The Ugly Side of Cross-Selling

I went to the gym the other day. Yeah, I’m going to just stop the sentence there so you can congratulate me for actually going to the gym to work out, rather than just hanging out at the pool.

Ok, moving on. Now, I go to one of those really nice lifestyle-type of gyms that has a hair salon, indoor & outdoor pools, café with healthy food choices, rock climbing wall, blah blah blah, in addition to the normal gym stuff. There’s tons of flat screened TV’s all over the place (so many that I’ve fantasized about taking one of the wall for “maintenance” and bringing it home for our living room) running TV shows, music videos, and special gym commercials and advertisements.

Well, as I mentioned I actually worked out at the gym when I went. I was feeling pretty darn good about myself for crushing some cardio (yeah, that’s how us gym-rats talk) and was thinking how awesome I was and that I should totally start working out on a regular basis. I mean, I had already done one day of working out, how hard is it to just keep this up and get into super saucy shape. It might take like a couple weeks* or something, but as I mentioned I was feeling pretty awesome.

Anyways, as I was leaving the gym I saw it: an advertisement on one of the jumbo televisions in the hallway that everyone has to walk past on their way out. So, what was the ad? Maybe a new health shake offered in the café or a special price for a mani/pedi appointment?

It was an advertisement to get a free consultation for plastic surgery.

Really?! Are you effing kidding me? So, basically you’re telling me that although you advertise your company as a gym (a fancy-schmancy gym, but a gym nonetheless), you figure you’ll give people an easy out to get the fat sucked out of them instead? Or it is that you want people to be perfect in every way, so you offer the perfect hairstyle, the perfect meal, the machines so you can make the perfect body and now, a plastic surgeon to “fix” whatever else is wrong with you.

Am I the only one who thinks this is insane?

Look, I know going into that gym that I’m not necessarily going to look like the petite 20 year old with a 6 pack who runs 7 days a week (hi Katie) no matter how hard I work out.  I’ve also finally gotten to that point in my life where I’m okay with the way I look. Now, there is definitely some room for improvement, but that’s on my own scale of beauty not anyone else’s.  So, the last thing I need to see when I finally work up the energy to GO to the gym and work out is that whatever I’m doing isn’t going to be good enough.

I get the idea of cross-selling, but this is just going too far! If you want to sell the healthy lifestyle, go for it with all those other offerings. However, hooking up with a plastic surgeon and offering a free consultation for anyone who has low self-esteem after sweating next to a Barbie doll for an hour is not the way to make your members feel mentally healthy, is it?

* Yes, this is a joke. I understand that it takes a long, long time to get in shape. I just don’t care.

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5 thoughts on “The Ugly Side of Cross-Selling”

  1. Gotta disagree with you here. It makes sense to advertise plastic surgery at the gym for a couple of reasons. 1) Gyms are probably losing money as the economy continues to go tits up and people scale back memberships to maximize their budgets. Also gyms are highly competitive and any extra income is just gravy. 2) Each winter the gym is full of overweight folks who prefer twinkies over treadmills. They start to go thinking their 2 minutes of biking per day will help them lose their bulging bellies. Wrong! That’s why these people stop going by mid-February. Obviously they’re looking for a quick fix. What’s a quick weight loss fix? Plastic surgery! Thinking of getting a massive tummy tuck? Well then here’s a number for a top notch (’cause he/she pays for the ad) plastic surgeon who can make your back boobs a thing of the past! It’s sad, but some don’t want to put in the time it takes to get healthy when staying unhealthy is soooooo much easier.

    Unfortunately those who fall for the ads lack the kind of confidence that you posess. Perhaps the solution’s not a plastic surgeon, but a shrink, or an extra dose of determination or a lock on the refrigerator door.

  2. You have good points, but I just feel that a gym’s primary goal is to motivate me to use their services. By accepting the advertising for a ‘quick fix’ they’re failing at their goal by giving me an easy way out. Not to mention, they’re also shooting themselves in the foot because as soon as I have all the fat sucked out by the plastic surgeon, I don’t really need a gym anymore!

    1. Just realized i made 2 breast references in that comment. I gotta stop replying to blogs so early in the morning.

  3. UGH…this makes me mad. What makes me even more mad is I know which gym you are talking about and I had friends who were “trainers” there. Their bios were totally made up ie Bachelor’s in Exercise Science and they didn’t even have an associates in general studies. Some gyms are just in it for the money and don’t care so much about the individuals that come in as long as they are paying their monthly dues. Im sure that they have some part of their business that makes money off of referrals to the plastic surgeons as well…bleh 🙁

    1. RIGHT?! I actually really liked that gym when we went there, but it just got a little too ridiculous. And don’t even get me started on personal trainers with NO knowledge of actual exercise science…!

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