Is Selling a Health Club Membership Simple or Complicated?

April 29, 2013

By: Jim Thomas
Jim Thomas’ Fitness Management & Consulting

It’s always interesting to see the different ways health clubs across the country go about selling a membership. Most that struggle in the sales process have made the process overwhelming and complicated without even realizing it. Most that do well in the sales process seem to have figured out a way to make the entire process very simple.

So, before you continue reading, I’d like you to take a moment right now and decide whether you think selling a health club membership is simple or complicated?

Ok, please continue.

People demand the simple in their lives and they see the value in simplicity. Simplicity sells and people who visit your health club are even willing to pay more money for things to be simplified.

Now let’s come back to selling a health club membership and whether it is complicated or simple.

I think that many health club owners have been convinced that selling a membership is difficult and complicated but we also use the perspective that selling a membership is complicated as an excuse to miss the sale. Let me explain this a bit further.

Many health club owners have been told selling a membership is difficult, overwhelming and complicated. They have been convinced that:

  • As the health club facilities and services we are selling get more and more complicated…and the competition increases, the selling of these complicated and highly competitive facilities and services must by definition get more complicated as well.
  • As the number of people involved in making a single buying decision increases (husband/wife, corporate sales), the more complicated the selling of a membership becomes.

Since many owners have been convinced that selling a health club membership is complicated, they start to believe they need a complicated membership sales process and complicated sales tools in order to effectively sell. As a result, lots of health clubs do not maximize an opportunity that is right in front of them.

Complexity in the sales process provides us with many additional sources of excuses and gives us the ability to cover up our failures in the sales process. If you are selling complicated facilities and services at your health club, you can use the excuse that a prospect failed to see the value of your health club because the facilities and services are so complicated and overwhelming. If it is taking a long time for your prospect to make a decision to join, you can make the excuse that selling a membership is complicated as there are lots of people involved (husband/wife, corporate). You could go on and on making excuses because selling a health club membership is complicated.

I would like to say to any health club owner, manager or salesperson that selling a health club membership is not in fact complicated; it is in fact quite simple.

Even if the facilities you are selling are overwhelming and complicated, so what? You are not selling a complicated facility or service; you are selling a solution to a problem. You’re selling strategy, a plan and focus is around the solution to your prospect’s problem and not around your complicated or overwhelming facility. Whether your health club is complicated with every piece of equipment imaginable or just a simple workout studio should not be relevant to the membership sales conversation.

If you are willing to take on the belief that selling a health club membership is simple and you are prepared to give up the excuses you can use if you believe selling is complicated, then what is your next step?

I suggest that you look at the membership sales process you are using and if it is complicated, replace it with a proven, simple membership sales process. Find something that can be effectively used by everyone on your staff.

Commit yourself to finding and learning a simple, beginning-to-end, membership sales process that focuses on selling solutions, benefits and results to the prospect (as opposed to selling facility and price) and which works whether one or more people are involved in the buying decision. If you do, you will naturally be a lot more successful at selling health club memberships and you will enjoy it a lot more too.

Selling a health club membership really is simple and simple sells. Now, try it and see.

Jim Thomas’ Fitness Management & Consulting

fmconsulting.net