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11 Membership Sales Strategies for Fitness Businesses

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Creating a proven membership sales strategies doesn’t happen overnight. As consumer priorities and behavior change, you have to re-evaluate your sales process and ensure that it’s still performing well. Growing membership sales is key to long-term growth and creating the kind of business that’s successful and leading the pack in the world of fitness. 

Whether you run a digital-only studio, gym, or hybrid business, you need to solidify the process of attracting, converting, and selling memberships. When executed properly, your sales strategy will grow your business in the most efficient way possible. In this article, we talk about 11 gym membership sales strategies you can implement in 2021 to attract, convert and retain members. 

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Grow Your Fitness Business With Solid Membership Sales Strategies

Over the last year, fitness businesses have explored creative ways to drive membership sales and generate revenue. In a bid to keep members on board throughout health club closures, reduced capacity, and lockdowns, many businesses are now running with a hybrid model. As restrictions come and go throughout the world, you can look toward the future to determine what new membership sales strategies you need to grow your fitness business. 

You’re no longer just selling a membership, you’re selling a membership during a pandemic. To get members through the door, you need to create a new level of trust and assurance like never before. Although more and more people are looking to head back to the gym and socialize, you will need to offer complete reassurance and build confidence to encourage both new members and previous members back through the door. 

Whether you’re fully reopen, running at a reduced capacity, or are yet to open to your members, a solid membership sales strategy is essential for driving revenue. Without a process in place, your sales team doesn’t have the tools to sell effectively. 

As community becomes even more important, you can create a positive fitness community that’s a selling point in itself. Health and fitness are a clear priority right now. Obesity is a risk factor for severe COVID-19. This new level of awareness will propel the fitness industry forward and allow you to potentially target new customers. 

Membership Sales Strategies in 2021: Niche Down and Sell a Transformation 

In the fitness industry, there are a lot of places and people that can serve your target audience. Whether you started your business broad or already have a niche, now is the time to niche down. The more relevant your solution is to the people you are selling to, the more likely they are to commit to a sale. 

Although it sounds like you’re narrowing down your potential customer base, it means that you will be selling to prospects who are open to your business. You will be able to continue this level of hyper-relevancy throughout the customer journey which not only helps with sales but increases member retention. Your niche should be compelling and add value to a person’s life. 

When you’re selling a product or service, you’re looking to meet your buyer’s needs and goals. It’s important to continue to remind your prospect of the transformation you’re selling. It’s not about a monthly payment or number of classes, it’s about losing weight and feeling the best they have ever felt. Maybe they want to get fitter and feel more confident or run their first marathon. Either way, when you lead with the transformation and the benefit, you increase the strength of your value proposition offer. People are willing to pay a higher price for a transformation than a product. 

The Fitness Founders Podcast has a great episode on how to kickstart your marketing and sales efforts. Industry experts talk about how to get leads through the door and how to convert them so you can start seeing growth the right way. 

4 Key Points of a Strong Membership Sales Strategy 

Your marketing campaign is key to attracting potential members but without a solid sales strategy in place, it will be harder to close sales effectively. To create the best and most effective sales process, you need to focus on the skills and messages your sales reps need to communicate. Think about how your sales team will communicate value to potential customers. Here are four key points of a strong membership sales strategy. 

Creates Genuine Connections

The ability to create genuine human connections is a massive part of being successful in sales. When someone is warm, funny, informative, and genuine, it creates a positive experience and connection with a potential customer. When you actively show interest in someone else’s problems rather than just try to make someone interested in your services, it can switch up your sales. 

Sells a Solution 

In health and fitness, it’s important that you show empathy during the sales journey. One of the best ways to do this is to sell a solution, rather than a service. By finding out your prospect’s needs and goals, you can create a solution to a problem that can impact their life. If they want to start working out more but don’t know what they are doing, you would recommend some personal training sessions and maybe a virtual coach to keep them accountable when starting out. Selling solutions is about selling value. 

Uses an Effective Sales Process 

A good membership sales strategy has a sales process in place. It’s a set of repeatable steps that takes a potential customer from a stranger to a member. Your sales process consists of lead management, prospecting, handling objections, follow-up, and, ultimately, closing the deal. A winning sales process has clearly defined steps and is managed. It means that prospects don’t get forgotten about. The majority of the time, it takes a few conversations to close a sale. So, the sales process is integral to selling memberships effectively. 

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Understands the Entire Customer Journey 

The customer journey is a roadmap to how your customer feels at each part of the sales process. By having a deep understanding of the entire customer journey, you can have a good idea of when you are most likely to close a sale. The customer journey is the experience your customer has with your brand. Your customer journey is a key part of your marketing and sales strategy. 

11 Gym Membership Sales Strategies to Attract, Convert and Retain Members 

Your gym membership sales strategy needs the right kind of energy and planning to sell effectively. Now is the time to seize new opportunities and find creative ways to improve your membership sales and build your customer base. Here are 11membership sales strategies to attract and convert new clients. 

1. Identify and Understand Your Niche 

When you have a clear understanding of your niche, you attract the right kind of prospects. Chasing unproductive leads is time-consuming and wastes valuable resources. By understanding your niche, you can determine your ideal member profile. No matter how skillful you are, some people will never commit to a membership. Your niche will help you to create member personas and also help you nail your marketing strategy down the line. 

2. Nail Your Lead Management Strategy 

Managing leads is a key part of the overall process. It’s how you capture leads and track all the touchpoints with your brands like email, calls, and website activity. It includes the process of qualifying leads and nurturing prospects so that you can sell and close sales more effectively. Lead management software is useful in managing leads and can make it much easier to keep track of the process. 

3. Upsell Relevant Services to Your Existing Members 

Upselling is not only great for your business but for your current members too. It’s essential that any upselling is uber-relevant. The aim is to help your members get the best results possible. You are the authority in fitness and should upsell solutions that will help members to achieve their goals. If you know that a member is struggling with healthy eating, you would upsell your nutritional services. If a member is trying to beat a personal best, why not recommend a personal training session that aligns precisely with the member’s goals. 

4. Start a Podcast 

Podcasting is skyrocketing in popularity. Your podcast can become an essential tool in your sales and marketing strategy. The reason for this is that it gives you the chance to connect with people on a whole new level. It’s a medium that gives you the opportunity to talk for hours and go in-depth into a subject. Once you have a growing base of subscribers, they will listen to what you have to say. A podcast is an excellent tool for generating leads and building your brand. 

5. Invest Fully in Social Media Marketing 

Although it seems a little obvious to include social media marketing in this list, your social media channels are powerful sales tools. You can drive sales with social media. You can integrate your social media strategy into your sales process to increase engagement. Try sharing member success stories, social listening, and running social media ads.  

6. Follow-Up is Everything

Constant follow-up is key to sales in the fitness industry. The best fitness studios and gyms follow up with every lead until they make a sale or determine that the lead is not going anywhere. With most sales, you hear a lot of no’s before you hear a yes. Without follow-up, you lose a lot of sales. Re-evaluate your follow-up process and make sure that enough resources are put into it. 

7. Evaluate Your Sales Strategy 

It’s always a good idea to evaluate your sales strategy. It’s normal for your business to evolve. If you have launched an online offering or are running digital fitness workshops alongside your in-person services, your business has changed. Evaluate your current sales strategy and make sure that it’s still working for your business. You may need to adjust your offer and craft a reopening sales strategy. 

8. Re-Engage Ex Gym Members 

Throughout the pandemic, financial uncertainty and job losses forced many people to make sacrifices. While some people may have kept paying gym memberships, others froze theirs, and some people cancelled them altogether. You have the opportunity to reach out and re-engage members you have lost during the pandemic. Perhaps they would benefit from your new digital fitness offering with flexible pricing or are in a better financial position and would love some help getting back in shape. 

9. Use Marketing Automation 

Marketing and sales go hand-in-hand. They often crossover and compliment each other. By automating your marketing it can streamline and monitor routine membership marketing tasks. But on top of this, it can help you to close more sales. It can help to provide your sales team with information about leads, keep your brand fresh with triggered emails, track results, and monitor leads on every channel. 

10. Leverage Email Marketing 

When done properly, email marketing can help you to attract organic leads and nurture the members you do have. It can do wonders for engagement and is a relatively cost-effective way to boost your marketing and sales. Use email marketing to re-engage inactive members and reach out to members that have left you on your email list.  

11. Up Your Content Marketing 

A solid content marketing plan supports your overall sales strategy. By pushing out more content and resources, people know who you are and already know what you do before you start speaking to them. When you create helpful content for potential members, it starts building trust and confidence with your brand. 

For some content marketing inspiration, Jack Cardy, Managing Director of Live Fit Gym and the Co-founder of Media Bros, reveals the secrets of a great content marketing strategy. He talks about building video content and cutting through the noise on social media. 

In Summary 

The core of sales success in the fitness industry is the absolute belief that what you’re selling is designed to help your members achieve their fitness goals and live a healthier life. You’re selling something that can change a person’s life for the better. When you have a dedicated sales strategy and a sales team that has the ability to develop real human connections, you can overcome obstacles and significantly improve your sales performance. 

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