Eight Steps to Sell More Fitness Memberships

Eight Steps to Sell More Fitness Memberships

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If you are like most fitness business owners, selling more gym memberships and class packages is at the top of your priority list. You need a steady influx of new gym members to grow your business, no matter your studio modality. 

You likely became a fitness studio owner because you have a passion for fitness, not because you love the sales process. Luckily, as an expert in your industry, you are already highly qualified to make gym membership sales. You simply need a few systems and the confidence to ask. 

Step One: Discover The Client’s Goals

If your sales strategy has been to teach great classes and hope clients purchase on their own, you’ve probably been disappointed. Ironically, your clients are actually hoping you’ll help them solve their pain points. Before walking into your lobby, the client sought out a studio they hoped would solve their problem, researched options, and bravely took the first step. Now it’s your turn to help them stay.

It’s challenging to sell a new client a membership if you do not know what they’re hoping to achieve. Before you break into your rehearsed sales script, ask the client what brings them in. That may sound like:

  • What are your specific fitness goals?
  • What are you hoping to achieve with us?
  • What motivated you to sign up for class today?
  • What brought you to our studio?

Knowing your client's hopes for their health and wellness journey will help you present the package that best aligns with what they’re looking for. Bonus points if you ask, “how often would you like to come to the studio to work on your goals?” which will also help you identify the size of membership or class pack to present later in the sales cycle. 

Step Two: Build Trust

Clients buy from people they trust. Before asking someone to hand over their credit card for a large purchase, you need to build a relationship. Introduce yourself and connect with the client when you ask for their goals and fitness history. Look for opportunities to interact outside of teaching, like sending a check-in text or thank you note. When chatting in the lobby, include existing members or teachers in the conversation and make introductions. It’s significantly easier to make the sale at the end of a client’s introductory special if they already have ties to the community. 

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Step Three: Confident and Calm

Sales may make you nervous, but try your best not to convey that unease to the client. As boutique fitness studio coaches, we often consult studio owners who feel incredibly uncomfortable asking for a sale. The reality is that your studio needs sales to survive, but that doesn’t mean you need to leave your studio culture and values behind. 

You can stand confidently in your knowledge while also presenting the membership option that will improve your client’s life and solve their pain points- they are not mutually exclusive. Once you create the sales pitch that serves your studio and your client, you will no longer dread asking clients to buy.

Step Four: Lead with the Value

Your client has almost completed their introductory special; it’s time to plan for the future. When you’re creating your sales outline, lead with the value of the membership. Try to think outside the number of classes they get, which is a given—highlight membership perks such as priority booking, guest passes, partner discounts, or complementary workshop access. If you don’t currently have any membership perks, take some time to perfect your pricing (LINK). The objective is to make your recurring membership options that much more attractive without diluting the value of your classes. 

Step Five: Avoid Choice Paralysis

When presented with too many options, people often cope in one of two ways. 

  1. They choose the path of least resistance (the cheapest or shortest package) which may or may not solve their problem.
  2. They get overwhelmed and decide they “have to think about it,” which means they don’t purchase at all. 

They haven’t solved the original pain points that brought them to you in the first place, so they’ll likely continue to try other studios until they’re offered an option that fits their goal and budget. When you present the pricing option, remember that you are the expert. Based on their goals, ideal schedule, and budget, offer the option that best serves the client. 

For example, if you have a busy mom hoping to come to the studio once a week, lead with your 4x a month option or a class package and explain why you chose that package for her. “Based on your goal of carving out an hour a week of ‘me-time,’ our four-class-per-month membership is the perfect option. It includes____.” 

If the client isn’t convinced or asks for an alternative, you can give her your backup option, but try to avoid handing over your entire pricing list. More often than not, it complicates the transaction. 

Step Six: Add an Incentive

Buyer psychology explains that some buyers need an incentive or lever to encourage them to purchase. Consider an incentive for clients to buy a package before their introductory special expires. That may look like a discount- (save 50% off the first contract month) or a value-add (get an extra week of your intro).

Step Seven: Put it Together

You’re ready to make your membership sale; all you need to do is put the pieces together. Your sales pitch may sound something like this:

“You’ve attended six classes during your two-week special- That’s amazing! You only have two days left on your intro pass, so let’s talk about your options so you can keep up your momentum. Based on your goal of toning and adding muscle and your attendance over the last ten days, our unlimited membership is the perfect option for you. This membership not only includes unlimited classes, but you also get two guest passes each month and free access workshop access for you and a friend. Remember, if you purchase before the end of your introductory special, you get your first two weeks free. Are you ready to get started?”

Step Eight: Practice

No one knows your studio better than you, so practice your membership sales pitch before standing in front of a potential new client. You may feel ridiculous, but practice in the mirror and then record yourself on your phone camera, ideally with a trusted friend or partner role-playing as the client. The recording will show you more about your pitch than you may notice by reciting it in your head. When you’re watching the playback, look for the following:

  • Do you sound confident or uncomfortable?
  • Where are your eyes? Are you able to hold eye contact when you present the price?
  • Does your membership sales pitch lead with the value?
  • Did you give too many options?

Confidently selling memberships is a skill just like any other that you’ve realized as a small business owner. Give yourself grace as you learn, but also push yourself to exit your comfort zone. It is nerve-wracking to put yourself out there and face potential rejection, but remember, the client is counting on you to help them choose the correct option.

Remember, fitDEGREE’s preferred coaches are available to all fitDEGREE clients if you need help mastering your sales pitch.

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About the author:

Niki Riga
Industry Expert
Limitless Studio

Niki has been a client, a studio owner, and a coach in boutique fitness for over a decade, and she can’t think of an industry she'd rather be in. Her favorite part about coaching and studio ownership are the same: she loves supporting clients as they push past their limits and achieve their goals. Niki became a coach because she was regularly asked, “how did you do that!?” by other studio owners who were drowning in the day-to-day responsibilities of business ownership but didn’t have the support to grow their studio to its potential. She created Limitless Studio to partner with owners who have a vision for their business and are ready to implement systems to build the studio of their dreams.