9 Effective Strategies for Selling More Gym Memberships

The success of your gym is highly dependent on memberships. If your membership levels are low, then the revenues will also remain low. As a result, it will be hard to grow your fitness business and take it to the next level.

Hence, you will need to come up with strategies that will help you to sell more gym memberships, to ensure your revenues remain high and keep growing your fitness business. The good news is, we’ve done the heavy lifting for you.

In this article, we will walk you through 9 effective tips and strategies that you can implement, to increase gym membership sales and see your revenues grow.

Lots of treadmills in a gym.

1. Experiment with Different Gym Marketing Strategies

Most gym owners tend to rely on social media marketing only, as their sole gym marketing strategy. And, while there’s nothing wrong with focusing on social media, it’s advisable to complement it with other gym marketing strategies.

As you may expect, some of your prospects may not be active on social media. Hence, relying on social media only means you may be missing out on potential clients. Therefore, when putting up your gym marketing plan, you should also consider other methods.

Some of the other effective gym marketing strategies that you should consider implementing include email marketing, search engine marketing, content marketing, influencer marketing, print marketing, affiliate marketing, website and inbound marketing and SMS marketing, just to name a few.

But, you don’t have to implement all these strategies at once. You can simply choose those that align with your budget and your target audience and implement them. And by implementing different gym marketing strategies, you will reach more prospects, which you can then nurture to become long-term paying clients.

2. Personalize the Selling Experience

Studies show that personalizing the sales experience can increase sales by approximately 10% or even more. Therefore, whether you are selling personal training classes or selling gym memberships, it will be highly advisable to personalize the sales experience.

So, how can you personalize the sales experience when selling gym memberships? Well, there are several approaches to consider. And, one of the most effective methods is taking prospects on a virtual gym tour.

A virtual gym tour will give prospects a sneak peek of your gym’s equipment, the different classes that you offer, as well as any unique facilities that you may have like saunas or heated swimming pools.

Such tours may convince some prospects to sign up for a trial membership or go for the full membership right away. This approach will be more effective in selling gym memberships as opposed to trying to rush a prospect through the sales process.

3. Offer Free Trial Sessions

Trial memberships offer one of the most cost-effective methods of selling gym memberships. They give prospects an opportunity to sample your gym, without having to make a long-term commitment. As much as this strategy may not be a practical solution for every gym, it can prove to be extremely effective for those gyms that have unique services or facilities, which are difficult to showcase using videos.

For such trials, you can begin by having a private consultation with prospects. You will use this opportunity to discuss with them their fitness goals while providing insights into how signing up for your membership can help them to achieve their goals.

After the consultation, you will then give the prospect an opportunity to sample your classes or services. From there, you should then follow up via emails or a phone call to encourage them to purchase a membership.

4. Encourage Existing Members to Make Referrals

One of the most powerful methods of selling more gym memberships is by using referral programs. Referral programs provide an opportunity to sign up new gym members while rewarding your current members. Hence, besides helping to bring in new members, a referral program can also help to boost your gym’s retention rate.

To set up a referral program, you simply need to request your current customer base to encourage their friends and family to sign up for your gym membership. And in exchange, they will receive a reward. The reward should be valuable enough, making it irresistible.

For instance, if a gym member convinces someone to sign up for your gym membership, they will get a free one-on-one personal training session or a free month membership.

Make sure you are constantly reminding your current members about the referral opportunities available in your gym since they are likely to forget. You can do so through the weekly newsletters or by posting on your gym’s social media platforms.

By setting up an effective gym referral program, you won’t have to spend too much of your time, effort and money, trying to sign new gym members. Instead, the referral program will do the heavy lifting for you.

5. Create Partnerships in Your Community

It’s highly likely there are other health, wellness and fitness businesses in your area. Partnering with such businesses provides an opportunity to reach more prospects and sell more gym memberships.

For instance, if there’s a registered dietician nutritionist in your area, you can approach them and propose a partnership. Under this partnership, you will be referring your gym members to this dietician for individualized nutrition counseling, among other services. On the other hand, the dietician will be referring fitness prospects to your gym, who be looking to start their fitness journeys.

You can also explore similar partnerships with chiropractors, fitness apparel stores, physical therapists, fitness supplements stores, or fitness equipment manufacturers, just to name a few.

Leveraging these fitness business partnerships will help you to reach lots of prospects, who may be interested in joining your gym, but they may not have heard about you or they don’t know your gym exists.

6. Upsell Through Your Staff

From receptionists to personal trainers, cleaners to service technicians, group fitness instructors to maintenance personnel, everyone working in your gym should be part of your sales team. Simply put, they need to be constantly upselling and cross-selling, whenever an opportunity presents itself.

However, this approach will only work if your staff has a clear understanding of the packages, services, or classes that you offer. Therefore, you will need to hold a regular meeting to train and educate them on everything that your fitness center has to offer.

Upselling and cross-selling through your staff will help you to sign up more gym clients, without having to spend too much money. So, if you are not using this strategy for selling gym memberships, you should consider implementing it as soon as possible.

7. Follow Up with Prospects Who have Gone Cold

Some prospects may reach out to enquire about the services you offer in your gym and then go quiet afterward. And, this can happen for several reasons. For instance, they may feel that your services are too expensive and decide to explore other options. They may also be busy with other commitments.

But, just because a prospect has gone cold doesn’t mean you should give up on them. Instead, it will be advisable to follow up with them, to determine the reason why they may have gone quiet.

Following up with the prospect also provides an opportunity where you can answer any questions they may have or even offer them an incentive that may encourage them to give your gym a try, such as a free membership.

While you may not manage to revive all prospects who may have gone cold, it’s worth giving it a try. After all, you won’t lose anything by trying. Will you?

8. Attend Events

Local events like fitness expos, health fairs, and various health and fitness-related seminars also provide an excellent opportunity for selling gym memberships. You simply need to set up a table or stand, from where you can distribute your marketing materials, or use the opportunity to educate fitness enthusiasts.

You should consider having an interesting activity going on at your stand, which may help to grab the attendees’ attention. For instance, if you offer group fitness classes in your gym, you can offer a 10-minute taster session for everyone who may want to participate. Once the session is over, you can then distribute your business cards to the participants.

Chances are, some of the participants may contact you later, asking questions such as the services you offer or your packages, among others. And, it’s highly likely that some may decide to sign up for your trial session. If everything goes well during those trial sessions, they may eventually become long-term clients.

9. Provide Better Value for the Money

Without a doubt, the fitness industry is highly saturated. If you take a brief walk in your town or city, you will come across all sorts of fitness centers, on almost every corner. As a result, your target client has no shortage of options.

Hence, with so many options available, you will need to find a way to stand out from the competition. And you can do so by offering better services than your competitors are doing, without hiking the prices.

For example, you can offer additional amenities like a designated stretch area, featuring equipment like exercise balls, foam rollers, or even yoga mats. You can also add a spacious and comfy lounge area, where your members can relax or hang out before or after their sessions.

All of these options are affordable. And, they can go a long way in making your gym more attractive to prospects and driving new gym memberships while encouraging the current members to renew their memberships.

10. Wrapping It Up

If your gym’s memberships have stagnated, the above strategies can help to bring new gym members through the door and grow your fitness business.

But this is only half the battle. Because once you've managed to get lots of sign ups, then ofcourse, you're going to have to learn how to retain your clientele!

Jay Bats

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