Fitness marketing tip: Don’t lower your prices!

I hope everyone enjoyed their Valentine’s Day and shared some love! Sorry it has been a few extra days since my last post! Between doing some traveling and all the gym owners contacting me stressed that the New Year’s rush was not what they had expected my free time has been limited. I have another day of travel ahead of me early tomorrow but wanted to give you a few quick tips before I call it a night.

When I first started selling gym memberships back in the late 80’s I was in a small town that had a military base with a large family fitness facility that 75% of the town could use for free and the other 25% could pay $15.00 month to month and use. Now mind you this military base gym was nice and had pools and tennis courts. I was working in a small 11,000 sq ft club that had no A/C in the main gym and was just a basic club with classes, shower area and a main gym floor. We sold our memberships at 39.95 per month on a 12 month EFT contract and when we ran a special we dropped the enrollment fee to 50.00. Guess what? I averaged signing 60 to 80 new members each month!

So what is my point you might be asking yourself. My point is the health club and fitness center industry is killing its chances of profit and success by believing people only care about low price. The fact of the matter is normally the gym owner and staff worries more about the membership prices and enrollment fees than the new potential clients! The beliefs of the staff which are molded and formed from the leadership or lack of leadership at the top (you should be looking at yourself in the mirror now and not smiling) cause the most issues with membership pricing.

If you and your staff know in your heart you truly provide great service, a nice club and share knowledge with your members that helps get them the results they joined your gym in the first place for then you would not be worrying about if your prices are too high compared to the gym down the street. Trust me when I tell you this if you make someone see the value in what you are selling which causes them to want it then very seldom will price be an issue. Just think what people are willing to pay for the new iPhone! They may not be able to pay the gas bill at the house but they for darn sure will be able to text message you to tell you how cold they are.

DO YOU GET MY POINT? Do yourself a big favor and stop worrying about what the gym down the street is charging or doing and worry about making your club a special place that helps its members reach their fitness goals. The fact of the matter is you cannot do anything about the guy down the road so you might as well save the energy and worry about making your club a place that new people off the streets and your current members see as a place that will help them achieve their goals thus adding perceived value to your gym membership and the services such as personal training or weight loss programs that you have to offer. I have been into hundreds and hundreds of clubs and have not seen one that could not add $1.95 to their current monthly membership dues tomorrow and not miss a beat in new membership sales! (Do not raise your current members rates this only applies to new gym membership sales.)

The cost of running your club goes up each year. Common sense and your bank account will tell you that dropping your monthly membership dues is not the answer. Do yourself a big favor and charge some sort of enrollment fee when signing up a new gym member. The extra $40 or $50 dollars added to the first months membership dues you collect when enrolling the new member will help improve the cash flow for you club and just maybe allow you the extra money to develop and maintain a regular fitness marketing plan or run a seasonal gym promotion that you hear me talk about all the time.

Now get up from your desk and go work with your staff and show them the value in what you offer at your gym so they feel proud accepting the money from new members and old members for the services and life changing help your gym or studio provides!

Until next time, enjoy life!
Matt York

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“Fitness marketing tip: Don’t lower your prices!”