Increasing competition always makes customer retention even more vital than it already is. Sales reps, to be successful, must spend adequate effort to keep current clients. But, especially in the fitness club industry, salespeople spend most of their time recruiting new clients. As Kory Angelin writes for Club Industry, “fitness professionals too rarely build and maintain relationships with new members.” This unfortunately sets up a continuous cycle of churn. He shares the following findings from IHRSA:
“Members who visit their club less than once per week during the first month of membership eventually renew their membership 59% of the time. Those who visit at least three times per week during the first month of membership rejoin 78% of the time, a difference of 19%.”
To help reps remedy this issue, Angelin shares a couple tips to set the foundation for a solid customer relationship that will continue. His first suggestion is to consider how you are handling tours. The tour creates a first impression for each potential client; what are you doing to make it a standout experience? “One best practice to adopt is making tours of your club specific to the needs of the customer rather than what most clubs offer, which is a ‘museum tour’,” Angelin explains. A generic, one-size-fits all walkthrough of your club isn’t what today’s consumers want; club tours like that are a dime a dozen.
Change things up by first asking the person what they would actually like to see. This one question will immediately engage the potential member from the very beginning. Find out what they enjoy doing most for fitness, how they prefer to do it and how often. Do they like group fitness? Enjoy smoothies? Seek out a post-workout sauna? All of this information will give you an idea of where to direct them and what to show off. Not only will you be personalizing their tour, you're also establishing a relationship in the process.
Now, more than ever, there’s major competition out there. Consider using Angelin’s easily applicable strategies winning members over.