Unless you’re a YouTube star opening your own gym after collecting thousands of fans, you’re going to need to sell memberships, training, and apparel at your gym to become profitable. Sales, however, can be a daunting prospect to the uninitiated.
There are a few reasons gym owners struggle to sell. To many, the idea of “sales” conjures images of used car charlatans, shadily saying anything to move inventory off the lot. To others, sales never factored into opening a gym; the business was started to help people get in shape and better their lives. To most, the sales process is a mystery, an abstract idea so far from the concrete science of fitness that it seems an insult to even house them in same building. But what if making and growing sales numbers isn’t as difficult as it seems? What if, like counting macros, calculating volume, or adding plates, sales was just about numbers? Here’s the big secret: it is.
There are three parts to fitness sales. The first is getting people in the door. It’s not enough to just build it, you need to make them come. The next step is to actually interact with potential members and clients. If a non-member walks into your gym, takes a look around, and leaves, you have almost no chance of selling that person a membership, training, or even a smoothie. Finally, you need to make the sale. It seems obvious, but if more gym owners recognized making the sale as part of the process, they’d see more success.
Going forward, these three parts will be represented by numbers; 20–6–2.
Marketing strategy is beyond the scope of this post. Instead, focus on the concrete numbers behind getting non-members to enter your facility. If, as a gym owner, you focus on attracting a certain number of non-members each day, you can figure marketing out later. The bottom line is this: how many people do you want to reach each day? Choose a realistic number. Make it attainable. And, perhaps above all, don’t be afraid to change it.
Let’s use the number 20 as an example. Set a goal to meet 20 people per day. Give them a business card, a free workout pass, a free training session, it doesn’t matter. Talk to them and tell them about your gym.
The next step to sales success is to set appointments. This is the 6 in our 20–6–2 formula. After you contact your 20 people, 6 should set an appointment to meet with you. Make sure this is a formal appointment to meet with you, see the gym, and maybe have a training session…this is when you’ll (eventually) make your sale.
But it doesn’t stop there. Suppose you go 6 for 6, two hours into your workday. You see 6 people, and set 6 appointments. You aren’t done. This is a numbers game. If you schedule 6 appointments, you can only (potentially) close 6 sales. WHY STOP THERE?? The more appointments you can set, the more sales you can make. Treat your goal number as a minimum.
Finally, the moment you’ve been reading for; it’s time to make the sale. This is the 2 in our formula. For every 6 appointments you set, you should sell two of those non-members. Your entire appointment with that individual should be directed toward the eventual sale. Your focus should be on demonstrating your value to the potential member. Show them why they want to join, and how you can help them meet their goals. Ask for the sale. Don’t sit there and expect for them to volunteer their money. It’s as simple as saying something like “Can we go ahead and get you signed up?” or “Let’s go ahead and get you started today.”
Don’t get cocky. Stick to the numbers. By following the numbers you can collect accurate data to assess your success. You will be able to find holes in your game; are you bad at setting appointments or closing sales? Maybe you schedule plenty of appointments, but they all cancel. Why? This is where consultation services shine. Using your data, and some of their own, you can resolve any problems you discover.
The numbers can be cruel. They will tell you with blunt, brutal honesty how effective your efforts actually are. If you abide by the numbers, consistently, then you’ll see your sales grow.
Are you looking for someone to help grow your gym business? contact us today!
An Outsourced CEO, Jim Thomas is the founder and president of Fitness Management USA Inc., a management consulting, turnaround and brokerage firm specializing in the gym and sports industry. With more than 25 years of experience owning, operating and managing clubs of all sizes, Thomas lectures and delivers seminars, webinars and workshops across the globe on the practical skills required to successfully to overcome obscurity, improve sales, build teamwork and market fitness programs and products. In addition, his company will buy gym equipment from gyms liquidating or closing. Visit his Web site at: www.fmconsulting.net or www.jimthomasondemand.com.