Trial memberships and demo classes are some of the most reliable methods of attracting prospective members to visit your fitness studio. IHRSA released data suggesting up to 63% of the people walking past your gym each day wish they could exercise and free trials are a great way of getting them through the door. Unfortunately, though, some people still do not sign up after a free trial period and walk away rather than join at the end.
Even more unfortunate? The reason they are not joining is probably more your fault than theirs.
Because while getting bodies into the gym with a free pass is a great strategy, it’s what you and your staff do during--and after--that trial period that takes those fence sitters and turns them into members.
1. Give out Free Trials
Everybody likes free stuff. And, while you may want to attract as many people as possible, you may be better off in the long-run attracting fewer, more qualified leads. Offering a day or a week for free is great, but you can also try offering a month at 50% off. You can also do this for group or PT sessions as well. This clarifies two things for you:
You weed out the slackers. A person who is willing to pay for a trial membership is more likely to be willing to pay for a full membership.
You have more time to impress. A short-term free pass might not give you a fair chance to show them what you’ve got. In fact, you might get more objections from someone who only walks in for a day, rather than someone who experiences your culture for a month.
2. Show them some love
Every member and prospect should be handled with care! Always have a greeting ready, make sign-ups and check-ins a breeze, clean your facilities and equipment and, of course, deliver the best results.
3. Nothing falls through the cracks
Set your sales team up for success by having an automated follow up system in place for when leads finish the trial period. Have an automated email go out the day after the first trial day and ask how the workout went. Call the prospect a few days later for some feedback and a great follow up offer like a free PT session or to bring a friend on their next visit.
If your team isn’t using a solid lead management plan, then your prospects might be falling through the cracks. Make sure you check to see if they’ve come in, when they came in, and what classes they took, so you can tailor your sales pitch to them and get them to join.
4. Keep tabs on dropouts
Not everyone joins immediately after using a free gym pass. Sometimes it takes a while and that’s fine--as long as you don’t forget them. Add them to a lead nurturing workflow. Let them know what’s going on in the club through emails or SMS messages, and send them the occasional offer meant for leads like them who have already done a trial at your gym. Follow-up calls and updates will help keep your gym top of mind and a step ahead of the competition.
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ABOUT STEVE GRANT
Steve Grant is an expert in business coaching for gym owners with 20 years of fitness industry experience including 4 years as a Health and Wellness Lecturer at ACPE and 8 years as the owner of one of Sydney’s most profitable fitness studios.
Steve is first Fitness Business Mentor to deliver innovative Gym Marketing Ideas from around the world, that add an extra $100k profit to any fitness business. Gym Hub provides a buyers group to help gym owners reduce expenses, as well access to proven systems for staff recruitment and development, teaching members to become highly leveraged and work as little as 12 hours per week.