Fitness Marketing Law #15 – The Law of Candor

Fitness Marketing Law #15 – The Law of Candor

Posted on 02. Nov, 2011 by in 22 Fundamental Laws of Marketing

Fitness Marketing Law of Candor- Is being honest and admitting the negative a smart business strategy? According to the law of candor it is. I often say you have to be transparent in the fitness industry if you want to be successful. People know and understand that everyone is not perfect. Don’t be afraid to be candid and admit something negative about your business. The key is to then take the negative and change it into a positive.


In the Fitness Marketing law of the ladder I spoke about Avis rent-a-car being number two and they candidly admitted it, using their position to gain market share. Remember their slogan, “We are No. 2, we try harder”? Their strategy of admittance helped them become the second largest in the car rental business for many years.


When a fitness business practices candor it gives the prospect a feeling of honesty and trust. After all, who would lie about something negative in their business? You see once you make a negative statement about you; it is automatically accepted as being the truth. With truth comes trust and building trust with your prospects is very important.

In the fitness business we deal with a lot of depressed clients who are overweight, unhealthy, have medical problems, and are tired of the roller coaster ride of weight loss and gain. When you are candid with them you provide a sense of reality. Sometimes you have to be pretty honest about their weight gain and excuses they make in order to get them inspired. This doesn’t mean you have to be brutally honest, but be candid and caring. Now when it comes to your business you can be brutally honest because you will gain trust from the prospect. You are not dealing with their emotions, you are dealing with your own; it’s different.


So what about positive statements? We always talk about thinking and being positive and this is so true in all aspects of life, but in the fitness industry when you make positive statements they are sometimes viewed as questionable. Positive statements have to be proven to the prospect but negative statements do not. Seems a little twisted doesn’t it? This is why marketing is such a challenging aspect for our business.


Let’s go back to Avis. Think of a prospect in search for a car. Why would they go with Avis instead of Hertz or Enterprise? Because Avis tries harder! Since changing the mind of a prospect is difficult once it has been made up, your marketing strategy should consist of ideas and concepts that already exist in their mind. Avis was remarkable in doing this when they advertised being No. 2.


Grabbing the prospect’s attention is another vital strategy in reaching them. If you start a message with admittance to a problem most people automatically pay attention and want to know more. By doing this you grab their attention. With their mind open you put yourself in a position to exert the positive and ultimately sell your product or service.


Again, using candor must be done gracefully. The negative statement you use must be deduced by the prospect as negative. It has to instantly get them to agree. If not, the prospect becomes confused and wonders what the heck you are talking about. As long as you have the attention of the prospect, you can then convert the negative into the positive. The purpose of being candid isn’t a form of apology. It’s a strategy to persuade the prospect.

I hope you enjoyed Fitness Marketing Law of Candor. Stay tuned for more

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Kaiser Serajuddin

03. Nov, 2011

Sam, love this post. An important part of marketing is spinning a negative into a positive. For example, I don’t have 100 grand in cash to spend on equipment. So what I do is position my business as being DIFFERENT from a gym.

Related to your LAW OF CANDOR, I do not have a sports science PHD, nor have I done any research in the field of fitness. I admit this, and make it my goal to bring info from the best minds in fitness to my clients.

Related to candor, I think often times people are afraid to be truthfull about things that could benefit them because they consider it bragging. For example, I advertise everything great about us, how our facility kicks ass, how we’re the number one bootcamp in New York. Most people would be shy to talk about this. I’m candid about it.

In today’s age, honesty is the best policy – you really can’t get away with nuttin’ else. Great post.

Sako Yakinian

05. Nov, 2011

Sam and Kaiser, great points! I agree 100% with both of you and honestly being transparent and admitting faults really does help build trust. Thanks guys!

I’m pissed I’m behind on my super trainer readings lol

Dave Peterson

08. Nov, 2011

Great post Sam. Flaunting our negatives is a big part of our identity and marketing plan at infinity fitness. We are literally a stones throw away from an equinox location that has fancy locker rooms, granite counter tops, all the latest and greatest and we have none of it.

So we tell our prospects (and communicate in our marketing) that we have NONE of those things and if that is what they are looking for in a gym they would be happier going somewhere else.


If they area picking a gym because they are looking to get into shape then you couldn’t find a better place in the world. We work our butts off to get our clients results and if that’s what you’re after then you are in the right place.

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