How to Sell Gym Memberships: Part V

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  • How to Sell Gym Memberships: Part V

Asking for (More) Business

After the gym membership sale, what comes next? A fist bump and a calendar check? Excited smiles and vow to “see you tomorrow!” Or, perhaps, just one more ask? Leaping past the traditional goodbyes after a sale and staying in place to ask for referral business is the difference between a good close and a great one. 

According to consumer research group Nielsen, 92% of people trust referrals from people they know.

So why would you not use this moment to secure a name or two of someone who might also benefit from exercising at your gym?

Asking for referrals is too scary!

It’s not Halloween yet and these clients won’t bite. The worst that could happen is they say no, right? So put a plan in place. Your business depends on people signing up to use your health club — and not just one, but many. 

Here’s three reasons why your new client might reveal names and numbers of “besties”

  1. You’ve established a relationship. For the last hour or longer, you’ve discussed fitness goals, swapped personal information, and discussed their health club experiences at length. Hopefully, by now, they are comfortable with you – the person.
  2. You’ve become a trusted advisor. Throughout the tour, you steadily illustrated product knowledge, health and fitness expertise, and provided targeted exercise suggestions.
  3. You made signing up painless. There have been no intimidating paper contracts, no awkward, strong-armed closes, zero questionable pricing tactics. You’ve done a good job and they feel good about their decision.

‘Now, that you’ve seen the benefit of our gym….”

Asking for a referral is as simple as that – practicing a phrase that motivates the person to help you. In most cases, people want you to succeed. But the ask can’t sound desperate or canned. That’s why you must plan out this phase of selling gym memberships.

  1. Be direct. “I would really appreciate your help…”
  2. Be specific. “Our most satisfied members usually [Fill in description], do you know of anyone else who might benefit from our [Fill in service]?” 
  3. Be prepared. It can be as simple as handing them a business card with a “good for one free class” stamped on the back, but be ready to offer an immediate thank you. This is not a bribe. There are industry debates as to whether a sales person should provide an incentive for referrals before receiving the information, or surprise them with it afterwards. You decide the best method for your fitness center.

Create a system that makes referring friends and family easy.

This is where good gym software comes in handy. With Sales Guru©  agreements can be customized. You might consider adding an extra screen that asks them to recommend a friend in return for a specific benefit. Extend this “recommend a friend” functionality to your website and integrate it into marketing material.

However, executing a referral system can be as simple as handing the new customer a logo-embossed referral card and asking them to fill it out (while you retrieve that new towel for signing up!). 

Gym referral promotional ideas

No matter how much the new member may like you, asking for referrals is easier if both parties gain something from the lead and/or there is a good referral program in place.

For example, both the new member and the referral receive a free month upon signup. 

This type of compelling offer links them in a positive way. 

Another idea is to establish a “beginner” instruction program targeting novice exercisers. Your new member is not just providing a prospect’s name and phone number, they’re giving a friend a free, in-person tutorial that may just change their life.

Or simply start a “Bring a Friend” promotion. Your new client can bring a friend to exercise for the first month – easing their transition to a new environment and sparking interest for another person.  It’s a win-win!

Thanks for reading our five-part series “How to Sell Gym Memberships.” We hope you find it helpful as you continue to grow your business this fall. Feel free to contact us with any questions – we would be excited to help you succeed in selling more memberships today.

Gym Insight 

At Gym Insight, our gym membership software provides a clear, transparent picture into your company’s financials, and offers a platform from which to run your business effectively. Our software is built in-house, by fitness club owners. There are no cumbersome third-party plug-ins or complicated protocols, and it’s available for a single, low monthly subscription price — no hidden fees, no links to your payment processor. Call us today for a free demonstration on how we can lower your software management costs and free up time and capital. 

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