One of the main reasons a person hesitates to buy a gym membership is the fear of the unknown, especially for people who haven't been to the gym before and don't know what to expect.
One of the easiest ways to "solve" this problem is to offer trial memberships. I don't mean regular free memberships, but a one or more-day membership offered free to potential new clients. They can use these memberships to test the club's services and more easily convince themselves of the benefits of your club.
These strategies are by no means new. Think about how often you've received samples of various products, from food and beverages to grooming products. If you've bought a new car from the dealership, you've taken at least one test drive. All these actions are intended to help you make a decision and "see" yourself using that product or service. Suddenly, most of the unknowns you had about that product or service are answered.
The same goes for fitness clubs. No promotional campaign, no matter how creative, will have the same persuasive power as a test membership. The secret to this strategy is knowing how to use trials to increase sales.
It's not enough to just offer trial memberships. You need to make sure that they are also used by potential clients and that they end up buying memberships.
Here's how you can do it!
It all starts with how you grant trial memberships. If it requires effort on the client's part, they will give up. So instead, try to set up an online system where the interested person can sign up and automatically receive the trial membership. This flow can be initiated through an online form, where interested parties can fill in their contact details, which are then used to activate the test membership.
Another way to offer trials is through voucher codes that can be emailed or provided through flyers offline.
Regardless of how you offer trial memberships, make sure it's very easy for anyone to use. If they have to wait or go through too many steps, most leads will give up.
Once a person activates a trial, they should be contacted by phone or at least through an automated email explaining everything they need to know to use that membership, from the check-in procedure to the services available online, access to classes, what they need to have with them when they come to the gym and so on.
If the trial membership is not being used, then someone from the club's sales team should contact that lead to ensure they understand what to do and how to use it.
Set up a dedicated sales scenario for leads who activate their trials, contacting them before and after using the membership.
Once they get to the club, the lead's experience is critical. If your gym doesn't make a great impression, the chances of those potential clients buying a membership drop dramatically. Therefore, a trainer or front desk person must know that this is a potential client with a trial membership and give them a tour of the club, showing them the main services, the changing room, the aerobics studios, and anything else necessary.
During this time, the lead can ask questions about what going to the gym entails to eliminate as many unknowns as possible.
The effort doesn't end when the lead leaves the club after using the trial membership. On the contrary, don't expect everyone who uses the trial membership to flock to the front desk to buy a new membership. Sometimes they need a little push.
That's why following up with everyone who used trials is imperative. That way, you can get their feedback and answer any questions they have. If you wait and let them decide, they will likely put it off indefinitely.
So, don't forget to include the following-up process after a trial is used in your sales scenario.
Trial memberships are a great way to recruit new members and set up an onboarding process that starts before that client becomes a member.
You just need to pay a little attention to those who use these memberships and, most importantly, promote these offers assiduously to attract as many potential clients as possible.
There is an easier way to get more members! Communicate efficiently with them through automated emails, provide them the option to purchase memberships online, delight them with a professional mobile app and member account, and surprise them with fast services at the reception desk.
With UPfit.cloud, everything is done quickly, and you can start seeing results in a matter of days. Find out the advantages of our platform in a 20-minute demo session.
If you have already followed this blog, you've undoubtedly noticed that I write a lot about online payments. This is a subject that I tend to insist on because I know, from experience, that it truly is an excellent solution to increase sales at a fitness club.Read More
You don't have to invest a lot of money and time in PT services, to expand them properly. With a few well-thought strategies, your trainers can increase your business almost immediately, and your department will run itself.Read More
We have created a series of free guides that will help expand your gym: advice on increasing sales, lead management, optimising your online marketing strategy, creating a corporate program, and so much more. There are dozens of e-books and guides with useful information and ideas for ambitious gyms, that are willing to use all the tools available to grow their business and recruit more members.