gym marketing

Sell More Gym Memberships: Flip The Script With Sales & Marketing

Flipping the script to refine your sales process before you start marketing can help you sell more gym memberships. Here are five tips to get started!

Monica Hilton
June 1, 2023
Sell More Gym Memberships: Flip The Script With Sales & Marketing
Flipping the script to refine your sales process before you start marketing can help you sell more gym memberships. Here are five tips to get started!

If you’re like most gym owners, you opened your doors with a big dream and a plan. And while every gym is unique, most owners have a shared goal: Sell more gym memberships.

Traditionally, the plan includes things like operations, human resources and admin. After all, gym owners wear all the hats. And even though a lot of things happen that were never in the plan, we figure them out anyway, right?

The PushPress team is made up of gym owners ourselves, so we get it. Over the years, we’ve built our own gyms while helping thousands of others to start, grow and thrive.

Sell more gym memberships by focusing on the sales process first
Sell more gym memberships by focusing on the sales process first.

And when it comes to helping owners sell more gym memberships, an interesting pattern has emerged. It’s not uncommon to prioritize marketing efforts over sales, when it should actually be the other way around.

Sales, then marketing? That’s right.

Today, we’re talking about the importance of cultivating everything related to sales before you ever spend your money or effort on marketing.

Why Sales Should Come First.

Imagine this scenario. A potential lead is scrolling Facebook and comes across an ad for your gym. The deal in your ad is [insert Godfather voice] an offer she can’t refuse.

She’s been casually thinking about looking for a new gym recently so the timing is great. Eager to get started, she books an intro session and comes in the next day.

When she walks in, she finds an empty lobby. She wanders around to find a coach, who forgot she was coming in. He just finished his workout and wipes his sweaty hands off on his shorts to shake her hand.

Once he clears off a few dumbbells, the two of them can sit down on a couple of wooden plyo boxes. He rattles off some information about the equipment and how great the coaches are. When she asks about pricing, he says, “I think it’s about $150 per month.”

“Oh, that’s too much money,” she says. “I can’t afford that.”

“No worries,” he responds. “Thanks for coming in.” That’s the end of the conversation and she goes on her merry way.

As the gym owner who’s been spending a lot of money on Facebook ads, this scenario is probably maddening for you. You’re working hard to get people in the door, but without having developed your sales process, those leads aren’t joining.

Refine sales process for great lead experience
Avoid uncomfortable situations for prospective members by refining the sales process.

How To Refine Your Sales Process And Sell More Gym Memberships.

Here are five ways to cultivate an incredible sales process and ultimately, sell more gym memberships.

1. Keep It Simple.

The very first step is to clarify the services that you’re offering, and the correlating membership pricing. Whether you’re selling a group-class membership or high-ticket gym services like personal training and nutrition coaching, make the options easy to understand.

Even if you offer special programs or fun extras for members, keep it simple. Don’t overwhelm your prospect with too many choices or information. Your one goal in an intro session is to get them to sign up.

For example, let’s say you’re trying to sell a simple membership for group classes. If you offer different weekly frequencies and different lengths of membership, it just got complicated. Six months, twelve months, month-to-month, two times per week, three times per week and unlimited means way too many choices.

2. Choose The Right Team.

When you first open your gym, you’re likely the sole salesperson. But as you grow, it’s important to build your team with the right people. And since the best salespeople are relationship-builders, some candidates will stand out more than others.

First, make sure each of your salespeople actually want to be in this role. The last thing you want is for a team member to feel forced into a role they aren’t interested in.

Secondly, remember that processes can be taught. Teaching someone relationship-building skills, however, is a bit tougher. If you want your team to be friendly, helpful and charismatic, seek out sales team members who naturally possess those characteristics.

3. Create The Experience.

Now comes the fun part! Visualize the exact experience you want your prospective members to experience at your gym.

Design a professional, easy-to-understand sales consultation
Design a professional, easy-to-understand sales consultation.

Here are some suggestions from successful gym owners that we’ve talked to over the years:

  • Offer them a free bottle of water. As you try to create a safe, comfortable space for them, treat guests like you would a friend in your house.
  • Maintain a professional appearance. Your attire will convey a message to your prospective member. Want to be successful and sell more gym memberships? Dress the part.
  • Create a private meeting area. Often times, conversations about the problems you’re trying to solve will get personal. No one wants to have a conversation about how much weight they’ve gained when they’re surrounded by strangers in the lobby.
  • Present options in a clear, professional manner. Walk your prospect through pricing in an organized binder or laminated, full-color sell sheets. Especially if you’re selling high-ticket gym services, a black-and-white copy just won’t cut it. And definitely avoid writing the various options on a scratch pad.
  • Overcome objections early. One of the keys to closing a sale is learning to overcome objections. “Objection handling is helping people get out of their own way so they can reach their goals in your facility,” says Sherman Merricks, Co-Owner of LASSO. He added that if you don’t learn to overcome objections, “then you will miss out on the opportunity to change many lives.”

4. Focus On Solutions, Not Selling.

The first time someone reaches out for information about your gym, they’re asking for help. It might be phrased in a variety of ways.

When they say they want to lose weight, they’re looking for you to help them with a solution to lose weight. When they say they want to get strong, they want your help in getting strong.

This is the starting point and you won’t be able to truly help them unless they become a member of your gym. With that in mind, the goal is changing your perspective. Instead of trying to sell more gym memberships, you’re aiming to help people live a better life.

5. Follow-Up Is The Real Game-Changer.

If they sign up, great! What are your next steps? You could get them rolling with a gym onboarding program and start celebrating member milestones. The goal is to create the ultimate member experience and have a happy customer for years to come.

But if they don’t sign up, what happens? From the time someone inquires about membership to the time they sign up, weeks or even months can pass. So it’s all about the follow-up process.

It’s a common mistake for new gym owners to think they can handle lead follow-up with spreadsheets or even manually. But prospective members can sometimes require 20, 50, 100 touch points before they join your gym.

Use a gym CRM to nurture leads properly until they become members
Use a gym CRM to nurture leads properly until they become members.

Make it easy on yourself by using a gym CRM (customer relationship management) system. Create automated workflows so that you can sit back and relax, knowing your leads are receiving the proper follow-up.

Pro Tip: Want to find out how PushPress Grow can save you time and energy with the power of automation? Book a demo with our team today!

In Summary: Sell More Gym Memberships With The Right Process

Starting a marketing campaign before refining your sales process can only lead to frustration on both sides. If you're spending the money and effort to bring new leads through the doors, make sure they’re receiving the experience you envision.

Keep your pricing and services simple, and put the right people in the sales role. Visualize the experience you want for them and focus on solutions, not selling. And finally, dial in your follow-up process to sell more gym memberships after the initial consult.

Now that you’ve put these steps together cohesively, it’s time to start enjoying the benefits of an effective marketing campaign.

Monica Hilton

Monica is our Content Manager extraordinaire for PushPress. She also owns her gym in Indianapolis, Together We Rise CrossFit, which she opened in 2014 and previously worked in IndyCar racing.

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