Turning Gym Cancellations into Cash

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  • Turning Gym Cancellations into Cash

What if I told you there was $500 in monthly gym memberships sitting in your computer? As an owner of a studio, would you search for it? Well, it’s right there — in the cancelled customer column. Let’s look at how we can bring these old friends back into the fold.

Make a Plan to Contact

Everyone knows turnover is high in the gym business, and lately that number’s crawled upwards. However cancelled and frozen accounts are a golden opportunity. These customers signed up once. They know your club. Now it’s up to you and your sales team to rekindle their interest.

By challenging your sales team and giving them generous parameters within which to re-sign customers, you’ll bring in money without having to expend precious marketing dollars. After all, even if they sign at 50 percent off the monthly rate, that’s still cash in the drawer.

Rally Your Sales Reps

1. Engage the sales team by exerting controlled pressure: Ask them to call in at least once a day with total gross sales and EFT’s sold. The accountability will get them off social media and thinking about how they can report a number.

2. Give them monthly sales goals broken into daily targets. One method to determine goals is to fix the number at their highest historic sales plus 20 percent.

3. Provide access to the cancellation list — which should include membership terms and pricing — and ask the sales rep to make a specific number of calls per hour. Work this figure out based on the sales representative’s other responsibilities.

4. Instruct sales reps to keep notes on each conversation.

Build a Strategy

Statistical research says about 46 percent of gym members quit due to price. However, nearly 50 percent stay at a gym because of location. Mingled in the middle are all the other reasons people quit. By asking sales reps to call former customers, you can get to the bottom of this mystery while offering them an outstanding deal to re-sign today.

• Devise short-term re-sign offers, and give your reps the freedom to make deals based on guidelines. Even 50 reactivated accounts at $10 each is $500 in the till.

• Group text message your cancellations with super low reactivation offers.

• Get creative. If a customer says they only use the gym a couple of times of month, offer a Loyalty Membership that restricts visits. That way, they’ll payless per month but still have the chance to visit as often as they would normally. Give away a one-month Loyalty Membership with a membership re-sign — the right gym tour might sell their friend, too.

• Evaluate the terms your company encourages. Prepaid memberships are a cancer to gyms. Why re-sell the same customer over and over? However, month-to-month fees with no-notice cancellation policies are popular with many clients who profess to prefer cash. This is a great strategy, but require a credit card on file, just in case they’re running late one month. This way, control of the account is in their hands, but you’re protected from an automatic, end-of-the-month cancellation.

Know What You Don’t Know


Many gym owners suffer from sign-up fever — they are constantly running after new business without truly understanding where their gym is failing. If you can’t identify the leak, how can you plug the hole? They see the cancellations, but they haven’t accessed the information to understand just why and how clients are leaving. In many cases, their gym management software simply does not provide the details needed for a studio owner to really see which areas need improvement.

With Gym Insight software, owners view all their sales information in real time. Its Location Performance report provides comprehensive, up-to-date metrics on every facet of your company, from total accounts, new accounts, and cancelled accounts, to such granular data as retention rates, dues breakdowns, and month-to-day comparisons. Shown across any selection of months and years, you can track and evaluate your gym’s progress, developing a full picture of your company’s strengths and weaknesses.

Easy-to-use management software that puts the power back in your hands is available for as little as $175 per-month – with no hidden fees or charges. For an interesting podcast on how one owner used our Location Performance Report to recharge his business, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tDLSK8fHNk. The software looks different since this 2016 video but the ease-of-use has gotten even better!