First impressions are everything when it comes to potential members at your gym. When people walk through your studio doors for the first time, their initial experience will make all the difference in whether or not they sign up for a membership. 

While it’s up to you and your team to provide a killer workout, it’s just as crucial for you to provide a welcoming atmosphere and engaging first impression. 

So what exactly should you be doing when they walk through your studio doors? We share 10 things you can learn from a member perspective!

1. Have A Proper Welcome

Entering a new facility can be intimidating—even for people who have been actively working out elsewhere.  

That’s why it is important for you to always give a warm welcome to everyone who walks through the door of your studio. The more open and inviting you are, the less stressed new guests may feel, and this could ultimately increase their chances of remaining members long-term. 

So say hello, offer up a nice smile and ask if they need any help. Stand up and come out of the front desk area so there is no barrier. A little bit of extra effort in the beginning will go a long way.

2. Offer An Informative Tour Of Your Facility  

Instead of assuming a new guest will be able to figure out where everything is, walk up to them and offer an informative tour of the facility. Tours allow people to get comfortable with the equipment that is available to them and the environment. 

Be sure to point out important amenities like bathrooms, water fountains, showers, and nutrition bars. And rather than leading them around with haste or rushing through the tour, take your time and let them get comfortable. 

In our Loud Rumor Virtual Training program, we have training videos that teach you to give the best studio tour (and much more!) Learn more at https://loudrumor.com/lrvt.

3. Ask Them About Their Fitness Goals 

Before they start their workout, ask them about what they hope to achieve in terms of their fitness and nutrition.  You can even ask them what their current routines consist of and what challenges they are currently facing—this is an open-ended question that could potentially offer some insight into how best to help them. 

Asking people about their fitness goals has the potential to spark a conversation that could lead to better recommendations for your new guest. It helps you get on the same page with them from the beginning and may even help you uncover some resources that could be helpful to their goals.

Once you know more about what they’re striving for, you can recommend specific offerings like a weight loss program or personal training. 

Using a client intake form (FREE DOWNLOAD HERE!) can help you collect important lead data as well as personalize your approach. 

4. Make Them Feel Comfortable 

It bears repeating to say that attending a new gym can be very uncomfortable, especially for people who are new to working out. And it’s the responsibility of you and your team to make any new members feel as comfortable as possible. 

Ask your new guest about their workout history or if they have any injuries or limitations. This way you can help determine proper form and technique and give them peace of mind. 

Introduce them to your “Committed Claire”. AKA your favorite member that’s the biggest cheerleader for your studio. Having a new guest be introduced to a raving fan of yours:

  1. Makes the member feel comfortable
  2. Helps make the sale! “Committed Claire” will talk about all the amazing things your studio has to offer and since this is coming from another member, it doesn’t feel like a pitch!

 Whatever you do, make sure you create a sense of trust and comfort for each new guest.

5. Walk Them Through The Workout 

If your new member is about to take their first fitness class with you, walk them through what they can expect to experience. Talk them through how they will be working out, what equipment they’ll be using, and anything else you feel is important for them to know before taking the class. 

This way when the class begins, they are more prepared for what’s about to happen—and it could set your guests up for success in their first fitness experience with your studio. 

6. Make Ancillary Sales 

Ancillary sales are extra things like towels, protein shakes, and supplements that you can sell to existing members and new guests. And if you take the time to make your guests feel comfortable in your studio, they are more likely to consider different items that could enhance their overall experience.

For example, say you have a nutritional area that offers protein shakes. During your tour, you could show the new guest the area and run them through the different flavors of shakes you have available. You could then ask the member which flavor sounded the best, and let them know that if they wanted it, you could have that shake ready for them by the time their workout is over. 

If you don’t have a nutritional area, you can still sell things like towels, mats, and water bottles to new members who may not have brought those things themselves. 

Remember though: there’s a difference between offering ancillary items and selling ancillary items. If you want to learn more about how to sell ancillary products, watch this video here!

7. Encourage Them During Their Workout 

People want to feel seen and included when they’re in a new, potentially uncomfortable environment. So during their workout, be sure to check in with them and encourage them to do their best. 

For example, you can say something like: “You’re doing great! Keep it up!” or “Looking good out there!” This way the new member knows that they have your support. 

If your studio offers classes, be sure the instructor uses the new member’s first name during class. Making them feel supported by the instructor will go a long way to show that you are invested in their experience at your studio.

8. Bring Something Deeper To The Experience 

Whether it’s inviting participants to take a moment to set an intention during the end of class or having them write down specific goals that they want to achieve, it is important to draw out something deeper from members. 

Encouraging this behavior will allow you to get a better sense of what each member wants. It also helps them feel more connected to your studio because now it’s not just a place they’re going to work out—it’s a place they’re going to improve themselves. 

Brainstorm ways you can make the experience about more than just the workout. Let us know what you came up with in the comments!

9. Give A Complimentary Gift

If you want to make a really good first impression, giving a gift at the end of a new member’s workout can be really effective. 

The gift doesn’t have to be expensive, but it should be something that is useful for the guest’s workout. The possibilities are endless—you could offer a free t-shirt or water bottle, or even another free class. 

Adding a favor is a nice touch to say thank you for allowing you to host their first workout experience. Guests can sometimes feel a bit apprehensive when it comes to trying a new workout, and the gift ties back into making them comfortable. 

10. Maintain A Positive Attitude  

You may have heard this before, but it bears repeating: your attitude is contagious. 

Walking around with a smile on your face and creating a culture of employees who are happy to be at work will make new members feel happier about coming to train.  

It’s a small thing, but maintaining a positive attitude from the moment your guest walks into the studio until they leave is important. So encourage your team to be upbeat and to keep it positive! 

If you want to learn more about how to be an effective leader & get your team bought in, check out this blog!

It’s All About The First Impression

Gym owners have only one chance to make a first impression on new studio guests, so it’s crucial to create a plan that will set the tone for your memberships. 

If you invest time in creating this plan before bringing new members into your studio, they will be more likely to remember the experience as positive and worthwhile. 

So if you want help improving your member experience, increasing membership rates and retention, and creating a stronger sense of community in your studio, click here to learn more about how you can work with the team at Loud Rumor today!

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