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