8 Steps to Increasing Health Club Membership Sales

For Gym Operators

8 Steps to Increasing Health Club Membership Sales

Nearly every health club has a primary business objective to sell more memberships. More memberships equal more revenue, but achieving an increase in sales takes a planned approach. To start building your plan, focus on the following objectives.

The following is a summarization of an education session from the 2014 IHRSA Convention, produced with full permission from IHRSA. The full-length video is available for purchase at ihrsastore.com.

About the speaker

Elias Scarr is the Sales and Communications Coach at Results Fitness University.

 Steps to Increasing Membership Sales

Know What You Want

Define the demographic that you want to attract to your health club. Have a very clear, detailed vision of who you’re targeting. Add many descriptors to define the person you want to attract and find out as much as you can about your prospects.

Make the Inquiry

Have a clear plan in place for interacting with potential members consisting of the following:

  • Create a system and script for how you'd like the interaction to go. Add weight to the appointment by informing members or prospective members that someone will be waiting especially for them. This can help decrease no-shows.
  • Take control and gather contact information.
  • Set an appointment.
  • Track the interaction.

Gauge Interest

Send a welcome packet to leads asking why they are interested in your club and what are their hesitations. Email prospects to find out about their goals and interests. Ask why fitness matters to them, what their major hesitations are, and what has kept them from accomplishing their fitness goals in the past.

Meet Prospects

Be prepared ahead of time and have a client file ready. Practice your handshake and be professional. Body language matters. Ask “yes” questions. This sets a positive tone for the environment. Focus on being a good host, not just a salesperson. Offer them beverages and don't be afraid of small talk. It can help you establish value.

Build value, build rapport, and establish trust by listening, understanding, and empathizing.

Recognize the Four Types of Prospects

There are generally four types of prospects that you will likely encounter.

Fact introvert: This person processes information based on thought. They are analytical, reserved, and make minimal hand movement. They want facts and figures, more details, and need lots of information. They fear being taken advantage of. Speak clearly to them.

Fact extrovert: This person is confident and assertive. They talk loudly and quickly, and fear not being successful. Get them to do most of the talking so they are in control.

Relationship introvert: This person is emotional and easily influenced. They don't like confrontation, are trusting, and have a fear of not fitting in. They exhibit closed body language. With this member, the aim is to make them feel comfortable and like they belong.

Relationship extrovert: This person doesn't like to plan, is fun loving, and likes to be spontaneous. Their speech is bouncy and energetic. They tend to fear a lack of approval.

8 Steps to Increase Health Club Membership Sales

Focus on Their Goals

Find out why a person wants to join your health club. Dig deep and get emotional, and defend your points with logic. Help them paint a picture of where they wish to be.

Give Tours

Demonstrate your facility’s features, benefits, and ask for feedback. Find a link to something they love and get hands-on with the equipment.

Close the Deal

Make the prospect feel like you are professional counsel and not just a salesperson. You are a knowledgeable expert. At closing, present them with two options. Don’t give them more than two options as too many can be confusing and lead to indecisiveness.

Overcome objections and circle back. Be patient and let them make a decision. Close with a handshake. Share the work and don't hide your excitement. Welcome them to your facility and set their first appointment as soon as possible.

Give out a small token with your membership contracts, such as a 30-day pass for someone special to them.

To keep them long term, you need to upgrade and sell to them. Big spenders are those who upgrade and participate in additional services. They have the highest retention rates and referrals. In general, the people who spend money stay the longest.

Give new members access to trainers for the first month as part of their package. Offer other services and products that will complement their training. Anything you offer should not be a surprise – preview everything in your welcome packet.

By following these steps, you can develop an effective sales plan that brings more members into your facility. 

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