IMAGE COURTESY OF SHUTTERSTOCK
Walk into any gym, and you’ll see brightly colored canisters and bottles of “extreme” powders and “octane” capsules to help you get the most out of your workout. There seems to be an endless supply of possibilities, but as a gym owner, how do you decide what to stock? Is it worth the time and money spent on providing this service to your clients?
Then there’s the competition to think about. Why provide a product your client is just going to turn around a buy for less online? These are all valid concerns, so we did the research to show you how to succeed in the supplement game.
Why You Should Consider Supplements
- They increase profits. You can only make so much money off of memberships and training sessions. Having additional merchandise in your gym is an easy way to increase sales. Introducing them at new member sign- up is a high percentage chance to make sales. Make sure you have your display visible.
- It helps provide better service. Your customers are buying supplements whether you’re selling them or not. So why not save them some time and make shopping more efficient? A 2017 survey completed by the Council for Responsible Nutrition found that 76 percent of adults take some sort of supplement. The most popular are multivitamins, but sports and nutrition supplements are not far behind. It just makes sense to provide your customers with the complete health and fitness package they seek. If you’re not selling them, you’re losing out on profits.
- Stand out from the competition. If you’re in the industry, then you know there is a lot of competition. Let the supplements you sell set you apart from the competition by offering something unique, something that can’t be purchased just anywhere. Supplements alone may not get them in the door, but it will help your clients feel like they are getting something extra.
Now to address the giant package in the room. We know it often seems like giant superstores and online retailers have the market covered. How are you, a small business owner, supposed to compete with that?
The short answer is you don’t. The good news is there is a better way to offer your clients a great product, increase profits and not have to worry about competing with superstores and online retailers.
- Be unique. Sell something the competition doesn’t. It’s important to partner with a brand that sells exclusively to gyms, and offers sales and marketing support. It is important to provide products that are unique and premium. Your members want unique formulas and brands.
- Provide personal experience. This is where the online retailers and big box stores can’t compete with you. Make sure your employees and trainers are familiar with the products and can communicate the benefits to your clients. Nothing compares to human interaction in a world of computerized customer service.
- Find out what your customers need. You can’t compete with an online retailer’s stock, so don’t try. You don’t need to offer a million brands of BCAAs, pre-workouts and vitamins. Your customers don’t need it and they probably don’t want to have to choose. They trust your expertise, so find out what they want and offer that. They want you to make things simple for them, so do it.
- Find a company you trust. When you’re trying to offer every single product in the world, like most big retailers do, it’s almost impossible to know the origin and ingredient list of every product you sell. If you have a limited number of products in your gym, you have the opportunity to research what you’re offering your customers and make sure it’s the highest quality possible. And because they trust you, you should take the time to do just that.
- Love your customers. It seems like a no-brainer, but simply talking to your clients will give you all the insight you need and make them feel important. Many people find workouts and supplements intimidating and having great customer service will help put them at ease and make them feel comfortable. So take the time to get to know your regulars, make the newbies feel welcome and educate your customers on the benefits of the supplements you offer.
Eric Wiedel is the founder of Top Trainer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 512.934.3642.