How to Manage High Dollar Gym Memberships

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  • How to Manage High Dollar Gym Memberships

Many smaller fitness centers offer specialized services that justify a higher monthly rate. Yet, selling that price requires a more refined approach to customer managment than it would at a cut-rate gym. To figure out the details, we’ve interviewed a Muay Thai studio owner on what it takes to sell and manage high-dollar gym memberships.  Read on to learn his four critical steps to managing high-dollar memberships.

Step 1 — Sell value, not price

Tampa Muay Thai membership is $145 per month. The 17-year-old fight gym sits in the heart of a growing medium-sized city and competes with other martial art studios.  To ease a new fighter’s anxiety, owner Jamal Khatib gives each prospect the full fighting experience. Everyone receives a crash course through an hour-long, one-on-one session to learn the basics of hitting, punching, holding pads and kicking. His place is a fighting gym, so it’s “rough around the edges,” he admits. Through this personal approach new members become comfortable with the environment, and start to think “Yeah, I can do this,” he explains.

Tampa Muay Thai Photo Credit
Two fighters spar at Tampa Muay Thai.

Step 2 — Talk with your customers more – not less

 We all know how cheaper gyms handle memberships – sign people up, automate the payment, and try like heck not to remind them of their $19.99 per-month obligation. Expensive gyms can’t get away with that. Research shows, individuals equate higher monthly rates with a household bill — and are more likely to cancel if they are not using it. 

At a higher-priced gym, communication is critical, Khatib says. He’s recently hired an employee to keep in touch with all the members. Truthfully, each individual is unique and their reasons for skipping workouts are just as diverse. His employee’s job is to figure out their concerns and help overcome these obstacles. He knows this customer must first show up to get in shape and then attend often to create a habit. By staying in touch and reaching out proactively, he’s able to stop the cancellation before it becomes a difficult conversation.

Step 3 — Maintain strong member unity 

Tampa Muay Thai Photo Credit
Gyms with higher fees make members feel like they’re part of a team.

Mauy Thai is an intimidating activity. We’re talking fighting here. But at the heart of his community is a team of people dedicated to a high-intensity sport; it has been described as “cultish” by industry consultants. To overcome this barrier, Khatib actively encourages his staff and members to reach out to new members and build inclusivity, rather than exclusivity. A new person needs to feel comfortable, gain confidence and quickly see themselves as a fighter. This sense of belonging to a group increases referrals, builds word of mouth and generates intense loyalty.

Step 4 —  Use good software to manage well from day one

Khatib is willing to plug Gym Insight’s member management software here. “Get something in place to manage members,” he urges. Good financial information will help you maximize the value of each customer while they’re in your business. For example, bottled water sales is his largest revenue grower, as it offers excellent margins. The more people using his high-intensity gym, the more money he makes. 

Good gym management software also provides valuable insight into his customer base. The software shows him who’s coming in and how often, allowing him to concentrate on the people who are not showing up for workouts. Why? Because he knows the more people who visit his gym — and bring friends along to discover the fighting experience — the better his overall financial picture. 

Tampa Muay Thai Photo Credit.
We all want to feel like we belong!

Gym Insight is ramping up its Gym Owner’s Podcast series. If you like to talk the business of gym ownership, contact us today! We’d love to have you on our YouTube channel podcast. 

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.