Jumping into selling right away is a common mistake that many gym owners make. But when it comes to your strategy, building a gym sales funnel is essential. It builds trust with your prospects – and increases your chances of gaining and retaining members.
You can apply a sales funnel to any business, but you need to understand the essential elements of an effective one. To begin with, all you need is an open mind, some marketing tools, and a bit of patience. Once you understand the principles, it’s just a case of implementing the strategy.
In this article, we’ll discuss how an effective sales funnel will boost your gym membership sales and the basic principles you need to understand. Skip ahead to:
- What Is a Gym Sales Funnel?
- Building Trust With Your Sales Funnel
- The Benefits of a Gym Sales Funnel
- 4 Critical Elements of a Sales Funnel
- Creating an Effective Gym Sales Funnel
What Is a Gym Sales Funnel?
A sales funnel is the process a prospect goes through on their path to becoming your customer. As you’re a fitness business owner, the objective of your sales process is to have the prospect signup as a member at your studio.
Before you plan your funnel, one of the most crucial elements to consider is ex who you are trying to attract. Narrow down your target audience and be as specific as possible. Depending on the type of services or classes you offer, you may want to create a set of member “personas” with a targeted approach for each one.
Say you’re a studio offering a range of classes. If you know a prospect is explicitly interested in Yoga – you won’t start selling the benefits of your HIIT classes to them.
Whoever your target members are, your studio is the solution to an existing pain point – make this crystal clear from the get-go.
Building Trust With Your Gym Sales Funnel
Trust isn’t built overnight. Getting to know a prospect and their pain points is an essential part of selling, as it enables you to personalize your approach and gain their trust.
Part of your funnel will include your marketing efforts; promoting your gym on various social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and using the platforms to build your own community. They’re now the most significant sales influences around and before a prospect even walks into your gym; if they’ve looked at your brand on social media, you want them to feel like they’ll be part of something.
If a prospect walks in off the street and has never heard of your business – you need to guide them through a process, not jump in with the sell. Without it, there’s no trust. Essentially the first thing you’re asking them to do is part with their money – you don’t know them, and you haven’t built any kind of rapport.
None of this equates to the positive selling experience you want your prospect to have, and it’s unlikely that you’ll seal the deal with this approach.
The Benefits of a Gym Sales Funnel
Increase Conversion Rates
One of the reasons behind a sales funnel is to weed out the individuals who are mostly on the fence about joining are least likely to sign up. Saving you time. As the further you go down the funnel, the more likely you are to encounter people who are genuinely interested in becoming long term members.
Predict Membership Rates
Once you’ve established an average conversion rate, you can use that percentage to help predict your sales volume. Facts and figures are the basis of online marketing, knowing how your gym is performing can help you in creating a strategy, adapt to unexpected roadblocks, and set goals. These statistics will help you predict to a certain degree how many members your gym will obtain over a specific time.
Identify Weak Spots
The previous two points culminate to help you identify weak areas. When potential customers exit a sales funnel, you can pinpoint the moment they did. Finding out the areas which have the highest bounce rate will help you specifically target what’s wrong, allowing you the opportunity to strengthen it and improve your overall marketing strategy.
4 Critical Elements of a Gym Sales funnel
An effective sales or marketing funnel template can be broken into four main steps, known as the AIDA model.
Step 1: Attention
Draw prospects into your website or gym through various mediums of advertising and marketing, create that initial intrigue to open the door of opportunities. Grab their attention. This can be anything from online ads that reach out to a particular demographic in your area, blogs, or going old school and posting flyers about an event.
Step 2: Interest
Once you’ve got people on your website, or even better, into your studio – you’ve got their attention. Now it’s time to build their interest. Offer something special or helpful. Make them feel comfortable and valued from the get-go, so they’re happy to share their contact information with you and interested to learn more.
You can do this by chatting to them about their objectives directly, presenting information online about client success stories, or using a drop-box prompting them to share their email address for a free 7-day nutrition plan. This level of openness, communication, and free information will build trust.
Step 3: Desire
By this point, you’ve warmed your prospect up. You’ve built up a decent rapport, and they’re interested in what you might be able to offer them. It’s time to persuade them that they want or need what you’re selling. Get them to cross the finish line and sign up.
Every prospect is different, and you’ll need to tailor your approach each time, experimenting with what’s working best. But once you’ve found a successful conversion method for each type of prospect, stick with it. Just remember that the key is to allow the customer to make their own decision, offer them value (so it feels like they’d be stupid to turn you down!), and do your best to make them feel comfortable.
Step 4: Action
Just because you’ve got a new member doesn’t mean it ends there. Provide quality service, make them feel welcome, and part of your fitness community, and they will naturally tell their friends and family and bring in referrals. Gyms that take care of their members listen to their needs, and keep facilities clean have a much easier time retaining clients and tend to run themselves.
Creating an Effective Gym Sales Funnel
To effectively merge your gym with a successful sales conversion funnel, you need to follow the AIDA model – and implement it in the following areas.
Make a Great Website
A recent study showed that at least once a month, 69% of people are looking for a local business online. The competitive nature of the fitness industry means you need to stand out – and first impressions matter. This is the first direct interaction between your fitness business and your potential customer.
Be clear, concise, and unique. For example, if you have an Instagram ad that promises a 10% signup discount by the end of the month, make sure that the offer is easy to see as soon as someone lands on your website. Some quick landing page tips would be to:
- Use videos as they increase conversion rates by 80%.
- Ask for customers’ contact information, such as their email and phone number.
- Keep written content concise; get straight to it, and present easy navigation so users can click to specific pages for more information.
- Try not to transfer inbound traffic straight to transactional pages.
From there, your customers can move onto other parts of your site that focus on aspects such as personal training, group classes, and membership plans. If you’re in need of inspiration for your website, check out these 18 effective gym website ideas.
A key to building relationships with your prospects is to interact with them and offer advice that helps them in their everyday life. Not everything you share needs to be an explicit offer or discount.
What helpful content can you offer to potential members? Think about hosting a blog on your website with topics that prospective members might search for. You can then implement a content strategy based on relevant keywords like “7 Benefits of HIIT That Will Improve Your Fitness Levels”. This will help prospective members find your website naturally.
Post Results and Programs
Having photos and testimonials on your website that demonstrate your community and the positive impact your studio has on people’s lives is encouraging to prospects. A recent study reveals that 92% of people are more likely to purchase after reading a trusted review.
Posts can range from simple quotes from gym members or videos that showcase the gym and its facilities. The important thing is to create unique content that people can use to identify with your studio instantly.
Create a Front End Offer
While it’s common for many gyms to promote a low-barrier to entry offer – focus more on what kind of value you can provide.
Keys to Making a quality gym FEO:
- Offer value
- Ask for commitment
In a recent episode of our podcast, we spoke to Hot House Yoga founders John and Christopher Yax. With 15 years of experience in the industry, the brothers provide excellent insights on how to create a compelling front-end offer – without devaluing your brand.
If a prospect is genuinely interested in joining your studio, an incentivized offer might convince them to do it. Offer something that still provides value, but also asks for some commitment on their part.
Instead of offering a free trial, how about something that engages your prospect? Say you charge $30 per class.
Instead of one free taster session, let them have their first two classes for $30. They’ll still get a free class, so they will feel like they’re getting value. But by incentivizing them to come back to get their free class, they’re more likely to revisit your studio. For more ideas on offering value, check out this blog post on why the free gym trial is dead.
Implementing a sales funnel won’t make or break your business, but it will play a significant role in your selling success. Like any strategy, you will need to experiment to see which tactics work best for your fitness business. And it’s likely that even when you discover them – you’ll need to revamp them at some point.