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Creating a pre-sales strategy for your fitness business reopening


A solid pre-sales strategy is key to reopening your fitness business successfully. With international lockdowns, social distancing, and reduced capacity, businesses all over the world are moving at different paces. As the vaccine continues to roll out, the fitness industry can look to the future and make a plan for when brick and mortar facilities open. 

Now is the time to master your pre-sales strategy ahead of your grand reopening. You want to get members through the door as soon as you open. But, you need a plan in place to make that happen. Your pre-sales strategy is key to selling memberships ahead of your reopening, creating a buzz, and making an impact in the community. In this article, we discuss nine tips for presale success. 

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Gym reopening journey: What is a pre-sale? 

A pre-sale strategy is your plan to gain as many members as possible before you actually open. It’s the marketing and sales you do before you open your doors to make sure that you can start earning money from the moment you open. Pre-sales are a key part of any opening strategy.

In this case, your pre-sales strategy will form part of your reopening plan when you get back to some sense of normal  As restrictions continue to ease and the vaccine roll out proves successful, it’s important to think about your reopening plan. 

While you will have a core group of returning members that you’ve retained over lockdown, some may never come back again. This could be due to concern about their health and safety, a newly found preference for online fitness, or they have decided to join a different facility in the area. Either way there will be a shortfall in your membership base. 

A pre-sales campaign will counteract this and potentially make up for this shortfall in returning membership. The Fitness Founders Podcast has an interesting episode on reopening your gym safely and successfully. Industry experts talk about the changes over the last year and how they reopened for business after some major hurdles. 

How technology will impact the fitness industry in a post-Covid world 

Fitness businesses face increased competition from digital fitness services that provide unique at-home experiences. For example, spinning studios may find it more difficult to fill their studios to pre-pandemic levels as Peloton has added a million new subscribers in 2020 alone. However, in-person studios that feature high-quality equipment and focus on community will continue to grow their membership. Brands like 9Round and Orangetheory Fitness show how community and experience can increase awareness and sales. 

As more people begin to return to gyms and studios, fitness will combine digital, in-person, and at-home exercise. Fitness brands can leverage digital fitness to improve customer engagement and experience for an omnichannel model that further protects them from digital-only competition. 

The Covid-19 outbreak has had a huge impact on the economy and consumer behavior. From this, the connection between well-being, technology, and fitness is merging. Fitness brands have the opportunity to create a more seamless experience and blend fitness into everyday lives. Health tracking and fitness apps and wearables can help consumers to monitor their own well-being both in and out of the gym. 

Technology will continue to impact in-person training with touchless technology creating a contactless gym experience. Although the outbreak appears to be more under control, consumers are much more aware of how germs spread. With the upcoming winter and the opening of society, members still have some concerns as they go about their daily lives. 

Why you need a pre-sales strategy right now 

Pre-sales can be beneficial to your business in several ways. Although presales are initially used when you first open your business, you will likely have opened and closed your doors over the last year. Now, with reopening on the cards without strict guidelines, it’s a good idea to get people excited about your gym. 

If you have previously lost members and are now operating with a decreased membership base, now is the time to change that. Start creating excitement and buzz to show people why your concept drives results and how it can impact their lives. Pre-sales are so important because it makes sure you have an income as your doors open. 

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Health club operators understand the need to reach new customers and show potential members how their fitness studio fits into a modern post-Covid world. Gym owners need to look to low-cost member acquisition methods to grow their membership base. Changing consumer behaviors and priorities mean that your previous sales strategies may need to be updated. 

For sales inspiration, listen to Josh Biro, the founder of The Yogapreneur Collective, talk about focusing on the core vision of your studio, why value is key to pricing and the secret to making your sales pitch successful.    

9 tips for fitness pre-sales success 

Success in sales is down to hard work, persistence, patience and a well thought out strategy. When it comes to pre-sales it’s exactly the same. While the effect of the pandemic and subsequent restrictions have changed the way members behave, the core principles of how sales works remain the same. The following 9 tips should help you on the path to pre-sales success. 

1. Start early 

It’s never too early to nail down your pre-sales strategy and get going. You already have a lot to think about with your grand reopening, so it’s important to give yourself plenty of time for pre-sales. As a gym owner, the last thing you want to be doing is hustling for membership sales the week before your reopening. Instead, start early and give yourself at least two months to start selling memberships and attracting customers. The more people who are signed up, the smoother those first few months will be. 

2. Market your story and mission 

Major brands like Equinox and SoulCycle were forced to accelerate their digital efforts during Covid-19 shutdowns. But now, fitness operators are on a mission to get members back in the gym and working out again. While at-home fitness is surging, physical gyms are still a part of the future. You need to tell the right story to raise brand awareness and put potential members at ease. Whether you’re on Facebook or TikTok, your messaging should be consistent and attention-grabbing. Digital marketing will play a big role in your pre-sales strategy as everything shifts online. You should be willing to invest heavily into your pre-sales marketing plan. 

3. Get creative with video 

Get creative with your video marketing as a way to build awareness and buzz about your reopening. Let your target clients know that you are back in the community and what new services you will be bringing to the market. Now is a great time to launch a new innovative workout that’s been in the pipeline or to upgrade your equipment for a more seamless fitness experience. Video is a fantastic way to build excitement and engage with your target audience. Platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook are ideal for pushing out video content as part of your digital marketing campaigns. 

4. Master your landing page  

To master your pre-sales strategy, you need to set a good foundation to work with. That means creating your landing page to collect contact information from potential customers and start building your email list. Think about your other foundational elements like your website, your Google Business listing, and yourFacebook page. All sites and pages should have up-to-date information, opening times, and contact details ready for your reopening. Make sure you have everything in place so that you can start running ad campaigns and marketing events prior to the big day. 

5. Generate awareness and buzz 

With your foundation in place and landing page ready to go, it’s crucial that you generate awareness and buzz in the local community. As the majority of your members either live or work within a certain radius, you need to find a way to target the local target market. Although you already have some brand awareness and members in the community, you are looking to target new members, support existing ones, and potentially re-target those who have left you. Don’t forget about reaching out to your existing members to offer complete reassurance as you reopen and head back to some form of normalcy. 

6. Continue to build your prospect list 

As you approach your reopening day, you should continue to build your prospect list. These are all the people who have shown interest in your offering. They could have clicked on a Facebook ad, replied to your email marketing campaign, visited your landing page, or signed up for your monthly newsletter. Throughout your pre-sales timeline, you can continue to pad out your prospect list with lots of potential members. Think about throwing community events, sponsor charity events, and build brand recognition. You also have the option to hold giveaways to encourage people to share your content and really engage with your brand. 

7. Launch early membership sales 

The goal of your pre-sales strategy is to get as many people as possible to sign up for your classes or memberships so that you have a stream of income as soon as you open the doors. When offering early deals, think about the needs of your members. If you know that your target demographic is looking to get back in shape but don’t know where to start, then a personal training package would be a great incentive. By adding value and creating a bigger impact, you can create an offer that’s too good to turn down. 

8. Nurture your prospects 

Once you have a list of engaged potential customers, you should continue to nurture your prospects. That means updating them of any new services, offering reassurance, and easing any worries about working out in a post-Covid world. Send prospects information about your club reopening and develop marketing campaigns targeted at moving prospects through the sales funnel. Create sharable and engaging content that drives value and sales.   

9. Pitch your grand reopening 

It’s now the time to pitch your grand reopening day. You have attracted and nurtured your prospects, ran campaigns and marketed your new offering. Your presence in the community is clear. Offer facility tours to show off any upgraded equipment and new programs. Make sure your personal trainers and wellness coaches are on-site to give advice and talk to people. Do whatever it takes to get potential customers on-site for your reopening. Don’t forget to send a special invite to your existing members to show your appreciation. After your big reopening, you can adjust your sales strategy and marketing going forward to continue your client acquisition tactics. 

In Summary 

As your customer’s priorities and schedule change, you need to make sure that your communication, marketing, and sales strategy align. Your previous pre-sales strategy may not be right, and you may have to rethink your paid ads and content plan. Having a few solid digital marketing strategies in place will help you to reach out to new customers as your business gets back on its feet. Keep your focus on your member’s changing priorities and needs so that you can figure out how to up your pre-sales game ahead of your big reopening. 

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Owner at Carpe Diem BJJ

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