The Three Essential Objectives to Improve Gym Sales and Profitability

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The Three Essential Objectives to Improve Gym Sales and Profitability

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In the fitness industry, we often see an over-prioritization of a gym’s marketing strategies without a clear roadmap for how to enhance the retention of those potential customers. Of course, you want to advertise to your target audience and maintain a healthy influx of new traffic through your door; your fitness marketing strategies are essential. However, to increase your bottom line and make the most of your marketing budget, you’ll want to incorporate a tailored new customer retention strategy and focus on nurturing the leads already in your sales funnel. 

If you’re overwhelmed with your gym’s day-to-day operations, you likely haven’t had the opportunity to pause and proactively build a methodology for your inquiries. But if you’re leaving the conversion from new client to long-term member up to chance, you’re restricting your studio’s success from the very beginning. 

Which would you prefer- more social media leads or a greater number of customers converting into long-term recurring memberships? In most cases, an influx of inquiries does not often result in more members if there isn’t a strategized client flow helping to drive new loyal customers through the sales funnel. If your new membership sales strategy relies on the customer to purchase on her own, it’s time to focus on your ideal client flow.

A client’s intro period isn’t only a chance for them to try out your studio and see if they like it. Optimized effectively, it should also solve these three objectives:

  1. Build the relationship and establish trust. Before you ask new customers to sign for a large purchase, you’ll want to demonstrate that you took note of their needs and will personally tailor their experience.
  2. Learn your client's goals and objections, including class times, modalities, and teachers that fit their expectations and personality. You’ll also want to discover what obstacles they may have so you can mitigate those potential problems during their intro.
  3. Set them up for future success and eventual membership contracts by laying the foundation for the purchase option that best fits their goals.

Envision what you hope your new client will experience when they walk in the door. How will they feel? Who will greet them? Perhaps more importantly, do your staff know your expectations, and how will you ensure each new client enjoys the same carefully curated experience? Your ideal client flow is your opportunity to design your client’s contact points, introductions, and eventual sales presentation.

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As you create your strategy, visualize each interaction your clients should experience step-by-step. Then compare that to the current new client journey to identify areas of improvement for each phase of their member journey from inquiry to acquisition.

Day One:

Beginning from when your potential client sends their first email to inquire about classes, membership prices, or schedule, customize each checklist item to build your boutique fitness studio or gym’s ideal client flow procedure:

Inquiry - Coordinate your inquiry response, including:
  • Response scripts 
  • Number of contact attempts 
  • Communication methods

For example, if someone asks for the price via email, how do you respond? How many times will you attempt to reach them if they don't purchase? If they’re interested, what is their next step? What do you do with their contact information if they decide it’s not a good time to buy?

Introductory Purchase - Once they buy their introductory offer:
  • Who welcomes them to the studio and when?
  • Is there a pre-first class phone call? What is said?
  • Who performs the contacts, and how are they tracked? 
  • What steps do you take to ensure the client feels welcome and supported before stepping foot in your business. 

Note: even if you send a purchase-triggered welcome email, try to think beyond the automation. Research shows that phone calls are significantly more effective than emails. 

First class - How will you make them feel comfortable?
  • What is included in the studio tour? 
  • Have your staff role-played and practiced going beyond “here are the lockers?”- What special features set your studio apart from the competition?
  • If you have desk staff, how do they introduce your client to the teacher? Studies show that most clients seek connection post-covid, so practice introducing your new client to existing members using the new client handshake.
  • Set the tone for the coming weeks. Foreshadow what’s to come to make them more likely to open your correspondence. “You’ll see an email in your inbox tomorrow” or “I’ll text you tomorrow to check in and see how you’re feeling” both send the message that you’ll be actively involved in their introductory experience. 
  • Sign them up for future class(es) to keep them engaged and start laying the foundation of accountability. “Let’s sign you up for your next class!” is a great way to walk your clients through your class styles and make sure you see them again. 
In-between class communication - Keep them engaged

Clients are 80 percent more likely to buy if you reach out more than five times. That doesn’t mean you call and ask them to buy a membership every day for a week. You’ll want to build value-add contact points throughout their intro special in order to set the tone for their future purchase option. That may look like:

  • A quick “how was class?” text sent the day after their first class
  • Sending a hand-written postcard to thank them for trying your studio
  • Calling to let them know they have four days left in their special
  • Meeting with them one on one to discuss which classes best fit their goals.
  • Choose which staff member will send each contact point and when they will be delivered.

Most importantly, you’ll want to track these communication points in order to make sure they’re being sent as expected and train your staff, if applicable, so that every client receives each contact.

Before their introductory pass expires- Ask them to stay
  • When will they be asked to purchase a long-term membership?
  • Who will make the sale?
  • What incentives do you use to create a sense of urgency?
  • Does the client receive anything such as a swag bag or a folder with a schedule? Identify what this sales presentation will consist of from start to finish.
What happens if they don’t purchase? Sometimes it’s not the right time, or it wasn’t a great fit, but that client isn’t lost forever. Consider:
  • Will there be future reach outs? 
  • What is your no-purchase strategy?
  • If you regularly lose the sale, what actions need to be taken in the future?

Next Steps

This exercise should push you to strategize the big picture of your customer experience and new client retention process.  Now, it’s time to put theory into application. 

First, start by typing up your perfect client flow and run through it mentally one more time to check for holes. Here is a template you can customize.

Next, schedule a staff meeting and practice. Role-playing is your most valuable tool for new procedures and is the difference between an idea and a cohesive staff strategy. Begin by demonstrating the client flow by leading your staff as if they were new customers. Then, break into groups and have them practice, taking turns and offering different new-client scenarios. You may consider typing up a checklist so that your staff has a guide to follow while they get used to the new flow.

As a coach, this proactive strategy is often the difference between a studio hoping that clients will stay and one that is actively working to retain customers. It may seem daunting, but the upfront work will pay off with a steadily increasing conversion rate. 

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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.