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Streamline your joining process to attract members…

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The health and fitness industry is competitive.  So not only does your health and fitness club, gym, or leisure centre need to offer great facilities, excellent customer service, and flexible membership options, but you also need to give your joining process some serious thought.

It goes without saying that a good sales strategy is based on creating the best customer service experience possible.  And communication is key!

Making things too complicated for potential new-joiners is a turn off.  As is a cold, unfriendly, and unwelcoming joining process that feels detached from any ‘human element’.  It screams ‘numbers’ rather than a personal level of service and support.

Whilst your health and fitness club, gym, or leisure centre is no doubt a large operation, ensuring you position customer service at the core of your operation is essential to your ongoing success.  And excellence in customer service starts from the very first enquiry; potential new members will consciously or unconsciously judge you on your team’s response so it’s crucial to get it right from the start.

Members join gyms for many different reasons.  However, it’s important to remember that the overriding factor here for joining is one of emotion.  From wanting to lose weight and tone up, to increasing social lives and enjoying a new hobby, there are countless driving factors for why potential members will want to explore joining your fitness facilities.  So streamlining your joining process to attract new members is a must.

How do you streamline your joining process to attract members…?

Everything nowadays is available online.  And an online joining system will work really well for your health and fitness club, gym, or leisure centre – if it’s done right. 

Whilst joining online is automated, quick and easy, it’s a pretty cold way of doing business when you consider that members join gyms for very personal and emotional reasons.  So what’s the answer?  Well, add friendliness, warmth and personality.

It’s easy to be side-tracked and it happens to us all.  So just imagine a potential new member is in the middle of joining online and suddenly the phone rings, there’s a knock at the door, or the children have fallen out with each other!  These things happen – it’s life – and so your online joining system needs to be adaptable. 

To add an injection of human personality and warmth, why not set up an auto response email from one of your team members.  It doesn’t need to be complicated, but simply say that you noticed the potential member was in the process of joining and encourage them to try again or make contact direct for further support.

What’s next if you still can’t convert from potential to new member?

If you are still struggling to convert your potential member to new member status, then why not bring out the big guns?!  Meet automated, auto response, and educational emails which can even be linked to a blog article or two.  Create a set of up to 12 well-written and informative emails – from the same member of the team in order to build a personal rapport, trust and consistency.  Add in a photo too for an extra personal touch.

Make sure the email series is friendly and encouraging.  It should be written in a fast-paced style with plenty of incentives, tips and advice to ensure your health and fitness club, gym, or leisure centre team stands out as being experts.

Use friendly and reassuring language as, after all, the potential new member could feel a little daunted by committing to a gym membership.  Phrases such as ‘don’t worry’ and ‘talk to us’ offer comfort to an apprehensive audience.

It’s also important to include ‘human’ aspects in the communication series.  So rather than everything being done by email or online, make sure that a member of the team calls the potential new member.  A friendly chat over the phone can help to allay no end of concerns, worries and fears.  It’s the ideal opportunity to answer their questions and queries – and to showcase your team’s knowledge and expertise at the same time.  And it’s also the perfect time to capture their interest by inviting them in for an activity, a coffee and chat, or to book them in for a review.

Don’t forget, the streamlined joining process needs to continue once your new member has signed on the dotted line…

It’s crucial not to neglect new members.  That’s because new members equal happy, loyal and long-standing existing members which boost your health and fitness club, gym, or leisure centre’s retention rates.

So once you’ve converted your potential new member to a fully-fledged new member, then it’s time to promote your club – and say thank you!  It might seem obvious, but so many clubs fall short here and it’s a vital communication tool.

For a start, invest in a good quality new member pack.  This should be full of information about activities and services, as well as fitness class timetables, events, a map of the premises and / or gym layout, and even advice for getting the best out of their workouts.

Next, send an email, pen a letter, or give them a call.  However, ensure that whichever ‘thank you’ method you choose, you add in a referral opportunity to recommend a friend or relative, as well as some incentives too, such as vouchers for the spa, restaurant / café, or personal training sessions.

This may all sound simple, but it’s so easily forgotten.  So incorporate these simple steps as part of your protocol and it’s a sure-fire way to make certain your joining process is streamlined – and effective.

To find out more about how your health and fitness club, gym or leisure centre can benefit from a streamlined joining process, or for further information on the importance of leadership and sales coaching, training and mentoring, please call +44 (0) 7815 800 939 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. today.

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Guest Monday, 11 December 2017

Your knowledge, passion and expertise in helping us to find the right front of house staff has been invaluable. You have trained, inspired and developed our front of house staff to deliver exceptional service. How do we know this? Feedback about customer service from our tenants have improved and we will continue to work with you in the future. Thank you Nurturing Skills.

Rob Court, Training development for Guardian News and Media

Since the training has been delivered by Nurturing Skills we are monitoring sales and the process more closely. For example sales targets, enquiries to appointments, appointments to sales, and sales to referral are all monitored daily and as a result of the process we have increased.

  • Sales by 30%
  • Enquires to appointment by 70%
  • Appointment to sale by 55%
  • Point of sale referral by 45%

Barnsley Premier Leisure

For anyone looking to improve the sales performance, customer retention or customer service within their organisation, then there is no place better than to start with Lesley Aitken. Not only is she a charismatic trainer who is commercially astute but she quickly understands the needs of your business and puts them first before considering any monetary gain for her own organisation.

Trafford Community Leisure

Lesley Aitken is a very professional influential and highly passionate speaker. Highly interesting and motivational group coaching skills. Lesley has the ability to improve all major aspects of selling and the latest techniques to dramatically improve your business in just one day. An expert in her field and will get you and your colleagues the vital KPI's to improve your business.

General Manager at The Gym Group