There is a common misconception that, in order to boost membership sales, you must spend an absorbent amount of money on marketing, but this is simply not the case. Word of mouth is STILL the most valuable tool for a health club and especially for those that are just starting out and don’t have a lot of room in their budget for paid advertising. Referrals are a great, cheap way to boost sales. Satisfied customers will recommend your services to their friends, family, and acquaintances, and these recommendations can be worth their weight in gold.
Set the Tone. Engagement is key. Start as soon as a prospective member walks through the door. You need them to like you and trust you as a valid resource of fitness information. The best way to build trust is to be relatable. Don’t barrage them with sales pitches from the get-go. Instead, have a real conversation. Ask them what they are looking for and what their personal goals are. If they don’t have any at this point, help them create of realistic, reachable ones and then explain in detail how you can help to achieve them. Come from a place of helping and assistance. Even if you don’t make the sale immediately, once you’ve established a connection and trust, you can ask them for others who may be interested as well.
Accept Constructive Criticism and Offer Incentives: Unless you’re a mind reader, you may not always be able to tell if a customer likes the way you do certain things at your facility. You don’t have to take every complaint or suggestion to heart, but the willingness to accept suggestions and requests for changes is a much-appreciated quality in ANY business. Accepting constructive criticism is just good customer service, plain and simple. It allows customers to see that their needs are of the utmost importance.
You can also offer incentives for referrals. Again, don’t overwhelm them with a big salesy pitch, but make it worth their while. For example, perhaps offer a free class to those who bring in at least 5 referrals in 3 months, or offer a month free of dues for those that get up to 10. You should fine-tune your referral policy and make the rewards clear on your website as well as any social media platforms you manage.
Give them Results. So this new member has joined your gym. Great! But now you need to give them incentives to stay. You’ve won them over with your engaging, charming and relatable personality, but now they need to see some results. You’ve discussed their goals and explained how you can help them reach them, but you can’t just tell them, you have to SHOW them. When you show you care about them as individuals and not just as a means to reach your bottom line, you will gain a loyal member and an unlimited supply of referrals. Now you are the local fitness guru and you have built a member base of word-of-mouth advertising.
Our Development Team is constantly working to improve your user experience with EZFacility. Between major updates, we release small, but important, Features and Fixes that address issues and add useful new options/tools to better help you manage your business with EZFacility.
In life, as well as in business, change can be a trying, yet necessary evil; but it doesn’t have to be. With that in mind, EZFacility’s development team has released updates to better manage the process of change. These updates include changes to the way subgroups inherit edits made to revenue categories, as well as updates to the Trainer Performance Report and E-mail Campaign settings.
Subgroups Will Now Inherit the Parent Group Revenue Category When Edited
Our latest release includes safe guards to manage and edit groups, subgroups and their revenue categories to ensure revenue reports remain accurate. When editing the revenue category of a group you will now be prompted with the option to automatically update a group’s subgroups with the change. Please note: To have access to this feature, Subgroups Inherit Revenue Category from Parent Group, must be selected in the Online Registrations section of the Administration page.
Opt-Out Link Can No Longer be Removed from an Email Campaign
In an effort to further comply with federal and anti-SPAM regulations, we have removed the ability to send an Email Campaign without an unsubscribe link. This will provide all email recipients the ability to opt out of any further communications from your facility.
Improvements to the Trainer Performance Report
The Trainer Performance Report has been reconfigured to include the ability to sort not only by date, but by Reservation Type as well. With both sort options available, you now have the added benefit of a new ‘Package Type’ column that will display the package being used by the client to book into that particular session.
This month, most colleges, universities, and schools around the country have at least a week off. Not everyone goes to Cancun, and parents of small children are likely tearing their hair out, trying to figure out how to keep their energetic young ones entertained. So now is the time for you to be asking yourself: What can my fitness facility or sports center do to help? If you don’t already think of spring break as an event that you should be planning for each year, it’s time to start. Here are a few ideas:
If you already offer programs for children, consider creating a special, week-long camp that follows school hours and gets kids moving. Soccer, basketball, baseball, hockey, dance, and swimming camps are popular options; if your facility allows for any these, working parents are bound to be grateful and kids will join in with gusto. Plan time for snack and lunch, and alternate activity and rest in hour-and-a-half-long chunks: for example, for a basketball camp: an hour and a half of drills followed by snack, followed by an hour and a half of games, followed by a viewing of a documentary about basketball stars. Also, mix it up: an intense study of basketball in the morning goes well with a relaxed game of dodgeball in the afternoon.
If your facility isn’t set up for camp, consider offering new classes that kids (and their parents, who might be taking the week off) and college students are not likely to have tried before. The sheer novelty might draw them to you — and once there, who knows? Maybe they’ll stay. Also, you can think of the classes you offer as trial runs. If they’re popular, you might have discovered a new niche for yourself. Options include Kangoo, surfing workouts, barre classes, rockwall climbing— even quidditch!
Bring Cancun to them. Maybe you have a pool. Sure, it runs on a tight schedule, but can you carve out a few hours one day to turn it into a beach? Let people use their imaginations to fill in the sand. You supply umbrellas, lounge chairs, cabana music, and health drinks. Maybe you can get a beach volleyball game going in one area of the club (again, no sand required — just have players wear bathing suits). It’ll be a party — and it’ll draw prospective clients to you.
Offer a special membership deal for the week. Existing members can bring a friend to a few classes for free; new members who sign up during spring break get two free weeks tacked on to their membership. Other ideas include offering a free session with a personal trainer or a discount at a local sporting goods store or on the gear you might sell at your own facility. Be imaginative here — there are endless incentives you can offer, with spring break as your excuse.
Get your gym management software or fitness center software involved. Be sure to enter the names of clients who have never been to you before; so that you can fine-tune these offerings in the future, you want to keep a record of who your audience is. For existing clients who participate in your spring break offerings, make a note of their participation in their profiles — most health club software allows for this. That way, you’ll keep tabs on their interests and be able to target the right crowd for future events.
It’s never too late to start planning for Spring Break 2013, and it’s never too early to think about next year. Make it an annual offering. As a fitness center, health club, or sports facility, you’re in a unique position to keep people active and entertained when regular routines are on hold. Take advantage of it — and have fun!
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