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Why Online Membership Selling is Great for Gym Owners

The traditional membership sales technique of inviting people to your gym for a free tour and consultation is very effective in signing up new memberships. However, the internet allows you to increase the success of your gym by selling gym memberships online. You can even drive up your average revenue per member by using your web presence to sell more expensive packages.

Online sales can also provide access to new markets and boost the performance of a small sales staff, membership sales for multiple locations, and off-site sales activities.

With the right approach, online membership can be a significant revenue generator for your gym. This guide details all you need to know about selling gym memberships online, including:

  • Designing your online sales funnel
  • Setting up your media studio
  • Conducting effective consultations
  • Refining your selling technique
  • Overcoming reservations toward online selling

Building Your Online Sales Funnel

Any gym membership sales strategy requires leads, also known as prospective members. To begin the online sales process, you must persuade these potential members to give you their contact information. You can learn how to attract leads effectively in our complete guide to lead capture. However, for this task, let’s assume you already have several leads you can guide through the membership process. In this case, here are the steps to closing a membership sale online.

Step 1: Promoting a Free Consultation

A free consultation is the most effective way to sell gym memberships online (or in person). This is why your primary marketing message should persuade potential members to book an appointment through call-to-action buttons on your website.

Step 2: Make Your Booking Page Work for You

Even if you focus on online membership sales, you should give the potential member the option to meet you in person or online. It’s been several years since the pandemic lockdown. However, many people are still reluctant to visit a gym or other public spaces. Also, an online booking may be more desirable for potential members who:

  • Are only interested in digital fitness consultation or online coaching
  • Are too intimidated to visit your gym in person
  • Prefer to explore your service from the comfort of their home

These possibilities are why you should stress that a person can complete the entire membership sign-up process online.

Step 3: Quickly Follow-up on Leads

Hot online leads can get cold quickly. In a study involving 125 million sales leads, the Harvard Business Review found that  U.S. businesses attempting to contact potential customers within an hour of receiving a lead were almost seven times more likely to capture the lead than businesses trying to contact potential customers an hour or more later.

This is why you must contact leads in person by text within minutes instead of hours, even with your autoresponder operating. While confirming the booking, you can increase your chances of closing the sale by asking them if they want to meet online immediately or at a time before their booked appointment.

💡 For example, you can text a message like, “Thanks for booking a meeting on Wednesday at 11:30 p.m. My schedule is open right now. Would you like to chat online with me about your goals and what we have to offer?”

By allowing you to meet and engage leads within minutes of them entering the sales funnel, online gym sales give you a huge head start in signing up more members. It takes the waiting time and travel time out of the process. As a result, prospective members have less time to reconsider, overlook, run out of money, or cancel the booking because of bad weather or work demands. This is why you are more likely to make more sales using an online sales plan.

Step 4: Fast Track Online Consultations

The success of your online sales strategy depends heavily on the speed of your response to people seeking an online consultation. If you can’t provide an instant consultation, arrange one as soon as possible. You can use email, text, or D.M. to provide your potential members with a URL link to the virtual meeting room.

💡 One of the most popular business meeting platforms for online gym sales is Zoom. It allows you to hold unlimited one-on-one meetings for free, and many consumers have already used it. Regardless of your meeting platform, you should make sure it is easy to use.

Setting Up Your Online Gym Sales Media Studio

Your gym should have a private room for in-person consultations and membership sales. It should feature the following:

  • Comfortable seating
  • A sales binder and essential sales materials
  • A stable internet connection
  • A webcam

Most webcams cost around $50 to $100 for the plug-in types. You can also use your computer’s built-in camera if it has good resolution. In any case, the average webcam will work fine in a clean, professional setting. You don’t need to buy expensive props or virtual backgrounds. Instead, ensure the room is neat and orderly with complementary items, such as your logo or a framed credential. If your gym has any awards or trophies, you can display them. The key is to keep it simple, transparent, and welcoming.

If you have ever appeared on video, you know how important good lighting is to your presentation. A small ring light can give you all the illumination you need. Also, avoid setting up your media studio with an un-shuttered window in the background. It will shadow your image. If you can’t avoid it, close the curtains or shutters while in session with a potential member.

It is also essential that your guests hear you clearly, especially if your media room is near busy parts of your gym. However, instead of using large and distracting podcast mics, you can get exceptional sound with Bluetooth ear podsa small headset, or Apple AirPods. Also, many webcam mics have excellent sound components, but test the system before you use it in an actual consultation.

Whenever you turn on the camera and introduce yourself to a prospective member, you typically get one shot at impressing the person. For this reason, your professional appearance is vital in turning leads into paying members. So, even on hectic days, ensure you are well-groomed and professionally presentable before you start the meeting.

In addition, the membership package options should be visible on a cue card or on the wall behind the camera. This step allows you to refer to the package details without looking down or shuffling through papers.

Delivering a Winning Consultation

A free consultation beats all other methods of selling gym memberships, including tours, free classes, or workouts. For this reason, you can easily use this method to sell memberships online in a single interview session.

To help you make more sales online, we recommend the No Sweat Intro process, developed by our friends at Two-Brain Business. Before starting the process, you need a consultation form to take notes as you go through the process with your prospective member. Getting as much information about this person as possible will help you close the sale.

These are the fundamental steps of Two Brain’s “No Sweat Intro: The Prescription Model “for selling gym memberships online.

Step 1

Welcome your guests and show your appreciation for the time they’ve set aside to meet with you. If you feel the need, you may set the mood with brief small talk or a humorous comment.

Step 2

While taking notes in your consultation form, ask as many focused questions as possible to help you structure your responses. Several valuable questions are:

  • What caused you to schedule an appointment with me today?
  • Do you know anything about us or our services?
  • Have you tried other programs? What were the results?
  • What have been your past experiences with exercise and diet?
  • What are your goals? Why did you choose them?
  • How will achieving these goals impact your life?

Since an online setting hinders your ability to read a prospective client’s body language, your questions are more vital in online membership sales. This means you must put more effort into connecting with your guests by being more observant, curious, and engaging.

Step 3

This is the point in the NSI process where you zoom in on a primary concern for the client that you can address by establishing a starting point. Online assessments are slightly more difficult because you can’t do actual lean muscle mass, waistline, or body fat measurements. You also can’t put your potential member through a brief baseline workout. Instead, ask your online clients for metrics, such as their weight and the amount they want to lose.

Try to get as much information as possible online. You can gather more metrics later if necessary. For example, suppose you have a potential client who wants a stronger lower body. After the online membership sign-up, you could gather more essential metrics in the initial in-person session. Alternatively, you could provide instructions for getting benchmark tests and logging the results for clients who only want online training.

Step 4

Rely on your expertise and credibility as a fitness professional to give your clients the most effective plan to help them reach their goals. Without considering the price, show your clients an outline of the fastest way to achieve their desired results.

Step 5

Ask your clients their preferences for the following workout options:

  • One-on-one
  • Group environment
  • At your gym
  • Another gym
  • At home

Step 6

Give your prospective member a quote using your pricing sheet.

Step 7

Address objections and reservations before closing the sale. Sometimes, you may have to alter the plan and re-close.

Step 8

Begin the intake process.

Refining Your Online Membership Selling Technique

Like any performance, a persuasive and polished sales presentation requires regular and thoughtful practice. Your practice sessions should focus on making your presentation engaging enough to get your client excited about the benefits, and flexible enough to address common objections confidently and carefully. Even when you have your pitch completely memorized, you will likely find ways to improve it from the responses you get from potential members.

There are many ways to rehearse your presentation, such as practicing in front of a mirror, video recording yourself, or reciting it to friends or staff members. It doesn’t matter what method you choose, provided you put in the time and effort to fine-tune your delivery. It also helps to use notes or a sales script during practice. You can also refer to these resources during online sales meetings by positioning them off-camera.

In addition to regularly rehearsing your sales pitch, you must have a working knowledge of your meeting platform. You should be able to easily navigate the site and solve fundamental technical problems to avoid delays and interferences before or during your sales meeting. Sometimes, you may need to  provide tech support to clients new to business meeting platforms like Zoom, such as telling them where to find the “unmute” button. It helps to do several practice sessions with friends or staff before hosting potential members.

Changing Your Attitude About Online Sales

It’s understandable if you are skeptical of online sales. You may doubt your ability to increase your membership sales without showcasing your greatest assets — your gym, equipment, and top-notch staff members. Since potential clients don’t have the in-gym experience online, it may seem you are operating with a severe handicap.

The fact is we have entered a new era in consumer shopping habits. Consider these facts from Fundera:

  • 95% of purchases will be processed online by 2040
  • 73% of consumers shop through multiple channels
  • 67% of millennials (a hot demographic) prefer online shopping over in-store shopping
  • 88% of cyber shoppers prefer to purchase online because of 24/7 access
  • 80% of businesses are investing in an omnichannel customer experience

Today’s consumers prefer speed and convenience over “taking a test run” or “kicking the tires.” Your equipment and staff may mean the world to you, but most prospective members are more interested in your ability to help them reach their goals and solve their problems. For this reason, you can easily present your fitness plan for them through Zoom, Google Meet, or other business meeting platforms.

This drastic shift in consumer shopping behavior also provides the opportunity to offer additional profitable services, such as high-ticket online coaching and nutrition counseling. These new services can help you reach clients who are too busy to visit a gym regularly. Online fitness services also allow you to expand your reach far beyond the confines of your gym, including other countries.

The Impact of Selling Gym Memberships Online

We are quickly evolving into a society powered by online commerce. In this guide, you can capitalize on this consumer trend by following simple steps to sell gym memberships online. It won’t take long to master your digital presentation and use the online format to win various new members. To find out how Kilo can help you successfully sell online, book a call.

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