Whether you realize it or not, if you’re the owner of a fitness studio or gym you’re also a salesperson. You constantly sell people on your service. You sell your team on how awesome your company is so they always work hard. You even sell your family and friends as to why you miss certain events because you’re still at the studio.
When you start a business, you’re a salesperson all the time. So you might as well learn to be the best you can be. Here are 3 sales strategies to help make sure you close more fitness leads (new people who aren’t yet paying members at your studio) and pack your classes:
1. Honest Conversation
Most people who show interest in your fitness studio probably have their guard up the first time you talk to them. They expect a sales pitch from someone who maybe doesn’t have their best interests at heart.
A lot of gym owners find it difficult to be effective salespeople because of that stigma. In fact, they may not even call themselves salespeople. Here’s why:
The key is to recognize that the service your fitness studio offers helps your customers more than it helps you. They get to be healthier, feel better physically, and grow to love the way they look.
So you already know how awesome your workout service is. Now you want to have an honest conversation about how your specific classes will help these new people achieve their goals.
Be transparent. It’s going to be hard work, so let them know exactly what they can expect both from the workout and your team — always based on their personal goal.
That’s where the magic happens. Before you know it, you’re selling people on your memberships.
2. Ask Good Questions
Your goal as the owner is to help your customers meet their own fitness goals. But only 13% of customers believe a salesperson can understand their needs and get them where they want to be.
So it’s important to establish that caring relationship during your first conversation. This might be a phone call, a text, or even an email.
Start the sales process by asking where they’ve worked out before. If you own a CrossFit box and your visitor has never done CrossFit before, you’ll want to start with the very basics. But if they were already part of a different CrossFit gym, they should be able to jump in and do your WOD.
Before getting them started on their workout, though, ask new visitors if they have an injury that you should be aware of. Something like tendonitis might not be an issue for someone attending a spin class, but weight lifting might be another story. Being conscious of their specific injuries or situations all goes toward selling them on the awesome customer service that goes into a membership at your studio.
Lastly, ask new leads what fitness goals they want to accomplish. And how do they feel about their ability to meet them? Getting all of this info about their workout history helps you custom-plan their training so they get the results they’re aiming for … and more.
3. Give a Great 1st Experience
There’s a ton that goes into an outstanding first experience at a studio or gym. It can be intimidating for people at first, so make your studio as welcoming as possible:
- Greet them at the door/front desk to get them checked in
- Give them a tour of the facility and introduce them to your staff
- Get them set up with all of their gear like towels and free weights, and if needed, show them how to use the trickier stuff (looking at you, bike shoes)
74% of customers choose the company that was the first to add value, so point out your studio’s awesome features … like a nutrition bar, showers, or child care center.
After their workout, check in with them to see what they thought … and if they liked it, ask what they liked about it. High-five them and get them excited for a job well done.
Don’t let them sneak out the door without talking with them first. Be quick here.
So before they leave your studio after their first workout, mention their goals again to end things on a personalized note. Do they think more workouts like the one they just did will help them reach that goal? Do they trust you to help them get there? Ask these questions.
You want your new students to be excited to come back. Give them the ultimate first experience that makes them feel like no other fitness studio in the world could give them the attention and care that you do.
4. Follow Up
Unless that person signs up with a membership on the spot, the sales process doesn’t stop when they leave your gym. Selling to a person while they’re actually in your studio is super important, but it’s just as important to keep in contact with them afterward.
That’s so much missed opportunity! Think of how many more people you could help if you just made a few more phone calls.
Your follow up process should incorporate every method of contact available to you: phone calls, emails, text messages … even smoke signals and carrier pigeons are fair game. Give them a call the day after their visit to the studio to check in and see how they’re feeling and if they’ve decided whether to purchase yet. The following day you might send an email inviting them back for a special workout, and the next day, you might call them again.
Keep this process up until the person purchases a membership package (or asks you to stop contacting them).
When you follow up with someone after their visit to your studio, remember to keep your energy high. You’re excited to help them live a healthy lifestyle, and you want them to be excited to do that at your fitness studio.
Remind them of your previous conversation about goals and ask how they’ve progressed since you last spoke.
When you call to follow up, ask them, “Am I the lucky trainer who gets to help you reach that goal?”
Again … people appreciate when you are honest and direct with them. Asking for the sale will probably catch them off guard, but they’ll appreciate that you’re upfront about wanting to help them. They’ll be more likely to say yes.
So even though you might not consider yourself a salesperson, it’s important to recognize that it’s part of the job. Nail these strategies and you’ll be able to help a ton more people with your workout service.
Mike Arce is the CEO and founder of Loud Rumor, a lead generation company for fitness studios and independent gyms that supports their customers with sales training and techniques to grow and scale.
Mike has spoken for companies like Infusionsoft, the Better Business Bureau, ASBA, and Local First – all on the topic of Local Business Internet Marketing. He has a passion for local businesses and helping them grow. You can get fresh, updated tips from Mike here.