Want to sell gym memberships or fitness studio passes but not sure how? Or whether you could be doing it more effectively? In the fast-paced and competitive fitness industry, the ability to sell is a crucial skill for a successful career. So, whether you’re new to sales or looking to enhance your techniques, we’ve got you covered.

In this guide – we outline a proven 5-step process for selling gym memberships for fitness studios, health clubs, and wellness centres.

We’re a specialist fitness marketing agency with 15+ years of industry experience, so we know first-hand what works (and what doesn’t!). We’ve helped gyms, fitness studios, and personal trainers to successfully sell their services, so our strategies are tried and tested.

  1. Build rapport
  2. Understand their fitness needs and drivers
  3. Make a tailored recommendation
  4. Address objections if needed
  5. Get commitment and sign the contract

Let’s dive into this 5-step process that’ll make all the difference in meeting and exceeding your gym membership sales targets…

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1. Build Rapport: Lay the Foundation for Trust

Building a genuine connection with potential members is the first and critical step in selling to them. Establishing rapport creates a foundation of trust, making clients more receptive to your recommendations.When clients trust you, they’re more likely to open up about their fitness goals and challenges, setting the stage for a productive sales journey.

Here’s how to build rapport with prospective gym members…

  • Start with a Warm Greeting: A warm and friendly greeting sets a positive tone for the conversation.
  • Ask Open-Ended Questions: Encourage clients to share more about themselves by asking questions that require more than a yes or no answer.
  • Use Positive Body Language: Maintain eye contact, offer a firm handshake, and be mindful of your posture. Positive body language contributes to a welcoming atmosphere.
  • Remember Names: A person’s name is powerful. Make an effort to remember and use names in your conversation.

Building rapport is an ongoing process. As the conversation progresses, continually assess the client’s comfort level and adjust your approach accordingly. The more genuine and thoughtful you are in building this initial connection, the stronger the foundation for trust and successful membership sales.

Steps To Sell Gym Memberships

2. Understand Their Fitness Needs and Drivers

Delve into the motivations behind their interest in joining a gym. The answers they give can act as a compass that guides you towards the right membership solution for their unique needs. There are three key benefits to doing this as part of the gym membership sales process…

  • Personalisation: Fitness is a deeply personal journey, and a one-size-fits-all approach won’t cut it. By understanding the individual needs and drivers of your potential members, you can tailor your recommendations to align with their unique aspirations.
  • Relevance: Tailoring your approach based on their motivations demonstrates that you’re not just selling memberships; you’re supporting their individual fitness success. This makes your gym offering more compelling.
  • Building Trust: The process of understanding their needs involves active listening and genuine curiosity. This builds trust as clients recognise your commitment to comprehending their goals and challenges.

Here are proven techniques for understanding gym member needs effectively…

  • Ask Open-Ended Questions: Ask about fitness goals, past experiences, and what success looks like for them.
  • Active Listening: Pay close attention not only to their words but also to the emotions and sentiments underlying them. This requires being fully present in the conversation.
  • Empathise: Put yourself in their shoes. Understand the emotional aspect of their fitness journey. What are their pain points, and what aspirations drive them?
  • Identify Pain Points and Aspirations: Pinpoint areas where they’ve faced challenges in their fitness journey and the aspirations that fuel their commitment.
  • Use a Needs Assessment Form: A structured form can guide your conversation and ensure that you cover all relevant aspects of their fitness needs. Our Business Bundle includes a lead gen form for this purpose.

As the conversation unfolds, continue to delve deeper into their motivations and probe where necessary. This will help you refine your understanding of their needs and ensure you don’t miss anything important.

Fitness Business Templates

3. Make a Tailored Recommendation: Show the Value

Based on the insights you’ve gathered so far, craft a personalised membership recommendation that addresses their needs. No-one wants a generic gym membership; most people would prefer a curated fitness solution that precisely aligns with their aspirations. 

A tailored recommendation ensures that every aspect of the membership aligns with the prospect’s goals and needs. This makes your offering more compelling – when potential members see that the recommended membership is crafted specifically for them, it engages them on a personal level. They’re more likely to visualise the benefits and commit to the journey if it’s been customised to their situation.

Tailoring your recommendation also increases the likelihood of a positive customer experience. Satisfied members become advocates for your gym who’ll spread the word and refer other customers to you.

As you create and explain your tailored recommendation, it’s helpful to…

  • Use Information Gathered: Leverage the insights gained during the understanding needs phase. Reference specific aspects of their fitness goals, challenges, and motivations when presenting the recommendation.
  • Highlight Relevant Features: Emphasise features of the membership that directly address their identified needs. If, for instance, they expressed a desire for personalised coaching, spotlight that aspect of the membership.
  • Provide Options: Offer a range of membership options, each catering to different needs. This not only demonstrates flexibility but also allows them to choose a plan that aligns most closely with their goals.
  • Customise Workouts and Services: If your gym offers specialized classes or services, showcase how these align with their preferences. Whether it’s yoga classes for a client focused on mindfulness or high-intensity interval training for someone seeking a challenge, customization is key.
  • Transparent Pricing: Be clear and transparent about your gym’s pricing, cost breakdown, and what each aspect of the membership entails. This transparency builds trust and ensures that the client understands the value they’re receiving.

The key to making a tailored recommendation is weaving together the threads of the client’s unique fitness narrative into a membership solution. The more precisely your recommendation aligns with their aspirations, the more likely they are to sign up with enthusiasm and commitment.

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4. Address Objections: Turn Challenges into Opportunities

It’s natural for people to have questions or concerns about signing up for a gym membership. Whether it’s issues around the time commitment involved, cost, or previous negative experiences, most prospective members will raise objections of some kind. But addressing them doesn’t need to be a defensive maneuver – you can use artful redirection to transform objections into opportunities for deeper understanding. 

Addressing objections transparently and effectively demonstrates your commitment to client concerns. This builds trust, an indispensable foundation for successful sales.

It’s also an opportunity to clarify misunderstandings. Objections often stem from misunderstandings or incomplete information. Addressing objections allows you to clarify any misconceptions and ensure that the client has a comprehensive understanding.

Here are some practical ways to address objections when selling gym memberships…

  • Active Listening: When a client raises an objection, actively listen to the concern without interrupting. Allow them to express their thoughts fully before responding.
  • Empathetic Response: Acknowledge the validity of their concerns and respond empathetically. This validates their perspective and creates a more collaborative atmosphere.
  • Probe for Understanding: Ask clarifying questions to delve deeper into the root of the objection. Understanding the underlying cause allows you to tailor your response more effectively.
  • Educate, Don’t Convince: Rather than attempting to persuade, focus on providing additional information. Educate the client on aspects they might not be fully aware of, addressing their concerns with facts and insights.
  • Offer Alternatives: If the objection is related to specific aspects of the membership, explore alternative solutions that might better align with their preferences or address their concerns.
  • Share Success Stories: Illustrate how others with similar concerns have overcome them and found success with your gym’s memberships. Real-world examples can be powerful in alleviating apprehensions.
  • Trial Options: If applicable, offer trial memberships or short-term commitments. This provides a low-risk way for the client to experience the benefits and address any lingering concerns.

Addressing objections is not a hurdle but an opportunity to deepen your connection with potential members. By approaching objections with empathy, understanding, and a commitment to finding solutions, you transform challenges into stepping stones toward a successful membership commitment.

Objection Handling Script Template
Our Fitness Business Bundle & PT Sales Course both include objection handling scripts and cheat sheets.

5. Seal the Deal: Get Commitment & Sign the Contract

Finally, you’ll need to guide the potential member toward a commitment. Clearly outline the benefits of the chosen membership option and present the contract. Use confident and concise language to encourage them to sign up, emphasizing the positive impact on their fitness journey.

In order to get prospective gym members to commit and sign the contract you’ll need to…

  • Reiterate Benefits: Before presenting the contract, reiterate the key benefits of the chosen membership. Reinforce how the features align with their goals and aspirations, emphasising the value they’ll gain.
  • Clarify Terms and Conditions: Transparently discuss and clarify all terms and conditions outlined in the contract. Address any questions or concerns they might have, ensuring complete understanding.
  • Offer Incentives: Consider offering limited-time incentives for immediate commitment. This could include discounted rates, complimentary sessions, or exclusive access to certain amenities. Create a sense of urgency.
  • Create a Positive Closing Atmosphere: The closing phase should be positive and affirming. Summarize the key points, express excitement about their fitness journey, and create an atmosphere where committing feels like the next natural step.
  • Personalise the Process: Tailor the signing process to the individual. If possible, meet face-to-face to sign the contract. Personalisation adds a human touch, reinforcing the sense of a personalized fitness journey.
  • Provide Clear Next Steps: After obtaining commitment and a signed contract, provide clear next steps. Outline what they can expect in terms of onboarding, orientation, or any additional information they might need.

By employing these proven techniques, you can transform a potential member’s interest into a loyal, committed membership. Mastering the art of selling gym memberships is about more than closing deals – it’s about helping people to kickstart their fitness journeys. By building rapport, understanding needs, making tailored recommendations, addressing objections, and securing commitment, you not only meet your sales targets but also contribute to the success and growth of your gym. 

Fitness Sales Training & Resources

We offer ready-made templates and training to help you sell more gym memberships, hit your sales targets, and generate business revenue. Whether you’re a newbie to the fitness industry or seasoned pro, these templates and training courses will help you get even better sales results. They include resources on lead generation, developing a sales mindset, presenting prices persuasively, and addressing objections along the way.

Fitness Business Templates Personal Training Sales Success [Online Course]
How To Sell Gym Memberships Pinterest

Caroline @ Wellness Creative Co

Qualified personal trainer (BSc Sports Science) & nutritionist (MSc Human Nutrition) with 15+ years of fitness & wellness marketing experience working with global brands.