How do you identify which of your prospective customers are new to fitness? What is your process for engaging these people and building an experience that will help them create the life-long habit of exercise and good health?
Do you even have such a thing or are you busy selling them memberships and personal training?
Too many facilities fall under one of the two following categories:
1) Burn and churn: Convince people to join, a few end up staying, and the rest leave. Rinse and repeat.
2) Focus on sales: Convince people to join, sell them personal training. Focus on the numbers.
The industry average attrition rate of around 50% is an indicator of how well this is working. Currently around 15-20% of people are members of a health club/gym, another indicator that facilities are not doing as good a job as they could be.
The way to dramatically change this is not with better sales techniques, it’s by shifting the focus of your sales process entirely.
There are 3 types of people who you will encounter:
1) Never been to a gym
2) Been a member of other gyms but never stuck to it
3) Is a regular at another gym and is looking for a change
Your sales process should be very different for the first 2 than it is for the 3rd one.
When faced with a prospect who falls into the first two categories the most important things you can ask them (and make them answer) are “why/how did you get to this point physically?” and “why do you want to change?”. This should happen before you even show them the facility. You need to develop an understanding of the person as an individual so that you can develop a plan to help them. This is the best path towards gaining a life-long client! The goal of your sales process should NOT be to make a sale, the goal of your sales process should be to figure out what the prospect needs to succeed…and then to see if you truly offer the environment that supports their needs.
On the back-end of this your facility has to operate in such a way as to support the new exerciser. From an operational point-of-view your facility should have special programming to support these new members, programs that help them get integrated into the culture, programs that teach them how all the equipment works, free personal training (ex – “the first 10lbs are free of charge”).
No doubt that there are hundreds of operational variables that go into running a facility, but at the heart of it you still have to help your members get results. This is obvious, but yet as they say, common sense isn’t common practice. If you don’t have a specific protocol for people who are new to fitness you’re missing a great opportunity to improve your business.
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Georgetown, ON L7G 4S6