Sell More Gym Memberships With These 4 Tactics [Free Ebook]

Jun 15, 2017 - 4 min read
Yoga training in yoga studio Virtuagym

Not selling as many gym memberships as you’d like? Are there a few too many empty treadmills?  Selling more gym memberships is one of the trickiest parts of running a successful gym.

As experts in membership management , we know a thing or two about what potential members want. We’ve unearthed 4 key tactics to help you sell more gym memberships than ever:

Have a Solid ‘Nice to Meet You’ Form

Getting the details of every lead that walks into your business is crucial to getting more sales.

Having visited a lot of businesses, I noticed that less than 25% of them took the effort to write down my details. These “Nice To Meet You” (NTMY) forms are vital within your business.

One thing you have to remember: Walk-ins are one of the most valuable types of leads for a fitness business. But the number of walk-ins is decreasing more and more. So make the most of them by capturing their info right off the bat.

An NTMY form is a contact form that asks your lead basic questions about their health and contact details. By handing this out shortly after your lead arrives, you can be confident their visit isn’t wasted.

If you already have an NTMY form, that’s great! Make sure that your front desk employee hands it out to every lead. If not, this is something you should look at addressing right away.

A Needs Analysis

Never show the lead your facilities right away. Instead, get to know a little bit about them first. This allows you to personalize the tour, and add more value to what you can offer. A way to structure this needs analysis is by utilizing the other side of the NTMY form. Here are some great examples of powerful questions you should always ask:

  • Exercise history
    • What activities did you use to do?
    • What did you like at your previous sports facilities?
    • What didn’t you like?
  • Usage
    • How often, which days and which times are you planning to use our facilities?
    • What would you like to do / use?
    • What is important for you in making the decision to join?
  • Goals
    • What do you hope to achieve?
  • Motivation
    • Why do you want to achieve this goal?

Personalize the Client Experience

Now that you know more about the lead and what drives them to join your business, it is time to show your facilities. The most common mistake is that employees give the lead a so called “Disney Tour”.

A Disney Tour is a guided tour of your facilities with no attention paid to the needs of the lead. What’s the point in stating the obvious and pointing out equipment?. Example: “So, this is our beautiful spinning studio, this is our great gym and this is our dressing room.”

Since you have done a thorough needs analysis you know what the lead wants to achieve. This means that you can now personalize their experience by focusing on what they need. Identifying facilities that may be of use to them not only shows expertise, but also that you care.

Group workout with trainer

When to Ask for Referrals?

Referral programs are one of the most effective methods of bringing in new members.

A study by HBR found referrals on average generate 16% more profit as they invest more in services.

They’re also 18% more likely to be loyal to your business. Surprising right?

Referrals are a powerful, and cost-effective, marketing technique for your gym. Mentioning your referral scheme after a new member has signed up is definitely a good step to take.

The most common mistake business’ make is not having a referral scheme at all, not the way they do it. There are different ways to ask for referrals but it’s best not to overcomplicate it. One technique that has always had my preference is the guest pass for members. Every member that joins the gym would get three guest passes for their friends with a value of 20,- each. The member could use these guest passes whenever they wanted, or within a limited time frame. Potential members with guest passes are also chances to capture data using an NTMY form.

Key Takeaways to Sell More Gym Memberships

  • Every potential customer should get the personal attention they deserve. After all, you’d want the same.
  • Involve your front desk in the process by letting them hand out a ‘Nice to meet you’ form to potential leads.
  • Have a sit-down with each individual to get to know them and their goals.
  • Make sure any tours within your facilities are specific to the needs of the lead. Don’t take them on an unnecessary Disney Tour.
  • Finally, ask your clients to refer their friends. The biggest mistake is not asking.

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Mark Louter

Hi, my name is Mark Louter. I'm the head of Customer Success here at Virtuagym. Before that, I was Sales Director and was involved in membership sales at a leading European fitness chain.