Today, we’re going to draw attention to how focusing on your members can in fact increase your membership sales!
Word of mouth has been one of the longest-standing and most successful forms of marketing. Not only is it incredibly cost-effective (costing you nothing!) but it also gives you the opportunity to hear from current paying members about how they are enjoying their membership at your facility and generate some ideas on what you could do to improve.
Impress your current members and they will do some of your marketing efforts for you! Recommending your gym to their friends and family, so let’s get started with our next 17 techniques to help drive your membership sales.
1. Breaking Down The Sales Barrier
So through the methods, we have tried so far, you have your prospective member through the door of your Gym or Fitness Club. Great! But if your sales system is an antiquated relic, that prospective member will leave without a membership as quickly as they came in.
Ensure that all of your staff know what is expected of them when a prospective member enters your club and make sure your sales system is carried out on each and every occasion.
When prospects enter your club you need to ensure that the systems are in place to secure the sale. Too many clubs we have seen have outdated and inefficient sign-up systems. These can be inefficient for the customer, taking up a large amount of time or on outdated equipment. Or they can be inefficient for the business, involving forms filled out by hand or done across multiple different systems with different data outputs.
If this sounds familiar to you, then it is time to step up your Sales game. Things will need to change at your Gym or Fitness club if you wish to compete with the large chain gyms in your area. These gyms have a dedicated sales force that are sales professionals and will recruit the members that should be yours. They also have a strong automation game, with significant numbers of youth sign-ups being done without anyone being involved at all. Purely a digital sales platform.
2. Encourage Your Staff To Greet Your Gym Or Fitness Club’s Prospective Members
Much like the perfection of a working Sales doctrine for your staff. Reinforcing common courtesy can go a long way.
A warm smile, a hand-shake (before and hopefully after Covid-19), and an exchange of names can make the entire process less daunting.
Don’t assume that every prospective member will want to be given a hand-guided tour. Some just want to be left to their own devices. But it should be the standard for your staff to offer it and not push it if the offer is rejected.
3. Ask Them To Complete The Questionnaire At Or Around Point Of Sale
A simple, non-intrusive, and short questionnaire will help you identify areas of your Gym or Fitness Club that they should be using.
This will help your personal trainer, marketing team and associated staff determine the best course of action with the least intrusive set of information.
4. Be Upfront About What Will Happen During The Tour
Run through that you will:
- Go through the questionnaire
- Show them around the gym
- Go through the various membership options and try to find a suitable option for them to join today.
5. Ensure The Staff Are Able To Fully Administer The Questionnaire
As we discussed earlier, the Questionnaire should be short and pacey enough that only the most impatient customer will be annoyed filling it out.
Keep the questions strictly necessary to your Gym and your new Member’s development. This will allow you to get the maximum amount of benefit from the start. As we covered in an earlier point, this will increase your chance of gaining and retaining customers. Their journey will be made easier and more impactful by the guidance your staff will be able to offer off of the back of their questionnaire.
6. Determine How New Members Heard About The Club
This can be included in the questionnaire or asked separately by staff.
While we want to keep the questionnaire as brief as possible, the answer to this question will be easier to correlate if all of the answers are in the same format from the questionnaire.
The responses to this question will be vital for understanding which of your many attempts to drum up membership are working and which are failing.
7. Returning Members
Use the questionnaire to determine if the new member is a returning member.
Perhaps include a section asking why they left or why they are returning. This could be important information for you to learn from when managing and improving your Gym or Fitness Club.
8. Peak or Off-Peak?
Monitor your peak and off-peak foot-fall carefully.
Your peak times will be important to monitor because an overly crowded Gym will lose members quickly. No one likes not being able to use your rear delt fly machine (as previously established, the best machine).
It is important to understand the equipment that does and does not get used during peak and off-peak times.
9. What Equipment Do They Want To Use?
To develop from the previous point. Finding a way to non-intrusively gauge what is being used, what is not being used, and what is being overused will be vital to keep your members happy.
If a member has been unable to use the rear delt fly machine six visits in a row, he might not make a seventh. Obviously, equipment is expensive but so is losing members. Consider your options carefully. A happy gym membership will be largely due to them being able to do the workouts that they want to do.
10. Focus On Their Areas Of Interest
Conduct your tour of your facility by showing the areas that are of most interest to them. Invite the prospect to try a piece of equipment to experience how easy it is to use – ensure the weight is set low on resistance equipment.
11. Try The Equipment
While we are talking about equipment. Try your wares or get someone you trust to try your equipment.
Whilst your staff should have a set maintenance pattern to ensure your equipment is up to snuff. It never hurts to sample your produce. If there have been a lot of complaints about a certain piece of equipment, there might be an even better reason to test it out.
Understand if your chest press machine is the best it can be!
12. Demonstrate Relevant Equipment On The Tour
Using the questionnaire, understand the goals of the new member receiving the tour and make sure the staff understands the best pieces of equipment to utilise during the tour.
Does the customer want to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1960s? I think they need a tore of the bicep and tricep machine, as well as a hefty go at the Chest Press.
Are they wanting to look like Bruce Lee? They should meet their new best friend the rear fly delt machine and a treadmill.
13. Price Options and The Tour
Make sure the staff giving the tour fully understand the different price points and tiers that your gym is offering. These will be vital to make sure the customer gets the best deal and your Gym or Fitness Club gets the correct amount of money.
14. FOMO And The Introductory Tour
Creating Fear of Missing Out on the introductory tour can be risky, especially if the customer is only there on a day visit on a week pass.
However, it can also be incredibly effective.
Work with your staff to understand which feel comfortable doing this in a way that doesn’t exploit the customer, whilst still effectively allowing them to make a decision that otherwise they might be hesitant to make.
15. Closing The Sale Whilst on the Introductory Tour
Again, leading on from the last point. Make sure your staff understands how to close a sale in a way that won’t be crude, awkward, or overly apparent.
Not all gym staff are natural salesmen and the last thing you want is your Gym or Fitness Club associated with primitive pressure tactics.
16. Dealing With Objections
As we’ve addressed earlier, sometimes trying to close a sale will result in objections, even with all the tact in the world.
It is important that your staff understand when it is appropriate to push the matter and when it is appropriate to back off and take the loss, so to speak.
Sometimes mindlessly and relentlessly chasing the close will do more damage than good.
17. Close The Sale!
With all objections overcome; with the emotional reasons for joining revealed and targeted; with the relevant parts of your facility clearly explained and demonstrated; and with the most suitable pricing options promoted, you should get the sale!
To help you further, here are various techniques you can use that will help you to close the sale:
- Be assumptive during the tour and act as if the other person has made the decision to buy already.
- Turn the focus of the conversation towards the next level of questions and assume the buying decision has already been made. For instance, “Once you have joined will you be bringing a friend?” When you act as though something is already true it is much more difficult for the prospect to deny it.
- The alternative close works by offering more than one clearly defined alternative to the customer. If there is no third choice (i.e. to think about it), then they must pick one or the other. For instance, “Would you prefer the monthly direct debit option or the 12 month membership?” This works well when combined with being assumptive as the prospect only has a limited number of choices and not joining is no longer an available option.
- List the pros and the cons of the prospect purchasing to show clearly that it will be a good decision to join. Ensure that the pros always outweigh the cons and the member will be certain to join.
- When overcoming an objection, isolate that objection and ask if that is their only concern otherwise you will find you are just trying to overcome objection after objection. For example if a prospect says they can’t afford the joining fee use the conditional close, “If I can lower your deposit, will you be happy to take the membership today?” You’ve then established that if you can overcome this objection there shouldn’t be anything left holding them back.
- When people are procrastinating or dithering over whether they should buy now or buy later, show them that delaying will either get them no advantage or may even be to their disadvantage. Talk about what they will miss by not having a membership over the coming period and emphasise the fact that they will miss out on the first visit discount.
- The key to closing a sale is enthusiasm. Have a passion for what you trying to sell – if you believe in your product you are far more likely to convert the prospect. Make them feel what you feel. Making them excited about achieving their fitness and emotional goals will help transfer the enthusiasm.
- A sale is either you convincing them that it’s the way to go, or them convincing you that they are right. The enthusiasm helps you convince them. Conviction and enthusiasm that the best thing for them to do is exercise at your club.
- Positive body language will help reinforce that your staff genuinely want to help your customers achieve their goals.
- Every interaction with a prospective customer helps to reinforce their opinion of your Gym or Fitness Club. Ensure that you and your team exude confidence and a welcoming attitude even down to your answerphone message.
- Find a positive in everything and try to get excited about that.
- FOMO: Make the customer understand why it is in their best interest to commit to your Gym or Fitness Club today.
Now you’re armed with even more tips for recruiting and retaining members, there is only one obstacle standing in your way to running a successful club: implementation. It is time to get some of what we have detailed here underway.
You’re a smart gym owner or you wouldn’t be reading this blog. You realise that everything boils down to getting and keeping members. You know you need to sort out your marketing, software systems, payment, collection, retention strategy and more.
But you know all that, and the problem has always been having the time to do it. Who can you trust to allow you to have more time to focus on getting more members?
Get in touch for a full demo of our software or to simply have a conversation about how we can help you and your gym achieve its full potential.