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12 Techniques to Increase Gym Membership Sales 


The health club market is worth $87.2 billion globally. Gyms are big business. Over 1 in 5 Americans belong to at least one U.S health club or studio. On average, one gym member is worth $517 each year. This doesn’t account for the millions of non-members who attend a club or studio every year. 

Gym membership sales techniques are integral to the business. The success of a gym or health club is built around its members. So how do you increase gym membership sales? In this article, we walk you through 12 techniques you can use to increase membership sales and boost your bottom line. Skip ahead to:

Converting Leads Into Members 

You have a passion for fitness and have created a space where you can truly transform lives. You just need to bring in new members. Converting prospective customers into members is a challenge that a ton of businesses face. It’s not enough to pitch to leads; you need to listen to them. So, how do you create a sales culture without being too pushy? 

Although a gym sales script still has its place in the selling process, you need to create a personal connection with potential members. Show a genuine interest in people’s lives and needs. Gyms of all sizes can increase sales, member retention, and new memberships to boost their bottom line. 

To nail your marketing strategy, listen to our podcast with fitness marketing expert Mike Arce. He’s the founder and CEO of Loud Rumour, a marketing agency that helps fitness studios to grow and expand. Arce talks about why you need lead generation from day one and how to build a high performing sales team. 

12 Ways to Boost Gym Membership Sales 

Nurturing leads and reaching out to a new audience requires solid marketing strategies and an understanding of the market. You can become a marketing machine without being a pushy salesperson. When you combine passion, a genuine interest to help people, and a killer marketing strategy, you can use these 12 techniques to help increase gym membership sales and see profits rise. 

1. Make Joining as Simple as Possible 

It needs to be as easy as possible for potential members to sign up. The quicker, the better. You want to remove any hurdles that could get in the way of a new member signing up to your gym. If you have to spend a half-hour jotting down all their personal information, the lengthy process might scare some prospects away. 

Consider having an online sign-up form where a prospect can begin to fill out the majority of the paperwork. Use an easy-to-understand format that makes the entire process very clear and straightforward. They may need to sign a contract in-person, which they can finish at the final stage of the membership process. Another option is to incorporate digital waivers to help speed up the onboarding process. Anything that saves time and removes any potential blocks from the sign-up process is a bonus.  

2. Encourage Positive Reviews on Social Media 

Social media is one of the most common places a prospect will visit first. Focus on building an active and positive community on social media. Your social channels will help to build your brand and will often be the first representation of your business. Make sure it’s a place that leaves a lasting impression with plenty of positive reviews. 

A regular newsfeed with current posts will do wonders in letting your leads know precisely who you are and what they can expect from you. Your social media presence has the power to influence a prospects’ decision. Positive social media reviews can play a significant role in the sales process. Encourage members to leave a glowing review on your Facebook and other social media channels. Of course, double-check that members are happy with your service first. The last thing you want is an unhappy rogue member going on a rant on your social media channels.  

3. Craft a Solid Marketing Plan

You won’t see more clients without a solid marketing plan. A thorough marketing plan brings in new customers and builds brand awareness. A successful marketing strategy attracts new clients and ultimately increases revenue. Although there are different sales techniques you can use to boost gym membership sales, they should all tie into your larger marketing plan. A solid marketing plan may include:

  • Content marketing 
  • User-friendly website 
  • Special offers
  • Referral program 
  • Paid ads 
  • Social media marketing 

These are just a few elements that can form part of your marketing strategy. We’ve put together a guide on how to create the perfect marketing plan for a fitness business. We talk about the basics of your marketing strategy and ten elements you need to include when putting one together. Missing out on one area – so it could be a deal-breaker when it comes to closing a sale! 

4. Identify Your Gym’s Niche

The world of fitness is saturated and competitive. The ever-changing industry landscape means that fitness clubs come in all shapes and sizes now. What was once considered the “gym” is now so much more. Boutique fitness centers are creating hubs that focus on fitness, community, and healthy living. 

With a range of price points and specialties, finding a way to stand out from the competition can be challenging. Identify your gym’s niche to help you reach a specific part of the market. Determine your brand and understand what your unique selling point (USP) is. By pinpointing your USP, you can find ways to target your market. You should know precisely why new members should join your club, who your target audience is, and what your gym can offer that members can’t find anywhere else. 

5. Know Your Competition

By knowing more about your competition, you can understand how you’re different. To sell your gym to potential members, you need to know about your competition. If you have some of the best trainers in the area and most creative classes, let it be known. But, if somewhere else nearby offers something similar but at a lower price, how will you sell your gym? 

Regardless of who your competition is, always show off your strengths. Let potential members know why your gym is the best, how it’s different from the rest, and why they need to sign up for full-time membership. By understanding your competition, it gives your sales team a better way to sell your own business. You need to prepare for questions that challenge your business like; what makes you different from the gym across the street? Why should someone pay more for your services? 

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6. Train Your Employees 

As a gym owner, you probably have a team of staff. Make sure all your employees know how to upsell or cross-sell. Train your sales reps properly and hold regular meetings to educate your staff on everything your gym has to offer. They should know every package, class, goods, and services you have available. Whether an employee is a trainer, manager, or on the front desk, they should understand all parts of the business and be comfortable selling outside of their zone. 

A receptionist should be confident in recommending your latest nutrition course or cooking class. While your expert trainer can recommend your latest pro clothing gear, you have available. Your sales team is only as strong as your sales training, so take the time to educate them on both your business and sales techniques.  

An excellent resource for marketing tactics is the Fitness Founders Podcast. Listen to episode #12 with Stuarts Brauer on Outside of the Box Orgains Lead Generation Strategies. 

7. Understand Your Prospects’ Needs 

When a person wants to join the gym, it’s usually because they either want to lose weight, get in shape, or improve their overall health. Although these tend to be the top three reasons to join a gym, you want to delve further. Find out why they want to work towards a particular goal and what has held them back in the past. 

Members want to see results and stay motivated, helping them to achieve this will keep them engaged and renewing their gym membership. Your gym and staff are selling a service that’s going to help meet your potential clients’ needs. To meet their needs, you need to understand them fully. By creating a connection and forming a relationship with your prospect, you can gauge their needs. This helps you sell a service that you know will help them to meet their goals. 

8. Personalize the Selling Experience 

On average, marketers see a 20% increase in sales when using personalization. A study from Pure360 suggests that the majority of brands are still relying on basic forms of personalization. As a result of this, consumers are not engaged. No matter the industry, personalization can form a significant part of your sales strategy. Whether you’re selling a gym membership, personal training classes, or workout gear, it’s essential to personalize the experience. 

No prospect wants to feel like they’re being rushed through the sales process, that they are being given a cookie-cutter sales script. When it comes to selling gym memberships, personalizing the experience may look like a tour specific to your prospects’ needs. Show off the class or group workout that they will enjoy most and benefit their fitness journey. Communicate with your lead on the medium they most prefer, to maximize your efforts at every part of the sales journey.    

9. Keep Track of Sales 

Possibly the most crucial part of the sales process is keeping track of it. You need to know exactly where your lead is in the process and what the next step is to nurture them and convert them into a member. What actions do you need to take to make that a reality? Your marketing and sales effort will be put to waste if you don’t keep track of sales. 

Organize and store your leads. Don’t annoy the same prospect with a copy and pasted email several times. Make sure you know who has spoken to them and what’s been said. Monitor where your prospect is in the sales process, assign different sales staff to specific prospects, then update your tracking system as you go. 

10. Follow Up Promptly 

Don’t be too pushy, but don’t forget about your lead. Remember to follow up with your lead promptly. Make sure your brand and business are still fresh in their minds, and you’ve recently had an interaction with your prospect. Keep this connection live and use your tracking system to know when to follow up. Depending on how your potential client likes to be contacted, this may look like a quick phone call or maybe a personalized email or Facebook message. 

11. Incorporate Referral Programs 

One of the most effective marketing techniques you can use is a referral program. A referral program is a systematic way to bring in new members while rewarding your existing member base. Turn your members into your personal gym cheerleaders and let them tell their friends and family just how fantastic your business is. 

To create an effective gym referral program, you need to come up with an offer that’s too good to resist. Provide an incentive for both the referrer and the referee. Individuals referred by other customers, tend to have a higher customer retention rate. Some ideas for great incentives include:

  • Discounted membership 
  • Free branded t-shirt 
  • Free fitness class   

12. Gym Management Software 

Gym management software can save you time and effort with your sales process as well as the running of the entire business. Whether you want to upgrade your current system or implement new member management software, the right software helps you to track member retention and sales. Monitor vital metrics like lead management and conversion, total revenue, and attendance rates. 

If you’re not sure where to start, we walk you through the essential features your software solution needs like a streamlined dashboard, real-time reporting, and member management.  

In Summary 

It’s time to make your gym membership sales soar like never before. Built on a strong sales and marketing plan, these techniques can help boost gym membership sales and your bottom line. By incorporating a referral program, encouraging positive social media reviews, and putting your marketing efforts in the right place, you can bring new members through the door and expand your gym.

The Top 10 Barriers
Slowing Your Fitness
Business Growth

In this e-book, we will list the most common barriers that
slow fitness business growth and list some of the tips to
help overcome them.
Discover more

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