If you’re a gym owner or manager, one of the most crucial parts of your business to master is membership sales. It’s the bread and butter that pays the bills, keeps the doors open, and allows you to grow and innovate. Yet, it’s surprising how often this area is overlooked due to a lack of time, skills, and/or knowledge.
Independent fitness businesses often lack a dedicated salesperson on their team. Others simply provide their employees with a one-time or once-a-year sales training, which is insufficient to hone their sales skills. As a result, gym staff may end up giving a lacklustre ‘museum tour’, focussing on all the features of the club, highlighting the latest state-of-the-art equipment, technology, or the newest shampoo products in their upmarket bathrooms, but without even bothering to ask the prospects name or fitness goals. Many tend to focus purely on the facilities rather than what's more important, which is the prospect, and how we can meet their needs.
In this article, I’ll discuss some of the critical elements of sales that can make a world of difference in gym membership sales.
The power of building rapport
The first and most crucial aspect of the process is building rapport with your prospect. As the saying goes, "People buy from people they like." Take the time to get to know your prospect, offer them a smile, and swap names. Building trust is essential for establishing a good relationship that will lead to a sale. However, this is often overlooked, especially by those who are in a rush or simply haven’t had the right training.
Adapting to personality types
When getting to know prospects, it is crucial to consider their different personality types. As salespeople, we need to adjust our approach based on the prospect's style to ensure that we build a connection. A "yellow" personality type, for example, may be more open to sharing all their deepest goals and motivations with you immediately, while a "blue" may need a softer approach. They may respond better to "easy" questions that gradually build up to more personal queries.
On the other hand, a ‘red’ may be quite direct and blunt in answering your questions so less ‘chit chat’ might be your best approach.
Being able to adapt and ask questions in a way that makes your prospect feel comfortable answering, is crucial during this process.
Uncovering pain points
One of the most neglected parts of sales is uncovering your prospect's pain points. It is not enough to just establish a fitness goal, such as losing 5kg or toning arms. A true professional will dig deeper into the "why" behind the goal, which is a key step in fitness sales. Understanding your prospect's pain points also helps with member retention. It will motivate them to keep pushing forward toward their goals.
For instance, finding out that Mrs. Jones wants to lose 5kg because she wants to feel attractive and confident when she looks in the mirror, is a deep motivation. It will encourage her to take the first step in changing her lifestyle.
Matching your club's offer to your prospects' needs
Once you’ve discovered your prospect's “why”, it’s time to match what your club has to offer, to their goals and motivations. Suppose they want to build muscle; in that case, you'll want to focus on the strength area of the gym. Let them see themselves training in that area and visualise achieving their fitness goals.
- Make sure to highlight the benefits and features of your gym during the tour, but do so while taking the time to get to know the prospects.
- Show prospects your passion for their fitness journey, the club, and the other members’ successes.
- Use social proof to show how other members like them achieved similar goals. Share their success stories, post them on your website, social media pages, or use testimonials in your promotional materials.
- Be authentic and use the right body language and tone of voice to show your sincerity and interest in helping prospects.
In summary, successful gym membership sales involve building a relationship with prospects and matching your club's amenities and services to their fitness goals and motivations. It involves digging deeper to uncover your prospects' pain points to motivate them to take the first step toward achieving their fitness goals. Make the extra effort to establish trust, showcase genuine enthusiasm, and use social proof. With the right approach, your gym can achieve maximum membership sales while positively changing people’s lives through fitness.