Let me show you that we are really good at what we do
Of all the information we are going to go through, this is the most important point. Selling gym memberships is as easy or as hard as you want it to be. But the core idea is this;
The person your selling to is looking to change their life.
They are looking for results.
You are going to show them that you are the only gym or studio in the area who can do that.
And it’s going to be worth every dollar they hand over to you – down to the last cent.
The way a lot of gyms sell today is broken. Both in the sales process and (if by some miracle) when they get the prospect to sign on the dotted line, they are horribly out of whack in terms of value – and in terms of price…
So if this model is broken, why is it broken and what is the alternative?
The secret, my friends, is contained in this article. Read on to find out…
Before You Read On!
Before we get into what’s in the secret sauce of mind-bending good gym sales, there is a bit of housekeeping to be done. And by housekeeping, we mean setting you and your gym up the right way to be successful. Because to be truly good at sales, you need to make sure you tick each box on this checklist.
Find Your Niche
The no.1 rule in any gym business is this; find out who you are and find out who your customers are. A lot of gym owners want to be all things to all people at the beginning. Why? – Because they just want to get people in the door and get their bills paid.
What you really should be doing is focusing your attention on one particular type of customer. Who do you want to attract? The benefit of this is that you begin to focus all your messaging on one particular type of person. This makes things a hell of a lot easier. Make this decision as early on as possible.
Get Your Advertising Right
If you don’t have any leads who are you going to sell to?
Before you think of selling to anyone you need to get them to notice you exist. When you have discovered your niche, what exactly will hook people in, the next step is getting that message out to people in a compelling way. And as fitness marketing guru Mike Arce mentioned in an episode of our podcast, there are two clear choices when it comes to lead generation; learn how to do it yourself or pay someone to do it for you.
What we recommend is that you do both. Whether you have the money or not, it will pay off in the long term for you to learn how to do it yourself. For one, you will save on the cost of hiring someone in the beginning. And when the cash starts rolling in and you can hire someone, you will have the knowledge and expertise to make sure they are doing the correct things to make your ad strategy successful.
If you go down the route of creating your own ads – more than likely this will be through Facebook and Instagram – there is a simple way to come up with fresh content for your social media ads.
- Create a number of different headlines, copy and imagery
- Put together different combinations
- Using a small amount of money test these different combinations
- Use the most successful in your campaigns
- For fresh content simply switch up the combinations
It will take time to build up a library of different pieces of content but once that happens you will have an abundance of different choices for your ad copy.
Value and Price Your Offer Correctly
Stop doing free trials and stop with the low price intro offers. There are devaluing your service and stopping you from making the type of revenue you need to be successful. We went into more detail on this on this in our blog on Why the Free Gym Trial is Dead, but the summary is basically this;
Too many gyms and studios are using free trials and low intro offers to entice the prospective members. While in theory, this may sound like a logical way to entice members (everyone loves free stuff) the reality is that the low price will cheapen the value of what you are offering. This is one of the root causes of why gym owners aren’t selling enough or worse – not selling at all.
To counteract this use this value and pricing strategy:
- Ditch the free trial
- Replace it with a challenge that has a defined end time
- Charge a high price for this challenge
- Include as much value as you can in this package – tailored meal plans, weekly check-ins, performance monitoring – everything you can to make sure the person gets the results they desire
- Once they have completed the challenge offer a full-time membership at half the price they were paying weekly for the challenge (which still should be higher than what you had charged before)
So once you have those three key areas correctly set up you can move on to what has been described by its creator as a framework that has helped over 1500 gyms selling cold traffic fast!
How to Really Sell Gym Memberships
As we said at the beginning of this article, selling gym memberships is as easy or as hard as you want to be. One person who has simplified the process is gym owner and consultant Alex Hermozi. In his excellent gym business bible Gym Launch Secrets, he tells the story of how he started a gym in his early 20s and struggled with finding success. After a period of just about keeping his head above water, he realized the way he was running his business was counterproductive to actually succeeding.
Alex took to the road and traveled around the US to talk to gym owners who had built successful and sustainable businesses. He then took those lessons and applied them to his own gym business, taking it from $0 to $50 million run rate in less than 24 months! So I think it’s fair to say the guy knows what he is talking about.
His next step was to then help other struggling gym owners turn their fortunes around. Through his online consultancy Gym Launch, which the book is named after, he has helped over 1500 gym owners and, according to his internal surveys, is responsible for over $1 billion in revenue. He has developed numerous strategies that have lifted these once flailing fitness entrepreneurs to success. In this article, we will go through his foolproof framework for sales conversations that will close every time – The CLOSER Formula.
What is the CLOSER Formula?
Alex breaks this sure-fire sales framework down like this:
Sounds simple right? Let’s go through each step in detail.
CLARIFY Why They Are There
When a person walks through the door of your gym, something has compelled them to reach out to you. It may have been through a Facebook Ad or a flyer but this isn’t really the reason they are there. They are standing in front of you because they want to resolve and issue about their health and fitness. This issue can differ from person to person but the basic reality is that that they what to achieve something they haven’t been able to achieve so far.
According to Alex here are three questions you should ask:
- What made you come into today?
- What’s your goal?
- What did you sign up for?
A lot of the time the person will give a non-specific answer as they are nervous about revealing exactly what they want. If this is the case you need to reframe the question and be more specific:
- “I’m sorry I should have asked a better question; what do you hope to achieve or improve by coming here?”
By reframing and being specific you will have more of a chance of getting to the real heart of the problem they need solving. This brings you on to the next part of the conversation…
LABEL Them with the Problem You Are Trying to Solve
The key point behind this step in Alex’s framework is that you need to vocalize their problem out loud and vocalize it back to them. The basic idea is to lay out where they are now in their journey versus where they what to be. Find out roughly what weight, body fat, and muscle density is and ask them questions such as:
- So you want to lose weight? Great, how much do you weigh now?
- Got it, you are X pounds and have X% body fat and you want to lose X pounds and improve your muscle density by X % Does that sound right?
This part of the sales framework is beneficial as it gives the prospect a really clear map of the transformation journey they have to on. What is good about this part is that it really hits home to the prospect where they need to go. More importantly, it shows that you understand and care – empathy is always a winner when it comes to selling gym memberships.
OVERVIEW Their past Pains and Experiences
To figure where we are right now we have to look back to see how we got here. And this is no different for your prospect. If they have shown up at your door it’s clear whatever they were doing wasn’t working for them before. You need to lay it out clearly that the only way you can help them is to find out what they have done before.
Most will feel like their past experiences are a sign of failure. They think it was their fault that they didn’t succeed. What Alex does brilliantly here is to flip the persons self-blame on its head and tell this very simple fact.
It wasn’t their fault but the fault of bad planning by their previous gym or personal trainer. Categorize each of their problems – i.e fitness, nutrition, accountability, – show them were each previous plan they had failed them. Not they failed it.
The next part of this process is to compare and contrast with what you will do for them. This way you reassure them that you will do everything to provide a service that will work for them and not fail them.
SELL Them on the Vacation, Not the Flight
As we touched in the opening line of the article this is the part where you show them that you are really good at what you do.
Alex goes into how he doesn’t go into massive detail on exercise programs, nutrition, exercise selection, etc. He uses the analogy of no-one wanting to hear about delays, layovers, and the baggage lines – they want to hear about the sun-kissed destination you spent your time.
This is the same with how you sell them your workout program. He advises structuring it around 3 pillars that were touched upon in the last step – Fitness, Accountability, and Nutrition. Each of these shows broadly what will happen.
- Fitness: Can you work out with a trainer 3 times a week? (That’s all you should say about the fitness side of things – the details come when they are at their first session)
- Nutrition: Can you follow a colored meal plan? (Show them an example but don’t hand it over to them – it will cause a distraction and unnecessary questions)
- Accountability: Tell them they will have an accountability coach, access to an online community of fellow starters and alumni for support and weekly check-ins so they keep going and get things changed up if they start to plateau)
The next part is where you transition to the sale by telling them: “Sounds great, doesn’t it? Do you want one of the last spots?”
A brilliant trick Alex uses here is that he gets the person to hand over their ID so he can fill out their details on the signup form. By taking out their wallet to give over the ID, they don’t have the excuse of saying they don’t have it.
The next part is to sign them up with whatever payment card they have. However, sometimes this is the point where the prospect will raise concerns before making a final commitment. This takes us on to the next part of the framework – explaining away those concerns…
EXPLAIN Away Their Concerns
Here Alex goes into dealing with the typical concerns people have:
- I can’t afford it
- What if I get bored?
- I need to talk to my partner/significant other
There is a whole section where he goes into dealing with these and they are very much common sense. However the main point he makes is this – If the previous steps in the process are airtight, practiced and done with a genuine enthusiasm to change the persons life, these concerns are very easily negotiable – or will not come up at all. He advises that if concerns keep coming up at this stage, go back and figure out what is not working, fix it and try again.
REINFORCE Their Decision
At the end of the framework Alex advises giving a good first impression when they first sign up. Three examples could be:
- A call from the owner welcoming them to the gym
- Free swag
- A handwritten invitation to the next event
Whatever it is, it should be a routine process in place for every new joiner. Remember that they have just paid a lot of money and the glowing reassurance you provided in the sales process may be wearing off. This gesture, however small, reinforces the life-changing decision they have just made.
And that’s it!
A sales framework from one of the best in the business that you can apply to your own sales process. What we like about this process is that there is a focus on addressing the needs of the prospect – not just getting them in and getting the sale done. An empathetic mindset is the key to successful membership sales.