While many industries in the US are disappearing, gyms continue to see increased growth. The number of gym memberships in the US has steadily risen over the past decade, making the US one of the most profitable places in the world to own a gym. Despite this positive trend, many gym owners still have trouble acquiring new customers because they lack a strategic sales process. These seven techniques on how to increase gym membership sales will help you better understand your prospects, gym, competitors, and current sales process.
- Identify Your Prospects’ Needs
It is critical for gym owners to understand their prospects’ needs and how they are uniquely positioned to fill those needs. If you are able to offer value to your customers by solving a problem or making their life easier, they will be more likely to choose you over a competitor, regardless of price. For example, if you discover in an initial sales call that a prospect is most interested in the types of classes you offer, you can dive deep into your unique class offerings that will excite the prospect and skip topics that they might not care about.
In order to find out what the prospects’ needs are and prevent the conversation from moving towards price rather than value, you have to ask them questions that will get you quality answers. To do this, avoid “yes or no” questions whenever possible, and try asking questions like: “What are your fitness goals?”, “What do you look for in a health club?”, and “Why did you decide to contact us?” Questions like these will give you a more in-depth explanation of their thoughts to help you better understand their needs. It is best practice to ask questions at the beginning of the sales conversation so that you can customize the entire process and position yourself to win.
- Write a Sales Script
Having answers to frequently asked questions and a list of important questions to ask prospects compiled in a sales script will help to create a streamlined sales experience, a better enabled salesforce, and a superior customer experience. Your sales script should include descriptions of your key competencies, pain points in the gym membership experience that you are equipped to solve, and a thorough list of questions that will help your sales reps uncover important information about your prospects. Having a sales script will ensure that your prospects are getting the information that they need and that your employees feel confident during sales interactions. However, a sales script is only as strong as the person using it. It is important that your sales reps are properly trained and know how to have engaging conversations with prospects rather than read off of a script.
- Know How You Stack Up Against Competitors
If you are going to prove to prospects that you are uniquely positioned to fill their needs, then you need to know what you offer that your closest competitors do not. It is quite likely that your prospects are actively comparing you to your competitors, so you need to be able to convey why they should choose your club over a competitor and not just why they would benefit from being a member of your gym.
Pricing may be the simplest way to compare gyms, but it is often not the most important factor to consumers. You also have to consider things like availability and quality of trainers and other staff, class offerings, variety and quality of equipment, location, hours, and the types of members you attract. Organize this information into a document for your sales reps to use during conversations with prospects, and be sure that your key strengths over competitors are clearly stated on your website and other prospect facing materials.
- Personalize the Selling Experience
Once you understand the needs of a prospect and how you can fill those needs better than your competitors, start to personalize the selling experience based on the information you have gathered. You can accomplish this by giving a tour of the facilities that highlights the offerings most relevant to the prospect’s needs, by putting the prospect in contact with a current satisfied customer who has similar needs, or by simply adjusting the sales conversation to highlight the most relevant attributes of your gym.
Additionally, make sure that you are able to engage your prospects through their preferred method of communication, whether that’s in person, on the phone, over email, on an online health club portal, or through a mobile app for your club. To maximize the extent to which you are able to personalize the sales process, you should make sure that your club management software has CRM capabilities that allow you to log prospect information.
- Timely Follow Up
Managing a fitness center requires making compromises to ensure profitability. Analyzing and planning are part of that process. Analyze reports to know what’s going on in your gym. If only 2-3 people are showing up for a group fitness class then you may need to cut that class out, as you’re losing money by paying an instructor. On the other hand, you could also look at this as an opportunity for growth. Begin a promotion to grow that group fitness class by offering a free smoothie or t-shirt to a member who participates in that group class for a certain length of time. Incentives like this can increase your group fitness class size. Focusing on financial reporting will give you the information you need to create and manage a profitable fitness center.
- Track Results
In order to improve your gym membership sales process, track and analyze your results throughout the conversation to find areas of improvement, core strengths, and actionable trends. Identifying and tracking which sales metrics are important to you, recording sales conversations, monitoring prospect progress throughout the sales process, and accepting feedback will give you the information you need to improve your current sales program.
Common metrics to measure include cost per new member, win/loss rate, and best performing acquisition channels. If you have gym management software, you can create financial reports of your month-to-date membership sales and segment your sales by date range, day of the week, payment method, membership type, agreement type, salesperson, and sales/marketing campaign, which will make it easier to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your sales program. For example, if a certain salesperson is outperforming the rest of the team, you might consider enabling that rep to coach the rest of your salesforce.
- Leverage Referral Programs and Upselling
Keep in mind that the sales process doesn’t have to end when prospects become members. It is likely that they will have friends and family that will also be a good fit for your gym, and if you create a referral program, they will be incentivized to invite these friends and family members to your gym. Additionally, as your customers’ needs change over time, you need to be prepared to accommodate them. Be on the lookout for ways to upsell your current customers so they don’t go looking elsewhere when they want more out of their membership.
While there are a variety of proven sales techniques, there is no “one-size-fits-all” sales model for gyms and health clubs. For best results, we recommend starting with these seven techniques and adjusting your sales process until you’re consistently hitting (or exceeding) your membership goals.
Now that you know how to increase gym membership sales, it’s time to figure out how to keep your members happy so that they keep coming back. Download this free ebook to learn tactics and best practices for retaining your gym’s customers.