boss put up an even smaller one. Her tactic was to ask as many personal questions as possible to try and guilt trip me into realizing that I was frittering my money away on trite luxuries such as electricity and water. When she started asking how much each of my individual bills were, I cut her off. I kindly explained to her that I had a written budget in my possession that, at the current time, did not allow for a $50 gym membership. Great deals left and right would not be able to change my financial situation. Admitting defeat and looking a little more than PO’d at the waste of her time that I was, she skulked away.
Had I signed up for a gym membership that day, I’m sure I would be using it. I may even be getting my money’s worth, but that’s not the point. I wanted to take a karate class. Don’t try to corner a natural salesman with lame, coercive recruiting tactics and expect anything but a full-force retaliation. For example, don’t tell someone that drinking Mountain Dew costs too much, and then show me your smoothie bar complete with $4 sugar-free, high-protein white grape fruit juice drinks. That doesn’t help your credibility.
To my friends that have memberships at Gold’s, I salute you. You probably went there looking for a gym, and lo and behold, you found one. I, however, was looking for Asian writing and a floormat. I’m still looking in fact. My life won’t be complete until my quest is complete.