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Three Steps to Selling Virtual Memberships

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selling virtual memberships

Ben Ludwig shares three steps to selling virtual memberships to reach potential members who may never enter your facility.

Virtual training has been such a huge focus for all of us as business owners since March. At first our concern was addressing how to provide the same level of service as you would in-person. Maybe you have found the solution, maybe you haven’t, but the question on every business owners mind now, is what if virtual doesn’t go away? How do I sign people up for memberships that may never step foot in my facility?

The three steps to selling virtual memberships may surprise you as you will soon learn you already have most of the information you need:

Create a virtual sales follow up plan that speaks to your ideal client.

Follow up is the most underutilized tool in the fitness industry, yet creates some of the most successful brands in the world today. However, not all follow up is created equal. First you must know who your ideal client is and what they respond to.

If my ideal client is a young, active business professional, email and specific timed phone calls will likely be best for communication. On the other hand, if my ideal client is uncomfortable in the gym and likely has other priorities such as kids, multiple jobs, extracurricular activities, etc., I may need a higher volume of contacts approach since getting in the gym has been a low priority for them for so long. 

Embrace the virtual face to face.

Let’s be honest, there are still so many trainers, managers, and even owners fumbling around with Zoom trying to figure out volume controls and apologizing endlessly. Whether we like it or not, nowhere in the near future is virtual face to face going away. So how do we get better at virtual assessments, sessions or game plan sessions?

We come prepared, with an agenda and practiced. Role play is more important now than ever before. Practicing a virtual meet up allows you to not only prepare for the logistics portion of the meeting, but see how it feels to ask questions virtually, view body language of your prospect and practice engaging in a different way than ever before. Getting better at this process will separate you from the rest. 

Know what’s next for your client within a virtual membership.

If you thought getting a client to come back to your facility was hard in person, then getting a client to call you back with a credit card will feel next to impossible. This is why the next steps for your prospect are extremely important. No employee likes hearing “I’ll think about it and let you know.” To the same end, no customer likes hearing “Sounds good, let me know what you decide.”

As a fitness professional, it is our responsibility to know who our ideal client is, know whether or not our business meets their needs and make the recommendation as to what is next for them. If the prospect meets your criteria, have a play in place for when they don’t say yes right away. Have a challenge they can take part in if results are what they have struggled with in the past.

Have a trial of classes you can book for them if fear of not liking the classes are at the forefront. Leaving a trial open-ended gives no accountability or reasoning for the prospect to choose you over anyone else. To stand out from the crowd, care about what is best for your customer, and give them steps on how you will take them there. 

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Ben Ludwig

Ben has held multiple upper level management roles within the fitness industry and has developed curriculum for certified personal training programming as well as standard operating procedure for gym businesses around the world. He currently contributes regularly to fitness business magazines including Club Solutions, IDEA, and Boutique Fitness Solutions and serves as the growth pastor for CrosspointNow network of churches across Kansas, acts as the subject matter expert in sales for Fitness Revolution, sits on the advisory board for the International Strength Training Organization and works in a consultant role with the fastest growing fitness franchise in the world, F45 Training, as well as working a hand in many start up businesses.

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